Discovering the engineers of tomorrow

By Terry Sharp, President of the BCIA

One of the many challenges the BCIA is faced with is to find ways to increase the talent pool in the building controls industry. I have said it before and I will say it again: the raw talent is out there, we just need to attract it. It could be argued the earlier we begin to do this the better, which is why it gave me great pleasure recently to launch our Schoolz Out competition, which challenges school pupils to design an energy saving product or initiative for their school which uses an element of control to save energy.

Today’s school leavers have grown up with smartphones, tablets, television and music streaming services and many of the smart products currently found in our built environment use technology that will probably be familiar to many of them. Some of these youngsters could already be in a great position of knowledge when they become responsible for helping to successfully transform our sector and lead the way over the long term. The importance of smart buildings will continue to grow in a post-Coronavirus world and therefore the need and opportunity for new, tech-savvy talent has never been greater. Our challenge is to encourage and engage with young people and convince them of the opportunities and rewards potentially waiting for them in the building controls sector. I believe our children’s inquisitive minds can be the key drivers in developing the innovative technologies to help create a sustainable future and shape the world they will inherit from us.

We have had some really good entries so far and I’m delighted to see how engaged and motivated young people are to improve the environment they are growing up in. You never know, some of the entrants might already be thinking about a career in building design – the judging panel has got a tough job ahead in deciding on the winning entries.

There is still time to enter, the closing date for entries is Monday 31 August 2020 and the winning entries will be revealed on 17 September 2020.