Supporting The Next Generation of Engineers to Dream Big

IMI Critical Engineering undertakes a wide range of activities to support the next generation of engineers. From attending career fairs to challenging students to design more efficient plants, our outreach actions are designed to find and encourage the bright minds of the future.

Ruth Grant, Divisional HR Director for IMI Critical Engineering, explains: “Our overarching goal is to inspire and develop the next generation of people to join our exciting industry, and help deliver breakthrough engineering for a better world and support a sustainable future.”

Some recent examples of our outreach include IMI Truflo Marine recently attending the 2022 Big Bang Fair in Birmingham, UK. The three-day event is the UK’s largest show dedicated to inspiring young people to pursue STEM careers (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Vinita Meissner, IMI Truflo Marine’s lead STEM ambassador, whose ‘day-job’ is Product Applications and Valve Engineering Lead, was on the stand every day with colleagues to explain to the 11 to 14-year-old visitors, how the products they design contribute to the lives of millions of people every day. The students could also try their hand at an interactive quiz and explore different routes into engineering – including apprenticeships and graduate entry.

IMI Truflo Marine, which has a site in Birmingham, United Kingdom, takes apprentices from the local area and is keen to encourage applications from as wide a pool of young people as possible, particularly underrepresented groups, including women and students from deprived backgrounds. Although the proportion of women in STEM is rising, engineering remains a male-dominated discipline.

IMI Truflo Marine’s Rebecca Sangwine, Account Manager, was one of a number of colleagues running the stand at the Big Bang event. “This is the first year IMI Truflo Marine has hosted a stand and the turnout was superb,” she said. “There was a real mix of interest and energy levels! We had a quiz which was taken using a large touch screen and iPad. It was incredibly popular and instigated some really interesting conversations.”

Valve models were on display for the students to handle, disassemble, and reassemble. The students Rebecca spoke to were “really surprised that here in Birmingham, we engineer and manufacture items for submarines and surface ships.” Some of the teachers asked their own questions, and many were keen to explore other outreach opportunities. “I felt very proud representing IMI Truflo Marine,” Rebecca added, “and that we as a team maybe just helped inspire the next generation of engineers!”

IMI Truflo Marine’s Big Bang stand is just one of many outreach programmes from IMI Critical Engineering’s product brands to encourage young people and students to consider a career in engineering.

These range from collaborative projects to practical workshops and competitions to virtual events.

At one of our other sites, Italy-based IMI Remosa launched the Homer project, named after the cartoon character Homer Simpson. The project brings together high school, university, and post-graduate students, with interns and professional engineers from IMI Remosa, to design and build a new control room for an industrial facility. The control room monitors energy use, production processes and individual machines with the aim of making the plant more efficient.

In a separate initiative, IMI Remosa held a workshop at Cagliari’s engineering university to show students the possibilities of the hydrogen industry.

In the UK, the Shining Light project will see employees taking a creative education workshop into schools to inspire young people to think about STEM careers. IMI Critical Engineering has also funded an annual STEM competition with the Derby Museum of Making for schools in deprived areas.

In the USA, by taking part in a virtual career fair with the University of California Irvine, IMI CCI saw applications for early career openings rise from the students who attended.

For those already committed to an engineering career, IMI Critical’s parent company, IMI plc, offers a range of placements and internships, and both IMI plc and IMI Critical Engineering offer graduate programmes, providing pathways to a long and fulfilling career. IMI plc’s current chief executive, Roy Twite, began his career in the company’s graduate programme.

Courtesy of IMI Critical Engineering.

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Sara Mathov is a feature editor contributing to Valve World Americas, Stainless steel World Americas and other related print & online media.