Mountaineer who defied death to give talk during educational programme

A pioneering mountaineer will address students during a week-long educational programme aimed at inspiring teenagers into engineering.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Cumbrian climber John Porter completed numerous world-first alpine adventures in expeditions which claimed the lives of many of his fellow climbers including the famed mountaineer Alex MacIntyre who John wrote about in his book One Day as a Tiger.

John will speak to up to eight Year 12 pupils from West Cumbria at React Engineering’s exciting Into Engineering Week which will include a range of presentations, with participants given a project brief to complete over the five days.

The annual Into Engineering Week invites the students to spend a week at React to gain an insight into the world of a professional engineer, and John’s talk will present how the highly technical skills he acquired through his mountaineering can be applied to working life.

Lorna Tait, who is leading the Into Engineering Week programme for React, said: “The Into Engineering programme is one of the highlights of our year and to have somebody as interesting and inspirational as John supporting it is a real coup for us.

“React Engineering is very passionate about promoting career opportunities and experiences for local young people, and we want to highlight that engineering is an interesting and very fulfilling career path.”

During the Into Engineering Week, there will be a mixture of presentations from React staff and practical, hands-on work with all students being tasked with carrying out an engineering project. They will then have the opportunity to present their work to the rest of the group at the end of the week.

The programme has long been a hit with local students and has inspired many people to pursue careers within the engineering sector – with current React Engineering Managing Director Phil Redfern the perfect example.

Phil said: “I took part in Into Engineering Week in 2002, and it was a real eye opener for me into the day-to-day life of an engineer. By the end of the week, I understood that there’s a lot more to professional engineering than difficult maths.

“I was certainly inspired to pursue engineering further because of the experience I had and my path is proof to young people from our area that you can build rewarding careers in the sector.

“I can say from personal experience that Into Engineering Week is inspirational, fun and informative, and I’m proud that we can continue to provide this opportunity to young people living locally.”

Into Engineering Week will run between Monday, June 27 and Friday, July 1, at React Engineering’s main office in Cleator Moor.