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Watch a gigantic ship being built in six minutes

Projects like Think Physics spend a lot of time illustrating how engineering careers mostly aren’t about welding or metalwork. But there’s still something plain cool about seeing huge slabs of steel being thrown around by massive cranes and slotted together like oversize Lego. This video is the cruise ship AIDAprima being built in Nagasaki, Japan, between June 2013 and May 2014.

On board are two water slides, climbing walls, a lavish sports deck, 1643 guest rooms, thirteen restaurants and some sort of clever roof I don’t quite understand. Underneath is what sounds like a fiendishly clever air bubble system which reduces friction between the hull and the sea it’s travelling through, which is claimed to reduce fuel consumption by 7%. That’s a huge saving for a ship of this size (more technical details about the ship here).

When we’re talking about cutting edge engineering innovations and the exciting career opportunities that are emerging from breakthrough sectors, it’s worth remembering that the traditional heavy engineering companies are also still doing cool stuff. Ship building, power generation, mining, machine tool production – they’re all busy fields, and they’re not standing still when it comes to new technologies and approaches.

(video via the superlative blog The Kid Should See This)

 

The Satellite Sector

The UK space sector currently supports 95,000 full-time jobs – and is growing.

Space in the UK contributes an impressive £11.3 billion to the UK economy each year and has been growing at an average of 7.2% over the last 2 years.
(from Shaping the future of the UK space sector – UK Government)

By 2030 it is hoped the Space sector will contribute over £40 billion to the UK economy whilst creating over 100,000 further jobs. Expansion in the satellite sector is being supported by Catapult – Satellite Applications. Their mission: To innovate for a better world, empowered by satellites”. The positions they’re currently recruiting for give an idea of their work:

  • Senior Fisheries Analyst – working on a project codenamed “eyes of the seas” which includes delivering human analytics to provide solutions to end illegal fishing
  • Space Innovation Facilitator – educating and inspiring the public sector on the uses of satellite applications and data
  • Internships to investigate radio receiver development, signal processing and multi sensor positioning

Here in the North East, we’ve a Satellite Centre of Excellence with a key focus on engaging business and looking at ways of using data to support the offshore oil, gas and renewable technologies sectors; transport and logistics; and software and applications development.

There will also be a range of job opportunities for people with an interest in satellites, as well as businesses who could use to their advantage satellite data. All will require people with skills and knowledge in STEM subjects.  There will also be lots of new opportunities which have not even been thought of yet!

Teachers: you may find the video at the top of this post useful, and also this “Satellites for Everyone” PDF.

Filming: Metalwork

Ann Cairns, President of International Markets, Mastercard

Ann Cairns, President of International Markets, Mastercard

We’re collaborating with the North-East Chamber of Commerce to produce a series of careers case-study films. I’ll avoid saying too much about it (is it hush-hush? I’m not sure…), but to the left is our first interviewee and below right, our second.

Jacqui Miller of Miller Engineering, Cramlington.

Jacqui Miller of Miller Engineering, Cramlington

Yes, it’s all a little high-powered.

Filming Jacqui involved a trip up to her company’s factory in Cramlington, which was fantastic. Modern engineering only very rarely involves molten metal, which speaking as a photographer is rather disappointing. Welding and sparks and smoke and all the rest look amazing on camera, and it was a delight to get alarmingly close to a laser cutter whilst it was doing this:

laser cutting

So, coming soon: pretty pictures, illustrating insights from leading figures in STEM businesses, from and in the North-East.

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National Careers Week: An inspirational STEM Role Model

National Careers Week is upon us, 7th-11th March 2016! A celebration of careers guidance and a focus for activity across the UK. Be sure to explore the official website for resources, including the free-download 2016 digital magazine.

If you’re looking for a quick case study to inspire your students, here’s a role model who’s current, pushes boundaries, and is positively dripping in STEMness:

Elon Musk. Picked by business magazine Forbes as the 38th most powerful person in the world, Musk is a self-made billionaire. South-African born, Canadian-American, and a physics graduate, he’s made his name as an entrepreneur, building businesses like PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors. Elon’s back story is just as fascinating as what he is doing now, and as a leading visionary of the tech world, his work is likely to affect the lives of us all.

Messages to take away and reiterate:

Whether your students see themselves as the next Elon Musk or would like to work for someone like him, this presentation should encourage discussion about STEM careers as well as the characteristics and attitude to learning and life that Musk displays. His company SpaceX has a terrific careers page with a load of cool jobs like: commercial director, internship opportunities, propulsion development engineer (making rockets go fast), or software development. Yes, these job opportunities are in America, but if this is the type of company in which you’re interested, why let the Atlantic Ocean stop you in your pursuit of job happiness?

What’s happening in North East England?

Here’s a tiny handful of the most exciting and dynamic companies in our region. Have a look on their careers pages to gain an understanding of the types of jobs they offer, and the people they are looking for…

  • Nomad Digital: A Newcastle based company providing wireless networking for trains, right around the globe.
  • Hitachi Rail Europe: Based in Newton Aycliffe, Hitachi are fitting out trains to be used all over the world.
  • Kromek: Based at Netpark Sedgfield. Kromek develop a range of radiation detection equipment used in the nuclear industry, medical imaging and for security screening.
  • Sanofi – Aventis: a multinational company with a site in Newcastle who manufacture a range of pharmaceutical products for the healthcare industry. (Careers Page)
  • Tharsus: helping other companies develop their products through a team of developers with skills in manufacturing, prototyping and managing

bubbles-mid-35h