Maker movement paves the way for future engineers

02 December 2014

The maker movement and Mathworks are inspiring younger generations to be creative and connect with the engineering community.

Mathworks is providing support for the young generation of students and creative individuals through the maker movement. The company’s UK base has a wide range of resources and over 150 qualified engineers; additionally the rest of Europe has almost 3000 engineers. Collectively, they provide universities with student friendly, but high level project resources, such as Mathlab and Simulink which are essential tools in the manufacturing world. 

The maker movement provides a space for the creatively minded to share their ideas and projects with, not only people from different cities, but with people across the globe, working with products such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Lego Mindstorm. These products can be found locally and are cheap and easy to use. Lego Mindstorm, in particular, is specifically aimed at children and teenagers, with the hope of sparking their interest in engineering at an early age.

Dr Coorous Mohtadi, senior academic technical specialist for Mathwork, said that enthusiasm is caught and not taught. By giving students the power of connectivity and the opportunity to gain useful, practical experience, enthusiasm is driving the younger generation forward and closing the STEM skills gap by inspiring more people to join the maker movement.

Closing the STEM skills gap will push the engineering industry into the future. The maker movement is seeing the children of older generation engineers and people with little knowledge of engineering join this community to give life to their ideas. 

To help close the gap even further, the Makerzone website is a key site that students can access to find the latest information on software, contests and events. For example, the EMF Conference held at Milton Keynes gives students and fellow engineers a chance to share ideas and display projects. 

The maker movement, and Mathwork’s involvement, is about putting technology in the hands of the next generation of engineers. By letting them see the applications early on, they want students to aspire to a lifetime of dedicated engineering. That way, companies can employ students fresh out of university with skills, training and experience of working with industry-standard tools. Every six months Mathwork releases new, updated software to hold the interest of students. Mathwork’s has also introduced an affordable license to allow students easy access from home.

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