Author: Barrie

London fashion shows Engineering a way forward

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As Engineering laments the number of young women interested in joining its ranks it could learn a lot from the fashion industry as the recent London Fashion Weekend demonstrated.

Thousands of young women came along for a brief insight into next year’s fashion trends. They’d each willingly parted with £30+  to see 2 catwalk shows each lasting no more than 15 minutes and a chance to buy edgy clothes at a discount.P1040243

Whilst the event was very professionally stage managed what struck me was that there was no understanding on the part of the consumer as to where and how these clothes come about.

OK there are fashion designers, but they are just a small cog in a sophisticated industry. Without engineering the designer’s ideas would come to nothing. read more

50% of engineering graduates don’t go into engineering. Here’s why!

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 10.05.10Numerous reports have spelt out the chronic lack of young engineers. Now the Royal Academy of Engineering highlights that of those who do graduate in Engineering subjects less than 50% go on to enter the mainstream profession.

This dire fall out underlines a fundamental problem in the sector, and since engineering degrees are among the most expensive to deliver, it is also a huge waste of valuable resources. So why does this happen?

An engineering graduate’s tale

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“After 3 year’s tough studies (compared to many degrees) I’ve just graduated with an engineering degree. Now I’m looking for my first rung on the career ladder. read more

Bonuses up for Scientific and Technical Sector

Is the financial balance starting to move in favour of engineering?

According to the Office of National Statistics £42 billion of bonuses were paid out in Britain for year ending March 2015.

It is significant to note that the biggest sector drop was in the financial and insurance industries where there was a near 10% drop on the previous year.

Meanwhile in the rest of this economy the bonuses rose by 9.7% – and the sector with the biggest increase in bonuses was the professional scientific and technical services up £0.9bn on the previous year.

Let’s hope that these are a reflection that the engineering and technical sector is faring well in the economy and that in order to attract the best people companies and research establishments must reward people well. read more

Handbags more important than Engineering signals Business Editor

If ever there was an  indicator of the way UK media view engineering it could be seen in last Friday’s issue of the Daily Telegraph.

A single page in the business section presented the year-end figures of two companies.  AIM listed handbag maker Mulberry making £1.9m profit on a turnover of £110m, and FTSE250 WS Atkins the innovative engineering company making £122m profit on a revenue of £1.76bn.

Which gets the most airspace? …. yes, you’ve guessed it, HANDBAGS by a mile.

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 14.04.56Mulberry commands much of the broadsheet page including a large photograph of Cara Delevingne, plus handbag and owl, alongside a smaller shot of CEO Godfrey Davis. read more

Add Engineering to Alexander Mcqueen and the result is Awe Inspiring

This weekend I visited the Alexander McQueen fashion exhibition at the V&A in London.

Creations of an untethered mind realised through immaculate craftsmanship. Well worth a visit!

What’s that got to do with engineering you may ask?

Well the highlight for me was the laser technology behind one particular exhibit. A hologram of Kate Moss in a flowing gown, that wafts around her in the wind. She appears from nowhere, and floats before you; there …. yet not there. Something that could only be realised through an extraordinary piece of engineering. read more

How to encourage the young to delve into Engineering

My congratulations go to Imagine Publishing, I’ve just discovered their How It Works series on Amazing Technology.

These richly illustrated magazines (not cheap) give an engaging insight into the technology behind a vast selection of gadgets and topical engineering. Most importantly they present the social relevance of engineering and today’s teens want to know the WHY of a technology not just the WHAT.  This is very much the case with girls.

Academic purists will no doubt say it’s all too simplistic and lacks detail but if we are trying to encourage those around 12-15 yrs  to consider a future in Engineering these are a great aid. Teachers and parents take note. read more

An Engineering Taster for Teens

One of the great failings of the UK engineering community is its inability to communicate with the young.

In trying to inspire schoolchildren it’s no good just encouraging them to study STEM subjects it’s equally important for them to understand the relevance of what they’re studying to society and a career in the future.

This video created by Newcastle University in Australia is an excellent example of how to connect with teenagers, or in fact the man in the street. It’s short, talks their language, explains simply, and the use of  cartoons make it friendly and approachable. Most importantly there’s is no jargon or corporate speak. Oh and another thing – it was cheap to produce. read more

Rolls Royce Engineering as Art

Just launched at the Saatchi Gallery London……….

an interesting example of how a company can make you look afresh at what it does, underlining the fine skills that go into products that may be luxurious but are, above all, superb pieces of engineering.

www.insiderolls-royce.com

a3cf39d30e3114b2346f75a128b6ff0a4e63b82b7be4735dc81dd434Inside Rolls-Royce provides a unique opportunity to experience the essence of the pinnacle automotive brand in an interactive exhibition. You are invited to see some of the exquisite materials, the unrivalled technology and supreme craftsmanship that go into making ‘the best cars in the world’.

Inside Rolls-Royce launches at the Saatchi Gallery, and then goes on tour around major cities worldwide throughout 2015. Combining the latest technologies and design, Inside Rolls-Royce delivers an engaging and interactive experience. Exhibits use iBeacon innovations bringing to life iconic objects on visitors’ smartphones and tablets. read more

Social ceiling stifles UK Engineering

Whilst commentators endlessly discuss the glass ceiling faced by women in their careers, here in the UK, Engineers as a whole face a similar barrier – a SOCIAL ceiling.

A situation highlighted by the recent Government report ‘Elitist Britain’.

Chairman of the CommissScreen Shot 2014-11-02 at 13.40.57ion, Alan Milburn underlines that the number of privately educated people in senior public roles had led to a “closed shop at the top”.

He adds “These institutions rely on too narrow a range of people, from too narrow a range of backgrounds, with too narrow a range of experiences, they  behave in ways and focus on issues that are of salience to only a minority,  not the majority in our society.” read more

Don’t Knock Jony Ive’s Passion

Following the recent launch of iPhone 6 and iWatch Yahoo’s Tech Columnist Rob Walker took a tilt at Jony Ive’s video presentations.

Now I know they’re high profile (and much mimicked) but we should be applauding Ive’s love of engineering and the way he underlines the skills of the Apple team, not belittling it.  If only there were more such engineers around, particularly here in Ive’s home country the UK.

What Jonathan underlines is that behind these products lie innovations, at many levels, which the vast majority of our consumer society just take for granted.

It’s done in a way that is low on tech speak, makes you look more closely at the product, and leads you to realise they result from the collective effort of dozens of creative engineers. Yes engineering is very creative! read more