Friday, 26 December 2014

Ever considered a career in Geology?...

Geologists (sometimes referred to as Geoscientists) study the matter  and the structure of the Earth. They also study the Earth’s history and how it was formed and shaped over time. Geologists also explore the Earth’s natural mineral and energy resources, and analyse rocks to uncover its history.  There are a large variety of disciplines geology may specialise in, including marine geology, pedology, volcanology, metamorphic petrology, geochemistry and geophysics.

A geologist might be involved in:

  • Assessing the ground for building suitability on engineering projects like dam or tunnel building
  • Advising on suitable sites for landfill or storage of nuclear waste
  • Searching for energy resources and minerals such as gas and oil
  • Designing projects to search for new water supplies
  • Studying volcanic and seismic activity to develop early warning systems for communities living close to earthquake zones

To be a geologist, you should have:

  • An interest in the natural world
  • Good scientific and technical skills
  • Good observation skills
  • Strong spoken and written communication skills
  • A methodical approach, including to solving problems
  • A good level of general fitness
  • The ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • The ability to work with statistical and graphical information
  • A willingness to travel and be away from home for long periods

Important subjects related to geology include physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and computer science. To do this job you will need a degree in a relevant subject. Some employers may ask for postgraduate qualifications. Higher level courses related to geology include mineralogy, hydrogeology, sedimentology, palaeontology, physical geology and structural geology.

A geologists salary may start at between £22,000 and £35,000 a year. With experience, it could rise to £50,000 or more. Consultant and geoscientists working in remote areas or in the oil and gas industries may earn even higher salaries. (Figures are a guideline only)

For more information, visit these websites…

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Ever considered a career in Physics?...

Scientists who research in physics are called physicists. Physicists study the world around us and try to discover the laws which explain how and why objects exist and behave as they do, they study everything from tiny atomic particles to the entire Universe as a whole. Physicists look at natural phenomena and use maths to develop theories that help to explain why they occur. Their research acts as the scientific basis for developments in all kinds of technology from medical equipment and electronic devices to space and satellites – the list goes on.

A physicist might be involved in:

  • Climate forecasting
  • Developing new medical instruments and treatments
  • Development of analytical equipment
  • Working in satellite technology and space exploration
  • Investigating new ways to generate power
  • Exploring robotics and artificial intelligence
  • Teaching in schools, colleges or universities
  • Using your knowledge to work in publishing, broadcasting or journalism

To be a physicist you should have:

  • Good scientific and mathematical knowledge
  • An enquiring mind
  • Clear and logical thinking, with good problem solving skills
  • A systematic approach to work, with a high level of accuracy
  • Good communication and presentation skills
  • Report writing skills
  • The ability to work both as part of a team and as an individual
  • Leadership and project management skills

Important subjects related to physics include chemistry, algebra, calculus, statistics and computer science. To get into a physics related job, you will usually need a degree in physics, applied physics or a related science or engineering subject. Some employers may also require a relevant postgraduate qualification such as an MSc, MPhil or PhD. Courses that can be taken as part of a physics degree include thermodynamics, astrophysics, electricity and magnetism, particle physics, nuclear physics, kinematics, quantum physics and much more.

A physicist’s starting salary can be between £21,000 and £25,000 a year. Research physicists who have recently completed a PhD can earn between £25,000 and £35,000. Senior physicists can ear upward of £48,000. (figures are a guideline only)

For more information, visit these websites…

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Have you ever considered a career in Chemistry?

Chemists study various chemical elements and compounds, their properties and how they work together in our bodies and also the world around us.
Specialist fields in chemistry include biochemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, nuclear chemistry, physical chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry and analytical chemistry.

Important subjects related to chemistry include other sciences (physics, biology) English, algebra, calculus and computer science.

