Tag: UCL engineering

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

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

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

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

Dyson – The Example to Follow

News today that James Dyson is planning to invest £250M in a new R&D facility. Creating the building and facility is one challenge; finding the engineers to fill it is another.

“It will be impossible to find the additional 3,000 engineers needed unless the Government makes engineering a more attractive career choice”, said the entrepreneur. “As a country, we need an extra 87,000 engineers a year to meet demand.” 

“There’s no shortage of engineers in the Far East,” he added. “40pc of all graduates from Singapore University are engineers. Even the Philippines produces twice as many engineers as us”.

The image of engineering in UK has been on the decline for many years resulting in a failure to attract the best brains. Dyson is underlining that Engineering is no longer a dirty nuts and bolts industry but people based, where ideas, inspiration and team-work matter. 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

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