At 5.30am on 9th December, Uyi, Erica and I made our way to London to take part in the InvestIn Young Engineers Programme.  The Great Hall — Imperial College London’s single largest venue — sat 300 or so aspiring engineers, including myself. We were all there to learn, collaborate and problem-solve.

After an open discussion about what the engineering mindset is, we got into groups of four to tackle the first set of problems. The theme of the morning was Mars; in our groups, we worked together to design what we deemed as the safest, most cost effective and efficient, transportation architecture that could get astronauts from Earth to Mars and back. At the end of the exercise, groups volunteered their solutions for scrutiny and criticism from the audience.

In the afternoon, the focus shifted to the future of cities. In new groups, we discussed the range of challenges humanity will face in the next century — from transport and population growth to digitisation and privacy. We proposed solutions for a smoother integration of electric cars into society and discussed how drones would revolutionise home delivery in the future.

The programme was really interactive; we used a web-app called ‘Slido’ to pose questions to a panel of engineers (troublingly, all of whom were male) about careers in engineering and as a result, we gained valuable insight into the day-to-day lives of experts in varying fields of engineering.

Despite the early wake-up, the experience was a rewarding one. I would definitely recommend the Young Engineers Programme to anyone interested in engineering and technology as a career path.

Elisabeth (LVI Form)