Information for STFC engineers

An online X Factor for engineers – have you got what it takes?
“The best crash course in communication there is”

We’re looking for engineers to take part in STFC funded zones in I’m an Engineer. The next event is 9th – 20th November and then March! It’s a great opportunity to talk to school students from the comfort of your desk or lab.

Apply to take part at, by September 27th.

In November 2015 we’re running 2 zones in I’m an Engineer: a Production Zone and an Energy Zone.

You’ll answer thought-provoking questions from school students and take part in high-energy live chats with them. You’ll improve your typing skills for one thing, but more importantly you’ll find out how to really communicate your work to non-engineers.

What is it?

I’m an Engineer is an X Factor style competition for engineers, where students are the judges. You put up a profile on our website, answer questions and have live online (text) chats with school Science, Maths & D&T students. Students vote and the winning researcher gets £500 to spend on STEM communication.

“If you get any joy from explaining the world, or think you might have some aptitude for it, then don’t hesitate to apply!” – Matt Maddock, Diamond

Everything happens on the web, so you can join in without leaving your desk. The event runs over the 2 weeks from November 9th – 20th 2015. There will be around an hour of live text chats each day and an hour answering questions, although this will vary depending on how busy the zones are.

Who’s eligible?

You’re eligible if you’re linked to the STFC in some way, this could be:

  • Your research project is STFC funded
  • You use STFC facilities or those supported by STFC
  • You use data obtained with STFC support
  • You are employed by the STFC

How to apply

To apply, fill in the application form by Sunday 27th September.


When you apply you’ll be asked to fill in a 1 sentence summary of your work – make this interesting and understandable to 13/14 year olds, as a panel of students will then select the 5 researchers to take part.

What have others said?

2 engineers that took part in March 2012 said:

“If you get any joy from explaining the world, or think you might have some aptitude for it, then don’t hesitate to apply! For the sake of a couple of weeks with a little extra work-load, the experience is an amazing one! Finding out what the students care about, what they are concerned with and how they have a genuine interest in the world around them is exhilarating. It’s not nearly as daunting, tiring, troublesome or time-consuming as you might fear! I found that all my fears were groundless and all my hopes for the competition were exceeded massively!” – Matt Maddock, Diamond

“That two weeks still very much the highlight of my year so far” – Andy Hearn, Engineer

“I enjoyed this event so much! I have been able to re-evaluate why I love working in engineering and identified what I want to achieve in my career. I have seen how enthusiastic and switched-on the students have been and amazed at the high standard and range of questions asked. All in all this has been the most rewarding outreach event I have been part of and would thoroughly recommend it to both engineers and teachers – it was a great pleasure to be part of it.” – Martin Wallace, Engineer

I’m a Scientist

STFC are also funding zones for scientists in the sister I’m a Scientist event. We’re flexible over who counts as a scientist and who counts as an engineer, so apply for whichever you think suits you best!


To find out more contact Angela who runs the projects:  or 01225 326892.