NEWS Practice

The Future Face of Engineering – GDST students spend a day with Hilson Moran

2018 marks the year of engineering and Hilson Moran want to inspire a broader and more diverse range of talented designers into the industry. As part of this, we’ve partnered with the Girls Day School Trust to host a number of initiatives all designed to help attract more female design engineers and consultants into our sector.

To kick things off, last week the Hilson Moran London office welcomed a group of amazing and talented students from across the Girls Day School Trusts’ (GDST) network to spend a day with our teams. The days programme was designed to give them all an insightful and engaging look into the day to day running of a design consultancy to broaden their perspective on what a typical engineering role might look like… It’s not all hard hats, high viz vests and steel toe cap boots.

The day started with a brief overview of Hilson Moran, with a look at what we do, then the students were then shown some our work done on their school buildings as part of involvement on the GDST Framework. This was then followed up by first hand experiences from design consultants Allison Jones, Scarlett Franklin and Marie-Louise Schembri,  who all shared their own personal experiences of the industry and how they got into the field of design which highlighted just how wide the range of career pathways actually is.

The girls were then take on a tour around the office to shadow some of our specialist groups including the MEP, Acoustics, Smart Buildings and Sustainability team who gave them a first hand look into the varied aspects of building services design. The tours included presentations of the acoustics technology applied to buildings like Regents Crescent which uses springs to decouple the building and reduce underground vibrations caused by tube lines. The sustainability team also shared the concepts behind 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin) and the innovative CFD and AR technology they used.

To give the students the opportunity asks any questions missed across the morning, staff were then invited to join them for a networking lunch which was enjoyed by all.

The day wrapped up with a fun but challenging design ‘Hackathon’ style competition where the students were asked to envisage what their ‘school of the future’ might look like in 2040. Ideas ranged from facial recognition for morning registration, to AI teachers, to mindfulness rooms which block out access to any form of external communications for complete escapism.

Nigel Clark Technical Director commented, “We were blown away by the students ideas. The quality of their presentations and the confidence they demonstrated in their delivery was on a par with some of the Hackathons that we’ve held with industry peers. They will all no doubt go on to have successful careers in whatever route they eventually choose. If any do choose a career in engineering, then the profession will be all the better for it!

Karen Kimura, Learning & Development Manager at the Girls Day School Trust said

“Thank you to all the team at Hilson Moran for a really great day.  I learnt so much about the huge variety of work consultants undertake as part of a huge variety of projects.  Everyone we heard from had such enthusiasm for their role that they were able to really engage the students.  I have no doubt at all that all your efforts have led to an extremely positive impression of your sector.” 

The visit forms part of a wider partnership with the GDST and Hilson Moran including hosting school visits, and the joining industry leading firms taking part in the annual Engineering and Architecture Conference, a three day residential event which enables the students to hear from employers first hand to get careers advice and insight into the further education options.

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