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Thales and Leicestershire colleges support National Science & Engineering Week


Thales UK’s Leicester site and two local colleges, Guthlaxton and Lutterworth, have been supporting National Science and Engineering Week (NSEW), a celebration of science, engineering and technology.

Twelve students and three teachers from the two colleges visited Thales’s Leicester site to see engineering in action. After the initial briefing on the facilities the pupils toured the site looking at the assembly line, testing facilities and the Sea King helicopter electronics maintenance section.

At the Sea King helicopter section they were shown a control console from the cockpit. This had been opened up for maintenance and the pupils were able to handle the typical components that make all the controls and displays work. Although this was only one of the many consoles on which the pilot and co-pilot depend, the pupils gained an insight into the complexity of helicopter controls and the engineering skills required to keep helicopters flying. The Sea King is the workhorse of the Royal Navy, being used for search and rescue at sea and on land, for long-range surveillance and for anti-submarine warfare. The pupils were impressed with the importance of the Leicester site in keeping Sea Kings flying.

Explaining Thales UK’s support for National Science Week Mark Barclay, Managing Director of Thales UK’s aerospace business, says: “All the pupils on this visit are aiming for engineering qualifications. The highlight of the visit was the Sea King section and that illustrated to them the scale, breadth and interest that engineering has as a career. We are keen to promote engineering as a career and, as aerospace is a growing industry in the UK, we hope one day to see some of these children working in the sector, bringing to industry their inventiveness and enthusiasm.”

Thales UK is supporting NSEW across the country, with events happening at nine of its sites, from Glasgow to Somerset. Victor Chavez, Deputy CEO Thales UK, says: "Thales UK employs some 9,000 throughout all regions of the UK, with a high proportion of staff being involved in science, technology and engineering. The themes of technology and education are at the heart of what we do, which is why we are so enthusiastic about supporting National Science and Engineering Week.

“We believe very strongly that this type of activity is crucial in raising the profile of engineering in the minds of young people as an exciting career for their future.”

Thales is a leading international electronics and systems group, addressing Aerospace and Space, Defence and Security markets worldwide. The Group’s civil and military businesses develop in parallel and share a common base of technologies to serve a single objective: the security of people, property and nations. Thales’s leading-edge technology is supported by 22,500 R&D engineers who offer a capability unmatched in Europe to develop and deploy field-proven mission-critical information systems. The Group builds its growth on its unique multidomestic strategy based on trusted partnerships with national customers and market players, while leveraging its global expertise to support local technology and industrial development. Thales employs 68,000 people in 50 countries with 2008 revenues of £10.2 billion.

Thales UK employs 9,000 staff based at more than 50 locations. In 2008 Thales UK’s revenues were over £1.4 bn.


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