Cream of the industry to support young rail engineers at iRail 2011
Thursday 17th March 2011 will see rail professionals join forces with academia and industry bodies at The Roundhouse in Derby for this year’s innovation Rail (iRail) event.
It will be an opportunity to discuss the future opportunities being created and the economic importance of sustainable skills development for young people in the rail industry at this year’s innovation Rail (iRail).
Organised by Transport iNet working with the Derby and Derbyshire Rail Forum (DDRF) and Derby Railway Engineering Society (DRES), supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), this second iRail event builds on last year’s success and will start with a breakfast networking event for senior local figures with discussions led by Network Rail and Young Railway Professionals.
Students from 12 East Midlands based schools will then participate in the iRail 2011 STEM challenge. Each group which previously took part in STEM days held at their schools by The Smallpeice Trust will be invited to present their innovative answers to two engineering challenges to a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style panel of judges which will include music mogul and rail enthusiast, Pete Waterman. The winning school will be crowned the iRail 2011 STEM Challenge Champions. Furthermore, students will be given a free place on a Railway Engineering residential course, sponsored by The LRET and NSARE which takes place at the University of Nottingham this Easter.
The iRail day will come to a close with a distinguished lecture by Tim Dugher, Chief Operating Officer of Angel Trains and the current Chairman of the Railway Division of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Dave Saunders, Chair of iRail, said: “There is a tremendous opportunity open to today’s young people in science and engineering. The move towards low-carbon energy and a more sustainable way of living will require engineering investment and technological change.
Most of this will be high-skill work though, so it’s vital that young people are enthused about science and engineering and go on to obtain the skills and qualifications that will be needed. iRail is once again raising the profile and highlighting the importance of the Rail sector within the region, endeavouring to inspire and engage young people and the education sector in identifying the diverse career opportunities that exist within the industry.”
John Frodsham, Director of the Transport iNet, said: “iRail is fast becoming an important annual fixture in the educational and industry calendar. Rail is a sustainable transport option for the future and we want to encourage the best and brightest engineers to consider rail as an exciting and interesting career choice.”
The Transport iNet, which is based at Loughborough University, is funded by East Midlands Development Agency (emda) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The aim of the iNet is to share expertise and stimulate the research and development of new products, services and processes across the five transport sectors, rail, marine, automotive, motorsport and aerospace.
For more details about the support provided by the Transport iNet, visit www.eminnovation.org.uk/transport
For further information please contact Rose Kilby at Willoughby PR on 0121 456 3004 or by emailing email@example.com
Notes to editors:
iRail is supported by the Derby and Derbyshire Rail Forum, Derby Railway Engineering Society and by The Transport iNet which is funded by East Midlands Development Agency (emda) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Its objective is to raise the profile and highlight the importance of the Rail industry, endeavouring to inspire and engage young people and the education sector in identifying the diverse career opportunities that exist within the industry. iRail is running an event in March 2011 will take place at the Roundhouse at Derby College. The centrepiece of iRail will be the “Schools Challenge” where teams of children from local schools will compete to display their ingenuity in solving railway engineering problems.
NSARE has been established by industry employers to meet the growing demand, both in terms of quality and quantity, for railway engineering skills across the UK.
Our vision is that by 2015 the engineering workforce will have the necessary skills to support the maintenance, development and expansion of a first-class, cost-effective 21st Century railway with every member of the engineering workforce in the railway industry having demonstrable competencies,
Notes to editors:
East Midlands Development Agency (emda) is one of nine Regional Development Agencies in England, set up in 1999 to bring a regional focus to economic development.
Ten years on, independent evaluation shows emda has:
- Had a significant impact on the region’s economy
- Generated economic benefits that substantially outweigh its overall costs
- Put back over £9 of economic output (or GVA) into the regional economy for every £1 it spends
- Produced more than £1 billion in economic benefits per year
- A wider impact on people, places and businesses in the East Midlands that cannot be captured by figures alone.
For more details visit www.emda.org.uk
In order to deliver the Regional Innovation Strategy and coordinate action under its four themes, emda and East Midlands Innovation have created four business led innovation networks (iNets) which are focused on the identified regional industry and research strengths across four priority sectors. These have been identified as:
• Healthcare and Bioscience
• Food and Drink
• Sustainable Construction
• Transport Equipment
The iNets are raising the level of innovation in their sectors, with the aim of stimulating the research and development of new products, services and processes.
For further information, visit www.eminnovation.org.uk
About the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
The ERDF Programme aims to strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union by supporting regional economic development.
The ERDF objectives for England are:
- Promoting innovation and knowledge transfer
- Stimulating enterprise and supporting successful business
- Ensuring sustainable development, production and consumption
- Building sustainable communities
- Improving accessibility and connectivity (for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly only – as part of their Convergence Programme).
A Programme Monitoring Committee consisting of regional stakeholders such as Government Offices, RDAs, Regional Assemblies, Local Authorities, Sub-regional Partnerships, Higher Education Institutions, Trade Unions, and the private and voluntary sectors will monitor and oversee programme implementation in each region.
For more information on ERDF funding generally, please visit or
About ERDF in the East Midlands
The East Midlands is eligible for 268.5m Euros between 2007 and 2013, which, when combined with match funding, provides a programme value of approximately £420m – a significant investment in the economic development of the region.
The East Midlands qualifies as a competitiveness and employment region under the EU’s Cohesion Policy, which aims to meet the EU Lisbon objective to become ‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social inclusion.’
East Midlands Development Agency (emda) is responsible for the programme management and delivery of the region’s 2007-13 ERDF Competitiveness Programme. The responsibility for the ERDF programme management was transferred from the Government Office for the East Midlands (GOEM) to emda following a decision by the UK Government to seek greater alignment between ERDF and regional strategies and funding streams. The 2007-13 ERDF Programme is therefore set firmly within the framework of the Regional Economic Strategy.
A Programme Monitoring Committee, chaired by the Regional Director of Government Office for the East Midlands (GOEM), guides the strategic direction of the programme and works closely with emda.
To find out more about ERDF, the region’s strategy for delivering the funds, how to apply for funding and how the programme is managed, please visit www.eastmidlandserdf.org.uk
Source: Transport iNet
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