We asked Ryan to tell us about winning I’m an Engineer, and here is what he said…
First of all I would like to thank all the students who took part in the live chats and asked questions through ‘ASK’. I was really pleased that (almost!) all of the students made a genuine effort to ask detailed and honest questions about engineering and what it’s like being a professional engineer. I imagine from the student’s perspective it would have been difficult to ask questions in a face-to-face scenario like “How much do you get paid?”, “How does what you do help the world?”, “Why don’t girls do it?”, “What do you really dislike about engineering?”, however I’m really glad the students asked these questions because only the students know which considerations are the most important to them when deciding their career choice.
I’d like to thank Sarah, Chris, Priyanka and Paul for their efforts in the Fuel Zone. They all gave very interesting and thoughtful answers to the questions. It was great for the students to get such different perspectives of engineering. This hopefully demonstrated that just one person’s views are often not enough to make a decision – instead you need to listen to lots of answers from a number of people before formulating your own ideas about whether engineering is right for you. I’m also certain all the other engineers could all type much faster than me!
I hope to use the prize to help me start running a series of after school clubs to promote engineering in the local area. I want to make the clubs as practical and illuminating as possible. My aim is for students to finish an 8 week run of after-school clubs knowing what engineering is all about. I believe it’s quite a hard to give a good convincing answer to the question “What is engineering?” – answers like ‘It’s applying physics’ or ‘it’s about designing how things work’ doesn’t really cut it or inspire people. Instead I think it’s possible to demonstrate what it is and let people see what sort of things they can get involved with.
So, I am really pleased to have won the I’m an Engineer Fuel Zone! It was a privilege to be part of this fantastic competition. I enjoyed the challenge and I hope to have helped the students at least think about engineering as an option in the future. If I have inspired someone to follow engineering as a career option in the future, and go on to engineer something incredible, then remember where it all started! Perhaps you can take part it this competition in the future and then when someone asks you “What made you become and engineer?” you could say: “I’m an Engineer, Get Me Out of Here”!