Category Archives: Zone Reports

Smart Materials Zone – June 2017

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The Smart Materials Zone was a themed zone, funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Ingenious Grant and involved six engineers working in different areas of materials engineering. Tony is a biomedical engineer inventing new medical devices, Stacey – the winner of this zone – develops new coatings for the Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier deck and Niamh is a PhD student working with nano-materials to make a new kind of solar panel. Dimitrios works with transparent materials to make touch sensors and smart windows, Becky works for Speedo International designing textiles to be used in high performance sports and Alessandra is a simulation engineer creating virtual models of new car components to make sure they work before they go into production.

The zone was busy in both ASK and the live chats, and although some students were unsure about what the theme of Smart Materials covered they still showed a strong interest in the engineers as people and there was a lot of interest in engineering as a career. There was also a lot of interest in gender equality within engineering and the experiences of the female engineers in the zone. Within the live chats Stacey, Niamh and Becky were especially good at engaging with the students and helping them understand what engineering is.

Posted on July 17, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, RAE, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Candela Zone Report – June 2017

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The Candela Zone was a general engineering zone, funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Ingenious Grant. Yetty is a PhD student researching how to bring faster data speeds to smart devices, Tom manages the training of engineers using underwater acoustic systems and Laura is a controls engineer for an Air Handling Unit manufacturer. Jack designs cryogenic tanks which store energy from cow poo, Gina – the winner in this zone – leads a manufacturing team that builds and tests video cameras and Chris is a PhD student using materials like graphene to treat degenerative diseases.

All of the engineers were great at engaging with the students and Live Chats were very friendly and personable. There was a lot of interest in becoming and working as an engineer, as well as other STEM careers with students often asking for advice on certain career paths.

Gina and Tom were especially good at building a rapport with students, by telling jokes and finding common interests to relate to each other with. In particular, Gina was great at being open with students on her profile and in the ASK section, for example in this conversation with students about her sexuality.

Posted on July 17, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, RAE, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Ampere Zone Report – March 2017

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The Ampere Zone was a general engineering zone funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering. Zoe is a civil engineer ensuring the water from our taps is safe to drink and that wastewater from households is dealt with safely, Sheryl is working to help academics at her university use technology to develop their teaching and Shahil is a project engineer building wind farms in Africa. Emma, the winner of the Ampere Zone, is a research engineer who 3D prints spaceships, satellites and armoured fighting vehicles out of metal, Andy is a Railway Engineer designing systems to drive trains automatically and Andrés is a PhD student studying new smart and flexible wings for aeroplanes.

The discussions in Ampere were varied in the topics and nature; some were factual and some more philosophical. Students were particularly interested in finding out about the careers of the engineers and what they need to do to follow a similar path. It was also a ground for sharing personal experiences and interests.

Posted on April 6, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Artificial Body Zone Report – March 2017

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The Artificial Body Zone was a themed zone funded by Wellcome. Zach is a PhD student using computers to look at the movement of bones and muscles in the foot, Todd is a PhD student looking for the best environment to grow a kidney in and Sophie is a lecturer studying new materials and methods to make bone implants. Daniel is a PhD student who has made a living 3D model of the roof of the mouth to study mouth infections, Ana, the winner of the zone, makes artificial legs for amputees and Alejandra is a postdoctoral researcher developing robotic arms for people that have lost their hands.

The zone was lively and the students seemed to easily engage with what the engineers do and how their work is helpful. Notably, the students used it to ask a lot of questions about career choices. Engineers engaged in talking with students about what subjects to take, what apprenticeships to undergo, but also about the fact that it was also very early to specialise, and that there was time to think about what they wanted to do.

Posted on April 6, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Robotics Zone Report – March 2017

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The Robotics Zone was a themed zone funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering. Siobhan is a PhD student looking at how to design collaborative robots that help search for people after an earthquake, Ollie, the winner, maintains and operates robots that work underwater to find out things about the sea floor and Mateusz programmes control systems for gas plants and refineries. Katie is a Sales Engineer helping car companies build their cars with robots, Iulia is a PhD student working with humanoid robots and using them for things like healthcare and education and Dmitry is a PhD student studying how people could use and interact with domestic robots.

