“Some colleagues asked me: what is the benefit for an engineer in joining such a competition? But on the personal development point of view it was fully worth it.” — Giuseppe Cotugno, software engineer
Giuseppe took part in the Artificial Intelligence Zone, talking to students about his role as a software engineer at Buhler Sortex and his PhD. He had participated in some public dissemination activities while working in a previous job as a researcher, but didn’t expect how much the I’m an Engineer experience would benefit him.
An excellent opportunity to showcase your knowledge and to learn to do it clearly, in a persuasive and engaging way.
The art of communication
“Participating taught me to explain technical topics in an amusing way, without using a specialist glossary. It was an excellent opportunity for training in the art of communication.”
Giuseppe says the benefits of doing public outreach extend beyond academia. “Whether you work as a consultant, or you’re writing a book, or you are simply an employee, this competition is effectively an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and to learn to do it very clearly, in a persuasive and engaging way.”
Improved confidence in communicating
Answering students’ questions and working out the best way to communicate has helped Giuseppe professionally: “If you’re able to explain to a teenager how a software architecture is meant to interact in a bigger system, it is very likely that you will be able to persuade the project manager, the marketing department or a customer you are working with that your opinion is right.”
The future of engineering
Over the two weeks Giuseppe spoke to hundreds of school students and says he “got the feeling that my words were given primary importance by students… the decisions of future professionals could be affected by what I said; this gave me great satisfaction.”
To take part in a future I’m an Engineer event, apply now at imanengineer.org.uk/engineers/, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Posted on June 25, 2019
in Case Study
, Engineer Quotes
After every event we ask the winning scientists to write a short blog to be sent to all the students in who took part in the zone. It’s a great way for the engineers to reflect on the previous two weeks and thank all the students for voting for them.
Let’s take a look at what the June Winners had to say…
I hope the students have benefited from the last two weeks, not just from my answers but from the other participants’ answers too. I have tried to answer every question posed to me, no matter how silly, to the best of my ability. I’m sure I speak for the other participants too when I say it is incredibly enriching to see students interested in what we do and why we do it. For students to then take this new information and then desire to do it themselves is the reason we do these outreach events.
You could feel the energy and enthusiasm with question after question as the students found their confidence and their inquisitive Inner Engineer was awoken. Questions of Who, What, When, Where, Why and How were fired to all of the Engineers, probing and questioning, the inner workings of being an Engineer.
When I logged in to the chat session for the first time and waited for the class to come online, my heart was racing and I don’t think it slowed at all as I was typing furiously, trying to answer as many questions as possible as best as I could! Afterwards, I had to take a 10 minute break to cool down! That said I really enjoyed answering your questions, both through the chats and ‘Ask’. It was clear that you’d thought carefully about what you would like to find out and I hope the answers that myself and the other Engineers posted have broadened your feelings towards engineering and its place in our world.
I’m an Engineer has been a really enjoyable experience for me. Even after having read some of the previous engineer’s comments about how fast questions came in I still felt surprised by the sheer volume of questions that we got. It felt like I didn’t stop typing for the whole time and the thirty minutes went by very quickly. I was really impressed with the range and depth of questions asked and I could tell some of the students were really thinking about different aspects of the project; could I use my work to help people in other countries where water quality is poor? Does my process produce any harmful by-products?
The questions were fantastic and some of them were pretty tough. Describing my PhD research – which most of my friends don’t understand – forced me to work harder on how I communicate complicated ideas. Great preparation for my viva exam!
I thought it was great how bold students could be over online chats. It helped me too – I felt like I was just chatting to friends about what I do rather than being ‘judged’. I’m unbelievably grateful to the people I’ve met in my career so far who’ve taken time to talk to me about their work, asked about my own aspirations and offered advice. I took part in I’m an Engineer! in the hope that I could do the same in return. So, if the chats have inspired one person to consider engineering as a career or challenged their assumptions of what an engineer is like, then that would be incredible!
Are you up for the challenge? Want new inspiration for your research… Or just want to chat about the science behind Death Stars…
APPLY NOW TO TAKE PART
I’m an Engineer, Get me out of here runs every March, June, and November. It only takes 2 minutes and one sentence to apply!
Posted on July 6, 2016
Moderator - Josh in Engineer Quotes