NASA astronaut Doug flies in to inspire youth
Modern Apprentices and Aeronautical Engineering students have received a special visit from Astronaut Colonel Douglas Wheelock.
The astronaut paid Ayrshire College’s Ayr Campus a flying visit to inspire the future generation of aeronautical engineers.
Organised by Scottish Enterprise as part of its Chairman’s Challenge to support the Year of Young People, Col. Wheelock travelled to Scotland to inspire the next generation and broaden their ideas of where a career in aeronautical engineering could lead them.
The astronaut, a retired Colonel ( US Army), has accumulated more than 178 days in space.
He flew on STS- 120 in 2007, and in 2010, he served as a Flight Engineer for Expedition 24 and commander for Expedition 25.
College lecturers and company representatives from GE Caledonian, Ryanair, and UTC, along with their Modern Apprentices, and Prestwick Airport and Skills Development Scotland; heard first- hand about the importance of Modern Apprentices and future engineers and scientists to the industry, especially in relation to Scotland’s Space related ambitions.
Col. Wheelock helped to raise the aspirations of the students by telling them that NASA is recruiting, and they are looking to inspire current engineering and science students to think about their future now, and start preparing so they are ready for any opportunities that come along.
He then toured the aeronautical and science facilities at the Ayr Campus and spent time in each class discussing his experiences in the industry, and of course his space adventures, with the students.
Linda Murray, director of Strategy at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scotland of course has a flourishing space and satellite industry and it’s terrific to be able to give a group of local students an opportunity like this.
“I have no doubt that Doug will make an impact on his audience as he shares his experiences within the sector and talks about the opportunities it offers to young people in Scotland.
“Moments like this can make a real difference in a young person’s life and I hope that by making these connections, we can inspire future generations to think big and reach for the stars.”
Stuart Millar, Director of Industry Programmes, added: “Ayrshire has a thriving aerospace industry and, alongside Scotland’s ambitions to be a leader in space and satellite technology, the career opportunities for people studying in this area are huge.
“Listening to Doug’s story proves that the sky isn’t the limit and by starting their studies at Ayrshire College, our students really can go anywhere.”
Flying high Doug meets with Ayrshire College students