“I would recommend it for any engineer who wants to spread a little joy and interest in the world of engineering.” Cathal Ó Murchú, engineer
I’m an Engineer is an online public engagement event that gets engineers talking to school students all over Ireland.
Engineers develop their communication skills, gain a fresh perspective on their work, and find out what young people think about engineering and the role of engineers.
The next event runs 26th February–9th March 2018
Engineers put up a profile on this site, answer students’ questions about engineering, their work, the universe and beyond. They engage directly with students in live text-based chats. Students vote for their favourite engineer to win €500 to spend on further public engagement.
When is the event?
The next event will be from the 26th February 2018 during Engineers Week.
What kind of questions do students ask?
Students will ask engineers questions about anything they like, from robots to pizza toppings. All questions are moderated, to remove duplicate questions, as well as rude or offensive ones.
What are the live chats like?
Live chats last 30 minutes; they are text-based, fast paced and fun. We limit the chats to 3 a day, but usually there will be fewer. We don’t expect all engineers to attend every chat!
How do evictions work?
Starting on Tuesday of the second week, the engineer with the fewest votes will be evicted at 3pm each day, until one is left to be crowned the winner on the last Friday! Students get a new vote every day.
What’s the prize money for?
One engineer in every zone wins €500 to be spent on a engineering communication project: school visits, engineer fair exhibits, videos or podcasts, blogs, arranging class visits to your lab. Check out how past winners have spent their money HERE.
How much time will it take?
Most engineers say they spend around 2 hours a day on the event; 1 hour on live chats and another hour answering students’ questions, which can be during the evening, outside of the work day.
What’s all this about zones?
The event is divided into zones with five engineers each. Some are general zones, named after a SI Unit and featuring a mix of engineers from different areas, like the Kelvin Zone. Others are themed zones, such as the Materials Zone.
Do I need any special software or equipment?
All that’s needed is a computer with internet access. The live chats are text-based (no video or audio needed) and run through this site.
Who can apply?
The event shows students the wide variety of engineering careers, so is open to engineers from academia (from PhD students to professors) and industry.
How do I get selected?
Engineers write a short summary explaining their work to 13/14 year olds when they apply. Students and teachers rate these summaries, to guide who is selected for each zone. you can read more about the application process here.