As a part of their prize in last year’s National Engineering Competition for Girls, the finalists of all age categories were invited to visit the Rolls Royce site in Derby.

Rolls Royce has co-sponsored Talent 2030 for the past two years, which enables us to run the exciting girls-only competition and outreach events such as this. As a result more than 20 competition finalists, along with their parents or teachers, came together on July 1st. This was a great chance for the girls to meet one another, discuss their projects and learn more about real-life engineering opportunities.

Talent 2030 rr blog previewThe day started in the Learning and Development Centre with a presentation on careers from some of Rolls Royce’s graduates and apprentices. They talked about how they applied for their training scheme and what the application process was like. The girls had the chance to ask questions and were quick to check what academic requirements were needed for different levels of entry.    

More follow-up questions were asked over lunch, kindly provided by Rolls Royce. It was great to be joined by a large group of Rolls Royce staff, from new apprentices all the way up to qualified engineers and management. The girls were really engaged and keen to find out more about the practical side of working in engineering. This was amplified as we then began our tours of the different facilities.

After donning our safety shoes and goggles, we headed off to visit the Rotatives factory, where Rolls Royce uses an efficient system to assemble and check discs vital to the function of the engine. We learned that each disc costs around £250,000 to make, a single scratch means that it has to be scrapped! What’s more, every time Rolls Royce begins manufacturing a new design, they have to sacrifice the first few by taking them apart to check for faults.

After we had finished here, we moved onto the Turbine Blade facility. The girls were shown round by a technician and by a designer who both contributed to the production of the current turbine blades in use. This was more a hand’s on tour, as everybody was able to handle some of the blades and examine
How they worked. This relied on the girls relating what they were seeing back to their math and physics lessons at school. It was a great chance for them to understand how a subject can be applied in real life, and the difference it can make

After this busy afternoon of tours it was back to the Learning and Development Centre to talk about everything we had learned and to thank Rolls Royce for such a wonderful day. There was also the chance to explore the goody bags Rolls Royce had kindly provided which included a cap and a model make-it-yourself jet engine!

All of this comes as the build-up to this year’s talent 2030 event truly gets underway. The competition launches on 28 September, challenging young prospective female engineers to solve current real-world problems.

This is all in aid of inspiring the next generation of female engineers, and last year’s entries highlighted the work of some incredibly talented applicants.

Follow talent 2030 on twitter and keep up-to-date with the event as it progresses.