×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?
11

6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

(OP)
Hey all,

This is a bit of a follow on from a previous post I made last week, I have an interview coming up and I have been asked to consider the following question:

"What are the top 6 challenges (technical, commercial, ethical, regulatory, etc..) facing the UK engineering profession in the first quarter of the 21st Century?"

I was hoping I could start some discussion and get your opinions of this, even if you're not from the UK there may be common issues in your country that you can share?

Thanks
Steve

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

(OP)
To kick things off my thoughts were:

- Energy Demands
- Growing and improving our high tech and space related industries
- Large EU/International collaborative engineering projects
- Plantetary Protection
- Cyber Defense
- Sustaining the growth of UK manufacturing.

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

Controlling the global oversupply of engineers.
... for a start, by starting some of those 'shovel ready' projects. ... or finding them.

Planetary Protection. ... from what?
Politicians and Thieves? Sorry, redundant.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

"facing the UK engineering profession" narrows the question down somewhat.

The English language is one. Engineering no longer means anything in it.

- Steve

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

The number one problem for the UK engineering profession is the utter disdain for engineering shown by the establishment.

The number two issue is the complete and utter abasement of the engineering institutions in the face of the establishment, in particular the way they have been compromised by an overenthusiastic alliance with academia. More engineering students is great for universities, but bad for working engineers.



Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

I don't know anything about the situation in the UK, but here in Canada the #1 issue facing the profession of engineering is the disconnect between an engineering education and a career as an engineer. The fraction of engineering grads working as engineers, engineering managers or engineering inspectors has shrunk from 58% in 1996 to 31% in 2011. Despite this, we continue to have employers complaining of a "skills shortage" because they expect to find experienced employees who have been fully trained by others. The median level D engineer now earns approximately as much as the median schoolteacher in Ontario. It won't be long before we no longer have a profession if this keeps up.

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

space elevator
fusion power
cheap clean water (for the billions that don't have it)
understanding how to work with off-shore resources (ie out-sourcing off-shore)

in my mind engineering should focus on getting things done .. leave the woolie stuff for the woolie people

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

(OP)

Quote (Mike Halloran)

Controlling the global oversupply of engineers.
... for a start, by starting some of those 'shovel ready' projects. ... or finding them.

Planetary Protection. ... from what?
Politicians and Thieves? Sorry, redundant.


In the UK and in my company I always keep hearing about a shortage of Engineers and skills, are you saying the global market is saturated with engineers currently to the point where its one of the biggest challenges?

Also, when I mentioned planetary protection I was meaning things such like, astroid detection, global warming, nuclear disarment etc..

Quote (SomptingGuy)


The English language is one. Engineering no longer means anything in it.

Hi, I'm from the UK obviously and I'm not really sure what you mean, I know we have different ways of spelling words than Americans do etc.. but can you expand on what you mean by this?
Or do you mean imperial style measurement as opposed to metric etc..?

Quote (MoltenMetal)

I don't know anything about the situation in the UK, but here in Canada the #1 issue facing the profession of engineering is the disconnect between an engineering education and a career as an engineer. The fraction of engineering grads working as engineers, engineering managers or engineering inspectors has shrunk from 58% in 1996 to 31% in 2011. Despite this, we continue to have employers complaining of a "skills shortage" because they expect to find experienced employees who have been fully trained by others. The median level D engineer now earns approximately as much as the median schoolteacher in Ontario. It won't be long before we no longer have a profession if this keeps up.

This is very interesting, I guess you could say a similar thing about graduates in the UK, some leave university never to actually use the skills they have learnt and often a lot of topics are missed etc..

Would you say a solution would be to alter the course structures to provide a more general or more sopecific rwange of skills?

Quote (rb1957)

space elevator
fusion power
cheap clean water (for the billions that don't have it)
understanding how to work with off-shore resources (ie out-sourcing off-shore)


Some of those challenges sound quite far fetched, do you think a Space Elevator is something the UK can produce by itself or would this be the next large scale international space construction project?

Fusion power is another big challenge, I think I agree with you there, it ties nicely in with satisfying the countries/worlds energy demands, do you have any information on the current progress of this type of research?

Clean water for all is a BIG problem but I'm not sure this is a particular challenge for the UK in the next 25 years.

Can you expand on what you mean by understanding to work with off-shore resources?
-------------------


Thanks for your comments.

