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chevron inspire future engineers through nextgen

Chevron is aiming to inspire the next generation of engineers through its support for the NextGen programme, run by AFBE-UK Scotland, an Aberdeen-based not-for-profit organisation, in conjunction with Aberdeen City Council, to promote engineering as a career choice among young people.

The organisation’s first NextGen event of 2016 recently welcomed around 50 people, aged between 9 and 10, to an event held at Kaimhill Primary School in Aberdeen.

Dr Ollie Folayan of AFBE-UK Scotland discussing the importance of engineering with pupils

Dr Ollie Folayan, the Aberdeen-based chairman of AFBE-UK Scotland, discusses the important role engineering plays in our everyday lives.

The day began with an exhibition of models and games that showcased a range of oil and gas industry equipment and processes – ranging from Christmas trees and platform jackets to combustion engines. All were presented by early career employees, many of which are STEMNET Ambassadors involved in activities to encourage young people to get involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics related subjects, from major operators and service companies based in Europe’s energy capital.

An animated video was used to explain, in simple terms, what engineering is and how it is involved in our daily lives. Young industry professionals then talked to the pupils about a day in the life of an engineer, which was followed by a lively question and answer session.

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Chevron's Geoff Johnson talks the pupils through Chevron's '3 Minute Challenge'.

The budding engineers then took their new found knowledge and applied it to a series of engineering challenges – including the construction of a helipad using paper, clips and sellotape; the creation of an offshore processing system using LEGO; and the completion of Chevron Upstream Europe’s (CUE) very own ‘3 Minute Challenge’, testing the pupils understanding of the path a barrel of oil takes from the reservoir to the refinery. At the end of the exercises prizes were awarded to all participants.

To close the day’s events a ‘speed networking’ session took place, giving the pupils an opportunity to talk to members of the NextGen team, including representatives from Chevron and other supporting companies, about their jobs and the various roles for engineers in the oil and gas industry.

“We were delighted by the pupil’s enthusiasm and interest in learning more about the engineering sector. With the potential for a future skills shortage, as many young people as possible, from all backgrounds, should be given all the help and support required to achieve their goals,” said Dr Ollie Folayan, the Aberdeen-based chairman of AFBE-UK Scotland.

Geoff Johnson, Business Planning engineer at CUE, who volunteered at the event added: “Going into schools and engaging with young people in an interesting and interactive way helps drive interest in careers in engineering. Through initiatives like NextGen we can highlight engineering and the relevance it has in our daily lives to help inspire the next generation of engineering talent.”

“The first step in encouraging young people to pursue careers in engineering is awareness, and this is a big focus for Chevron’s social investment programme. Supporting initiatives like NextGen doesn’t just help the communities in which we operate, its help us too, as tomorrow's Chevron employees are today's schoolchildren. It is therefore important that we commit to engaging and inspiring them, and ensuring they have the necessary tools to equip them for future success,” said Laura Easton, CUE’s Stakeholder Engagement and Social Investment advisor.

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Chevron's Peter Heath challenges the budding young engineers.