The Passion of an Engineer

Engineers are just too reticent.

Consider the airtime given to actors/actresses to dissect their portrayal of a character, or given to chefs to go into raptures about how they chop vegetables or add herbs.

By contrast engineers are disinclined to express the passion that goes into their work and sadly only command airtime when there is a disaster.

All the while Engineering companies and Institutions do themselves no favours by focusing on the facts, figures and data of the profession when trying to attract the next generation. When you are a teenager facts are not inspiring. read more

the Art in Engineering

This beautifully directed and choreographed video presents the processes in turning scrap into precision components delivered to a customer’s door.

It highlights the skills and craft behind components which most people never even think about but which are often fundamental to our daily lives.

Parts we take for granted. Parts that only get noticed when they break.

The Engineers : MetalQuest Unlimited Inc

Header artwork by Atsushi Koyama

August 2017

The French do it Better


Engineers demonstrate their joie de vivre.

In France Engineering has long been a respected profession; a profession which attracts both men and women.

Here in the UK many large engineering companies are finding it difficult to recruit the very brightest minds and wondering why? Well a big factor is undoubtedly the way you communicate with your audience  – old ways no longer work with today’s media savvy kids.

UK engineers tend to focus on facts – how big the company is, how clever its products are, how many offices, how many employees, its systems and specific job descriptions all presented in a soulless manner. read more

Three men and a plane

There’s a time to stand back and admire what engineers can, and have, achieved.

Just recently I’ve been amazed at the skills, adaptability, tenacity, and enterprise that my friend Theo Wilford and his colleagues David and Rick Bremner have demonstrated over the past few  years.

From scratch the trio have built a perfect replica WW1 Bristol Scout reconnaissance aeroplane, no. 1264.

This is been undertaken not in some large hangar with a vast array of machinery to hand, but literally on garage benches and in back gardens with parts stashed behind the sofa when not being worked on. read more

Emma : an apprentice role model

An apprentice with aspirations

Here’s a great example of a young lady determined to enter Engineering and find her place  in what is no doubt a male dominated team – and not a hard hat in sight!

Emma’s enlightened view is that she wants a career which, is practical, plays to her strengths, and has the advantage of earning whilst also training.

Her outlook is positive and I like the way the video presents her apprenticeship as more than just skills training. It’s also about the sense of achievement, responsibility, interacting with people of different ages, realising how you fit into society, making friends and of course also earning a living. read more

Engineers must get Emotional

If engineering is serious about attracting more of the young, and women in particular, to the profession then it is missing a key factor… emotion!

Check the video to see why and how?

Barrie Weaver April 2016

Apple’s Engineering

Apple designs, develops, and manufactures the most used and loved products in the world yet rarely do we get any insight into how these products evolve.

Since the company is highly secretive about all new development a peek into just one aspect of their design and engineering facilities is rare indeed.


Steven Levy’s recent article on BackChannel gives us an insight into the refinement that goes into any Apple creation, in this case something as simple as the touch of a keyboard.

A whole team of people just studying the movement of fingers on a key-pad.

It’s a level of detail we take for granted and yet it is those user experiences that subliminally enhance our whole relationship with the product. In the words of their career page – read more

My daughter shouldn’t have to study science

Cristina Odone wrote recently in  the Daily Telegraph complaining that her daughter should not have to study science subjects. Apparently the 12 year old’s aptitude lies elsewhere and Maths and Physics will be of no use in her future arts/literary career.

Victoria Bateman

Victoria Bateman, right, has posted a firm riposte but I’d like to add my slant too since it exposes an important issue that confronts the national image of Engineering.

From the comfort of Chelsea, where the average 2 bedroom flat costs £1.3M, Ms.Odone believes that engineering is of no importance to her lifestyle or cultural values and she wishes to impose those self same values upon her young daughter. read more stresses the social value of Engineering

As said

“most kids today aren’t dreaming of being programmers, scientists or engineers………

but manufacturing gives people dignity and pride that they make things that are needed and desired ” 

will-i-am green rightly highlighted that many young men and women lack a sense of purpose in today’s world.

A few decades ago that purpose could well have come from a vast array of manufacturing industries that built the country’s wealth.

It might have been tough, sometimes dirty, work but there was an underlying pride and camaraderie in making things that society needed.

With 90% of traditional manufacturing gone, engineering in the UK has changed dramatically; but it does exist.  And it is still about developing and making things that have a value to today’s society. read more

Savvy teens know why maths & physics are key

Dozens of initiatives have sprung up recently to encourage the study of STEM subjects in schools.

I particularly like this video produced by one “YOUR LIFE” which in a humorous and engaging way tells teenagers about the true value of Maths and Physics.

Tougher subjects – but worth it.

To me however the big problem lies in the next step and it’s alluded to in this video.

The big decision is what career?

You can use titles like architect, aeronautical engineer, surveyor etc. but as a teenager they are way outside your experiences. Letting teenagers know about the opportunities  our society now offers is the great challenge in career guidance. read more