Tag: WiSET

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

Add Engineering to Alexander Mcqueen and the result is Awe Inspiring

This weekend I visited the Alexander McQueen fashion exhibition at the V&A in London.

Creations of an untethered mind realised through immaculate craftsmanship. Well worth a visit!

What’s that got to do with engineering you may ask?

Well the highlight for me was the laser technology behind one particular exhibit. A hologram of Kate Moss in a flowing gown, that wafts around her in the wind. She appears from nowhere, and floats before you; there …. yet not there. Something that could only be realised through an extraordinary piece of engineering. 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

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

‘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