The fabric of Westminster is in engineering. From every corner of the globe people travel to see the splendour of Big Ben and the intricacy of the Palace. It is an enduring testament to the accomplishments of our past. But last month Westminster looked to the future of engineering and to the achievements which may still lie ahead. The All Party Parliamentary Engineering Group was bringing together parliamentarians, inspiring industry leaders and the next generation of engineers from schools around the country.
Not every MP grew up dreaming of building space ships, but Chi Onwurah MP’s aspirations were set firmly in the stars. The Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy addressed the packed room of aspiring engineers at the House of Lords, telling of her extra-terrestrial childhood ambition. For Chi, dreams did come true. By working on Nigeria’s Global System for Mobile Communications she put satellites in space and provided telephone coverage for millions of Africans. This is the inspiring power of modern engineering.
So vital is this next generation of engineers, that the government has declared 2018 the Year of Engineering. The envoy responsible, Stephen Metcalfe MP, was keen for the young audience to tackle the world’s challenges head on. Advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing may soon revolutionise the world around us, but supplying our booming population with food and water will be just as important. The Year of Engineering will foster 1 million interactions between engineers and young people: they must be empowered to meet the challenges of the future.
The audience also enjoyed hearing from two inspirational young engineers. Ruby Holmes, winner of the 2014 Advanced Apprentice Award, didn’t want to take a traditional route through university. An engineering apprenticeship prepared her for roles on many exciting projects at Rolls Royce, from jet-engines to submarines. Oxana Grigoryeva, Business Development Manager at Bosch, is helping Bosch to keep modern cities moving, while also protecting the environment we leave for the next generation. What innovations will their young audience of aspiring engineers give to the world in the coming years?
This blog post has been written by Stuart Edgar, Account Executive in the London office at JBP.