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National praise for Dounreay’s work with schools

National praise for Dounreay’s work with schools

Dounreay has won national recognition for its work to promote engineering and science in local schools.

The site was nominated in two categories at the first Scottish awards for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network, STEMNET.

Pat Kieran, a design engineer with Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd, was named runner-up in the “most dedicated STEM ambassador” category.

And his employer was also a runner-up in the “most dedicated company” award.

The awards were presented by Mike Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, at the finals in Edinburgh.

He said the network of 2000 STEM ambassadors “inspired and motivated pupils across Scotland” and was an “excellent example of business working with schools and colleges to support a successful and sustainable workforce of the future”.

Pat has been co-ordinating the site’s STEMNET programme with local schools since 2007.

Over thirty scientists, engineers and apprentices employed by DSRL have been trained to go into primary and secondary schools.

On average, one employee visits a local school every week to enthuse local youngsters about a career in science or engineering.

And they play a key role in the annual Caithness Science Festival.

“It’s great personal development for those involved, it opens up the horizons of youngsters thinking about their careers and it allows the company to put something back into a community that’s been very supportive over many years,” said Pat.

He works closely with a number of other companies in the area which also provide STEM ambassadors. These include Babcock, KP Technology, Rolls Royce, Nuvia and JGC.

DSRL managing director Simon Middlemas joined Pat at the awards ceremony in Edinburgh.