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Aeronautical Engineering Takes Off For South West Teens

17 September 2013

Flybe joins high profile education partners to host key Future Engineers’ event in Exeter



“An awesome insight into aviation and engineering.  Truly inspirational for the students.  A superbly organised event that enforces the engineering opportunities available for our Future Engineers.  A strongly recommended event for those students considering Engineering as a career experiencing the first class facilities that Flybe and The University of Exeter have to offer.” Mr Dave Clemens, Dawlish Community College

 “This was an excellent opportunity. I learned more than I would have done if I had not attended this event.  It gave me a `buzz` to work hard and consider Flybe or Exeter Uni after I leave school.” Harry Ward, Year 10 Engineering student, Dawlish Community College

Flybe and the University of Exeter were again the centre of attention last week when some 200 teens from 16 schools across the region came together for this year’s aviation-themed Future Engineers event and became aeronautical engineers for the day, with the annual Schools’ Challenge being won by West Buckland School, North Devon.

Now in its fourth year, Future Engineers was jointly organised by Flybe, Europe’s largest independent regional airline, the University of Exeter, Exeter College, the Royal Navy and the Fleet Air Arm Museum. Students taking part in the event divided their day between Flybe's Training Academy and the airline’s New Walker engineering hangar at Exeter International Airport, and the University's Streatham Campus. 

The visit to Flybe’s state-of-the-art engineering hangar allowed students to meet engineers at work, view the airline’s Apprentice Workshops and see Fleet Air Arm displays from the Royal Navy. During their time at Flybe, students competed against each other by making undercarriages from paper and model aircraft made from wood. The robustness of their designs were tested, the most successful one winning the coveted Schools’ Challenge trophy,

The Future Engineers event highlights the opportunities open to young people within engineering and was the original brainchild of Stephen Payne, QM2 and the Carnival Corporation architect. It is designed to give students from years 9-11 (aged 14–16 years) the opportunity to get up-close to aircraft and their various components by inspiring them with hands-on practical learning experiences and encourage them to consider an engineering career.

Jacqui Hepburn, Director of the Flybe Training Academy, said:“Flybe understands the importance of attracting and retaining a skilled and qualified workforce and is committed to supporting young people, especially those from our local region. We were pleased with this year’s enthusiastic response and we all enjoyed showcasing to such talented young people the apprenticeship opportunities available to pursue.”

Students visiting the University of Exeter discovered more about the science behind aeronautics and aviation and the engineering studies on offer.  They took part in a number of activities in the University’s engineering laboratories and enjoyed a viewing in the 3D visualisation suite.

Dr Karl Devincenzi, Outreach Manager at Exeter University commented:“The event, in collaboration with our partners at Flybe, provided a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate how choosing to study for an engineering qualification can lead to a very exciting future in a wide range of different industries. I hope that those attending were both informed and inspired by and that they continue their interests in this field.”

Exeter College Assistant Principal, Iain Hatt, added:“Engineering has, and always will, play a pivotal role in shaping the local and global economy and the College recognises the challenges to educate more students in this key subject area. We have recently achieved STEM assured status for our quality of Science, Maths and Engineering provision. This, together with our investment in state of the art facilities at our new technology centre and valued industry partnerships, ensure we provide outstanding teaching, learning and training opportunities to the engineers of the future.”

Ms Hepburn concluded:“Future Engineers’ aim is to inspire young people and encourage them to view engineering as an attractive career option, particularly within the aviation sector. We hope the day inspired their imagination and their future studies - and sent their engineering ambitions soaring!”