Tag: Business

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

Engineers are wired differently

When it comes to solving problems engineers are geniuses. Our government and society looks to them to provide solutions to the big issues of the day, be they global warming, power generation, communications, infrastructure and many more.

So with such a reputation it’s surprising that there is one dilemma beyond the capabilities of this select group of resourceful thinkers.

“How to attract the young to join their ranks?”

Engineers work around systems, facts and figures but this is one situation where hard data won’t contribute to the solution. Attracting people into a sector relies upon softer values, emotional issues and factors that lie outside the professional comfort zones of most engineers. It’s something that can’t be measured or predicted. read more

Women don’t talk Engineering

If the world of public speaking is an indicator of public interests then women and engineering just don’t mix.

Women Speakers has a roster of guest speakers upon which to call. 293 highly articulate women able to present and discuss diverse subjects across 109 categories –  from art and history to gardening, education, fashion, health, business etc.  Yet nowhere does an engineer or engineering feature.

Granted there are commentators with a science background but their focus tends to be around planet earth’s issues such as ecology and global warming.

We, in the developed world, are surrounded by technology and engineering that just a few generations ago would have been inconceivable. Even the future thinkers of your great, great grandparent’s era could not have imagined the world in which many of us live today be it cooking a meal, travel, shopping, being entertained or recovering in hospital –  I could go on. read more

City Brokers’ Indifference to Engineering

Renishaw founder Sir David McMurtry
Renishaw founder Sir David McMurtry

Yesterday’s post earnings selloff and subsequent rebound in Renishaw’s share price only too clearly demonstrates the City’s lack of understanding of the engineering sector.

As Martin Waller in the Times soberly points out, the analysts “should have known better”.

If they had really been on top of Renishaw’s business I don’t think there would have been such a knee jerk reaction to the earnings drop.

But more fundamentally, this highlights the pandemic running though our society … like the media, the Financial Sectors don’t take time to understand and value our Engineering Heroes.   

Instead, they prefer to remain within the bounds of their EC4 offices and cast judgment from afar rather get to grips with the ‘real world’. read more

Lack of Female Role models in Engineering

Belinda Parmar cites the lack of female engineering role models in her upbringing.

Whilst I understand her point the truth is that here in the UK there is lack of role models, be they male or female, for engineering and technology. If you were to ask the man or woman in the street ‘How many UK engineering businesses you can name?’ – you’d be lucky if they knew 2 or 3.

Likewise, ‘How many present day engineers can you name?’  You might get James Dyson and there it would stop. 

I can guarantee they would know far more chefs!

Then there’s the fact that a large slice of UK engineering is focused on military and defence; not exactly the industries to attract thousands of women. read more

Attracting Women into Engineering

Robert Lea in The Times 

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 14.10.39

BAE  sponsors a think tank to try to puzzle out why few women, and in particular ethnic minority women venture into engineering.

Sadly it’s always the same big companies BAE, JCB, Rolls Royce, Land Rover etc that get quoted whilst the real employment opportunities lie in the other 400,00 + small to medium British engineering companies.

The big problem for the majority of these SMEs is that they do not present a public face which is attractive to  women in general, whatever their ethnic background.  These companies tend to be hardnosed, data driven, and the idea of an image which is employee friendly hasn’t yet arrived. read more

Are we Really Surprised only 400 girls chose Engineering?

65.jpg times

Rosemary Bennett Social Affairs Editor

Efforts to get women into better jobs must begin at primary school, accord­ing to MPs who claim that careers advice is failing to break down persistent work segregation.

While consider­able government energy had gone into addressing the absence of women in the boardroom, little had been done to tackle the dearth of girls taking up apprenticeships in industry and science.

Only 1,200 girls were enrolled in IT apprenticeships last year and just  400 in engineering courses.  Yet there were 58,600 girls learning to be health and social care workers. read more

Even the US has Noticed

UK engineering  suffers a chronic image problem

the-new-york-times

by Stephen Castle New York Times 3 February 2013

Engineering has never been truly prestigious in Britain, where traditionally many of the best brains have opted for careers in law, medicine, the civil service or the news media. Add to that the more recent lure of London’s financial sector, which, despite recent layoffs, still offers lavish salaries and bonuses.

It is little wonder that British manufacturing struggles to compete for the country’s most capable young people.

Though British design engineers in their early 30s can earn £35,000 to £45,000 a year — a decent salary in the northeast — the sector suffers from a chronic image problem. read more