Youngsters inspired by ‘engineering avengers'

Posted on 09 Feb 2019 and read 346 times
Youngsters inspired by ‘engineering avengers'Senior lecturers at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) recently teamed up with a cast of Marvel superheroes — including Iron Man and The Hulk — to inspire the next generation of engineers and innovators.

Matthew Dickinson and Stephen Sigurnjak from UCLan’s School of Engineering (www.uclan.ac.uk) in Preston were invited to speak to schoolchildren at an event held at the ExCel London exhibition centre to celebrate a new partnership between the Government’s ‘Year of Engineering’ initiative and the Marvel comic-book brand.

Since the start of 2018, the Government has worked alongside more than 1,400 partners to deliver over a million inspiring experiences as part of its ‘Year of Engineering’.

Marvel is the latest big name to join the campaign, which aims to transform the perception of engineering among children aged 7 to 16, while encouraging more young people from different backgrounds to consider careers in engineering.

The UCLan lecturers were selected to appear alongside a cast of real-life ‘Engineering Avengers’ to show off some of their ‘special powers’ at the Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.

Exhibition (open until 31 March) — alongside a female army engineer who became a world-champion power lifter, a prosthetics engineer, a civil engineer and an expert in comic-book science.

They demonstrated that the ‘powers’ of engineers are every bit as impressive and capable of changing the world as Iron Man, The Hulk and other superheroes.

Dr Sigurnjak said: “We wanted to show the kids how close real science and science fiction can be. Our sessions focused on the biomechanics of The Hulk and how he might be able to transform from a normal human being into
a superhero with incredible powers.

"We also talked about what might happen to his brain as he undergoes these changes and how that might affect his behaviour. Later, we explored the secrets behind the Iron Man’s armoured suit.”

The Government has also been encouraging young people aged between 7 and 16 to take the ‘More Heroes Needed’ aptitude test online (www.moreheroesneeded.com/start) to discover which superhero qualities they share with the legendary characters in Marvel’s comic-books.

The test aims to show children they have an abundance of talents that would suit a career in engineering.

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