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Ellen Harper, Tomorrow's Engineers Week

British engineers inspiring next generation at Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2019

Image credit: Tomorrow's Engineers Week

With Tomorrow’s Engineers Week underway (4-8 November 2019), the focus this year is on engineers who make the world a better place.

Engineers are key in helping keep the nation healthy, from helping to find cures for cancer and new ways to assist dementia patients, to keeping people safe at sea.   

Five engineers from across the UK have been selected to front #EngineerOnAMission for Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2019 to inspire a new generation to consider entering the profession.

Each ‘Engineer on a Mission’ is the star of a short film that highlights the impact engineers have on people’s lives, which will be shown to around 50,000 students at the Tomorrow’s Engineers Week Big Assembly, which will be hosted live at 10:30am on Wednesday 6 November. It will also be available for download later.  

Engineers featured during Tomorrow’s Engineers Week include:

  • Ellen Harper, 22, a masters student at University of Strathclyde who helps those with restricted mobility to swim. Ellen designs and manufactures Poolpods, which provide dignified, independent access to swimming pools and were used during the Paralympic Games in London, 2012.
  • Hiba Khan, 29, a civil engineer keeping people’s homes safe. Hiba works on international flood defences and her biggest project is in Bangladesh, where rivers up to 8km wide can erode hundreds of metres of bank per year.
  • Rhodri Lewis, 39, a lifeboat systems engineer at RNLI. Rhodri builds, develops and maintains the rescue equipment to ensure it is in good working order when the volunteers go to sea, often in dangerous situations.
  • Rebecca Shipley, 36, a healthcare engineer helping to beat cancer for University College London, develops tools to visualise the structure of cancerous tissues in the body and better predict where drugs will be delivered to within the tumours.
  • Severin Skillman, 26, is a software engineer with the UK Dementia Research Institute. He develops software that helps people affected by dementia to live in their own homes by monitoring their health and behaviour.

Dr Hilary Leevers, CEO at EngineeringUK, the organiser of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, commented: “We want every young person to see that engineering offers a varied, stimulating and rewarding career.  The UK needs tens of thousands more engineers and Tomorrow’s Engineers Week provides an opportunity for the engineering community to work together to inspire the next generation of engineers to meet this demand.”  

Now in its seventh year, Tomorrow’s Engineers Week provides a unique opportunity for universities, schools, employers, professional institutions and engineers to drive interest in engineering careers, showing young people the ways in which engineers are on a mission to make the world a better place, find innovative solutions and shape the way we live.

Employers, professional bodies, universities, schools and individual engineers are invited to get involved to help inspire the next generation of engineers by downloading toolkits of ideas at www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk/teweek.

Further highlights of the Week include the first This is Engineering Day on Wednesday 6 November, challenging the public stereotype of the engineer and the second Tomorrow’s Engineers Week Big Assembly, which will see over 50,000 pupils taking part in the same assembly, at the same time.

The Tomorrow’s Engineers Week Big Assembly is sponsored by EngineeringUK, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the National Centre for Computing Education. It is supported by the Energy Institute, the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine and has the backing of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

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