We asked Emma to tell us about winning I’m an Engineer, and here is what she said…
I had an incredibly fun time taking part in I’m an Engineer and I hope that everyone else involved did too, from the moderators to the other engineers taking part to (most importantly) the students. All involved did a fantastic job; the moderators ensured the chats ran smoothly, the engineers answered the questions with great humour, kindness and good advice and the students asked a mix of the most brilliant, bizarre, amusing questions that challenged me and made me laugh in equal measures.
I would recommend I’m an Engineer to anyone that would like to make a difference, encourage STEM subjects, talk about their work and have a very fun couple of weeks talking to students about anything from if they like Cheese Puffs to which Hogwarts House they’d be in to why they chose to do engineering in the first place.
One of the reasons the experience was so much fun was because of everyone else taking part. I really enjoyed talking to Zoe, Sheryl, Shahil, Andy and Andres about their experiences as well as joking about trains being late and our favourite football teams. Never mind the students, I learned a lot from the other engineers and have to admit that Shahil’s view at work is a lot better than mine – 120 metres off the ground at the top of a wind turbine in South Africa (I’m very jealous!). I very much felt part of a very supportive community and find myself very lucky to have won as any of the other contestants were just as deserving.
The other reason I enjoyed the experience was, of course, the wonderful students and all their fantastic questions. I’m not sure I’ve ever talked so much about Lego in all my life! I had to really think about my work and why I enjoy doing it, which has further enthused me in my research. I hope that I’m an Engineer also enthused all you students into a career in engineering, or at least gave further insight into the sort of things we get up to (including all those lunch breaks we’re allowed). I would like to say thank you to all of the students, for making it a thoroughly worthwhile experience for me (and a thank you to all those who voted for me too – I’m still somewhat in shock I get to spend £500 on Lego).
I am going to use the prize money on Lego (unfortunately not the Star Wars Death Star and unfortunately not Lego for me) and use it to go around schools and explain 3D printing and all its uses. I am also planning to get in touch with Andres, one of the other engineers, as I thought his essay competition was a fantastic idea and propose it as a joint venture across his university and mine so that students in different areas have a chance to visit laboratories. I hope that you will take part! Finally, please never stop asking questions – it’s a great way of learning something new and more importantly it’s a great way of working out what you would like to do. I hope you enjoy whatever you choose.