It helps for chemists to have versatile science knowledge. Good chemists would usually have;

·         An eye for detail
·         Scientific, numerical and technical skills
·         An enquiring mind
·         Logical approach to solving problems
·         Patience and persistence
·         Leadership and team working skills
·         The ability to make decisions
·         Good spoken and written communication skills
·         IT skills

Those who study chemistry can find jobs as researchers, laboratory technicians, teachers and other important roles. You could be;

·         Saving lives through development of new medicines
·         Analysing the environment and investigating climate change
·         Protecting health by keeping water supplies clean
·         Creating new products and controlling quality in the food industry
·         Finding ways to dispose of industrial waste safely
·         Inventing new artificial materials
·         Diagnosing and treating illnesses or diseases
·         Analysing forensic evidence in criminal investigations
·         Teaching, lecturing and academic research

Chemists are in very high demand in all sectors, particularly in industries such as the production of chemicals and pharmaceutical products.
Trainee graduate chemists can earn between £16,000 and £22,000 a year. With experience this can rise to between £25,000 and £35,000 a year. (figures are a guideline only)

You will usually need a degree in chemistry, applied or analytical chemistry, biochemistry or a related scientific subject. Many employers will also want you to have a relevant postgraduate qualification such as an MSc, MChem, MSci, MPhil, or PhD.

For more information…

Monday, 8 December 2014


 Today, groups from Therfield School, Bishop David Brown School & Magna Carta School are attending a Numeracy Day at Kempton Racecourse. During the day, the students will have an opportunity to set mathematical skills and knowledge into context through their application in daily working life. Exercises, contained a workbook given to students on the day, include a range of calculations based on what happens at a racecourse on race day. Activities include a behind-the-scenes appreciation of working in the weighing room, fence construction and angles of jump that are all based upon mathematical principles and associated calculations. These Numeracy Days are part of BHE&ST's Racing to School programme.
If you are interested in booking a similar event for a group of your own students, then please email 

Thursday, 27 November 2014


You may have heard about this in the press recently, but what is it? Black Friday is the first Friday following Thanksgiving and it traditionally marks the start of Christmas shopping season, this is followed by Cyber Monday which is the busiest online shopping day for retailers globally. Giving Tuesday takes place on Tuesday 2nd December, it asks everyone to do one simple charitable act on the day as part of their run up to Christmas. Whether it be making a donation, volunteering your time or just spreading the word, Giving Tuesday is a call to action for everyone who wants to give something back.

This year, the UK campaign has been launched by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), working closely with Blackbaud, the Cabinet Office, and a wide range of charities,companies and sector bodies, building on the enormous success of the campaign in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Singapore and across Latin America.

Why not make SATRO a part of your #GivingTuesday? Donate now by texting SATR11 to 070070 and the amount you would like to donate, or you could volunteer your time, find out how by emailing 

Monday, 24 November 2014


About 100 Students from Year 12 at Gordon's School got to meet a huge variety of business professionals on Friday 21st November during a frantic 2 hours of Careers Speed Dating, We had a virologist, a web designer, a psychologist, a crime scene investigator, an actor, a wing commander, an accountant, and a member of the royal navy, to name just a few, all of whom were passionate and enthusiastic about their chosen careers.

The students were put into small groups and had 5 minutes to quiz their business volunteer, who was only allowed to answer yes or no thereby requiring the students to try & guess their profession. A further 5 minutes of frantic questioning followed to ascertain exactly what they did for a living and how they had got where they were. A whistle sounded and another willing volunteer from a different profession presented themselves for questioning.

It was fast, frenetic and enormous fun,what was clear from the students feedback was that it has really changed their perception of what the future holds for them and makes it seem much less daunting.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Learning with Lego at Knaphill Primary School

Today, another band of SATRO volunteers, along with our lovely Associate, Peter were at Knaphill Primary School delivering a Lego WeDo workshop to over 90 Year 3 pupils. The pupils worked in pairs to design, engineer and program robots using Lego bricks, a computer, a motor and other special elements. Pupils learnt to incorporate tilt and motion sensors into their designs. They then tested their designs and programming, and after reflecting on what did or did not work they were able to adjust their designs. Pupils were able to apply their ICT, Maths, Science, problem-solving and team-working skills to this workshop and seem to have really enjoyed themselves. Special thanks to Cllr Linda Kemeny for fully funding this event. 

If you are interested in booking a similar event in your school, or even to provide funding for an event like this, click here. 

Thursday, 13 November 2014


340 school pupils visited Surrey Sports Park in Guildford yesterday to spend the day with professional scientists and engineers and to learn about opportunities in science and technology industries.  The students, aged 12 to 13, were taught about career opportunities, ahead of making their choices of GCSE subjects.

