Engineering opportunities for youth
A hangar with 85 years of aviation history was a fitting venue to inspire the next generation of engineers at a World Engineering Day 2021 event at RAAF Base Richmond.
Held on March 4, the event brought together 150 people, including Defence and industry engineers, along with students from local high schools and universities.
RAAF Base Richmond has a continuous history of engineering practice dating back to 1925, which is today commonly associated with supporting the fleet of C-130J Hercules transport aircraft.
The hangar used for the event has been used to service aircraft and develop new methods of carrying equipment on aircraft.
A simulated demonstration of an airdrop load, with a crane inside the hangar acting as the aircraft, was part of the World Engineering Day event, along with static displays of engineering equipment used across the base.
Director of Logistics Capability at Headquarters Air Mobility Group Group Captain Vince Palmeri coordinated the event.
“We’re showcasing all of the engineering capabilities at RAAF Base Richmond, and engaging our local community to share our experience and inspire the next generation to become an engineer,” Group Captain Palmeri said.
“We have a diverse range of engineering skills and experience across RAAF Base Richmond, and that’s throughout the public service, Air Force, Army, our industry partners, and the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.”
RAAF Base Richmond hosted its first World Engineering Day forum in March last year.
This year’s event sought to engage the base’s engineering community with a younger generation, which is why the high school and university students were invited to meet and network with engineers.
Defence Force Recruiting livestreamed the presentations for candidates interested in an engineering career.
“The youth get a really good understanding of what engineering actually is, and how it’s actually prosecuted in real terms on a RAAF base and its contribution to generating capability outcomes,” Group Captain Palmeri said.
“It’s an extension of what Defence Force Recruiting might be able to show them in their brochures; here the members contemplating a career in engineering see it for real.
“They’re talking to the real engineers getting the best context of what engineering activities are undertaken at a RAAF base.”
While the presentations at the World Engineering Day event focused heavily on the daily routine and recent accomplishments of the base’s engineering community, RAAF Base Richmond has a focus on youth engagement through Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs.
Richmond’s Air Lift Systems Program Office currently has a program with local high schools.
“It’s not only about inspiring the next generation to become engineers, but also inspiring our own engineers to become engaged,” Group Captain Palmeri said.
“We also want to invite the junior members being engaged by our STEM programs to visit the base in future, and come to World Engineering Day 2022, so that they can share their experiences back with us.
“This is an enduring reciprocal arrangement that strengthens relationships and keeps our engineers engaged with the local community.”