Welcoming staff, students, children, young people, their families and teachers as well as key stakeholders from industry, government and organisations to the awards, UCL President and Provost, Professor Michael Arthur recognised the plethora and breadth of engagement activities taking place at UCL Engineering, stressing the need for effective engagement and the importance of celebrating achievements in this area. The Dean of Engineering, Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker, speaking next, cited the faculty’s commitment to creating an ethos where engineering is seen as intrinsically worthwhile and relevant to pupils from all backgrounds, promoting diversity, gender equality and above all being inclusive. He stressed the importance of meaningful and sustained engagement with young people to get them to understand what it is that engineers do, and why they do it.
Head of the Department at Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Professor Sarah Spurgeon OBE, gave the keynote address stressing the importance for the UK to recruit the brightest young people into engineering and science, including new talent from families and schools who might never have thought about engineering as a career.
Award winners for each category were introduced and presented by pupils as young as 5 years old, teenagers, teachers, educators, industry partners, key stakeholders from organisations and government as well as their colleagues, sharing with the audience the amazing impact of the award winners on their learning and in their lives.
Miss Mihika Sharma, Year 2 pupil, an inventor and award-winning primary school engineer of the London Special Leaders Award, a STEM programme by Primary Engineer in partnership with UCL Engineering, designed to encourage primary school children to engage with engineers and increase their understanding of the universal importance of engineering in people’s lives. The 6-year old inventor, Mihika, presented her invention, “The Smart Stick”, a navigation device to aid the visually impaired which incorporates Bluetooth to connect with a mobile phone, GPS to provide location and directions and vibrated when it gets close to objects. Together with the Fleming Society student team who helped her develop a prototype of her invention in the UCL Engineering laboratories, Mihika explained how the Smart Stick worked and even got the President and Provost of UCL and the Dean of UCL Engineering to test it out! Mihika led the engineers during the design, making and prototyping sessions, which included choosing the materials of the components and reducing the number needed in the design. Fleming Society students, Dan, Dipen and Nedeen commented on Mihika’s ability as an engineer, her analytical, critical, design and leadership skills.
Speaking after the event, Prof. Titchener Hooker said:
The UCL Provost’s Engineering Engagement awards ceremony provided a wonderful opportunity to celebrate a wide range of successes, all highly individual and personal. The spectrum of activities on show underscored both the unique way in which engineers from our faculty are impacting directly the lives of students from as young as 5 and inspiring them by example. It was a truly moving evening that left us all with a huge buzz of excitement and a sense of awe for what we can achieve together as we seek through engineering to change the world!
Winners shared prizes in 10 categories awarded by the UCL President and Provost, Professor Michael Arthur and the Dean of Engineering, Professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker. Winners of awards in each category received a unique hand-made award created by the Institute of Making team especially for the awards together with Certificates of Excellence in Engineering Engagement signed by the President and Provost of UCL and the Dean of UCL Engineering.
Johnny Claffey – Global Technical Manager, Thomson Reuters
Owen Roberts – Talent Acquisition Manager, Thomson Reuters
Naomi LittleJohn – Learning Beyond the Classroom Teacher and Coordinator, BSix Hackney University Extension
Annie Tang – Year 13 pupil, Camden School for Girls
Mahla Nasrollahi – Year 12 pupil, City & Islington College Sixth Form (CANDI)
Tiana Thompson – Year 12 pupil, Evelyn Grace Academy
Mohamed Kheri – Year 12 pupil, Newham Collegiate Sixth Form (NCS6)
Atlanta Plowden – Teacher, East London Science School
Danny Reed – Senior Scheme Manager, Engineering Development Trust (EDT)
Jane Butler – Vice-Dean (Enterprise), UCL Engineering
Yvonne Baker – Chief Executive, National STEM Learning Network
Jaya Bagnar – Year 1 pupil, Gillespie Primary School
Steven Kakulu – Year 12 pupil, ELUTEC UTC
Emanuela Tilley – Director, Integrated Engineering Programme, UCL Engineering
Steve Hailes – Professor of Computer Science, Deputy Head of Department, Department of Computer Science
Rebecca McKelvey – Director, In2Science
Sarah Spurgeon OBE – Head of Department, Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering
John Mitchell – Vice-Dean (Education), UCL Engineering