Friday 15 October 2010

The first professional networking event for engineering was hosted by Terence Libby (1961), who is passionate about the challenges and opportunities of working within the engineering sector.  The event was attended by 12 OAs from the engineering profession, 15 parents (both current and former) and almost 30 sixth formers who were considering careers in engineering.

The evening started with a lively reception in the Sports Centre Hospitality Suite, which included a tour of the plant room of the School’s new state-of-the-art swimming pool.  This was followed by dinner in the newly-refurbished Dining Hall.

From the outset it was clear how interested the sixth formers were in their future careers and how passionate the OAs and parents were about promoting the excitement of working as an engineer.  

During the evening discussions ranged around the issues of energy and climate change, the choice of university, and for each individual the importance of “thinking big” and being able to communicate ideas effectively.  An interesting polarisation also emerged over the course of the evening between Aerospace Engineers and Chemical Engineers, which became the subject of much banter.  On the careers front, some common themes emerged early in the evening – the importance of gaining a sound foundation, the wide variety of types of engineering activities, the importance of communication and language skills, and the level of intellectual challenge of solving problems in an innovative way and implementing practical solutions.  The vast array of opportunities offered by a career in engineering was another important ‘selling point’ for the profession which all the engineers present were keen to get across to the sixth formers.

The evening was rounded off with a short talk from Terence Libby (1961), and was followed up by OAs and parents sharing their views which was both informative and entertaining.  Felicity Lusk pointed out that over the last decade 117 boys had left to study Engineering, compared with 73 to do medicine – a clear indication that there is a need for further engineering networking events like this evening.

The meal was excellent – I scarcely recognised the interior of the dining hall from 1977!  I really enjoyed the evening, and look forward to another event.  How about an engineering challenge, perhaps the first manned flight across Waste Court Field?

Peter Johnston (1978)

If you would like full-sized versions of any of the photographs from this event, please contact the OA Office.

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Professional Dinner: Engineering – 15 October 2010