robo-charles

Prince Charles befriends robot at celebration for women engineers

The Prince of Wales took control of a robot and guided the machine through an obstacle course at an event to mark National Women in Engineering Day.

Prince Charles arrived in Edinburgh on the Royal Train and was taken to Selex ES, one of Scotland’s major engineering firms, where he was soon at the helms of a 'rampaging chariot'. He guided the robot around a short obstacle course without knocking down a single object, being cheered by the engineering staff.

The Prince, known as the Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland, has been championing engineering as a career and has launched his own engineering centre at Dumfries House in East Ayrshire, which aims to boost science, technology, engineering and maths subjects among schoolchildren.

He also met groups of female primary pupils who were visiting the firm as part of NWED. He chatted to 11 and 12-year-olds from Craigroyston, Pirniehill and Forthview primary schools as they made paper rockets, decorative circuit boards and the robotic chariots.

Meeting leading female engineers in the company - Carol Marsh, Naomi Mitchison and Beatrice Nicholas - Charles was told about Selex ES's research initiative to provide viable evidence of the effect that fun and informal games and activities can have on girls' educational outcomes.

Naomi, the IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year, said: “It's vital that more women are encouraged into engineering as there's a massive shortfall in the number of engineers needed, so why wouldn't we want to attract as many people into engineering as possible?

“It is fantastic that more is being done to encourage girls at ever younger ages to consider it as a career and that the industry as a whole is being supported by Prince Charles.”

As well as winning the award in 2014, Naomi currently works as a senior hardware engineer at Selex ES. Naomi’s biggest achievement to date has been her work on the Advanced Laser Warner project, which is a technology used to detect laser-based threats to aircraft.

Naomi also channels her passion for engineering by chairing the IET’s Young Professional committee for Scotland South East, as well as working as a STEM Ambassador. In this role she’s able to use the skills she’s gained in the past when she worked with children as an au pair and a teacher.

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