Tag: economy and society

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

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

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

Young Women who Love Engineering

Engineering envelops every aspect of our lives, yet here in Britain it is much undervalued by a huge percentage of the population. According to a study by the Robert Bosch Group only 23% of the young think Engineering is of any importance to our economy.

So why aren’t the young, and girls in particular, being attracted into Engineering? Last year only 400 girls completed engineering apprenticeships, whilst 58,600 studied Health and Social Care.

The image of engineers as greasy men in dungarees or hardhats, faced with factory closures has been hard to shrug off. It has prejudiced the views of many parents and teachers in guiding teenagers away from careers in engineering. read more

David Cameron, a rivet, and the casino culture

The banking fraternity’s casino culture destroyed any true balance of reward for effort. It created a get rich culture that imploded.

In this humorous yet serious clip Stephen Bayley argues that we must return to a society that understands and values engineering and manufacturing.

Engineering is grounded in a respect for human skills. Engineering underpins every aspect of our day to day lives, yet as a nation we seem to take it for granted.

Engineering creates the products we can export to pay for our enormous national debt. The nation owes a staggering £40,840 for every employed person in the UK.

Innovative engineering offers the opportunity of new ideas that will benefit society as a whole. If we do not invest in our future we are passing on an enormous financial liability to the next generation. 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

‘a Hell of an Engineer’

Whilst the establishment might frown at this over the top celebration of the challenges and excitement of engineering we should not underestimate its impact. read more

An Engineer in VOGUE

Excellent article about Jo da Silva, a civil engineer at Arup, in the latest issue of Vogue.

If engineering is to attract greater numbers of women into the fold it needs more articles like this to break down the preconceptions of what engineering is about.

Glamorous, intelligent, articulate and talented female engineers like da Silva are pretty rare at the moment – but they need not be. Articles like this demonstrate the attraction of the profession and how women can play their part without in any way compromising their femininity, and role as a mother.

Jo de Silva is not alone; there are other “engineering heroines” out there. read more

Too Many Initiatives

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In their letter to The Times of 9 January Sir John Parker and Dr Paul Golby underline how confused students, parents, and career advisers are by the plethora of engineering initiatives. ‘Just what should I study and why?‘ they ask.

Undoubtedly there is a need for one voice, but most of all, it’s a voice that speaks in a language which is low-tech and which the layman can understand. Whilst the engineering community knows its importance to our country most of the population have little understanding of what our engineering companies do, why they do it, and their value to the way we live. read more