Zone selection

I’m an Engineer, Get me out of here! is running for the first time in March 2012. As with I’m a Scientist we split the event into zones. Each zone has 5 engineers and around 400 students in 20 classes.

We have our own ideas for the zones for I’m an Engineer but it’s important that teachers and people in the engineering industry tell us what they think will, and what won’t, work. We don’t have all the answers so please let us know what you think about the zone ideas we’ve come up with.

We’re avoiding zones themed by type of engineer, such as an Electrical, Civil or Chemical engineering zone. Instead we would like to run zones themed around areas in which an electrical engineer, a civil engineer and a chemical engineer all work. Such as a Transport, Food or Building zone.

Some of the zone ideas we’ve come up with are listed below. Please comment below with your thoughts, or email your suggestions to Have you got ideas for other zones? Which zones would work in your classroom? And which zones wouldn’t? Could you suggest more engaging zone names? (Automotive Zone doesn’t have the best ring to it).

Transport Zone – This is all about moving people and goods around the planet. It could include an oil pipeline engineer, a flight systems software engineer and a geotechnical embankment engineer.

Energy Zone – This zone looks at producing and using energy. It could include a wind turbine software engineer, a radar systems design engineer and an oil well reservoir engineer.

Building Zone – This zone looks at all the processes needed during construction. It could include a geophysical soil engineer, a lift design engineer and an air conditioning technology development engineer.

Aeronautical Zone – This zone is all about flight! It could include a flight systems software engineer, an engineer working on the fluid dynamics of aircraft design and an engineer who tests that aircraft are airworthy.

Health Zone – This looks at the use of technology in health and medical services across the world. It could include a chemical engineer developing drugs, a hospital database software engineer and a hip replacement design engineer.

Nautical Zone – This zone explores all types of water based transport – from submarines and hovercraft to aircraft carriers. It could include a marine acoustics engineer and a chemical engineer working on preventing corrosion.

Food Zone – This zone explores how we get our food – from growing it through to production and disposal. It could include an agricultural engineer, a food factory operations optimisation engineer and a chemical engineer working on space food.

Sports Zone – This looks at the technologies applied to sports and sporting events. It could include a snowsports engineer, an engineer working on the latest Formula 1 car model and an infrastructure engineer working on the logistics of building the 2012 Olympics stadium.

Danger Zone – This looks at how we can use engineering technology deal with dangerous events from earthquakes and tsunamis to power cuts. It could include a structural engineer who designs earthquake proof buildings and an engineer who tests that aircraft are airworthy.

Nuclear Power Zone – This zone explores how we can safely use nuclear power – from its generation through to using the energy generated and storing and disposing of waste material. It could include a geotechnical uranium mining engineer and a civil engineer assessing potential sites for nuclear stations.

Robotics Zone – This is all about how robots are used everyday in our world. It could include an electronics engineer working on moon robots and an engineer exploring what artificial intelligence means.

Mining Zone – This explores the technology used to mine materials from our Earth. It could include a chemical engineer who analyses the quality of mined metals, a mine shaft design engineer and an explosives engineer who ensures materials are accessed safely.

Space Zone – This looks at exploring Space – both through sending people and instruments up there, and from observations. It could include a shuttle navigation software engineer, an electronics engineer building satellites and a chemical engineer working on space food.

Automotive Zone – This zone explores all types of ground based transport – from segways to cars and bullet trains. It could include a geotechnical embankment engineer and a car cockpit design engineer.

Underwater Zone – This is all about what goes on in oceans, rivers and lakes. It could include an oil pipeline engineer, a tunnel design engineer and an underwater cable engineer.

Communications Zone – This zone looks at all the different ways we communicate with each other, from texting a friend to instructing a satellite what orbit to take. It could include a shuttle navigation software engineer and an underwater cable engineer.

Posted on September 30, 2011 by in News. 30 Comments.

30 Responses to Zone selection

  1. admin says:

    @lizflint24 has suggested via Twitter: How about a high performance zone – F1 engineers, jet engines development guys etc?

  2. modrosie says:

    @mclott via Twitter: Two thumbs up on the “energy zone”

  3. modrosie says:

    @mjrobbins commented via Twitter: Big gap I can see – water supply/waste.

  4. modrosie says:

    @sockmuppet via Twitter: my husband is a mechanical engineer in design and auditing within rail. If you need engineers. Good zones, chem, mech, etc? Also have friends in waste water design and steel making.

  5. modrosie says:

    @rachelle_briggs suggested via Twitter: maybe standard elec, mech, comms, aero, nuclear etc? 🙂

  6. Keith Smith says:

    Like the sound of a space zone. Surely Automotive and Transport could be combined?

  7. bridget says:

    What about a zone based on leisure: music, film etc?

