Petrofac News 1700X397
04 September 2014

Petrofac employees become STEM Ambassadors

Eight Petrofac employees from our offices in Woking UK recently completed STEMnet programme training, which has enabled them to become STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Ambassadors.

STEM Ambassadors are trained to use their own enthusiasm and knowledge to encourage young people to enjoy and engage in STEM subjects. Ambassadors also have the potential to demonstrate the opportunities and advantages of continuing STEM subjects into further education, which can then be used to pursue future careers.

The recent Ambassador induction, carried out by Dr Hasna Zaher from The University of Reading, provided the Petrofac Ambassadors with the necessary training to ensure they are able to effectively communicate with pupils as young as six-years-old.

One of the tasks set by Dr Hasna was for the volunteers to pretend they were speaking to a seven-year-old, and then try to explain what the role and purpose of the oil industry was. This was something they all found to be far more challenging than expected.

Hazel Clyne, a Geophysicist from Petrofac’s IES division in Woking, and one of the new Ambassadors, said of the task: “I really had to break the explanation down, ensuring it was put into context and made relevant for their experience. I therefore tried to link it back to watching their parents filling up the car at the petrol station.”

Now that the new Ambassadors are fully trained, they will be able to volunteer their time and STEM support in a number of ways, which can often include:

  • Giving careers talks
  • Judging local STEM competitions
  • Providing support in after-school STEM clubs

The outreach programme which has recently been set up between Fullbrook Secondary School in West Byfleet and Petrofac IES in Woking means that the newly trained Petrofac Ambassadors will also be able to mentor and support 11 to 14-year-old pupils from Fullbrook in any of the STEM subjects. This will also enable the Petrofac group to continue its commitment to support the local community.

On asking some of the Petrofac Ambassadors what their motivation behind volunteering was, the overall feedback was to motivate young people about STEM subjects, while also inspiring them to consider a STEM career such as an engineer or geoscientist.

Austin Kugathas, a Graduate Naval Architect from ECS Woking, said: “My motivation behind signing up for becoming a STEM Ambassador was to help encourage the younger generation who are in a similar position when I was their age. Through my own professional experience, I also believe I can help children with their skills outside of engineering such as project management, teamwork and leadership.”

With the new school year rapidly approaching, we wish all the Petrofac Ambassadors the best of luck over the coming academic year.

Petrofac STEM Ambassadors: Nikhil Kadyan, Sean Rush, Levin Piouslin, Hazel Clyne, Emily Kirk, Odette Akoache, Austin Kugathas and Alistair Bridges