Promoting Engineering and Inspiring the next Generation - Engineers week
Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) teamed up with Midlands Science and Mergon International to deliver an inspiring career talk at Colaiste Mhuire in Mullingar last week as part of national ‘Engineers Week’ celebrations. Faculty of Engineering and Informatics lecturer Alan Mannion spoke to students about engineering career opportunities and course options available at AIT and Padraic McDonnell of Mergon International gave an insight into working in the engineering field, the diversity it offers and what it is like to work within this profession for a global company.
Orla Thornton, Director of Marketing & Communications at AIT said, ‘Engineers Week is a great opportunity for AIT to collaborate with Midlands Science and our Industry partners in going out to schools within the Midlands in order to showcase the best of what AIT offers in engineering. The week is a celebration of all things engineering and it is a wonderful opportunity to show young people the diverse opportunities and career paths that engineering offers and of course to encourage them to explore the world of engineering and in turn the range of programmes that the faculty of engineering and informatics offers potential students from apprenticeships, degrees right through to PhDs. As a nation, we still have severe shortages in some engineering areas for example in construction-related areas such as civil engineering and Quantity Surveying. Our programmes address these regional and national skills shortages and this week is a great opportunity for secondary school students to immerse themselves into the world of engineering and all that is offers across the areas of civil and construction engineering, electronics and informatics and mechanical and polymer. All of our programmes in AIT are practically applied and industry focused and the collaboration between our industry partners such as Mergon is a great opportunity to inspire a new generation of potential engineers who will shape, design, build and automate for the world of tomorrow.’
The annual Engineers Week event is coordinated on a national basis by Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme which is funded under Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover programme. Midlands Science together with industry and academic partners wanted to ensure that a focus was given to encouraging young people locally to take a closer look at engineering and demonstrate how far-reaching, creative and innovative engineering actually is as a sector.
Aisling Nolan, General Manager of Mergon International said, ‘Mergon was delighted to join forces with local development company Midlands Science and Athlone Institute of Technology for Engineers Week 2018 which is a week-long festival of nationwide events celebrating the world of engineering in Ireland. It is extremely important for Mergon as an employer to provide the student population with inspiring experiences of engineering, as part of collective national quest to widen the pool of young people who will go on to join the profession in the future. We want our workshops to encourage young people to reflect, discuss and realise how they can be part of solutions needed for a vast number and diverse range of society’s challenges by becoming engineers. These workshops extend young people’s real-world understanding and it was wonderful to have this opportunity during Engineers Week ’
Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science said, “Ireland needs more future engineers so we really need more young people to understand what the world of engineering is all about, its impact and how widely it is used in the real world. Giving students the opportunity to talk directly to engineers and engage in hands-on activities that showcase and explain engineering is at the heart of Engineers Week and we were delighted to be able to facilitate events for some local schools here in the Midlands to help inspire the next generation of engineers.’
Photo: Teacher Oonagh Donoghue with Padraic McDonnell of Mergon International, Alan Mannion of AIT and Pauline Nally of Midlands Science with 5th-year students for Engineers Week talk at Colaiste Mhuire in Mullingar.