Reach Out To Schools

Giving children a taste of the world of work can fire their enthusiasm for engineering, says Tamsin Tweddell, a senior partner at building services engineering consultancy Max Fordham. 

We can do a lot to inspire the next generation of engineers by working with schools. I have established a relationship with a local secondary school to provide mentoring to sixth-formers studying STEM subjects. The students come into our office to meet with their mentors on a monthly basis, so they get regular exposure to an engineering working environment. The school has a high proportion of students on free meals.

I have also worked with my children’s primary school to build a small pavilion for outdoor learning – the children were involved in the development of the design and reporting on construction.

It was efforts like these that played a part in my winning Building magazine’s Woman of the Year Award last November. The award is designed to recognise the stand-out achievements of women working in construction, in an effort to identify and highlight positive role models who can enhance the sector’s appeal to other women. I was nominated by my colleagues.

It is important for engineers to go into schools to talk about what they do. People outside the profession can have very distorted ideas of what engineering is like, and we can counter this by sharing our experiences. It is important to emphasise the huge variety of roles within engineering, and the positive contribution we can make to society and the environment.

Click here to read Tasmin Tweddell’s complete article posted on the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ website. 

About Timmothy Boettcher

Business Career Originally recruited in 1998 as a software engineer to design and develop cutting edge technology for new products, Mr. Boettcher assumed leadership for Research and Development and then Engineering before being named President of Realityworks in 2005. Responsible for total operations, he has driven significant understanding of market opportunities, gatekeepers, and funding in education, healthcare, and public service markets; bolstered production and supply chain efficiencies; acquired and launched new age technology; rebuilt leadership competencies; led growth into the Company’s over 65% US school system and over 90 country presence; and led the implementation of the Company’s ESOP to build on the societal mission of the Company and further the family oriented culture to reward employees for their success in achieving the mission and efforts to drive growth. Focused on high market growth, he has led the Company’s turnaround and achieved double-digit top line growth simultaneously with dramatic profit and cash flow improvement. Mr. Boettcher brings more than twenty years of engineering, product development, and global operations experience in education, advanced technology, manufacturing, and distribution industries. Prior to joining Realityworks, he held positions at Cray Research, a leading manufacturer of the world’s fastest supercomputers and Wal-Mart Distribution, the world’s leader in distribution and logistics. Professional & Community Activities Mr. Boettcher is passionate about building effective connections between our countries workforce development system, economic development programs, and education infrastructure. A solid connection between these systems is needed to ensure our youth and workforce are prepared to be global competitive and ready to take on the challenges and needs faced by industry. In delivering on this passion Mr. Boettcher: - has presented workforce development strategies on the national level for Harvard’s Pathway’s to Prosperity, U.S. Department of Labor, and at many Career and Technical Education events. - established and currently chairs the Industry Workforce Needs Council (IWNC), a national level group of industry leaders that works directly with education to increase support for Career and Technical Education in the country in alignment with industry needs. - served on the Board of Directors for the Association for Career and Technical Education. - chaired the Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (Chair) to help establish and lead regional workforce development initiatives. - established and led the Innovation Foundation of Western Wisconsin (Chair) to help bring critical C-level talent to start-ups and small to mid-sized companies to help them grow. - served on the Board for the Eau Claire Economic Development Corporation (President). - and provides guidance to institutions like the International Business Programs Advisory Council of the University of Wisconsin (Eau Claire). Mr. Boettcher also holds seven U.S. and foreign patents.

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