Apr 16, 2004

Seagate Helps Engineer Pupils' Future

SPRINGTOWN, Northern Ireland - Over the past six months Seagate Technology has developed and honed the skills of local sixth formers and helped capture future generations' interest in careers in engineering.

Seagate has forged a partnership between groups of sixth form pupils at both the Foyle and Londonderry College and Limavady Grammar School, as part of the Education Engineering Scheme, organised by Sentinus. The scheme aims to increase the number of high-ability young people entering the creative levels of engineering.

Teams of four students are tasked with researching and developing an industrial project based on an actual problem within their host company. Participating companies provide the skills and knowledge of their experienced engineers to mentor the groups on the specific projects and pupils benefit from the development of a range of skills and experience that such a practical, business-related project delivers.

At Seagate's Springtown facility, Gerard Gallagher, a senior engineer, mentored Foyle and Londonderry College sixth form students. Their project was to design an information system to improve the management of consumable chemicals from purchase through to point of use. The solution will allow the company's photolithography department to control, track and monitor its inventory even more efficiently.

Meanwhile at the Company's Limavady facility, process engineering manager, Richard Doyle, helped pupils of Limavady Grammar School design a method to measure the length of the chamfered edges and angles on the aluminium substrates that the facility produces. Finding the key to this task will enable the Company to save time, further improve quality and enable irregularities to be highlighted earlier in the process.

Once the ground work was done, each group prepared a written report on their project and formally presented their findings at the recent showcase finale-a public exhibition and ceremony that took place in the Whitla Hall, Belfast.

Seagate's Gerard Gallagher commented at the exhibition; "The young people have worked exceedingly well with us on these projects and show promising signs for taking on careers in the engineering world. They've more than delivered on this year's project and I'm already looking forward to being involved next year."

"The students worked well as a team and have, in the preparation of their report and presentation, demonstrated skills that will serve them well in their future careers," added Seagate's Richard Doyle. "I'm proud to have been part of this project and to have helped encourage the students to consider a career in engineering. They've all experienced firsthand the satisfaction, and, from time to time frustration, that the job brings."

"I've really enjoyed working on this project," said Limavady Grammar School student, Matthew Allen. "It was fantastic to get an insight into how to break a task down into manageable parts and build a solution by conquering each barrier a step at a time."


Seagate is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of hard disc drives, providing products for a wide range of Enterprise, PC, Notebook and Consumer Electronics applications. The Company is committed to delivering award-winning products, customer support and reliability, to meet the world's growing demand for information storage. Seagate can be found around the globe and at www.seagate.com.

Seagate has two facilities in Northern Ireland, employing over 1,800 people between them. At the Springtown wafer fabrication facility, the Company develops and manufactures the recording heads, which write information onto and read information from the recording disc inside a computer's hard drive. The Company's Limavady facility produces nickel-plated aluminium substrates, the core material on which computer hard disc drives read, write and store digital information.

Seagate and Seagate Technology are registered trademarks of Seagate Technology LLC.

Sentinus was created as a result of the merger of NISTRO and Industry Matters and is one of the largest providers of business/education activity in the United Kingdom. Through the establishment of partnerships between education and industry the organisation creates an awareness of the exciting opportunities available to young people in science, engineering and technology and on their development in readiness for the world of work.

As part of a national network of SETPOINT's, Sentinus will continue to have a strong focus on young people, from 5 to 19 years old, and enhancing their life skills through challenging and exciting experiences with an industrial focus.

Further information can be obtained from Sentinus on Belfast (028) 9036-6682.