GRADUATES LAST week accused universities of putting young people off careers in civil engineering.
They blamed a lack of conceptual design content on courses for the failure to retain students' interest.
These views were expressed by some speakers from the floor at the 'Civil engineering is of no interest to young people' debate at the Civils 2002 event in Birmingham last week.
Transport for London engineer Leah Gibson, who graduated three years ago, said that her first exposure to conceptual design at Edinburgh university was in the final week of her course.
When she questioned lecturers, she said they told her that students would have been incapable of it doing sooner.
Arguing against the motion, Bullen Consultants engineer Saffron Beetham said that children are naturally fascinated by building and destroying things, and by trapping water and constructing sandcastles.
Hochtief associate director Andrew Richards countered that 'the teaching of maths and physics at school by fewer and fewer teachers with any industrial exposure means the subjects are in no way linked in students' minds to engineering.'
He challenged every engineer to do something tangible to boost the profile of engineering to schoolchildren.
INFOPLUS www. youngeng. org