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

I'll second rb1957's suggestion of fusion power. It would be nice if we could functionally and politically extricate ourselves from the organized thuggery of the petroleum world.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

if you think something is beyond your grasp, it is. if you reach for something, you might get there, you'll certainly get closer. but enough of the "Dr Phil"; if you want your UK centric focus then add "UK participation in ..." eg i don't think the UK is participating in ITER and the amount of funding/research would probably keep you in fags (ie cigarettes) for a month.

"understanding how to work with off-shore resources" ... you missed the most important word. it is a fact of life that you'll have to work with off-shore engineering resources; and in Europe I wouldn't include traditioanl EEC as off-shore as far as the UK is concerned. i've seen several company's attempts and most end in failure ... the work gets repatriated, duplicated, and the bridges are burned.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

(OP)
Yup, Thanks Dr Phil!
I appreciate I could add the "UK pariticpation in.." part, I appreciate everything here discussed can be worldwise issues, just trying to keep focus on my original question which limits its to challenges for the UK.

Thanks for the ITER link, this is very interesting, could make a good talking point although I see the EU is involved which could mean the UK has some part to play..

What kind of offshore resources are you thinking about can you give any examples?

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

design and analysis

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

Diminishing need for advanced engineering as more and more things are
just plug and play, or bolt together, with the engineering of the components
being done at any remote location.

Things only need designing once and modified occasionally, the lowest competent
bidder will get the job and the rest of us will compete with just about
anybody who can point to where the piece fits and manage the project.

There use to be more math in engineering, now fewer and fewer need this skill.
The majority just manage the project and report the results.

How much in GDP does Apple create and how many engineers do they employ.

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

You can easily duck the climate change discussion by pointing out that most economic forecasts show a net economic benefit to the amount of global warming even the scariest models predict in the first quarter of the 21st century.

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

Apple has apparently been part of a wage-fixing cartel* for almost a decade to keep worker prices low. Along with Google, Intel, Lucasfilms, Pixar, Paypal, Comcast, Genentech, Intuit, Clear Channel, IBM, Virgin Media, Dell, Novell, Oracle, Sun, Microsoft, eBay, etcetera, etcetera.

*Slightly indirect. Basically, they all magically stopped hiring employees from each other. Some had agreements documented, some not. Employees got stuck and didn't get the wages they deserve.

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

ebay ... wage-fixing ?

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

Knocking off the bean counters.

Mike McCann
MMC Engineering

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

"What are the top 6 challenges (technical, commercial, ethical, regulatory, etc..) facing the UK engineering profession in the first quarter of the 21st Century?"

I think there is one challenge that will largely determine or influence all the others - solving the debt crisis at all levels of society - government debt, deficit spending, public sector debt, or personal credit debt. This comming challenge is true for the US, UK, or elsewhere.

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

Globalization.

The UK is a bit further along the path of divesting itself of much of its manufacturing base. Initially it doesn't impact Engineering employment as much but at some point at least some of the engineering also gets outsourced.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

How about we hire only engineers with doctorates, and some with masters. That would get rid of the "1/shortage" issue. wink

OP,
There are way more than 6 engineering challenges for the next 11 years.


"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." L. da Vinci
- Gian

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

Returning Hadrian's wall to a state of being fit for purpose in time for September seems the big one to me, everything else less so.

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

Well there was a recent article in Canadian newspapers where a new French consular official was quoted as saying that in his opinion , Canadian society needed to reduce the standards required of immigrant engineers. We still have a shortage of good , qualified engineers in Western Canada, WHO ARE PREPARED TO LEARN LOCAL CODES AND WHO ACCEPT THAT THINGS MIGHT BE DONE DIFERENTLY THAN IN THE OLD COUNTRY. If that attitude is prevalent in Europe, then in my opinion, ridulous nationalist attitudes are one of the major issues facing the world , not just the UK.

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

"French consular official" "reduce standards of...."
Wow. Just wow.

This is why we have problems. These people have no understanding of anything.


"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." L. da Vinci
- Gian

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

@ajack1, to stop people moving south, or north ?

@miningman, maybe we don't want our buildings built the way they do in timbuctu.
do doctors and accountants and lawyers have to recertify when they move ? i think so
sure there's something for having international standards, but which nation would we adopt ? France ? US ?
if the other professions don't have international standards, why should engineering be any different ?

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

RB 1957, no I am not advocating for international standards. AS an example , there are very few countries in the world who have knowledge of building in permafrost, but any immigrant engineer to Canada can learn the necessary if he is willing to leave his attitude behind. Similarly I suspect there are building codes / practices in the UK that would be unfamiliar to an engineer from North America, if only because timber is ubiquitous within the construction industry in North America but because timber is so expensive in the UK, I strongly suspect local products are more widely used... brick comes to mind which does not behave well in minus 40 degree temeratures which is why it is not widely used in Northern Canada.