At this year’s TeenTech event on Wednesday, activities included solving a forensics crime scene, running a production line and becoming a virus detective. Students could create digital art and see a planet show in an inflatable mobile planetarium.  There was an amazing range of 30 companies exhibiting this year including Virgin Atlantic, Sony, Virgin Media, Surrey Satellites Limited, Glaxo Smith Kline, Laleham Healthcare, The Pirbright Institute and Air Products.

TeenTech was set up in 2008 and is the brainchild of Chris Dodson, from the Institute of Directors (IoD) and Bang goes the Theory (and formerly Tomorrow’s World) presenter Maggie Philbin - who is also currently leading a labour-backed taskforce to look at the IT skills shortage in the country’s workforce.  The event is industry-led and run in conjunction with Surrey educational charity SATRO.

Maggie Philbin said "It's fantastic to see the enthusiasm for TeenTech in Surrey from young people, their teachers and the supporting companies. It's never been more important for young people to be well informed about career opportunities and the different pathways which lead to them. Many students at TeenTech surprise themselves with new found interest in science and technology and then want to take a closer look at industries they may previously have dismissed as 'not for them" 

David Leyshon, Managing Director of CBSbutler said “’Young people today have a myriad of work options. If we are to attract them into STEM careers and thereby address the acute shortage of technical skills, it is vital to stimulate their interest and promote the fantastic opportunities.  That is why CBSbutler is proud to support the efforts of SATRO and TeenTech in achieving these aims.’’

We know the students really enjoyed the day and that it made a huge difference:
In the morning 56% were fairly or very interested in becoming a scientist compared to 75% at the end of the day

In the morning 49% were fairly or very interested in becoming an engineer compared to 68% at the end of the day

72% arrived thinking that people working in STEM were clever interesting and well paid compared to 87% who left the event feeling that way

So a very significant shift in attitudes, which is what we are trying to achieve!


Tuesday, 11 November 2014

SATROclub Research Placements - Celebration Event 2014

Students at the 2013 awards evening
Tonight, we are celebrating the recent SATROclub Research Placements. SATRO has participated in the Science Research Projects ever since the programme's inception some 20 years ago, and has afforded this opportunity to over 800 students during that time. Nearly every school with a Sixth Form in Surrey has had a student placement during this time, most have gained the coveted CREST science award and many students have gone on to exhibit and receive acclaim at the annual Big Bang National Science Fair. Students have completed their research in university departments, hospitals, companies and charities, carrying out useful and often very valuable work for their hosts. Each year a number of their projects have been included in publications and this year is no exception, several students will be able to put 'published work' onto their UCAS forms!

The programme in Surrey owes much to the wonderful spirit of participation which the supervisors have brought by providing interesting and appropriate projects for their students. Many supervisors have commented on the enthusiasm and dedication the students have brought to their work, some even saying they would prefer a SATRO student for a month rather than a postgraduate for a year!

Our thanks are due to all our supervisors; our link teachers, who chivvy the students to apply and complete the programme; all the parents and guardians who support their offspring, and of course all the participating students themselves. 

SATRO would like to thank Esher College for being so generous in hosting the Celebration and Induction Events over the time the programme has been running in Surrey. 

Thursday, 6 November 2014

#TeenTechSurrey 2014 Company Exhibitors - ATKINS GLOBAL

Our big event, #TeenTechSurrey is less than a week away, so here’s another teaser for what we have in store for our visitors on the day. Atkins Global are another of our confirmed exhibitors this year. Established in 1938, specialising in civil and structural engineering design, Atkins is one of the world’s leading design, engineering and project management consultancies, providing multidisciplinary technical expertise. Join them at TeenTech Surrey 2014, being held at Surrey Sports Park next Wednesday, 12th November, where they will be bringing their hands on activity, inviting students to build towers from dried spaghetti and jelly babies.

