I was on Cloud 9++++ in March after learning our bid to the Royal Academy of Engineering Ingenious Grant project had succeeded in drawing down funds to deliver our project. We received excellent reviewer feedback, marked as outstanding on two counts with strong recommendations to fund our project – how good is that and so loads of high fives there 😀
Although it sounds like a doddle, there’s been a great deal of work to set up the project starting with our project initiation meeting, setting a date for our steering group meeting so that we could bring together Sheffield’s leading engineers to identify potential event engineering themes, topics, issues and project design concerns.
So at last we’ve had the Steering Group Meeting for our RAE Ingenious Project Getting Engineers out There and Out on the Street – (powerpoint presentation opens as a pdf).
And I’m immensely grateful to everyone who could make it and am confident that those who were unable to make it today will find ways to feed their expertise in to our overall project design.
Despite being a small group, or perhaps because we were a small group, we covered a lot of ground in particular relating to key project priorities at this stage and received in-depth feedback on our ideas:
As can be seen from our project overview, I dare say project management, co-ordination and deliverables for the 10 events in our project proposal will present a range of interesting issues and exciting challenges.
Conversation was, as I’d come to expect from our RAE Ingenious Crowd Wise project (2011/12) – fast and furious. We turned the world as we know it, inside out, upside down, evaluating the risk of all and sundry. Risk, technology, problem solving – we covered the world, its oyster and far more.
Our project (and contract) with the RAE Ingenious Grant Programme is to organise and deliver 10 public engagement events for engineers to share their love for engineering with people in our target audience, specifically:
- disadvantaged communities
- ethnic minorities
- young people
- parents and general public.
One of my key objectives for this meeting was to translate our surfeit of ideas into engineering design issues, event topics and themes of interest to our target audience.
Important but irrelevant issues for the purposes of our remit, but which I agreed to flag up – and no time like the present – were:
- OFSTED’s requirements and related metrics failed to take any account of whether schools got their young people into work;
- insufficient motivation for teachers to develop initiatives to inspire their pupils to take our activities forward
- level of duplication and potentially wasted public funds due to poor co-ordination which mirrored observations made during our 2011/12 Crowd Wise project.
My metrics for project success is to achieve all my stated outcomes.
Happily, I believe we achieved all my key objectives for our Steering Group meeting so I’m a very happy camper. Without pre-empting final project decisions, my key priority at this stage is to write up our notes, circulate to everyone and those who have kindly agreed to meet us next week.
Looking forward with keen and enthusiastic anticipation.