What I am critical of is ANY individual who believes that local standards should be relaxed purely to accomodate the unwillingness of an individual to upgrade his knowledge to become familiar with local codes , customs and practices.

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

I vote we raise the standards. Significantly.


"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." L. da Vinci
- Gian

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

But the primary and secondary schools are having such lovely results with relaxation of standards. Give it a go, eh?!?!

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

Quote:

But the primary and secondary schools are having such lovely results with relaxation of standards. Give it a go, eh?!?!

Hahaha. My thoughts exactly.
Every other person I meet these days is a teacher. Most of them I feel I would not like teaching our young.

Also, the general attitude is quite ridiculous in High Schools. The fact that you can get A's, or complain to get A's and learn nothing is quite sad.


"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." L. da Vinci
- Gian

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

I realize this is a soft fora where meandering from the subject is not so frowned upon but...

What does the perceived watering down of educational standards in the US/Canada have to do with the OP's question?

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

KENAT, read my original post


If that attitude is prevalent in Europe, then in my opinion, ridulous nationalist attitudes are one of the major issues facing the world , not just the UK.









RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

miningman

Quote (but any immigrant engineer to Canada can learn the necessary if he is willing to leave his attitude behind)


Well, gotta tell you that reads a little racist. If I have found one big challenge is the poor engineering quality of Canadian engineers in the West (O&G). Needless to say that, for the most part, university curriculum tend to be far broader and more disciplined outside Canada or the US. Having said that, the real development is not given by a school, but by the individual him/herself.

For the record, I am an immigrant.

Where I see the biggest difference between engineers coming from abroad and the ones educated in Canada is that we do not jump from school to desk. We, for lack of a better term, start as trades or operators in the field. Learn and earn our badges before we can move onto a desk.

It seems to me there is some sort of protectionism. A very experienced foreign engineer is asked to write exams on text-book subjects studied 10-15 years ago, a newby is given the designation upon graduation. If a foreign engineer from a particular university happens to pass and get the designation, it should, by default, certify that university meets the criteria.

Having said that, there are a lot of local regulations and climate differences that have to be understood, as you well pointed out. I'd be very surprised that somebody that moved, willingly, to a better standard of life, would not be willing to "leave his attitude behind". However, there are a lot of valuable things that he/she will bring on board, particularly ingenuity. In poorer countries we tend to not have all the resources and tools so we become... inventive. Most of this inventiveness can be applied within the regulatory framework and taken advantage of.

<<A good friend will bail you out of jail, but a true friend
will be sitting beside you saying ” Damn that was fun!” - Unknown>>

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

back to the original posted question.
#1- find a long term repository for the waste products from the nuclear reactors

#2- It is expected that most jobs will be outsourced to robots/ computers or some form of automation and this will lead to much higher unemployment levels than currently accepted. So a change in the means of distributing the products of industry to the populace would need to be developed and accepted ( ie either in the direction of socialism or a welfare state dominated by plutocrats) and somehow most people will need to find a way to consider themselves "successful and contributing to society" without gainful employment.

#3- the loss of personal privacy as a result of the availability of low cost surveillance devices and databases combined with increased secrecy in government may imply a permanent loss of freedoms and rights as currently enjoyed, and future generations would need to be directly trained to accept such measures as the "new normal".

#4 older concepts of money will disappear, as such concepts will be both unsustainable and unnecessary as increased control of the economy is directly transferred to the State.

#5- for the UK ( and perhaps other countries) you will wakeup one day and realize that people of English heritage are a minority in their own country. Perhaps it doesn't matter, but once it is realized , it will seem like some other personal possession is lost forever.

"Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad "

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

"People of English heritage are a minority in their own country."

Really? Are you talking about the Beaker People? The Celts? Romans? The Jutes? The Angles? The Saxons? 8th century Vikings? 11th century Normans? Which one is "English" heritage?

The entire known history and prehistory of Britain is one of repeated inbound migration and invasion/occupation/settlement.

Interestingly, genetic analysis indicates the picture is even more complex than indicated above - while a large fraction of Y-chromosome analysis says heritage from the Germanic areas (this includes the Danelaw vikings, Normans, etc) - mitochnodrial DNA indicates a very heavy preponderance of original paleolighic/mesolithic population DNA from the maternal side.

So, I guess the classic "English" heritage is great^N grandmothers who were mostly Beaker People (or prior) and great^N grandfathers who were mostly Vikings or similar.