  8. modrosie says:

    Hi Keith, thanks for you comments.

    There is definitely overlap between a Transport Zone and Automotive Zone. We were thinking of a general Transport Zone and more specialised Automotive/Nautical/Aeronautical themed zones if there is the demand?

    Or would running other non-transport related zones be more popular?

  9. christine says:

    What about Environment zone?
    Could range from engineering remedies to protect the environment from harmful impacts, mitigating processes to be environmentally friendly, environmental impact assessment, adaptation to climate change or changes that might be triggered by climate change. I see links to some of the other threads (e.g nuclear, underwater, mining, food, health….) but not in a strong way.

  10. Natalie says:

    This is great, I agree with the comment about water supply and wastewater.

    It may be difficult for some engineers to pinpoint which zone they belong in as there is some overlap in what some engineers do, for example I am a civil engineer, and I work in transport, environment, building and water/waste! With the current economic climate, we have to be able to adaptable depending on what work is available.

  11. J Walder says:

    What about a manufacturing zone?

  12. Sarah says:

    How about a fire zone? Fire safety engineering has become a sector of significance since the World Trade Centre collapse and is applicable everyday everywhere in the world not just in industry but in nature too (eg. forest fires), it’s a growing discipline but still relatively new.

  13. kevin says:

    There is significant overlap across several of the zones. Transport, automotive aero and nautical as well as energy and nuclear power. It would be better to have a few main zones with sub zones in that. For example energy zone where energy in general can be discussed the sub zone of generation, renewables, distribution/transmission etc.

  14. welf says:

    What about security and defence? Some of the most important technological advances have come about through research in these areas, but I could only see them being partially covered by the proposed zones.

  15. Tara McGough says:

    I think a zone exploring the engineering behind everyday technology would be good. Or perhaps one of a more specific topic, exploring the mechanics of objects such as e-readers, i-phones etc, lusted after by most individuals of today.

  16. Tara McGough says:

    However, to add to my comment above, I also believe if we could look at the engineering used by big-name franchises to produce products in a zone, it would be good.

  17. Tara McGough says:

    As a final idea, I’d like to suggest we include a zone that focuses on the history of engineering, including the milestones of modern technology (e.g. the invention of the locomotive; the first satellite etc)

  18. Tara McGough says:

    Continuing on what was recently said about history, I would just like to add the milestones need not be recent. We could include engineering feats from as far back as the Egyptians pyramids and the Roman’s sewers!

  19. admin says:

    Thank you for the suggestions. Perhaps if any engineering historians read this they’ll apply to take part.

  20. Dominic says:

    Instead of a nautical and an aeronautical zone, why not just have a military zone, this gives you the advantage of looking at an engineers role in the army: in places such as Afghanistan.

  21. rosamund says:

    I like the idea of a zone about the history of engineering. It could include why things were changed in engineering and famous engineers who changed the history of engineering.

  22. M James says:

    Energy, Sport and Health zones useful for physics and applied science.

  23. modrosie says:

    Thank you for even more suggestions. We’ll decide the final 2 zones (in addition to Health, Energy and High Performance – in early January.

  24. mike blamey says:

    During my teaching career, I always tried to relate complicated Engineering concepts to those that my students already had an inkling about. Their bodies, sports and its equipment, the kitchen, food, drink, household items, clothes and protective items… hobbies and pass-times…and even the Engineering of activities in the bedroom!

    If the wish and intention is to encourage those NOT thinking about Engineering as a career to start to do so…perhaps these are ways into our affairs.

  25. Jon says:

    Security Zone – Keeping our society safe; people, places and information. This could encompass everything from providing security in our increasing cyber connected world to maintaining our physical security from the threat of international terrorism and those people wishing to disrupt our way of life.

  26. Nathan Dumont says:

    How about a “DIY” engineering section about Arduino, 3D printing, hackspaces etc that students could actually get involved in? Or perhaps just the “Gadget Zone” with discussion of smart phones, iPods, 3D TV, quad-copters etc.

  27. Brian says:

    How about a defence zone?
    It’s a bit harsh, I know, but the kids will have to find out about it sometime.

  28. How about a Designing and Making in 3D zone? This will cut across practically all the other zones, plus some non-zones, such as Design, Medicine, Dentistry, Construction….I could go on, but I hope you get the point.

  29. Georgia says:

    I really like the ideas you have come up with they all seem to relate to the topic of “engineering” really well and each zone seems to include all the areas of engineering (e.g. chemical, electrical) I think these ideas are brilliant!

  30. modrosie says:

    So many suggestions, thank you all. We’ve decided on the 6 zones to run in March – Energy, Health, High Performance, Measurement, Transport & Water. Each zone will be broad with a wide mix of engineers from different backgrounds whose work all touches on the theme in some way.

Leave a Comment