Young engineers get support from industry

Mintlaw Academy pupils Stephanie Buchan, Joanne McDonald and Erin Kindness with their ROV
Mintlaw Academy pupils Stephanie Buchan, Joanne McDonald and Erin Kindness with their ROV

Subsea UK has announced that it will sponsor an initiative which inspires budding subsea engineers for a second year.

The body which represents the £9billion subsea industry has now committed £20,000 to the Scottish MATE ROV competition.

The initiative, organised by the Robert Gordon University, encourages young engineers to design and test underwater machinery with help from industry mentors.

Subsea UK joins BP, which has supported the competition since its first year, as headline sponsors, with ROVOP and The Underwater Centre in Fort William providing additional support.

The major STEM initiative aims to inspire future engineers through hands-on experience of designing remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) used underwater in the oil and gas, defence, oceanology and marine renewables industries.

Last year’s competition was won by a team from Peterhead Academy who, along with runners up from Mackie Academy, displayed their winning remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to thousands of delegates at the Subsea Expo 2016 exhibition and conference at the AECC recently.

Mintlaw Academy has been involved in the MATE ROV project for the past four years.

Ali Hynd, principal teacher of technology at Mintlaw Academy, said: “The competition gives the students a realistic experience of the jobs they can do when they leave school.

“It is a very real example for them and they give up their own time to take part in it.

“We work with the sponsors who provide the opportunity to engage and the challenges are set in real life. Some of the kids in previous years have gone on to university, college and apprenticeships – not always in engineering but still in the energy industry.”

Subsea UK chief executive, Neil Gordon, said: “With all the recent bad news about the oil and gas industry, it is more important than ever to continue to inspire young people about our sector. Initiatives like MATE ROV are dynamic and practical ways of attracting young people into engineering and the exciting world under the sea.

“We were blown away by the creativity and ingenuity of last year’s participants, and in particular the teams from Peterhead and Mackie Academy, who have been impressing some veteran engineers with their approaches to design.”