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

1) Actually the medical areas produce more nuclear waste that the power production areas do. So as a solution to power production waste, we just need to look at the medical readioactive waste.
On the other hand, this nuclear resource material can be used for other things. Something like an import pesticide to reduce the transportion of insects on products.

2) Naw. People would be happy if you give them everything, and let them sit at home and watch Football.

3) Do we have any personal privicy now?

4) The eleminition of money will also reduce the number of hold-up's, so what will those crooks do for a living.

5) Get over it, the rest of the world is going for a mixed population, so why not you.

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

If you think the rest of the world is going to a mixed population, you've never heard the beginning of all the West Virgina jokes, or lived in Bavaria. Aunt Mom or Onkel Vati will get a good laugh on that one.

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

My comment was intended to mean that the mixed races applies to many other places in the world, not just the UK.
West Virgina is a place where only some people want to live. Most people who emigrate want to live in the cities (more jobs in the cities).
Also studies show that for every doubling of the population of a city, the pay rate increases by 15%.

Poor countries also don't pay the unemployed, where the richer countries do, so it's not suprising there is an emigration issue (also wars, religous freedom issues, bad goverments, etc).

Some jobs will and should remain with people. Maybe mainly customer service (some will be automated), sales (some will be automated), and bar tenders.
Some jobs need to be automated, like taxi drivers, and pot hole fillers.

There should be gap in pay between high school grads, and University grads, but in many cases there isen't (maybe some people have worthless university degrees).

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

Cranky,

I get your point entirely. My family emigrated from the UK in the 1880's to live in WV.

Some customer service jobs have always been primarily for and by humans and should continue that way-I am speaking of the oldest profession, of which lawyers and lobbyists are mere subsets of a lower, baser ilk.

As for privacy, people voluntarily place private information, selfies, and in the case of former Congressman Wiener, more unappealing aspects of their existence on the internet for voyeuristic pleasure. I wish people in general had more respect for their own privacy and privates.

Whether a greater gap should exist should also consider the occupation-refer back to "oldest profession". In that instance, being at the high school graduate level may be considered beneficial in comparison to being at the doctorate level. Have you ever heard of Dr. Ruth? Yech!

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

In reference to the oldest profession, look at the movie West World, to see what might, but unlikely, could be an amusument park. Sort of what you call amusument.

I believe repetive tasks are the most automatable, as those are the ones humans become board with.

Another aspect is with remote mapitulation (sp?) may also replace the number of qualified people required, which we are seeing in medicine.

Also with robotics, it is possible to change products produced, and may require less area needed from very hot equipment, meaning factories may become smaller, and more dispersed.

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

Conversely, remote manipulation could increase the number of qualified people desired - by cutting out the expenses of having an expert travelling onsite, you have more people who can have their demand met. For example - many small towns don't warrant having their own cardiac surgeon on staff for the local hospital. However, they may be able to pay for a remote surgery unit, and a cardiac surgeon could support 10-20 of these small-town hospitals from a single central location.

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

Unotec, for the record I am also an immigrant to Canada. I cannot comment as to the competancy of engineers in the Oil and Gas Industry because I work in Mining. However I feel I must note that your suggestion that my posting is racist is unacceptable. It is becoming impossible to have any discussion which includes the word immigrant without being accused of racism. I have absolutely no problem with working with competant individuals from ANY part of the world. I do have a problem with ANY individual who expects the accepted local standards to be lowered to accommodate his / her weaknesses or persomnal preferences. Please explain how that is racist

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

2
"I believe repetive tasks are the most automatable, as those are the ones humans become board with. "

And yet, despite being essentially fairly repetitive the oldest profession is barely automated.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

miningman, the fact that you use the word immigrant is not racism at all. The comment about "leaving his attitude behind" referring to cultural/work backgrounds is what struck me as such.

When you mention "I do have a problem with ANY individual who expects the accepted local standards to be lowered to accommodate his / her weaknesses or persomnal preferences". I couldn't agree more. But I see this happening more in the cultural sense rather than work (specially when politicians are involved).

My experience is we (immigrants) gladly adopt the new work culture, easily mastering the technical side, but do struggle a bit to come to terms with the excessive safety and lack of reliance in a bit of common sense. But this is somewhat true with the locals too; however we tend to be vocal and locals just shake their heads at the regulatory body's newest and greatest "idea".

It took me a bit until I realized that our particular industry is the only one laden so much with such excessive safety features. Then it dawned on me it was because this is the only industry that can afford it. So in my case, this issue is a bit exacerbated.

