Engineering inspiration

THE efforts of a young engineer in Aberdeen could help provide a way forward for the Australian engineering sector as it seeks to overcome the skills shortage.
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One of the problems facing the oil and gas industry is getting school students interested in maths and science.

That is, after all, a prerequisite for the engineering disciplines that are so frantically crying out for new blood.

Katy Crawford, who is employed by offshore lifting and mechanical handling services company Sparrows, has won the Raising the Profile of the Profession - Promoting Engineering to Primary Students award from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.

Primary Engineer aims to get children from the age of five involved in a number of fun activities that use engineering principles.

In introducing this to the region, the 22 year old went beyond here required roles and encouraged schools to sign up - as well as other engineers.

She also arranged for a group of female high school students to tour her workplace at Sparrows and meet senior female engineers and managers as part of the Girls into Energy program.

Crawford joined Sparrows in 2011 after graduating with a Mechanical and Offshore Engineering degree from the Robert Gordon University.

"It has been great to get kids interested in engineering and let them see what they could do with their careers," she said.

"The oil and gas industry has a massive skills gap coming up and I would like to help young people look at a future which could address that and give them some excellent opportunities."

Institution of Mechanical Engineers' Young Member board chairwoman Claire Jones said Crawford had been an important link in getting the Primary Engineer scheme going in Aberdeen.

"Katy is inspiring the next generation of engineers and in particular female students who often do not consider engineering as an interesting and viable career choice," Jones said.