The zone was very popular, with the highest number of questions in the ASK section out of the three zones in March’s event. Questions were varied, engaged and imaginative and ranged from the broad to the informed. Students were excited by the topic and seemed to easily understand the subject and the different work involved.

Posted on April 6, 2017 modmichaela in 2017, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Space Zone Report – November 2016

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The Space Zone was a themed zone funded by the UK Space Agency with six engineers all working with satellites. Will, the winner of this zone, builds satellites that monitor natural and man-made disasters, Silvia studies the ocean using pictures taken by satellites and Kieran, who started his career as an apprentice, is now the Chief Development Officer for the Satellite Application Catapult. Katie monitors and controls satellites in orbit around earth, Isaac designs and builds satellites and Betty is a rocket engineer who uses satellites to help bring the internet to everyone.

This was the busiest of all the I’m an Engineer zones for this event with over 2,300 questions asked by students, 697 of which were approved. Almost 60% of these were asked by one school, Lathom Junior School. All the engineers answered many questions in ASK, and Will, Katie and Silvia were most active within the live chats.

Posted on December 13, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, UKSA, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Motor Zone Report – November 2016

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This was a themed zone funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Ingenious Grant. Sarah works for Rolls-Royce designing parts for aeroplane engines, Masha is a research student working out how to make jet engines use less fuel and Mark simulates Formula 1 and Formula E racing cars to predict the best design for each race. Leon is working to make the oil used in motors more efficient, Dominique develops software for motor control systems and Andrei works for Jaguar Land Rover making sure cars are being built correctly.

This was a busy zone that had a high amount of questions asked by students, with lots of interest in cars, planes and engines. All of the engineers were great at answering questions clearly and informatively with Leon, Mark and Sarah making up a majority of the activity by engineers across the two weeks.

Posted on December 13, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, RAE, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Diagnosis Zone Report – November 2016

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The Diagnosis Zone was a themed zone funded by Wellcome, featuring six engineers using and developing technologies to better analyse bodies and diagnose disease. Vaanu works in biomedical engineering analysing images of organs to identify diseases, Tomas designs high precision equipment for biological research and Sylvain designs medical devices for doctors to use to diagnose and cure health problems. Sarah is a PhD student trying to 3D print microchips that can analyse cells, James (the winner of this zone) designs wearable robotics to help us see how brain disease can affect people and Dawn is a PhD student who squashes cells to find out more about cancer.
The zone’s ASK section was particularly busy with lots of interesting questions from students who had a good understanding of the theme, and the engineers provided in-depth answers about their research and other topics.

Posted on December 13, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, WT, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Apprentice Zone Report – November 2016

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The Apprentice Zone was funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Ingenious Grant, and included two current apprentices as well as three engineers who all got into engineering through an apprenticeship scheme. Ronnie works for Yorkshire Water building reservoirs and laying pipes for drinking water, Rich (the winner of this zone) is an electrical engineer who works to ensure a building is safe and suitable for the people in it and Krishma is a current apprentice with VINCI Construction working on the Crossrail west station upgrade projects. Daryl is a software engineer who creates websites and Anya is also a current apprentice with VINCI helping to build a waste recovery park which will turn dustbin waste into electricity.
This zone had a higher percentage of active students than average across the whole of the event with 93% of all students who logged in engaged with the site. All of the engineers interacted well with the students and Rich and Anya were particularly active throughout the two weeks.

Posted on December 13, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, RAE, Zone Reports | Leave a comment

Kilogram Zone Report – June 2016

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The Kilogram zone was a general engineering zone, funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Ingenious Grant. Yip is the UK Transport Operations Manager for Amazon, Jarrod works for a materials science company researching how to make everyday objects from rocks and crude oil and Iona designs machinery that helps provide safe food worldwide. Eloise is a PhD student researching how to build big systems, like cities, that can survive unexpected challenges in the future, and Adam is a roboticist working on a large military communications project.

Eloise took part in the final two days of the event from Glastonbury Festival, and Jarrod took part from Mexico and California, where he was travelling for work. This resulted in lots of conversation about travelling, and more personal questions about the engineers’ hobbies and interests, making the atmosphere within the live chats and ASK section friendly and relatable.

Posted on July 15, 2016 modmichaela in 2016, RAE, Zone Reports | Leave a comment