It’s not too late! If you are (or know of) a sixth form, college or undergraduate student that is considering a career in the STEM (science, technology, engineering & maths) field, and would find it useful to meet with working scientists and engineering representing around 30 different employers – from start-up companies to huge multi-nationals – email Dani Longhurst – to book your place NOW!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


Calling all 6th form and FE Students...
We are delighted to offer you the opportunity to attend a session to TeenTech Surrey specially designed for Sixth Form students, college and undergraduates; 

When?  Wednesday 12 November 2014, 3.30-5.00pm
Where?  Surrey University Sport’s Park
Who will be there?  exhibitors include:
Laleham Health, GSK - learn about development and large-scale manufacture of cosmetics and household products.

 Air Products, National Grid, BOC - find out about graduate and apprenticeship opportunities in engineering.

Surrey Satellites Technology Ltd - learn about satellite engineering in space!

Samsung, Sony, Maplin, JVC - find out about the latest opportunities and innovations in media and electronics.

What will happen? around 30 different companies will be exhibiting with have hands-on exhibits explaining the science and technology they work with. You will have the opportunity to discover more about the latest technology as well as quizzing lots of scientists and engineers about what their jobs are like.
To confirm your place at this event please email 

If you are a teacher or careers advisor and would like to bring a bus-load of students please contact

Monday, 3 November 2014

#TEENTECHSURREY - Key Sponsor & Exhibitor - CBSbutler

CBSbutler is one of the headline sponsors for our #TeenTechSurrey event, having supported it in both 2012 and 2013. In addition, they have been providing headline support to SATRO’s Summer Science Festival for several years. CBSbutler are therefore enabling over 800 young people a year to be inspired by science, technology, engineering and maths.
CBSbutler is a specialist recruitment company which covers the complete spectrum of technical and functional job disciplines for engineering, manufacturing and technology-based organisations.

David Leyshon, Managing Director, CBSbutler says, “ If we are to stand any chance in addressing the growing shortages in UK engineers and scientists, it is vital that we first address things at grass roots level. High profile events and stimulating challenges are invaluable in building young peoples’ enthusiasm and interest in STEM, and in doing so influencing their subject and career choices. That is why CBSbutler is such a passionate supporter of charity organisations such as SATRO and TeenTech.” CBSbutler will also be exhibiting at #TeenTechSurrey – keep an eye out for their stand!

Thursday, 30 October 2014


Active Robots
With our big #TeenTechSurrey event only round the corner, we decided to post a few teasers of what we have in store for visitors on the day. First up we have Active Robots, who will be joining us for the second time, helping to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists. Active Robots is a leading supplier and manufacturer of robotics and electronics. They supply a vast range of customers from the education sector and commercial customers to hobbyists. Just like last year, the Active Robots team will be bringing along a couple of their intriguing Humanoid Robots, join us on the 12th November at Surrey Sports Park in Guildford to meet the robots and even take them for a walk!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


The TeenTech Experience is an inspirational way to get involved and make a difference in young people's future career choices in Science, Engineering and Technology.

Up to 300 students, aged 12-13, from multiple secondary schools across Surrey and the South East will be taken out of school for a day to learn about the very real career opportunities available to them if they select STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) subjects for their GCSE's and further study. This years #TeenTechSurrey will be taking place at the Surrey Sports Park in Guildford on Wednesday 12th November. If you are interested in either exhibiting as a company, bringing along students for our 6th form event or volunteering to be an ambassador on the day - please get in contact with for more details.

Monday, 27 October 2014


Last Thursday, over 120 pupils from South Farnham Primary School took part in a SATRO Discovery Science Workshop. The days activity was Circuit Detectives.  This workshop requires the children to inspect various circuits and find the faults. They consolidated new knowledge in a fun way whilst building on team-working skills. This workshop, designed to inspire young people about the fun of science and encourage them to continue their science-related studies into secondary school and beyond, was well received by both pupils and teachers. With pupils commenting...

"It has shown me a whole new career that I could have and shown me a lot more about science..."

"This activity has made me feel better with the topic science and I hope you realise you're a super group of engineers and scientists. Thank you."

"I feel way more confident with circuits and it was fascinating to learn about the different circuit symbols and the ways circuits can fail and be checked. Thank you so much for your time."

