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Network Rail and Primary Engineer partner to boost engineering ingenuity

Primary Engineer® is delighted to announce Network Rail as a national funding partner for a second year for the ‘If You Were An Engineer, What Would You Do?®’ competition and as a funding partner for the ‘Primary Engineer Rail Project’ at locations around the UK.

As both projects require engagement with engineering professionals, the partnership with Network Rail, provides school pupils nationwide with opportunities to develop STEM skills and gain valuable  insights into engineering careers and bridge the gap between education and engineering.

Chris Rochester, UK Director at Primary Engineer, said: “We are thrilled to have Network Rail continue as our national partner in this academic year and next for ‘If You Were An Engineer, What Would You Do?’ and to have them fund and support the Primary Engineer Rail project around the country this academic year. We might not know what the jobs of the future will be but we do know the skills that will be needed; providing schools with meaningful engagement with Network Rail engineering professionals to develop these, will allow all young people to consider future roles for themselves in engineering.”

The Primary Engineer Rail Project begins with a one-day CPD course for primary teachers which enables them to deliver whole-class, curriculum mapped, engineering projects with a rail focus. Network Rail engineering professionals will support the project by partnering with schools and then supporting pupils and teachers with delivery of the project in the classroom providing a real-world context to their learning and skills development.

If You Were An Engineer, What Would You Do?® asks pupils from early years, primary schools and secondary schools to identify a problem in the world and design a solution to it. Inspired through engagement with engineering professionals, pupils are encouraged to ‘find the engineer they could be’ by designing the future of engineering. As pupils interview Network Rail engineering professionals from a range of roles and research engineering they are encouraged to look at the world around them to find problems an engineered solution could solve. Alongside their annotated drawings, pupils write an accompanying letter to persuade the judges to select their design a number of which will be built by the competition university partners.

Martin Frobisher, Group Safety and Engineering Director of Network Rail said: “This competition has posed the question; ‘If You Were An Engineer, What Would You Do?’ it’s an incredibly tricky question because the possibilities are endless. Engineers are the inventors and the problem solvers for society. We find creative solutions and we develop new technology. There may be some popular stereotypes which attempt to describe the “typical engineer” but there is no such thing. Our industry needs many different people from a wide diversity of different backgrounds. We need deep technical experts and we need engineering managers who can bring big teams together and help them succeed. No two engineers are the same. So if you were an engineer what would you do? Everyone’s answer will be different and they will all be right! We need the very best talent for the future. Good luck!”


About Network Rail

Network Rail own, operate and develop Britain’s railway infrastructure; that’s 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. The run 20 of Britain’s largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country’s train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in Britain and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain’s railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Network Rail’s role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so they carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation’s railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced – a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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About Primary Engineer

Primary Engineer is an educational not-for-profit organisation that provides a suite of programmes that encourage children from 3 to 19 years to consider STEM and data careers. Primary Engineer Programmes inspire children, pupils, parents and teachers through continued professional development, whole class project work, competitions and exhibitions. All the programmes are linked to industry professionals to ensure the learning has a context to the wider world. They develop essential skills, promote engineering  and data careers and address the diversity and gender imbalance in engineering and data with early years, primary and secondary pupils. Primary Engineer programmes has won accolades including successive Red Rose Award’s for ‘Skills and Training Provider of the year’, Burnley Councils’ Chief Executive’s’ Award for bringing ‘Education and Industry together’ and featured in the Scottish Government’s Manufacturing Future for Scotland and the Engineering Skills Investment Plan. For further information visit



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