Michael Sachpekidis, business development manager at Lenze, discusses his experience working with a group of secondary school students who have been successful in various robotic competitions. Sachpekidis spent 2018

championing engineering in STEM education. With his background as an Applications Engineer and a focus on raising awareness, he has been inspiring students to take up the mantle to be the next generation of engineers. However, after visiting a secondary school in Hertfordshire, he saw first-hand a different approach to STEM education and how the Head of Faculty for Engineering and Technology, Stuart Higham, has been racking up achievements on a Global scale with his team of Roboteers. Visiting The John Warner School in

Hodderston, Herts, you can hear the enthusiastic students preparing for their latest quest. The Robotics Team has a lot to be proud of with a long list of awards and achievements already in national and international robotics competitions. From VEX UK National Finalists to VEX World Championship Finalists, there has been a string of awards along the way that the pupils have racked up year after year. This year they have another strong team and a lot to play for designing, building and programming robots in the VEX Robotics Competition. Stuart Higham, said: “The children

always enjoy “showing off” what they have done as they are rightly proud of all their achievements and their focus on building the next award-winning robot. Working with Lenze, we’re keen to harness this enthusiasm and show them how beneficial this is for them and how this can relate to a future career.”

124,000 engineers and technicians

with core skills are required per year in the UK for the future wealth of the country. The skills gap is an ongoing struggle but with STEM day events, PPMA Best and international competitions to be won, or indeed, working for companies like Lenze, the perception of traditional engineering roles is changing. The students first came across

Lenze in September at PPMA, where they had the opportunity to engage with the Lenze Automation Wall and hear from Michael Sachpekidis about some of the engineers and scientists that inspired him. Higham said:

“We all really enjoyed the PPMA show and found it informative and inspiring to see the amount of automation and robotics that is happening in industry. We wanted to return the favour to Lenze and show them some of the awesome robotics that the students have been working on for this season’s robotics competition.” He continued: “We had the first

regional competition of the year last Saturday and I am proud to tell you that the students got to wear their Lenze t-shirts given to them at the

PPMA show. This was their first time competing with two new robots that they had built and they beat last year’s national finalists in the quarter final with their autonomous routine. The second team also won the Design Award for their Design Notebook.” Working with schools and colleges

across the country to inspire them is an ongoing quest for the team at Lenze. By telling the stories of people

When asking someone to list their top ten most glamorous careers, it is a pretty safe bet that engineering doesn’t feature, let alone appear near the top. Yet, ask the very same people about some of the most exciting developments in recent years and the list will inevitably make reference to technological developments such as AI, robotics, smartphones and wearable technology. The irony is, for these ‘sexy’ emerging technologies to exist and continue to evolve, engineers are absolutely critical. While the government has set

ambitious targets to challenge the current skills crisis in the longer term, there is still a huge recruitment challenge in the immediate future. Bosch Rexroth is committed to

that inspired them from Elon Musk to Adrian Newey, they are thrilled to demonstrate the opportunity that is there for students and the fun a career in engineering can bring. And for the engineers that are delivering the automation and mechatronics solutions today, they have been inspired by a group of students whose passion for robotics makes school a fun place to be and who will be the problem-solvers of tomorrow.

helping UK industry and its workforce to embrace the opportunities offered by connected factories and Industry 4.0. Iona Strawson, senior design engineer at Bosch Rexroth - shares her journey into engineering, and lists what she loves about her role: “I love that every day is different. There’s always a new problem to be tackled, a new challenge to rise to. Ultimately we don’t know what’s coming through the door next. It will be factory automation but, beyond that, it could be anything. I love that I get to be creative and think outside the box. I can collaborate with my team and talk jobs through, finding new ways to look at things. There is a prestige to being an engineer as well. People’s jaws tend to drop when I tell them what I do!” As well as her day job, Iona is

an ambassador for STEMNET - volunteering her time and experience to inspire young people to progress further in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

Tel: 01635 279621 ales@c

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