Thursday, 16 October 2014

US Airforce Secret Space Shuttle To Land

The US Air Force is getting ready to land X-37B, an unmanned space plane that can both enter orbit and land without human intervention, and has spent a record of 665 consecutive days on a low-earth orbit mission. Tuesday is the date set for the return of X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle. The space craft is currently orbiting at 28,044km/h, at a distance of around 350km into the sky. It is unsure exactly what the X-37B is being used for, but the one definitive thing the Air Force will say about it is that it has no plans to develop a manned version. The spacecraft measures up at 29 feet long and 9.5 feet high, about one-fifth of the size of the retired NASA space shuttles. As always with top secret programs, there has been much speculation online about what is being done with the aircraft, theories range from surveillance to a platform for a new generation of kinetic weapons that can be used from space.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

10 Reasons You Should Study STEM Subjects

SATRO’s vision is to inspire and enthuse young people about their future careers, by giving them as many possible glimpses into the working world throughout their journey through education – particularly in the STEM area (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). So I’ve decided to compose a list of 10 reasons why we think you should be studying STEM subjects and here they are…

1. Young people with STEM qualifications are in demand in the job market and have good long term career prospects.

2. People with STEM skills can make a big contribution to many of the big challenges facing society today.

3. There are opportunities to work in various environments from field work to manufacturing plants, offices to labs, schools to hospitals, from deep oceans to outer space.

4. One of the great challenges of this time is the search for new energy resources. We have to lower our dependence on fossil fuels and find new renewable sources of energy, from wind to solar to wave power. Rising to this challenge is creating many new STEM based jobs for the future.

5. There is expected to be a 48% increase in demand for physical environmental science graduates in the next eight years.

6. There is a huge variety of exciting career paths open to people with STEM based skills.

7. People with STEM qualifications are very employable. Choosing STEM subjects opens up options later in life.

8. Chemistry and Physics graduates will earn on average over 30% more during their working lifetimes than other A-level holders.

9. Most science and engineering companies provide training opportunities and map out long term career paths.

10. There is a demand for people with STEM skills globally; careers can often include the opportunity for international travel.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Performers at our #SATROConcert this weekend!

SATRO have organised an a cappella concert on Saturday 18th October, it will be hosted at the beautifully historic venue, Epsom College. Figaro, are just one of the acts that are to be performing on the night. Figaro are the current 2013 UK Seniors Quartet Champions and are travelling to compete at the International Seniors Quartet Championships in New Orleans in January 2015. Two of the members also belong to The Royal Harmonics, who are the performing Chrous of Windsor A Cappella. This is a male chorus specialising in imaginatively staged and onnovative performances of songs from across the spectrum of modern music. To avoid missing their performances, book your tickets here!

Friday, 10 October 2014


The Cisco Little BIG Awards was launched this morning at Cisco's HQ in Feltham. Thirteen schools are taking part. The students enjoyed some very impressive demonstrations of tomorrows technology before being briefed on their task and meeting their mentor. Good luck to everyone who is participating!  


55  year six pupils (ten & eleven year olds) from Chandler's Field Primary School had a hugely enjoyable day  running their own companies. The students took part in a ‘SATRO Business Game’ - a business simulation game, organised by SATRO, a not for profit charity who offer opportunities to enhance relationships between schools and businesses, on 9th October.

SATRO's business volunteers alongside class teachers were at hand to offer advice and encouragement to the young entrepreneurs. As the students’ fledgling companies emerged, they produced prototypes and competed for stationery orders from the discerning buyers.  Bank accounts were opened and accountants wrestled with the intricacies of cash flow, whilst sales managers were intent on winning orders and marketing managers were busy promoting their companies.  The Game threw the pupils some real challenges along the way - as the businesses settled down to regular trading, they were faced with paper shortages and one off, time limited opportunities!  The pupils gained some valuable hands on learning with some companies forging ahead, taking a clear lead.

Later in the day, in a quest to win the best presentation award, the pupils prepared a short performance, outlining what they had learnt throughout the day. Competition is always tough and the judges faced a challenging job selecting the winner. 

