The University of Nottingham is working with global engineering firm Caterpillar to help to promote careers in the industry.
In the first of two taster days, which are being funded by the Caterpillar Foundation and hosted by the University, 20 year nine students from two local secondary schools were able to get an insight into what they could expect from a career in engineering as well as seeing the types of activities students studying related subjects at University can get involved in.
The students, aged 13 and 14 were visiting from William Allitt School and St John Houghton Catholic Academy, both in Derbyshire. The aim of the taster days is to encourage pre-GCSE students to consider a future career in engineering by generating an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects (STEM). STEM subjects have been identified by the government as being absolutely critical to the UK’s future prosperity and global competitiveness.
During the day students were given an introduction to Caterpillar and engineering careers, as well as taking part in a Nao robot programming workshop and Caterpillar’s machine challenge. They also took tours of the University’s laboratories and watched a series of robotic challenges.
During the day, Simon Collins, Future Talent Development Manager from Caterpillar, was also on hand to welcome the first cohort of Caterpillar scholars from the University. The six engineering scholarships are being funded by the firm, and will remain in place for the duration of their studies.
As one of the country’s leading engineering organisations, Caterpillar recognises the role it has to play in developing a sustainable talent pipeline by providing work experience opportunities for young people studying for STEM qualifications. Caterpillar Scholars will enjoy these opportunities at the company’s UK-based businesses with the objective to transition the scholars to candidates for Caterpillar’s graduate development programme.
"This investment in young people in the UK is a manifestation of Caterpillar’s commitment to work with our UK Partner Universities to improve the quantity of undergraduates studying STEM related subjects and the quality of graduates hired by Caterpillar,” said Mr Collins.
Professor Philip Shipway, Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Engineering, said: "The relationship with Caterpillar, and the Caterpillar Foundation, is supporting the University in inspiring both school children and our current students to pursue STEM subjects and careers.
"The scholarship programme for students currently studying with us at the University is providing significant financial support for a group of excellent individuals. As a University we are proud of their achievements so far, and are delighted that these have been recognised by Caterpillar – the seal of approval from a world-leading engineering organisation will be of lasting benefit to them.”
One of the scholars, Bernadeta Tobiasiewicz, is just starting the 4th year of an Undergraduate Masters Degree in Design Engineering at Nottingham. She said: "The scholarship is a great achievement to put on my CV and can also mean if I wanted to apply to Caterpillar for a graduate scheme, they are already aware of who I am. It is a great initiative as it really gets your mind set on engineering and what’s out there.”
The University is dedicated to enabling the most talented students to study at Nottingham and to achieve their full potential. Support for scholarships and bursaries is a key project within the University’s fundraising appeal, Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, which is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. Find out more about supporting scholarships and bursaries at http://tinyurl.com/ntszltg