Engineering in Action 2015
30 May 2015

This month we again participated in the annual Waikato Engineering in Action day, designed to showcase engineering to senior school pupils and teachers.  Unfortunately engineering has been cast as an unsavoury choice by some career advisors, so it is up to us as an industry to change that perception.

We are part of WECA, the Waikato Engineering Careers Association, a group of like-minded engineering companies who collectively promote our engineering industry as a career, predominantly to young people

We shut our workshops for a day and let the students loose to experience a range of supervised engineering activities, from welding, plasma cutting, 3D modelling, Stress analysis, hydraulic and electronic control and precision CNC machining.  For some it is their first real taste of practical engineering.

It is always great to see young people getting their hands dirty and realise the depth of expertise required in our industry.

We take them through a current project we have in the workshop, starting with the concept and customer wish list, CAD design, FEA stress analysis, fabrication, machining, electronic programming and the final testing on our test rig.

This year we showcased our SharpGrade Leveller.  We set up a laser and moving bed to simulate actual field conditions.   This allowed us to demonstrate the concept of closed loop feed-back, the effects of gain, speed, and saturation.  They all enjoyed it.

It was encouraging to see more young women interested in engineering.  We have noted the slow but steady rise in young women entering the industry.  We have employed several over the years and have been impressed, particularly with their attention to detail.

One comment we always get from students and career advisors is that they are surprised by the level of cleanliness in our workshops.  This is the perception we as an industry must change if we are to attract the high achievers we need to continue to innovate.