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For the last six months thirty students in Year 12 have had the exciting opportunity to participate in the Inspiring Engineers programme run by Mott Macdonald, a global engineering consultancy firm. Tasked with redesigning and rebuilding Hawaii’s infrastructure following a hypothetical volcanic eruption, we were split into five groups: Ports, Accommodation, Bridges, Heavy machinery and airports. Under the guidance of the mentors, we researched our designated sections and came up with three initial designs which we presented in school. Once we were happy with our final designs, following a painstaking design process, we were ready to assemble our prototype models. Despite the hectic rush during the last few weeks, we all completed our models in time for the highly anticipated Celebration Day.

The Celebration Day took place on Tuesday at Mott Macdonald’s Croydon offices and was a day we had been looking forward to since the start of the scheme. The day started off with a couple of informative talks from current employees about graduate employment and apprenticeships. This was followed by the presentations which we delivered to engineers from the office and to students from Wallington High School for Girls and Archbishop Tenison’s, who had also taken part in the scheme. We were all keen to share how our projects progressed and the judges commended our confidence and knowledge when providing us with feedback. After the lunch break, where free pizza had been provided, we had the opportunity to speak to other engineers working at the office who provided us with feedback on our designs. Congratulations must go to the Ports team for having the most sustainable design and to the Heavy Machinery group, who had the best presentation. As part of the scheme, we were lucky enough to have an insightful trip to Imperial College’s engineering department in January. We received a taster of what studying civil engineering at university is like and we were treated to a guided tour around the campus, which included a live demonstration of a ripple pool and a run-through of some of the lab research that is happening. We ended the day with a team building exercise (having been mixed into teams with students from Wallington High School for Girls and Archbishop Tenison’s) where we were tasked with creating a structure to support a water tank out of paper straws and hot glue.

This opportunity would not have been possible without Mr Carew-Robinson, who helped run the scheme, the DT department for supporting the making of the prototypes and of course to the mentors from Mott Macdonald who came in every Monday to run the scheme. I’d like to encourage all Year 11 students who are interested in a path in engineering to take up this opportunity next year, since it has helped us develop our passion for engineering and has provided us with opportunities to have a taste as to what a career in engineering entails.

Minhyuk, Year 12

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