Engineer the Story

Tina Chowdhury with students

Immersive storytelling to inspire future engineers

The Ideas Foundation partners with Queen Mary University of London to bring the art of digital and immersive storytelling into the world of science and engineering.

‘Engineer the Story’ is a project which helps engineers create digital stories to bring their research to life.

Supported by funding from the StoryFutures Academy, the UK’s National Centre for Immersive Storytelling, and their ‘Train the Trainer’ initiative, the project builds on a successful pilot to develop immersive stories around topics including research into osteoarthritis and the premature deaths of babies, as well as diversity and Covid-19.

In collaboration with Dr Tina Chowdhury, Senior Lecturer in Regenerative Medicine at Queen Mary, the project will recruit and train a pilot group of students, postdoctoral researchers and academics from Queen Mary’s Schools of Engineering and Materials Science (SEMS) and Electronic Engineering and Computer Science.

Participants will receive coaching from world-class storytellers, photographers and creative directors, to look at how augmented, virtual and XR experiences can be used in teaching and research. Participants will develop new skills in content creation, data visualisation and communication.

Heather MacRae, Chief Executive of the Ideas Foundation and Honorary Fellow at Queen Mary said: “Inspiring role models like Dr Chowdhury have amazing stories to tell. ’Engineer the Story’ connects engineering students and researchers with creative experts to develop compelling stories that will encourage a new generation of engineers.”

The ‘Train the Trainer’ initiative was set up to support the development of UK trainers, and to address the chronic shortage of graduates with the skills essential to the growth and success of the immersive sector in the UK. Following the success of a first cohort of seven university projects, the universities funded in this second round will address some of the sector’s emergent challenges, bringing the sciences together with the arts and medicine.

In a previous storytelling project funded through the Royal Academy of Engineering, students created digital stories to help encourage young people to consider a career in biomedical engineering and explain how engineers are striving to help decrease the number of pre-term deaths in babies.

Building on the success of previous projects, 'Engineer the Story' brings together STEM students and researchers with arts and digital media, to create future STEAM talent with a crossover set of skills that can be used to inspire, inform and educate.

See the students' work from our last engineer storytelling project here

Find out more about the Train the Trainer initiative here

For more information on Queen Mary's School of Engineering and Materials Science (SEMS) and Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

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