Well, where do I begin?! I was completely shocked to find out that I had won! Thank you to all of the students for taking part, your enthusiasm and investigative questions really kept me on my toes! Well done also to my fellow Engineers, it was fantastic to hear about your work and I hope you had as much fun as I did! I’m sure both the students and Engineers would join me in my thanks to the organisers and moderators for putting on this brilliant event as well. I’m pretty sure the students weren’t the only ones to learn something either!
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. At least with ‘Ask’ I had a little longer to think about my answer!
I was asked a lot about my inspirations to get into engineering and whether I enjoyed what I do. To be honest, engineering wasn’t a career choice that I thought was for me until I found out you could apply it to something other than greasy metal structures and systems. In reality, engineers work to design and make pretty much everything that we come into contact with during our daily lives. As it turns out, I was fortunate to stumble across this fact at the right time – I can confidently say that I really enjoy what I do, I look forward to going in to work in the morning and for that I feel lucky, even though I have worked hard to get here. All I hope is that the students can say the same in their future careers, I’d like to think many of you have been encouraged to find that’s in engineering too!
Sports engineering is a relatively new area, but it’s expanding really quickly and I’d like for as many people to know about it and be as excited by it as I am. With the prize I’m hoping to get together materials and bits of kit for a school workshop which will allow students to get to grips with what’s involved in developing new sports equipment and clothes. Hopefully I can take the workshop to some of the schools and classes I spoke to in the Health Zone!
Final word to the students – best of luck in your futures, wherever it takes you. Remember, chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life!