More than 400 people with an interest in engineering have flocked to Dumfries House estate as part of the UK’s largest celebration of workplace engineers.
The Institute of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) Open House Day took place across the UK at iconic venues such as the Victoria and Albert Museum and London’s National Theatre as well as at East Ayrshire estate’s Morphy Richards Engineering Education Centre.
The Dumfries House education team offered a host of activities and demonstrations in order to promote the importance of engineering to young people from the local area. Representatives of businesses such as Scottish Power, BAE Systems, GlaxoSmithKline, and Leonardo (formerly Selex) – who collaborate on education projects with the estate’s engineering staff – were on hand to enable school-age children to experience virtual reality tours of renewable energy sites, interactive activities explaining anti-doping testing for athletes, workshops on flight, bridge-building, and 3D printing.
In addition, Ayrshire College supported a Computer Coding workshop and the team from Young Engineers and Science Clubs offered some interesting science-linked challenges. The estate’s playpark was packed with younger children and their families engaging with rocket-building and storytelling with an aeronautical engineering theme. The team of gardeners at Dumfries House also assisted with a display on gardening tools and agricultural methods from an engineering perspective.
With demand for engineers exceeding supply and males outnumbering women in the industry by around ten to one, the IET hopes to inspire a new generation to take up the trade.
Dr Karen Alexander from Dumfries House, said: “We were excited to host an event for the IET’s Engineering Open House Day. It was a great opportunity to showcase some of the fantastic opportunities that a job in the engineering sector can hold, which is something we promote through the in-house STEM workshops we host for school children and teachers throughout the year here at Dumfries House.
“We’re delighted to collaborate with the IET for the event’s second year. Engineering Open House Day is a truly great initiative which we hope will inspire and encourage a diverse mix of children to consider a career in the industry.”
Sean McGovern, managing director at BAE Systems, said: “BAE SYSTEMS Regional Aircraft are delighted to be associated with the Engineering Centre at Dumfries House in helping to promote the STEM subjects to the next generation of engineers and technicians.”