DE&S employee has influenced thousands of students over the last three years supporting and running over 100 STEM engagements

Published 6th November 2018.

A DE&S STEM ambassador has been praised for his dedication to Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) after being awarded Runner Up in the Outstanding STEM Ambassador category at the prestigious STEM Inspiration Awards.

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Chf Tech Robert Bates, a lead software specialist for DE&S, attended the ceremony, held by STEM Learning, at the House of Lords where he picked up the award.

Robert has influenced thousands of students, using simple yet effective ideas and gives teachers the confidence to carry out activities that are beyond their normal skill set.

Over the last three years he has supported and run over 100 STEM engagements, including events such as Raising Aspirations, the Cheltenham Science Fair and Big Bang.

Robert has also led his own STEM sessions at schools around the Bristol area and was invited to judge competition designs in the DE&S supported South West Primary Engineer Leaders Award.

In the words of his nomination: “He never says no to a school”.

Find out more about a career in engineering at DE&S.


Robert said: “The range of STEM work I undertake is really diverse, from Girl Guide Troops, Engineering clubs, School sessions (class based and whole school engagements) through to large scale careers and science fairs.

“I get an enormous amount of personal and professional satisfaction from sessions, creating that spark of inspiration is amazing and the children never fail to leave me amazed at their level of understanding and rational in the topics that we are exploring. That moment when they “get it” never fails to make me smile.

“If I was to mark a highlight of my STEM activities it would be sitting on the final judging panel of South West Leaders Award, this was an insightful, delightful, rib tickling and tear inducing journey into the engineering minds of children, that I will never forget.”

The awards celebrate individuals and organisations working to inspire young people in STEM subjects across the UK and are organised by STEM Learning – the largest provider of STEM education and careers support to schools, colleges and other groups working with young people across the UK.

Yvonne Baker, Chief Executive of STEM Learning said: “These people and organisations provide the much needed spark that ignites young people’s enthusiasm for STEM. All our winners have excelled in their fields and I am delighted that we can recognise and celebrate their expertise and passion.”