Toys4Engineers - to infinity and beyond

Engineering

"We are all aware of the skills shortages and terrific job opportunities, particularly in the South-East, so it is really encouraging to see the next generation having a high level of interest.”

WIT/Waterford Chamber Toys4Engineers event gave students the chance to find out more about the high-tech toys being developed and used by engineers

Industries from across the South-East region and beyond put their best foot forward at the Toys4Engineers Conference & Expo, showcasing how innovation and technology is leading the way.

Organised by Waterford Chamber and Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), Toys4Engineers at the WIT Arena last Friday saw over a thousand people turn out to view in excess of 50 displays,  everything from virtual reality headsets to robotics and 3D printing to a fleet of electric cars.

Speaking at the event, Waterford Chamber President Paul Nolan said: “Innovation and technology is to the fore in our region and I am hugely impressed by what I have seen today. If we can work together and support what’s on our doorstep, the future is certainly a brighter one.”

The 200 delegates to the morning Conference enjoyed presentations from leading experts in industry, including Jim McCann, Medite Smartply; Declan Roche, BAM; James Murtagh, Domino/Codico; Stephen Farrell, Inmasoll; Bernard Bagley, KUKA Robotics, Shane Robinson, Dataworks and a keynote address from Andy Crowley, TEVA Pharmaceuticals.

The afternoon Expo attracted a large attendance of students from all over the country and Dr Ken Thomas, Head of School of Engineering at WIT said “It is great to see so many young people here today finding out more about the high-tech toys being developed and used by engineers to make a better world. We are all aware of the skills shortages and terrific job opportunities, particularly in the South-East, so it is really encouraging to see the next generation having a high level of interest.”

Plans are already being made for next year’s Toys4Engineers event. Speaking live at the event on WLRFM, the IDA South-East Regional Manager Brendan McDonald said: “Events like Toys4Engineers showcase the various strengths of the South East Region and the professional, globally significant work that companies are delivering in the Region on a daily basis. The event highlighted the fact that traditional sectors such as Engineering are evolving and Advanced Manufacturing and collaboration with the Technology Sector is growing, making it more exciting than ever to be an Engineer – and more importantly that companies in the South East are not only adapting to the challenge of change but leading the way. It was also great to see so many secondary schools attend the event – it is clear that this event can be built upon in the years to come. IDA Ireland wishes Waterford Chamber, WIT and organising committee every success in the future.”

Toys4Engineers was sponsored by Siemens and supported by the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Waterford Local Enterprise Office and Waterford Chamber Skillnet.

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