INWED 2019 – a site visit to The Wave, Bristol, inspires local schoolgirls about engineering

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25th June, 2019

Hydrock celebrated International Women in Engineering Day on Friday 21st June by running two workshops for female school-children - one, on site at The Wave, Bristol, and the other from our Bristol city centre office - informing and inspiring 30 schoolgirls in total on the opportunities from a career in engineering.

Led by founder and entrepreneur, Nick Hounsfield (pictured right), The Wave, Bristol opened its construction site doors to Year 9 female pupils from The Castle School in Thornbury for a behind the scenes look at the fast-emerging site for this unique inland surfing destination.

As project engineers from its earliest conceptual beginnings in 2012, Hydrock invited Castle School to take part in this exclusive activity to celebrate INWED 2019. Before donning hard hats and hi-vis jackets for a site walk-over, Nick Hounsfield talked the students through his own personal background, his vision to create something positive for the planet that is a lasting legacy, and the journey to construction and the opening of The Wave later in 2019.

On site, the students were given an insight by Hydrock’s two female structural engineers, Alessia di Cuia and Jessye Lennie into how Hydrock approached the design of the clubhouse, the 100m viewing platform that extends into the lake, and the cove and concrete lake. Alessia and Jessye also gave a personal insight into what had inspired them to become engineers and what they had studied. Hydrock’s project manager on this amazing scheme, Adam Anthony, fielded questions from the pupils, while the construction site team from Andrew Scott gave the schoolgirls an insight into how to manage a construction site safely and efficiently.

Commenting on the experience for the pupils, Alice Osborne from the Design & Technology Faculty at Castle School, said: “It was a real privilege to be involved in International Women in Engineering Day. It gave the girls from Castle School the chance to see an exciting new development close to their homes.

“Listening to the female engineers discussing their journey and progression in engineering was a real inspiration, as was the opportunity to set foot on a development such as the Wave. All the girls are looking forward to visiting with their families. Thanks to Hydrock and the Wave for the great experience.”

Reflecting on the importance of INWED and what it stands for, Nick Hounsfield, Founder of The Wave, said: “The most successful and ground-breaking scientific discoveries and engineering delivery happens when people from different disciplines, with different backgrounds, from different parts of the world work together. If we want science to benefit the whole of society, everyone needs to be able to contribute equally. We are proud to work with some amazing female engineers and we want to inspire many more girls to consider STEM subjects in their further studies. Seeing The Wave being built and operating will hopefully inspire many more girls into engineering.”

Describing her enthusiasm for the project, Alessia Di Cuia of Hydrock said: “Everyone is talking about this project. When I tell people I’m working on it they get super excited and tell me how amazing it is. It was great to share that with a group of local schoolgirls who are interested in STEM subjects, and hopefully inspire them to be our engineers of the future.”

On the same morning in Bristol city centre, three females from our Bristol-based engineering teams hosted 16 schoolgirls from Year 7 of the Bridge Learning Campus school, in south Bristol. In a session led by Eleanor Wratten, Hannah Jane and Georgina Potter, our team gave the students an insight into their own academic choices and how they reached the roles they now have, and led a quiz that explored how the student’s personalities might suit different types of careers in STEM. The students were then tasked to design a sustainable school looking at areas such as energy, renewables, natural lighting, technology, safety, fire, materials and form.

Commenting on the activity, Marie Hazel, Director of STEM at Bridge Learning Campus said: “Thank you so much for an amazing trip. The girls were buzzing when they arrived back and said how great the day was. The teachers really enjoyed themselves and I'm really grateful that you asked us along.”

For further information about The Wave, visit: www.thewave.com .