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24 May 2022

South East Engineering Festival continues in Waterford

South East Engineering Festival continues in Waterford

The festival started last year when all events were on line. This year’s programmes sees a welcome return to in-person events

The South East Engineering Festival which runs from March 4-11 celebrates the creativity of engineering and highlighting the opportunities to study and work in the region. 

As part of the national Engineers Week organised by Engineers Ireland, Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and Institute of Technology Carlow (IT Carlow) have joined forces again to run the South East Engineering Festival.

The festival started last year when all events were on line. This year’s programmes sees a welcome return to in-person events. 

This year’s festival kicked off on March 4, World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development, where Transition Year students from across the region competed on a sustainability challenge, delivered by WIT Sustainable Engineering lecturer Colm Tynan. 

Engineers from across the south east will act as mentors to the TY students. The winning teams from each school will come to WIT on 10 March to compete in the regional final. 

From March 4-11 there will be a programme of engineering challenges, workshops and competitions for primary school and secondary school students, showcasing the best of engineering from across the Southeast. 

Eoin Gill, Director of Calmast, the STEM engagement centre at WIT said:

“The idea of the South East Engineering Festival is that people in the south east of Ireland can learn what engineers do.

“There are many great jobs in engineering in the region and you can learn to be an engineer at the new technological university. We are particularly keen to challenge the gender stereotypes about what boys and girls should and shouldn’t be interested in.”

Pictured at a previous event hosted by Calmast is Niamh Shaw

Engineer, performer, writer and award-winning science communicator, Dr Niamh Shaw will lead two events highlighting the opportunities for young people in engineering on March 8 and 9.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, the first of these sessions will feature an all-female panel of young engineers from Engineering companies in the south east who will highlight the exciting opportunities a career in engineering can bring, and encourage girls to consider engineering when choosing a career path.

The south east has some of the most beautiful and iconic bridges in Ireland and through the festival IT Carlow Engineering Lecturer Shane Murray will challenge secondary school pupils to design the best bridge.

The South East Engineering Festival Bridge challenge, where computer gaming meets computer-aided design, will allow secondary school pupils the chance to explore and develop their creativity, which is a key component of Engineering. 

Shane Murray of the Department of Built Environment at IT Carlow sums up what engineers do:

“Engineers design complicated things that make our everyday lives easy. Engineers then lead teams to build and make these things.

“The sort of things that engineers design are buildings, bridges, roads, water supplies, electricity supplies, mobile phones, computers and much more. Engineers are also working to find solutions to many of the world’s big challenges such as climate change and energy, water and food supply.

On March 10 a STEM Speed Quiz will take place to challenge Transition Year students on their quickness and knowledge.

Creativity will be stimulated in primary schools with a range of activities. Engineering kits focused on electrical and mechanical engineering will be sent out to schools for pupils to be engineers in their own classroom.

IT Carlow will be hosting a K’NEX Engineering Challenge for 5th and 6th class students.

This competition aspires to bring back the awe of discovery and the fun of creativity in Engineering by encouraging children to think of new concepts and interesting inventions through K’NEX. Storytelling sessions and Creative Copters Workshops with libraries across the south east will take place throughout the week.

The event is supported by WIT, WIT Carlow and Engineers Ireland South-East Region.

Further information on events and booking info can be found at www.engfest.ie

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