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Leading expert gives STEM talk at UTC Reading

Last month, Graham Simms, an Engineer from Proctor and Gamble visited UTC Reading to deliver a lecture to our Year 12 and 13 physicists.

The talk, "Innovation Sparks" was created when Proctor and Gamble asked Graham to give a talk at their annual innovation award ceremony event held in London. The talk was then repeated at a larger European meeting held in Brussels and Graham has since delivered it to their Boston and Cincinnati Innovation Centres. As a STEM Ambassador, he now gives this talk to local schools.

Grahams explained that he was inspired by a book called "Where good ideas come from" by Steven Johnson, and said; “Johnson spent many years studying hundreds of important inventions, as he wanted to discover what gave the inventor the 'spark' to come up with the original idea. He then concluded that there were 7 environments (he calls them spaces) that trigger ideas, and these 'spaces' resonated with my experiences. I summarised his conclusions, described some well-known inventions that I think are good examples of his 'sparks' and I suggested ideas of how I think we can 'engineer' these spaces into our place of work. My talk included innovations in mechanical and electronic engineering, chemistry, computer science, biology, physics, medical technologies and many more.”

Ethan Nijar, a student who attended the lecture commented, saying, “Graham Simms gave a very strong impression, through his enthusiasm of talking about the topic, on how far even the smallest idea could possibly get you, which demonstrated clearly to myself that the world of innovation and critical thinking can really assist you in your career path.”

Graham will be returning next year to deliver a talk to our Year 13 students about the missile guidance systems he developed during the cold war.

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