Information for Engineers

The Transpower Neighbourhood Engineer acts as a mentor, facilitating and coaching the students. Instead of providing answers, they help students work out their own solutions themselves. The mentor guides the students through the process, asking questions which encourage them to think about what they need to do and why, and helping them develop their strengths. From time to time the engineer may teach them skills such as doing different types of charts and graphs etc. This is not replacing the teacher, but rather adding an extra skill the students may need in the process of analysing information they have found in their investigations.

What is in it for me?

  • Giving back to the profession by inspiring students to become New Zealand’s future engineers.
  • Enjoyment of watching students develop an understanding of engineering and applying their creativity to come up with innovative ideas.
  • Using your involvement as Professional Development evidence for your competence assessment application, CV and LinkedIn page.
  • Developing leadership, communication, time and project management skills.

What do I have to do?

  • Provide technical expertise to the team and act as project manager to guide the students through the process of developing a project.
  • You don’t need to worry if you don’t have experience in what the students are doing, it’s your generic knowledge of technological practice that is needed. Entries are judged on the quality of the technological practice and evidence of collaboration between all involved, rather than the quality of the technological outcome. With this in mind, it is important that any promotion of the outcomes of the Awards focus on the practice that is undertaken rather than the specific outcome.
  • Work closely with the teacher; their role is to teach the class while you are there as a technical expert. To keep the momentum going between visit, you should leave them with research/investigations/tasks that students should focus on between visits; they should then report back to you when you return.
  • Set regular visit times either at the start of the project (usually the best way as the teacher and students always know the day the engineer is coming ) or at the end of each session.
  • At the completion of the project, write an Engineer’s report which includes: evidence of the collaboration between teacher, engineer, students and any other participating parties; mistakes recognised and changes suggested for next time; project overview and benefits of the experience to you (see example here).

What don't I have to do?

  • You are not the teacher so are not expected to teach the class although you may build on their knowledge by showing them other ways of doing things/control behaviour.
  • Provide free engineering advice (e.g. reports and consents) or materials.
  • Put this before your job – your employer’s needs come first.

What is the time commitment?

Time varies per project; you might communicate via email (always cc your Facilitator), phone calls and either face-to-face or digital visits.

You will usually set up a schedule of visits as required; your Facilitator will talk you through this and arrange it for you. On average there are three to nine visits per project.