The initiative Let's Be Engineers! gathers renowned engineers, top managers, pervasive faculty researchers, ambitious technical and natural science students, remarkable start-up representatives and various other insightful and creative individuals to share their genuine life experiences with youngsters, present career opportunities in the field of science and technical occupations and promote the upgrading of engineering knowledge with business.
The center of activities represent events Let's Be Engineers!, which are carried out on the Slovenian high schools to inspire and promote engineering, technology, science and innovation, as well as other 21st century competences and skills. The initiative strives to elict youngsters reflection: where am I good at, what makes me happy and what the society needs, with results showing in the growth of interest in technical and natural science professions.
Minister of Education, Science and Sport, dr. Maja Makovec Brenčič
"Young people are the decision-makers of our future. Let’s allow them to find those paths that will make them happy and encourage them, and also develop their responsibility and values contained in knowledge and work. In this way, much will be done for them — and for all of us."
Aleksander Zalaznik, general manager, Danfoss Trata, and president of The Managers' Association of Slovenia.
"A colleague recently recounted, how during a tour of the company, his son said to him: dad, when I grow up, I want to be an engineer. We, the managers, can open the doors of our companies for the young people so they can learn about engineering professions and get inspired by them."
Mag. Violeta Bulc, Slovenian engineer and European Commissioner for Mobility and Transport
"I had the desire to study something exciting, something fun, which would connect me with interesting people and enabled me a good job. I chose the unknown. Something I didn't know anything about. But I knew Nikola Tesla. And this alone was already enough mysterious and different, that I decided to study electrical engineering."
Mag. Jože Torkar, Energy Solutions Director, Petrol
"The future belongs to you, the young. You don't need to go to Google, to live out your dreams. You can ignite your creative flair here with us. We raise creators, not only users of the future technologies!"
Boris Koprivnika, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Administration, Co-initiator of the vision Slovenia – a green Reference country in digital Europe
"We should be proud of the innovation spirit and engineering thinking that we Slovenes have. This is our future. In today's world the size of a country doesn't matter – it's the idea and innovation and their implementation, that are taken into consideration. Only a country like this will be successful in the future."
Much thanks for the event, because for us students, roundtables like this, change paths in our lives.
Miha Podkrajšek,student of Gimnazija Bežigrad
I liked that people who came, had gone through this and gave us real advise.
Student of Gimnazija Šentvid
I enjoyed the course being very different compared to the rest
Student of Gimnazija Šentvid
I started thinking differently about the future.
Student of Gimnazija Šentvid
The President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor, the honorary patron of the Let's Be Engineers project addressed more than 300 students in one of the annual events held at the Gimnazija Jesenice highschool on 26 February 2016 and spoke with students about ambition, creativity and future career development. With other guests present, he inspired them to opt for technical and scientific studies and the much needed engineering profession: "When you will talk about your future and your life, you will meet people who are going to ask you about your dreams. Some will say it's impossible for you to achieve them: it is very important, that you don't follow their advice to give up on your dreams."
The dreams of some are to combine a hobby with an occupation, the others would like to change the world. Questions of the perspective young are in many cases what strategy to choose and which skills to acquire to advance in their field. I like to listen and learn from the people, who have walked a certain road and can help me with their advice, ideas and the look on the world. The event contained a lot of that.
I was convinced to continue my studies on a technical faculty. But the event and the guests present confirmed that my choice was right.
They both were. As a listener I paid close attention to the experience of successful individuals. Later on I tried to share my own experience with the young as a guest in the best possible way.
Try as many things as possible in high school. Get to know your interests and your skills. And vice versa, get to know what you do not like and what you are not good at. The more things you, the more choices you have. When you find areas of interest, think about what industry and market are looking for. The mix of all these things is a dream career.
Žiga Komac, a student of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering has participated in the Let's Be Engineers! events as both a visitor and a guest.
We would like to encourage the young to study technical majors and natural sciences because they create the biggest added value to the economy. I am proud that we are able to contribute by sharing our experience and advice with the young and help them with the development of their talents, putting their wishes to the test and making career choices.
We have cooperated on a series of events and hosted the announcement of the winner of the Let's Be Engineers! logo contest. Co-workers always have a positive response because it is an honour and a commitment — to shape the future of young perspective generations. Hosting the announcement of the winner of the contest left a big mark, mainly in socializing between generations from which each person received new energy, ideas and momentum.
Talk to each other and wonder why. Pro-activeness and curiosity are two values on which you should build your career. You have to be a hundred percent committed to the challenges you face. And enjoy them. This is the path to happiness and success.
Sarah Jezernik, vice director of Plinovodi, strategic partner of the project Let's Be Engineers!
We try to offer as many opportunities to get to know various paths, professions and jobs, which you can do with a certain education to our students. That is why the offer of a presentation of engineering seemed excellent. Perhaps my being a physicist had something to do with it as well. I was impressed by the diverse pallet of interviewees: respected managers, leaders of companies and university professors, mostly all engineers.
