Tag: IET

London fashion shows Engineering a way forward

12038128_10153171642976045_4510116183920899206_n

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

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 15.03.25

“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

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

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

A New President

downloadMy congratulations  to Dame Ann Dowling on becoming the first female president of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

I concur with her that there is no reason why there shouldn’t be more women in Engineering, but am slightly worried that she can’t see why there aren’t.

One of the key reasons is that our engineering community is very poor at communicating what they do and why they do it to the general public. With the exception of Dyson, JCB, Rolls-Royce, JLR the vast majority of our engineering is high-tech and B2B and lies well outside the day-to-day experiences of teenagers, parents and career advisors. read more

The Importance of Making Things

‘Why would anyone in their right mind choose a career in engineering when effort versus return clearly favours banking, law, politics or medicine’   states David Watson in his letter to the Times January 8.

Well life’s not all about money as Stephen Bayley explains.  Making things is hugely gratifying to the individual but also to society at large.

The great changes to the way we live were not created by bankers, lawyers or politicians, but by engineers.

Career Guidance for Engineers

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 19.01.11Career guidance has been much maligned of late, in particular the lack of it for engineering. Just last week I discovered www.icould.com, an excellent initiative using the power of modern media.

It’s early days for icould but with the support of a growing number of companies it has the potential to be the destination for young people seeking ideas for their future across the whole employment spectrum.

For engineering there is however one very telling video. A young man, wondering what to do with his life, is sent to an engineering company, close to his home, to apply for an apprenticeship. He is eventually successful but admits that it wasn’t until the end of the second interview that he understood what the company did. read more

An Engineering Hero!

I spent nearly 2 hours chatting to Sir David McMurtry, founder of Renishaw earlier this week.

Renishaw founder Sir David McMurtry

The engineering community often complains that it has no heroes to be lauded in the eyes of the greater public. Yet if ever we had such hero it is Sir David.

From humble beginnings he has built a business with a global reputation in its field. In the last 10 years alone Renishaw has exported over £2 billion worth of products, helping counter our staggering levels of imports. In addition the company is a major employer in western Gloucestershire, offers apprenticeships and graduate funding yet 99% of the British public will never have heard of this quiet, understated man. Shrewd in business, he is immensely proud of the achievements he and his team have made. read more