Future engineers

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  • Earthmovers & Exacavators

Sixteen budding engineers delivered workshops to over 15 schools in regional NSW recently, encouraging students to consider a career in engineering as part of Komatsu’s Live Your Dream program

Komatsu-future-engineers
The Komatsu Engineers Without Borders team of Daren Thanh, Jacky Cai and Laura Deaves

Komatsu Engineering Graduate Laura Deaves says the initiative, done in partnership with Engineers Without Border (EWB), saw them reach over 1,200 students and something she really enjoyed being part of.

EWB developed these hands-on, curriculum-linked STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workshops in conjunction with indigenous education partners and is spreading the word far and wide on how rewarding a career in engineering can be.

"There was a lot of planning involved in conducting the workshops, but it was well worth the effort," Deaves says.

"Many students in these remote areas hadn’t really been exposed to engineering, let alone knowing about the career pathways that are available to them, or having it presented to them as an exciting potential career option.

"Some of these communities are quite isolated and that’s why it’s so important to reach out to them and let them know that all these study options are open to them.

"STEM subjects shouldn’t be seen as being big and scary; really these are just problem solving skills that can be used in everyday life. I think it was useful for some of the teachers too, because some can find it hard to teach these subjects in practical ways that kids can easily understand."

Komatsu electrical engineer Daren Thanh says the feedback they got from the surveys was highly positive too, indicating that the students enjoyed the experience and made them aware of new career pathways.

"We are trying to promote the concept of humanitarian engineering, which is engineering that is aimed at improving the lives of everyday people through basic problem solving.

"So many engineers choose this as a career because they see that smart designs and clever engineering can improve living standards and that’s an idea that young people really do connect with."

Both Thanh and Deaves were part of the engineering graduate team who secured a grant from Komatsu to talk-up STEM in schools in regional NSW, and both agree that it’s important that young people are aware of the career options available to them and the positive impact they can have on other people’s lives.

Komatsu’s Live Your Dream grant specifically focused on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in an area encompassing Orange, Dubbo, Gunnedah and Coonamble, because indigenous people are underrepresented in STEM fields at university and in the wider professional industry.

"Our aim was to promote what we call humanitarian engineering and to encourage students in regional communities to consider STEM as a future career path," Thanh says.

"Engineering is what changes the world, and if we expose more people to humanitarian engineering, hopefully we can make a difference.

"After we started our internships with Komatsu, we were blown away by how they were utilising engineering and technology to improve the operational efficiency, reliability and safety of its machines, and it’s great to be able to share some of the first hand industry experience that we have had."

Komatsu’s Live Your Dream program runs annually and is designed to assist its employees to achieve personal goals to help communities.

 

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