For British Science Week 2015, the British Science Association worked in partnership with Intertek for Behind the Scenes of British Science.

In its first year we piloted a series of events that throws open the doors of Britain’s most fascinating science, technology and engineering locations, operation sites, laboratories; and in places where you might not expect it! An ‘open house’ style opportunity for the public and schools to get up close to science and STEM employees in action.

Intertek, which grew from a company founded by light bulb inventor Thomas Edison, and the leading global quality solutions provider, opened its laboratory doors at sites from Aberdeen to London to science students during British Science Week 2015. In a bid to encourage more young people into science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers by offering first-hand experience of science in action.

Intertek’s scientists and engineers test, inspect and certify everything from the quality of crude oil and high-performance car engines to the safety of cancer-busting drugs and children’s toys.

Intertek Sunbury Technology Centre opened its laboratory doors to science students from nearby Hampton and Twickenham Academies alongside the Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable. The event included a demonstration about distillation, hands-on smoke point analysis and some instrumental XRF analysis. The Sunbury laboratory tests fuels and lubricants for major oil companies, supporting the airlines at nearby Heathrow.

Intertek Aberdeen laboratory opened its laboratory doors at the Northpoint Building to pupils from nearby St Machar Academy for a chance to see behind the scenes at this exciting scientific laboratory which supports the global oil and gas industry. Pupils were taken on a tour of the laboratory and had the chance to watch Intertek’s scientists conducting laboratory tests and analysis, which hearing about the opportunities available for STEM students with Intertek.

The Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable said: “Britain is today a world leader in science and technology, however maintaining that leadership means that science and engineering-based companies like Intertek need a new generation of scientists, trained to research, develop and innovate. I am delighted to visit Intertek Sunbury today with these Twickenham and Hampton Academy students, and hope this visit and all the other opportunities happening during British Science Week, will inspire and encourage students to work hard to be part of the UK’s scientific future.”

Rob van Dorp, Chief Executive of Intertek UK said: “We know that there are still shortages when it comes to recruiting STEM candidates across industries. We feel that not only is it important to the future of our business to address this, but we also want to help students realise that these subjects can offer a rewarding and dynamic career with many possibilities.
“Giving students an opportunity to visit our laboratories and talk to our scientists enables them to find out first-hand what life as a scientist is like.”