It is mandatory that students are able to realize the diversity of engineering with the help of different guests. Even more, they get to know how desirable this profession is; even in fields you would never imagine engineering is present.
The response is individual so it is hard to generalize. They are definitely mostly positive.
Because of a great dynamics of the labour market and fast changes, which are the consequence of an increasingly faster development of technologies and science in general, the essential fact when making a career choice is what will be important in the years of finishing college. This is mostly hard to predict so the choice is even harder. However, at the same time the young are aware that education lasts a lifetime and that they will change professions.
Ciril Dominko, the director of Gimnazija Bežigrad, the first host of Let's Be Engineers! events.
Success of an engineer depends on the school system he or she goes through, the working conditions they work in and at least as much on their passion for the engineering profession. The Let's Be Engineers does just that: it excites for techical, science and engineering.
Wolfgang Zeike and Boštjan Podobnik, Managing Directors, LPKF Laser & Electronics
You predict the future, if you create it. Technology and today's access to knowledge give opportunity to all. Therefore: explore, 'engineer yourself' and draw the future.
Miha Dumitrov, Territory Business Manager, CISCO
Innovativeness is creativity, curiosity, and the virtue distinguishing best companies from the average ones. The driving force behind it are engineers. To change the situation of the shortage of this profile in Slovenia for the better we joined the Let's Be Engineers! initiative.
Eva Cvelbar Primožič, HR, Kolektor Group
In order to make themselves and others around them, as well as the society as a whole easier, more interesting and fun, but certainly for a mutual beneficial, the young people need to take up innovativity, curiosity and engineering professions.
Igor Likar, Managing Director, SIQ
We believe that innovation, technology and engineering are essential part of our future. Having technical background, I strongly support initiatives which promote diversity of roles, young people can have in their lives.
Simon Furlan, Marketing Director, Telekom Slovenije
It is a noble mission to help talented young people in their career decisions by sharing individual as well as our company’s best practices.
Matej Košmrlj, Executive Director Euro Plus NiceLabel
We need great engineers and scientists to make a real difference to the way people live and it is an increasingly exciting time to be involved in such a mission.
Medeja Lončar, CEO, Siemens Slovenia
Personally, I would like to be a positive role model for students to choose IT and engineering studies more often across Europe and offer them career advice and guidance.
Maja Žagar, Senior Account Executive, SAP
It's an idea much larger than its title. It changes the visibility, the attitude and perception of engineering profession among wider audience and it encourages to focus on technical sciences, one of the most important links in the chain of human development.
Iztok Klančnik, CEO, Hewlett Packard Enterprise — Operated by Selectium
The youth close to the technology is a guarantee for a successful future. Therefore we are always happy to respond when it comes to projects like this, which offer education for the youth and help broadening their horizons.
Boštjan Bregar, CEO, 4th Office
In the school year 2015/16, the companies Mediade and Energetika.NET launched a pilot project Let's Be Engineers! in elementary schools Vodmat Primary School, Primary School Dobrova and Primary School Poljcane. Vodmat Primary School students were included in co-designing the concept, which was well established and successfully implemented in Primary School Dobrova, where students conducted projects, one for promotion of drinking water and second where they learned about positive and negative qualities of sugar and additives. Students of Primary School Poljcane led a renovation of their school cafeteria with architectural interventions to reduce the noise. For their research work and implementation of the project they received a golden award in the national competition organized by the Association for Technical Culture of Slovenia in the category of architecture and building construction.
In my field of expertise I have a chance to see the global dynamics of development of engineering — it is what drove me to promote engineering and innovativeness among the young in Slovenia in 2011. A country without innovations cannot compete with other economies. And innovations are strongly connected to top talents in engineering. There is a race for the best brain taking place in the world and we can already see differences between the Slovenian and the international environment. We must not let differences become gaps.
Mag. Anton Petrič, dr. Janez Bešter and mag. Edita Krajnović are founders of the project Let's Be Engineers!
The aim of Let's Be Engineers! events is to make the young think about the following questions: What am I good at, what makes me happy, what does the economy need? The fact that in the next five years there will be a shortage of 900,000 ICT experts in the EU, speaks for itself. When we awake creativity and motivation, even primary and high school students are capable of achieving amazing results in their projects. For now, that remains a domain of a few daring individuals, but when creativity becomes a part of the school curriculum and grows into a movement, that will reflect in a bigger economic success.
We inspire the young for innovativeness, agility and the engineering logic: where there is a problem, there is a solution. We show them incredible opportunities that the Internet of things and the fourth industrial revolution Industry 4.0 bring. We tell them that Slovenians are a nation of engineers: a 5,000 years old wheel with a connecting rod was found in Slovenia and it is the oldest in the world. Humanity stepped on the Moon because of a theory by a Slovenian Herman Noordung Potočnik. I am sure that among the students who we meet on events, one will be known by innovation, a successful company or something new for humanity.