A Design for Life


S5 & S6 Graphic Communication pupils from St Matthews Academy in Saltcoats were delighted to be given a real life business experience when Malachy Ryan, Managing Director of Alan White Design in Kilmarnock, invited them into their office to see Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Structural Testing in action.

During their visit to Alan White Design pupils were given an informative presentation where Malachy was able to explain the areas of the business and show demonstrations of the different kinds of work that the business carries out. Pupils were then separated into 4 groups with each group spending time with Alan White Design employees Malachy, Mohammed, Ross and Mhairi before rotating around the room.

After spending time with each employee, pupils were given the opportunity to ask any questions they may have had either on the technology itself or the steps needed to pursue a career in the engineering industry. This experience enabled the pupils from St Matthews to gain a first hand insight into a real life working environment which was a great opportunity to help with their career choices for the future.

When asked if they felt the experience was beneficial S5 pupil Thomas Parker responded by saying:

“Yes, I think it has been beneficial as it has given me a bit more perspective and how I can use this further on in my education.”

Teacher Kevin Corish added:

“I feel today has been very beneficial and the pupils have enjoyed themselves. They’ve managed to get a real life experience and they are able to see what is going on. They also seem very keen and interested and have been asking plenty of questions.”


You can watch our full interview with Kevin below or by clicking here.


So why did Managing Director of Alan White Design, Malachy Ryan, want to get involved and support Ayrshire school pupils?

“I’ve been involved in STEM activities for around 3 -4 years now and I find it a very worthwhile and enjoyable experience. I’m also trying to promote Civil Engineering and now that I am an owner of the business I need to recruit Graduate Civil Engineers on an ongoing basis. If I can get in at an early age and convince these young people to take up a course in Civil Engineering that will allow us to get more people involved in the industry.”

With the average age of the company coming in at 26, Alan White Design is proud to employ young people directly from college and university and would highly recommend for other companies to engage with local school pupils.


You can watch our full interview with Malachy below or by clicking here.


The invite into Alan White Design’s working environment has therefore benefitted all parties including pupils, teacher & employees of the company. The pupils were able to gain a more hands on experience with teacher Kevin Corish also being able to tie this learning experience directly into the curriculum. For Alan White Design it has allowed Malachy and the team to promote careers in their industry to encourage more young people to pursue a career in Civil Engineering.

We would like to thank Malachy Ryan and everyone at Alan White Design for giving pupils this opportunity and also the pupils and staff at St Matthews Academy for their contribution in this experience.

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