Picture an Engineer

13 June 2022

Who do you see in this picture?
Who do you see in this picture?
Tomorrow's engineers who are excited about the future.
Tomorrow's engineers who are excited about the future.

When you see an engineer, what does the picture mean to you?

International photographer Michael Cockerham and the Ideas Foundation created a digital storytelling workshop at Queen Mary's Festival of Communities to help engineers see each other's worlds.

The creative & culture teams built a digital arts studio in the engineering foyer to teach the audience storytelling techniques and how to make a live electronic portrait of an engineer.

The engineers, doctors and scientists were asked questions about their lives, the challenges and how they discovered their careers.

Pryanka Chadha who is an engineer spoke openly about her journey from school to university, industry and her life at home. After working in Sweden and China, Pryanka joined Tina's research team and is investigating how air pollution affects the unborn baby during pregnancy. She is a Doctoral Scholar (EngD) funded by the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Centric Engineering and is developing tools in machine learning to prevent preterm birth and help save babies and mother's lives.


Dr Tina Chowdhury who is a Senior Lecturer in Regenerative Medicine at the School of Engineering and Materials Science said "storytelling is crucial for scientists, engineers and doctors. People need stories to help them feel human and move on from being the invisible into real people. I really hope engineers around the world will be more able to share stories about who they are, inspire communities and help other's see the big picture. We are working with talented artists, digital and creative industries who bring humor, life and authenticity to an engineer's day. I am very proud to help engineers tell their stories to Queen Mary's community and the world."

Heather MacRae who is the Executive Director of the Ideas Foundation said "What a privilege to hear the stories and be inspired by this new generation of engineers. We are trying to dig into the original story of how engineers became who they are with the hope that young people will see that they too could follow in their footsteps."

Our work is funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering and Queen Mary's Centre for Public Engagement. If you would like to help create more stories with engineers, please contact Tina Chowdhury @ttchowdhury

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Updated by: Tina Chowdhury