Southern Water chief executive Ian McAulay shared his passion for engineering with more than 130 Year 9 pupils (age 13/14) who took part in a day of challenges at Chatsmore Catholic High School, Goring Street, Worthing, on 18 October.
The pupils were taking part in a day of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) projects run by the Smallpeice Trust.
The teens were presented with a scenario in which they became stranded on a deserted island with limited resources. They had to use their ingenuity and engineering skills to survive and thrive.
Pupils worked in teams of five to design and build a working wind turbine and water processing system.
They learned about the principles of electricity generation and put these into practice (physics), built circuits (physics, engineering and electronics), designed and made various elements (design and technology, and engineering), and explored concepts like water scarcity, innovation and enterprise.
Mr McAulay spent time with the teams asking questions, making suggestions and sharing in the excitement. He then addressed the full group on his background, the challenges faced by the water industry and the value of engineering.
Afterwards, he said: “It was great to see first-hand the creativity and dedication of the pupils to overcome challenges and solve problems.
“The Smallpeice Trust does a fantastic job of inspiring young minds and fuelling a passion for engineering.
“We’re proud to support its work and I was so impressed with how well everyone at Chatsmore Catholic High School embraced the day.
“The next generation of engineers were in that room, and it looks like the future’s in good hands.”
Dr Kevin P Stenson, chief executive of the Smallpeice Trust, added: “We are delighted to have had such a high-profile figure take part in this inspiring event.
“Ian brought a wealth of expertise and experience to the day, which was of huge benefit to those who took part. His enthusiasm for engineering was clear to see. I am confident many of the young people will have been inspired.
“We very much look forward to working with Southern Water on future STEM days.”
Simon Fluendy – Press Officer Communications, Southern Water
About Southern Water
Ian McAulay, who joined Southern Water as chief executive in January 2017, has 30 years of experience in water and environmental industries. He holds an honours degree in civil and environmental engineering.