Simon Wihl explains why he is volunteering with NMiTE Ingenuity Studio

2019-03-27T10:29:22+01:00February 26th, 2019|

I am a recently retired R&D engineer, who has spent most of his working career in electronics, software and instrumentation. Graduating with a joint degree in Physics and Electronics, I couldn’t make my mind up in which way to go so I ended up as a software engineer! I progressed from medical electronics, which included EEG and ECG monitoring, to Auto motive testing using dynamometers in rolling roads. I also spent a few years in the packaging industry on numerous projects from robots to production line control. In my last job I was working in a company that produced lab-based instruments for measuring different properties of materials. These used a wide variety of sensors and measuring techniques from systems as varied as a rotary Rheometer to a laser diffraction instrument.

In my last role the company enrolled in the STEM organisation and I became STEM ambassador. This took me into schools and we involved students in the kinds of STEM subjects and techniques, we use in industry.  As well as this, I am an amateur astronomer and give talks and demonstrations on space and astronomy. I am a great believer in educating the young about science and engineering and indeed, as there is a world-wide shortage of engineers, this seemed a good place to start.

Once retired, I wanted to continue to use my experience and help young people to engage with engineering; NMiTE Ingenuity Studio has given me that opportunity. I volunteered as soon as I saw them advertising for people to help. I have had a lot of experience with microcontrollers and as a STEM ambassador I used the BBC Micro:Bit to teach students about programming and how to use such devices. Ingenuity Studio is also embarking on extending this and utilising microcontrollers in IoT. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to gain an insight of what this technology will bring and have a hands-on use of it. The limit is only your imagination!