Sixth-form students from 24 local schools have had the chance to experience life as an engineer as part of a week-long programme organised by Queen’s University Belfast and Caterpillar Northern Ireland.
More than 30 pupils were selected to participate in the initiative, which is part of efforts by Queen’s and Caterpillar to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), following an application process that attracted strong interest from across the province.
The programme, which is open to A-level students studying electrical and mechanical engineering, includes a series of practical workshops at the university, a question-and-answer session with Caterpillar engineers, and a day at the company’s Larne facility, including a factory tour.
Prof Tom Millar, Dean of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast, says: “We are keen to work with companies such as Caterpillar Northern Ireland in delivering events like this, whereby pupils can find out more about degrees in engineering, as well as the diverse range of career opportunities available in the sector. We hope, as a result of this initiative, to inspire the next generation of engineers that are so vital to local economy.”
Robert Kennedy, director of operations at Caterpillar Northern Ireland, says: “We are very pleased to run this important initiative with Queen’s as part of our STEM programme. As a significant employer and contributor to the economy, Caterpillar is committed to investing in the local community, including the education system. STEM subjects have been identified as critical to the future of the Northern Ireland economy.”