Engineers Take Part

How does it work?

The CHRISTMAS LECTURES will be aired over the festive period. Over the following 5 weeks, throughout January 2015, people can put their questions to hackers, makers, engineers, and researchers. The site will be promoted to the public and school students through I’m an Engineer, and the Ri.

Each week there will be a different mix of five engineers to answer the questions. Engineers during their active week will interact online in two ways; through posted questions (such as these from last year’s I’m a Scientist CHRISTMAS LECTURES Zone), and through text-based live chats.

Engineers can answer the questions whenever and wherever suits them. This will be using a simple web interface, much like sending an email. The live chat will be moderated, and works in a similar way to instant messaging. It runs for 30 minutes and is scheduled during school hours.

Why take part?

This online forum allows a deeper discussion around the CHRISTMAS LECTURES theme, Sparks Will Fly; engineers and researchers see what questions and concerns the public have, and the public have the opportunity to explore the topics raised in much greater depth.

For engineers it’s a great way to practice communication skills. The format helps you hone your messages and work out the best ways to explain your work to a wide audience, but in a flexible format designed to work around your availability.


If you take part you’ll be ‘live’ on the site for one week (or two weeks if you’ve got lots of time) out of the five. You’ll answer questions and take part in live chats with the schools. We expect the time commitment will be around 45 minutes to an hour a day, and won’t take up more than two hours a day. As it’s online you can answer questions whenever and wherever you happen to be.

Next steps

If you’d like to help out email Josh at, with where you work, the weeks you’ll be available to answer questions in January 2015, and a couple of sentences summarising your work and how it relates to the Sparks will fly: How to hack your home theme.

We’ll start confirming the engineers taking part throughout December. Every engineer will have an online profile (with picture and short bio) and we’ll allocate which weeks the engineers will be live in, depending on your ability.

If you want to know more please give us a call on 01225 326892.