17 Mar 2015

Aberdeen school pupils see science in action

Intertek, the leading global quality solutions provider, is leading by example as it opens its laboratory doors to science students during British Science Week (13-22 March), in conjunction with the British Science Association.

In Aberdeen, 15 pupils from S3 at St Machar Academy enjoyed a visit to Intertek’s labs in Bridge of Don. The pupils, who are all studying biology for their National Qualifications, were shown the types of materials analysed in the laboratory and had the chance to see a variety of tests being conducted.

A tour of the microbiology laboratory showed them all the tests carried out, from Legionella testing on drinking water to Sulphate Reducing Bacteria in crude oil. They also got an overview of the reasons for the various different microbiology testing.

In the hydrocarbon laboratory they gained an insight into the range of testing involved in determining the quality of crude oil, from the mini-refinery of the distillation unit to the separation of complex mixtures of hydrocarbons by gas chromatography. They also had the opportunity to meet with staff and recent graduates to ask about their experiences in a science career. Intertek is engaging with schools during British Science week in a bid to encourage more young people into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.

Raymond Pirie, Vice President of Exploration and Production 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 laboratory and talk to our scientists enables them to find out first-hand what life as a scientist is like.”

Intertek, which grew from a company founded by light bulb inventor Thomas Edison, currently offers more than 35 young people a year - across the UK - the opportunity to join the company through apprenticeships, graduate traineeships, and on-the-job training. With more than a third of companies (39%) having difficulty finding staff for STEM roles, according to a recent CBI report, Intertek believes that engaging with young people is the key to reversing this trend.

Janice Duncan, deputy head at St Machar Academy said: “We are very grateful to Intertek for taking the time to invite our pupils in for Science Week; it’s a great opportunity for them to see a working laboratory. Seeing the experiments up close and having the chance to look at different types of laboratories and testing has been really exciting. Several of our students are considering careers in science and this trip has shown them the variety of options available to them.”

Imran Khan, CEO of the British Science Association applauded Intertek’s commitment to British Science Week: “We are delighted that Intertek is leading the way in opening their laboratory doors for young people to get up close to science and STEM employees in action and hopefully inspire them to find out more about science and technology.”

With more than 2,200 expert staff in 66 locations across UK & Eire, Intertek employs scientists, engineers, auditors and laboratory technicians with a diverse range of expertise, technical and scientific skills.

Media enquiries

Kathryn MacKenzie
Account Manager
The BIG Partnership
Email: kathryn.mackenzie@bigpartnership.co.uk

About Intertek

Intertek is a leading quality solutions provider to industries worldwide. From auditing and inspection, to testing, training, advisory, quality assurance and certification, Intertek adds value for its customers by helping improve the quality and safety of their products, assets and processes. With a network of more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and over 36,000 people in more than 100 countries, Intertek supports companies’ success in the global marketplace, by helping customers to meet end users’ expectations for safety, sustainability, performance, integrity and desirability in virtually any market worldwide. Visit www.intertek.com.