05 Jul WWA Supports International Women in Engineering Event
Ward Williams Associates represented the ICE and Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership at an International Women in Engineering day event on June 23rd.
The International Women in Engineering event was hosted by the Truro High School for Girls and over 200 Year 8 girls from 12 different schools from across Cornwall attended. The event promoted all aspects of engineering including; construction and civil engineering career routes.
Project Manager Scott James, who is seconded to the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP as Construction Strategy Partnership Manager, hosted the LEP stand with help from Quantity Surveyor Joanna Goldolphin and other local construction professionals.
A virtual reality headset was provided for students to try. This is an increasingly popular tool within construction and technology. Students could experience a HS2 railway site, walking around the station.
In real use, this allows engineers and project managers to review the design and understand any issues before the project gets to site. This helps eliminate safety concerns and make improvements to the design and construction process.
In addition, students were made aware of the range of exciting careers available within construction. This included an overview of salaries available, countering the perception of the sector being a low paid one.
The experienced team on the LEP Construction stand answered questions and presented ideas on careers in construction. This generated a great deal of interest and debate on the exciting projects and opportunities, which a career in construction could open up.
WWA Civil Engineering Project Managers, Gary Cutts and Kieren Couch represented the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). Gary as a Trustee and the South West Council Member and Kieren Couch as the South West Regional Chairman. They were joined by local engineers to deliver interactive STEM activities.
Teams of 4/5 girls were tasked with building a bridge out of straws and cardboard to span a 30cm gap. Each team was provided with an industry style brief and information resources covering design principles.
While the teams did not have a budget, the cost of the materials had to be considered and affordability was factored into the judging criteria. At the end of the two-hour session the structures were tested to destruction. The teams were judged on their ability to carry the highest load at the most affordable cost, as well as their teamwork.
International Women in Engineering Event – Truro High School for Girls
Scott James, said:
“One of the key elements of implementing the LEP’s Construction Strategy is addressing our sector skills shortages. This is a significant issue for the industry, and as Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly we are confident the sector can offer an exciting and engaging career in the region. This view was shared by many of the young people involved in today’s event.”
“We recognise the importance of providing young people with full information about the range opportunities available within Construction”.
Gary Cutts, said:
“It was fantastic to have this opportunity to represent WWA and the ICE promoting the career opportunities available within project management and civil engineering”.
“At WWA we have expanded our civil engineering team significantly and are appointed on major and minor local highways schemes, which will transform the infrastructure in Cornwall”.
“The ICE is highly involved in addressing the skills shortage and encouraging future engineers, therefore these events are crucial to provide a platform to do this.”