Tag: Women’s Engineering Society

London fashion shows Engineering a way forward

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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

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“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

Bonuses up for Scientific and Technical Sector

Is the financial balance starting to move in favour of engineering?

According to the Office of National Statistics £42 billion of bonuses were paid out in Britain for year ending March 2015.

It is significant to note that the biggest sector drop was in the financial and insurance industries where there was a near 10% drop on the previous year.

Meanwhile in the rest of this economy the bonuses rose by 9.7% – and the sector with the biggest increase in bonuses was the professional scientific and technical services up £0.9bn on the previous year.

Let’s hope that these are a reflection that the engineering and technical sector is faring well in the economy and that in order to attract the best people companies and research establishments must reward people well. read more

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

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

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

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