NASA as­tro­naut Doug flies in to in­spire youth

Ayrshire Post - - Business -

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

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