Power of Engineering, powering future generations

BY JAY BATTEN

With the global demand for engineering and science graduates booming, diverse and engaging careers are being offered in a huge range of industries. If only there was enough people to fill them. We spoke to Jillian Kenny, Co-Founder of Power of Engineering, a not-for-profit organisation determined to increase participation – and particularly females – in engineering careers.

What are engineers?

Engineers use physics, science and mathematics to solve real world problems that make the world and the lives of those who live in it a better place. Everything from water sanitation in developing communities, to prosthetics for people who have lost limbs require maths and science.

Read the full article here.

Power of Engineering in BOSS!

Our co-founder Felicity Furey has been announced as one of six BOSS Young Executives of 2016!

Applicants went through a rigorous judging process that culminated in a simulated “day in the life of a CEO” exercise. They were given information 48 hours beforehand and on the day required to develop a strategic plan for a visiting global manager as well as deliver a podcast to staff. Over the course of the day emails and requests were piled on the contestants to test their prioritising, decision-making and leadership skills,

The judges noted that the group members’ flair for business was critical in propelling them to the top.

You can read the BOSS article here.

Our First Regional Victoria Event

Power of Engineering partnered with Deakin University to inspire 94 year 9 and 10 high schools girls in Geelong!

It was the first time that Power of Engineering had delivered an event in regional Victoria and is was great to partner with local students, schools, university and industry.

Nine schools in the region attended and were inspired by engineers from AEMO, Arup, Ausnet, Barwon Water, Ford and Telstra. Studnets learnt how to build their own robot, how to make water safe in developing countries, ensure power can reach regional homes and how electricity works with a tour of Deakin's High Volutage Lab.

We can't wait to visit regional Victoria again!

 

Reasons You Should Give Engineering A Second Thought (I’m Talking To You, Ladies)

When I meet someone new, invariably the question, “So what do you do?”, crops up. I graduated from my electrical engineering degree over a year ago, so I say “Why, I’m an engineer!”.

So, what do people think engineers do? What kind of people become engineers?

There’s many branches of engineering.

Speak to a few engineers and you might be surprised by the diversity in responses. One might be designing green star buildings, while another is managing capital infrastructure to ensure a reliable electricity supply. They might tell you about the software they’re coding to safely control a chemical plant’s operation, or assessing the technical and economic feasibility of a wind or solar thermal plant. With an engineering degree in your pocket, you could still then pick between research and development, project management, technical consulting, or developing a start-up to name a few choices. Or maybe you’ll choose to work in finance or patent law. The critical thinking engineering equips you with offers countless job options, and a diverse, exciting career. Did you know, 25% of CEOs of ASX100 companies are actually engineers? So there are more engineers in CEO positions than lawyers, accountants or any other profession.

Read the full article here.

Record Numbers at Regional NSW High School Event!!

Over 200 female year 8, 9 and 10 students from as far as Lithgow, Gilgandra and Mudgee as well as Bathurst and Orange attended the Power of Engineering event at Charles Sturt University on 6 May. This event will gave participants the chance to experience first-hand what a career in engineering entails, including the diversity of roles and working locations on offer in regional areas like Bathurst.

Students will tried their hand at various engineering exercises and were inspired by successful people currently working in various engineering roles.

At Power of Engineering we know it's important to have the whole community involved. To create this change of diversity in engineering, we are thrilled to partner with CSU and local industry – Energy Australia, Seymour Whyte, GHD, CDE Designs, NSW Roads and Maritime Services and Arup.

“This is the first regional event we have run outside of Queensland and our largest event to date with 200 students attending. This is testament to the enthusiasm these young women have to exploring these opportunity as many demanded we increase our original event capacity of 100 places.

Check out the news report here of the event https://au.prime7.yahoo.com/a1/video/-/watch/31538875/the-changing-face-of-engineering/

2015 Wrap Up

When we ran our first event in 2012, our vision was that these curious young women would one day attend university and become engineers. At the time, this vision seemed like a lifetime away, but this year it started to become a reality. More than this, the ultimate dream was that these young people would then go on to inspire the next generation and create a community of young leaders. That’s why I am incredibly proud to introduce Amy and Adelle, 2012 Power of Engineering attendees and 2015 Power of Engineering volunteers. I can’t wait to hear about more journeys similar to these as our very first attendees commence university in 2015 and 2016. In addition to this fantastic accomplishment, POE has achieved several milestones in line with our vision to inspire the next generation of engineers and continue our growth with new partnerships and team members. Milestones include: having new members, volunteers and executives leading the organisation shifting public perception about engineering through our media coverage on ABC News, ABC Radio and mentions of our founders in the Australian Financial Review expanding the program to formally measure volunteer engagement and participation partnering with industry like Intel to engage politicians in the conversation about STEM and innovation continuing the conversation about diversity and innovation through local and international speaking opportunities.

We continue to impact the lives of high school students, the engineering profession and the community. Thank you to our partners, volunteers and executives who have helped us: reach over 500 high school students and maintain a 50% perception shift with the majority of students positively changing their mind about pursuing engineering careers, receive great feedback from teachers about our events, pilot a new ‘school holiday’ event at UNSW, create new partnerships with UNSW and Intel, and generate media articles and mentions reaching more than 9 million views. We have now reached more than 3000 high school students since March 2012! Our continued expansion across Australia in 2016 is looking strong and we are excited to begin the year with partners who have a national presence. This will be strengthened by an executive team who are now based across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Thank you!

Spotlight on our Volunteer Program

As a basis for this program, we have surveyed our previous volunteers to find out about their experiences being involved with Power of Engineering. The results from this survey will help to inform the development of Power of Engineering’s new Volunteers Program, which is being designed to progressively develop engineering students and graduates in core professional skills such as project management, financial management, public speaking, communication, leadership and more.

SNAPSHOT OF RESULTS

57% of respondents have volunteered more than once

79% of respondents started volunteering during their first three years of university

97% of respondents had FUN volunteering with Power of Engineering!

The top 5 reasons respondents volunteered with Power of Engineering

  1. Encourage high school students into engineering 100%
  2. Give back to the engineering community 76%
  3. Thought it would be fun 64%
  4. To gain experience 33%
  5. To network 24%

In 2016 we will be drafting a detailed and specific volunteer strategy.

Great School Feedback in 2015

“In 2014, we didn’t attend a Power of Engineering event. As a result, NO girls enrolled into our Engineering Technology class of 32 students. We haven’t made that mistake again this year! “Also, two of our students spent a week doing work experience with Cook Medical after attending a site tour with Power of Engineering. These were both girls who had no interest in engineering before that event.” Kelvin Grove State College

“Our Year 10 STEM enrolments have jumped from 13 students in 2015 to 29 in 2016. “All of my Year 10 STEM students have chosen at least one senior science subject in 2016. This is exactly what we were hoping to achieve by demonstrating the relevance of these subjects to future careers.” Clairvaux Mackillop College

“The flow on effect from Power of Engineering has been very positive.” Mitchelton State High School.