Thursday, 9 October 2014

#SATROConcert - Academix

SATRO have organised an a cappella concert on Saturday 18th October, it will be hosted by Epsom College. Academix, are just one of many performers on the night. They are a new, exciting singing group; a 5 piece contemporary a cappella group with vocal percussion. All of Academix's repertoire is arranged specifically for the group by its members, making the most of their unique versatility and talents. To avoid missing their performance, book your tickets here!

Monday, 6 October 2014


Today, SATRO are in Ashtead at The Greville Primary School delivering a Mega-Structures workshop to 85, Year 6 pupils. The pupils will explore ways of making structures with paper, nuts and bolts, in an exciting environment. The challenge inspires creativity, development of problem solving capability and it also provides opportunity for team-building.

With thanks to Cllr Chris Townsend of Surrey County Council for part-funding this event.

Visit SATRO for more info about the activities and workshops we provide.

Thursday, 2 October 2014


Today we're at Wray Common Primary delivering one of our exciting Fun Maths Workshops to over 300 pupils. This fantastic workshop offers pupils an opportunity to test and consolidate their maths knowledge in a fun, non-confrontational way. The workshop will also give them a chance to work on their team-building, functional, and effective participating skills. An interactive challenge, the pupils will work in pairs to solve a range of differentiated problems and puzzles within a time limit.

With thanks to Partnership for fully funding this event.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014


Sarah Calder is studying Civil Engineering at Warwick University and has been awarded a Surrey Scholar bursary by Bachy Soletanche Limited who have an office in Camberley. Bachy is one of the UK’s leading geotechnical specialists delivering all aspects of underground and foundation engineering – from light residential foundations to deep piles and shafts.

Sarah went to Graveney School in Tooting where she achieved 12 GSCEs in total, 3 A* and 9 As. She then transferred to Wimbledon High School for Girls where she achieved 3 A levels in Psychology, Maths and Physics as well as a German AS level.
Whilst she was in the lower 6th she was inspired to consider engineering by one of her teachers who had been a Civil Engineer. As Sarah had always been very interested in buildings and is logical she felt that this might suit her but before making a decision she took advantage of opportunities which enabled her to learn more about engineering. Through the Engineering Education Scheme she did a 4 month project for Balfour Beatty designing a crossing for dormice. She also took part in a week long residential summer school at the University of Surrey run by Headstart EDT ( ) which gave her an understanding of the different types of engineering.

Sarah started at Warwick University in 2011 and in the summer of 2012 she spent 8 weeks working for Bachy on site at the London Gateway Port in Southend on Sea, Essex. Her role was to support the site engineers who were working on the diaphragm walls and assisting with record keeping and testing samples to ensure that the structure was safe and rigid. Although the placement was hard work, involving 12 hour days, Sarah really enjoyed the experience and she gained a lot of experience from working with a wide range of contractors. She found that she was working in a mainly male environment and with many people who were over 10 years older than her but this did not cause her problems as she found that she was treated with great respect

Her experience helped with a number of her modules at University and she found learning in a classroom is very different from what happens on site!

The following summer she worked for 12 weeks in the Bachy design office in Camberley. This time her role was to design piles for use as the foundation for buildings. As she hadn’t yet studied Geotechnical  engineering in her course at University the staff at Bachy trained her and also showed her how to use the software. Sarah found this experience very different from working on site. This time she was working office hours and with the same people all summer - which gave her the opportunity to develop closer working relationships and taught her different communication skills.
Sarah feels that the Surrey Scholar Scheme has been really beneficial. The financial support has been helpful but she feels that the work experience has been even more valuable. This has benefitted her in a number of ways including when to ask for help and when to work out the solution for herself, She has also developed a network of contacts in the industry and started to build her reputation as well as having experience which will be useful on her cv. In addition she has developed an understanding of the companies systems and processes and started to gather evidence which she can use as part of her portfolio for Chartered Engineer status
Sarah’s advice to students who are still at school is to choose A levels in subjects that you enjoy and if you enjoy practical subjects consider studying at A level (Sarah regrets not signing Design and Technology). Engineering is very satisfying for people who are practical, logical and like seeing things from concept to end product.

She suggests that students considering studying engineering at University should look at the detail of the courses on offer and the proposed syllabus for each year. For those not sure about which branch of engineering then choose a course with General Engineering in the first year. When selecting a University go to the Open Days and ask how easy it is to swap courses – it may be easier to apply for a BEng and then change to M Eng. Her advice to girls is to ask what the male / female ratio
is and listen to the response to their approach (the ratio on engineering courses is often 1 woman to 10 men).

