“Emma’s employer supported her participation in I’m an Engineer. She returned the favour by using her £500 prize money to develop an ongoing outreach event for the company.” — Emma Ryan, Research Engineer at Lockheed Martin, EngD student at the Centre for Doctoral Training in NanoMaterials and Technologies
Before taking part in I’m an Engineer, Emma Ryan felt the engagement events she was involved in weren’t reaching those who would benefit most. “Talking to girls about engineering is a big push for what I do,” she says, “but we were going to speak to women at university who know they’re doing engineering… I think it’s more important to go back to primary school.”
In I’m an Engineer, Emma was able to directly reach this audience. Winning the zone then gave her £500 towards her own engagement activities, which she used to leverage support from her employer.
The workshop is now becoming a permanent part of our outreach activities.
“Lockheed paid for half of the 3D printer, which is used to run workshops in primary schools,” says Emma, “and the workshop is now becoming a permanent part of our outreach activities.”
Emma plans to continue developing the workshop and is bringing her colleagues with her on school visits. ‘I’ve done five local schools and other teachers are requesting it. Lockheed are continuing to support and pay people to come and give me a hand. I’m still seeing what works and what doesn’t, but I’ve got feedback saying it’s good to see engineers are normal people, which is always a good message to spread!”
Emma has also gained on a personal and a professional level as a result of taking part. “My public profile was heightened from doing I’m an Engineer, and then the university invited me to do Bright Club and perform on BBC radio,” she says. “It’s also part of my doctoral portfolio, and the feedback I’ve had from my school visits will be part of my application to be a chartered engineer.