Tuesday 31 March 2020

Northern Ireland IAESTE participant Jorge Luis Vaca Gonzales worked with the team at Resonate Testing in Newry on the Aer Lingus flight carrying PPE from China for Irish medical staff working with COVID-19. Resonate Testing ensured that the bags used to pack the equipment met international flammability standards before the flight took off on Saturday 28th March.

Jorge is a masters graduate in electro-mechanical engineering from Gabriel René Moreno Autonomous University in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. He arrived to start his year-long placement four weeks ago, before travel restrictions were put in place. Now experiencing a very unusual version of life in Northern Ireland, Jorge has visited the supermarket just once and is continuing his work while complying with social distancing measures.

He says “I am very grateful to be part of the Resonate Testing team. It makes me realise that the joint effort of so many people are needed in the fight against COVID-19. Every small contribution to fight the epidemic, no matter how small counts. Even though I am far away from home and my family, everyone is going through tough times. Thanks to technology I can keep in touch with my loved ones and also with the support of Resonate Team and IAESTE, they made me feel like I am in a second home.”

Resonate Testing typically supports Aerospace, space and high-tech industries providing a number of diverse internationally known customers with a broad range of vibration, fire and environmental testing which demonstrates compliance with international performance standards, supporting safety or reliability of their products. The family owned and run company is proficient in the area of fire and safety assessment for civil aircraft. They also have another connection with IAESTE – their Test House Manager Dr. Mary Kelly was a participant in the programme in the early 2000s.

CEO Tom Mallon said “We are delighted to have supported the team at Aero Inspection in their efforts to support the tremendous task being undertaken by Aer Lingus. As the only laboratory on the Island of Ireland accredited for the necessary flammability testing it gives the team enormous pride to play a small part in this essential humanitarian task.”

IAESTE is the largest science and engineering student exchange programme in the world and provides HE students and graduates in technical degrees with paid, course-related, training abroad and local employers with highly skilled, highly motivated trainees. It runs in more than 80 member countries, with over 4000 traineeships exchanged each year, and is managed by British Council Northern Ireland on behalf of the Department for the Economy. It is extremely popular with Northern Ireland employers, like Resonate Testing who are keen to bring international experience, culture and skills to the workplace.

Notes to Editor

For further information please contact:

Jenny Stewart, Communications Manager: T +44 (0) 7885467484 Jenny.Stewart@britishcouncil.org Twitter: @BCouncil_NI, Facebook: www.facebook.com/britishcouncilnorthernireland Instagram: @BritishCouncilNorthernIreland

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.  For more information, please visit: http://nireland.britishcouncil.org