Friday, 26 September 2014

CASE STUDY - what SATRO's Scholar Scheme has done for me

What is your name?
Martin Blagoev

Could you confirm your job title and what your role entails?
I am a second year student and undertook a summer Placement last year and am just about to embark on a year’s placement with Tony Gee and Partners LLP.

Who do you work for and where are they based?
Tony Gee and Partners LLP are based in Esher.

What does the company do and how long have you worked for them?
Tony Gee are Civil, Structural and Geotechnical Engineers and I am just starting my year’s placement with them.

Prior to joining this company, could you provide a brief overview as to what you were doing before?
I am a student so have completed my A Levels and am currently studying at Bath University

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your role?
Because the company is really large, there are around 20 students in Head Office at the same time so we are treated the same as the other members of staff. I have really been allowed to get involved in projects and because there are a lot of students, it has been less intimidating moving into the Company. I have been trusted to just get on with the tasks allocated to be and have been able to try things out for myself to see what works and what doesn’t. I felt as though I learnt more in my two month placement at Tony Gee and Partners LLP than I had in the first year of Uni.

What aspects have you found the most challenging and how did you overcome them?
The most challenging aspect of the placement was overcoming the worry that I had done something wrong! I have learnt to trust myself and to have the confidence to make a decision and go with it. When I first started I was spending time excessively checking things and was hesitant to put my views forwards but now I have senior engineers asking for my advice which has helped build my confidence.

In addition to relevant qualifications, what other skills or experience do you need to do your role?
Practical experience. The summer internship was really useful in this area so any opportunity to gain experience on how sites work, what actually goes on rather than just the theory will be beneficial.

How did SATRO assist you in becoming interested in this career?
I sent my details to SATRO when I applied for my Uni course and they helped me get on the Surrey Scholar scheme. This helped with sponsorship and provided me with the Summer Internship which has lead to my placement. This gave me a real advantage as some of my fellow students are still trying to find placements.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about this as a career?
Go for it!

A Level’s give you the theory but on a day to day basis, there is not much theory. Develop your own ideas and solutions for problems and just remember that there is no right or wrong.

Thursday, 25 September 2014


Today, SATRO are at West Ashtead Primary School delivering a SATRO Fun Maths Workshop. 180 pupils from years 3, 4 and 5 will participate. Pupils will be working in pairs and 3's to complete a range of mathematical tasks. The pupils will be able to see functional maths come to life and understand how it applies to the real world. The workshop will also offer an opportunity for the pupils to develop their team-building and effective participating skills.                                        

With thanks to Cllr Chris Townsend for part funding this event.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014


What is your name?
David Hogg

Could you confirm your job title and what your role entails?
I run my own company called Horizon Imaging, offering architectural and low-altitude aerial photography services in the South East of the UK. Operating as a sole trader, I am the photographer, accountant, marketing and sales director – I have to do everything myself!

Who do you work for and where are they based?
I am based in Godalming, Surrey.

What does the company do and how long have you worked for them?
I started flying radio-controlled model aircraft in 1998 and since 2006 have been experimenting with taking aerial photographs using model aircraft. Around 2007 I set up Horizon Imaging (created a website, business cards, etc) and started taking on occasional commercial photo shoots for construction companies, hotels and schools. Since then I have achieved a degree in electronic and electrical engineering from the University of Surrey, and have spent 5 years in the engineering industry. In April 2014 I finally quit my last job and started running Horizon Imaging as a full-time business.

Prior to joining this company, could you provide a brief overview as to what you were doing before?
Before I went to University I took a 10 month ‘gap-year’ with Thales Avionics, a division of the Anglo-French engineering company which used to based in Raynes Park, London (now Crawley, West Sussex). During this time I helped out in their Hardware engineering department, testing new aircraft equipment, building cable looms and generally getting a feeling for working in the engineering industry. Thales then sponsored me for the duration of my University degree, providing financial support during term-time and 10 weeks of paid work during each summer break.

