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Big Bang

24 July 14

Costain has once again shown its commitment to inspiring the next generation of engineers.

Staff from 4Delivery – the Costain, Veolia Water and MWH joint venture – were out in force at this year’s Big Bang Fair South East at the South of England Showground near Crawley. Attended by 5,000 nine- to 19-year-olds, the engineering and science fair featured more than 100 workshops, activities and shows. Students also had the chance to meet industry professionals and find out more about careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

Costain’s George Hilliar, 4Delivery Training Manager and one of 4Delivery’s STEM Ambassadors, was one of the moderators in the South East regional heats of the National Science + Engineering Competition (NSEC), which took place at the Fair. Open to all 11- to 18-year-olds in education, the NSEC showcases and rewards the best student STEM projects.

“Choosing between the 91 projects entered was tough,” said George. “The standard was very high, with innovative ideas that ranged from a watch with an alarm for dementia sufferers to online game testing.”

4Delivery is also involved in other activities designed to encourage school students to study STEM subjects and pursue STEM careers.

Said George: “We sponsor two Year 12 students from St Paul’s Catholic College in Burgess Hill on the Engineering Education Scheme. This gives them the chance to work with our engineers on projects with real world applications. One investigated the efficient use of CHP (Combined Heat and Power) in the water industry. The other looked at how to reduce vibrations from a pumping station.”

George and Costain’s Elaine Clarke, National Skills Academy for Construction Project Skills Co-ordinator and also a Link STEM Ambassador, regularly work with the Thomas Bennett Community College in Crawley on STEM activities. George is also involved with the EDT (Engineering Development Trust), which works with schools to inspire the engineers and scientists of the future.

Said George:  “Schools aren’t always aware of the careers available to pupils interested in science and engineering, so if we want to address the shortage of engineers in the country, it’s important we work with them. Inspiring the next generation of engineers is the right thing to do.”

 

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