Virtual Reality technology, autonomous vehicles, electrification and driver simulators: Scania really raised the bar this year in its role as one of the host companies for IGE day, a project aimed at getting more young women interested in technical subjects and engineering.
Last week, 60 girls between the age of 14 and 15 visited Scania Södertälje as part of the project ‘IGE day’ (Introduce a Girl to Engineering day). The initiative was founded by the Womengineer organisation to introduce young women to the engineering profession and let them meet female engineers, with the aim of increasing the amount of women in engineering programmes at Swedish universities.
At Scania half of the visitors spent the day at Mälardalen’s technical school, while the other half visited the Scania research and development (R&D) centre.
“We have shown the girls sustainable transport systems and the good that they could do for the environment by working at Scania. We want to provide them with role models in the engineering profession by letting them meet women who work here and who do interesting things in their job,” says Beatrice Svedberg, Competence Manager at Scania, who was the girls’ guide during their visit.
VR technology and simulators
At the R&D centre the girls learned about autonomous vehicles, sat in Scania’s new truck, drove truck simulators, tried virtual reality (VR) technology and learned about electric buses.
“It was cool to sit in the truck. I had never been inside one before, and it was really interesting to learn about different transport solutions and how trucks can run on electricity. I didn’t think that working at Scania meant using VR games,” says Miriam Fridstrand, who was one of the participants.
“It’s all about problem solving”
Scania has previously hosted IGE day, but this year the company raised the bar.
“The programme this year was more advanced and had a higher budget. The girls got to visit parts of Scania and try simulators that not even scientists who visit us get to see,” says Beatrice Svedberg.
For Svedberg, it was important to make the point that working at Scania doesn’t require an interest in fixing engines or vehicles.
“I find the definition of technical to be interesting. Men have taken possession of the term. How come handling a piece of fabric is called craft work while handling a piece of metal is considered something technical? To me, being technical means being good at solving problems. Solving problems is something you should like and be good at as an engineer.”