After completing my degree I joined Thales Avionics as a full-time employee for 2 years, working mainly as a Rig Technician. The most exciting project I worked on was building a mock-up cockpit of the Chinook Helicopter for testing a new suite of avionics instruments. I was involved with everything from designing and building cable looms to designing parts of the cockpit rig itself.

In 2010 I was headhunted by Blue Bear Systems Research, a small Research & Development company based in Bedfordshire, working on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). This was a fantastic job as it combined my passion for radio-controlled model aircraft, my hands on abilities in design and construction, and my knowledge in electronic engineering. I stayed with Blue Bear for 2.5 years, and my work mainly involved designing, building and test-flying UAS platforms and payloads.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your role?
The most enjoyable part of my work at Horizon Imaging is receiving positive feedback from my clients. There is an indescribable thrill that comes from being praised for something you have achieved entirely by yourself – finding the clients, designing and building the aerial photography helicopter platforms, capturing and editing the photographs, etc. There are a lot of things to juggle when running the business, but it is this feedback that keeps me going!

What aspects have you found the most challenging and how did you overcome them?
Running Horizon Imaging as a proper business (and not just a hobby) has been a real challenge as there are so many things to do. However, I have received a great deal of help from the Government-supported StartUp Loans scheme. They provided me with a low-rate loan to help me buy the equipment I needed for the business, as well as connecting me with a dedicated business mentor who I can fire all my questions at! The StartUp Loans scheme also runs free workshops and events on the different aspects of running a business, such as cashflow management, securing additional funding, and marketing effectively.

On top of the help I have received from StartUp Loans, I have found the internet to be a goldmine of information for running your own business. There are many free resources such as LinkedIn where you can connect and engage with other professionals in your industry and ask them for advice and guidance.

In addition to relevant qualifications, what other skills or experience do you need to do your role?
Running a business requires many different skills. As well as being highly competent in the work you undertake (in my case photography), you need to know how to be an effective salesperson, how to deal with cashflow, how to advertise your services and how to manage your time effectively. These are all skills that I am acquiring / learning as I go along, mainly through the channels outlined in the previous section.

How did SATRO assist you in becoming interested in this career?
Whilst I am no longer in the engineering field as such, SATRO provided me with fantastic exposure to the engineering industry during my time at school, which ultimately led to my decision to study engineering at University and work in the engineering industry after graduating. During my time at school, SATRO worked with my sponsor, Rolls-Royce, to provide me with a valuable grant for the duration of my A-Level studies, and SATRO were also on hand to answer any questions I had about working in the engineering industry. They even arranged a trip around the Rolls-Royce gas turbine factory in Derby which was absolutely fascinating!

What advice would you give someone who was thinking about this as a career?
My main advice would be if you have a passion for something and you are very good at it, there is a good chance you can turn it into a successful career! Also I would advise researching all the support schemes that are available to you, be it the StartUp Loans scheme, or forums on the internet.

Ultimately, if you can provide a product or service of sufficient quality which people are prepared to pay for, and you are prepared to work hard to see your plans come to fruition, you have every chance of success!

Monday, 22 September 2014


Don't forget to book your tickets for the #SATROConcert on Saturday 18th October at Epsom College. In celebration of SATRO's 30th birthday, we have decided to organise an evening of 'a cappella', starring multi-award winning The Royal Harmonics, plus The Academix and special guest quartets. Tickets cost only £20 and include an interval drink, programme and piece of SATRO's birthday cake! Book your tickets now to avoid disappointment.

Friday, 19 September 2014

The Carl Burrows Trust Student Rewards Scheme

Callum Gibbins, winner of
The Carl Burrows Trust Reward
Tracey Fantham, Headteacher at
Blenheim High School
& Nicky Burrows,
The Carl Burrows Trust
Nicky Burrows from The Carl Burrows Trust and SATRO’s Lucy Miguda were at Blenheim High School’s presentation evening yesterday. The trust has sponsored a reward scheme for students working with our SATROmobile programme. Nicky and Lucy were also there for the presentation to Year 10 student Callum Gibbons of the award – toolbag and certificate - for his achievement in our construction sessions. Headteacher Tracey Fantham spoke of how this recognition means so much to the students.