You might be right in your judgement though, as I am realizing I only see this backyard and yours might be completely different.

I apologize if I implied you to be racist while you did not mean to

<<A good friend will bail you out of jail, but a true friend
will be sitting beside you saying ” Damn that was fun!” - Unknown>>

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

2
Unotec, setting standards isn't protectionism, or racism (or what you really meant, xenophobia), it's commonsense. Some argue that it's useless- just for show- but it's far more useful than relying on compensating the victims of incompetent engineering after the fact by means of insurance. Licensure in Canada is general in terms of right to title, but nobody working under a C of A as an employee requires a license to get a job- the only person you have to prove you're an engineer to is your prospective employer. Some employers use licensure as a proxy for a proper technical interview, but that's merely a luxury afforded to the employers by the fact that there's a HUGE oversupply of candidates to choose from.

While many foreign trained engineers come through a structured internship program and/or have a Bachelors' which is equivalent to a Canadian Bachelors' AND Master's degree, there are also programs offered in some parts of the world that are really technician/technologist level. The graduates of many of those programs think they're every bit as well prepared to be a professional engineer as I am- I know, because I've met many of them and given them technical interviews, and some of those folks couldn't engineer an escape from a wet paper bag...handing them a license would be foolhardy and dangerous. Are some people unfairly asked to write exams? I'm sure it's happened. You think it's unfair that the local fresh grads don't have to write any exams? Most grads from most US, UK, Australian and Western European engineering programs don't have to write a single tech exam either- but there are over 2,000 degree-granting programs on file with the local licensure body's ERC, from over 100 countries, so that's rather hard to keep track of, don't you think? I guess we could ask everyone to write the same exams in the name of fairness- but that would be a tremendous waste that we would all pay for, and the people having to write them 15 years after school would still be claiming that the fresh grads had an unfair advantage! Only grads of local CEAB-certified engineering programs are given the tech exam waiver here- there are Bachelor of Technology programs offered here in the past few years whose grads will have to write tech exams if they want an engineering license too.

If your argument is that borders are artificial and irrelevant, as some do, then we fundamentally disagree. I think citizenship actually means something, that nations serve a meaningful purpose, and that nations have a responsibility to set rules and regulations to protect their population and to serve their population's economic interests as well. When only 1/3 of our own grads end up working as engineers, it puzzles me how anyone could consider continued economic immigration of foreign-trained engineers to be in Canada's continued economic interest. In the interest of certain employers of engineers? Absolutely- the benefit there is obvious.

Your complaint about the lack of commonsense etc. is definitely a valid one in your industry, and I think you've discovered the root cause too. It's not a failing of Canadian engineering education in my view as much as it is a reliance upon codes and standards as a proxy for engineering judgment.

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

KENAT,

If my interpretation was correct, your post was among the more brilliant this year.

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

Kenat,

You wouldn't happen to work for a Swedish pump manufacturer by any chance?

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

KENAT- you have a talent, and it should be nurtured!

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

Actually, I think materials science, particularly failure modes and effects, will continue to be a significant challenge as more and more exotics and composites are incorporated into structures which are performance critical. Applications are out of the box, and many materials have less than a decade or two under their belt. I just had the opportunity to tour Boeing assembly at Mukilteo WA and was able to see the 787 composite parts up close and personal. Wow. A leap of degrees.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: 6 Top Challenges for Engineering in the 1st Quarter of the 21st Century?

I am concerned about the increasing gap between technical CAPABILITY and technical UNDERSTANDING and RESPONSIBILITY.

I have been an Engineer over the last 25 years (in Canada), and I have seen a figurative explosion in software and analytic tools to do design and analysis, but an erosion in the average skill sets of the people USING these tools.

Once Upon A Time, you HAD to be an Engineer (or trained in similar mathematics and design techniques) to perform many of these tasks, so the overlap between people who did the work and people who understood and accepted the issues, risks, and consequences at a Professional level was very high.

Nowadays, semi-skilled workers and even laymen are using software that would have been considered an 'advanced tool' 20 years ago to make decisions that have significant economic, safety, and environmental impacts. They may or may not know what these impacts are, or how to recognize that their high-tech tool has provided information that is just plain wrong (GIGO).

I would expect that trend to worsen over time.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Resources

eBook - Simulation-Driven Design with SOLIDWORKS
Simulation-driven design can reduce the time and cost of product development. In this engineering.com eBook, we’ll explore how SOLIDWORKS users can access simulation-driven design through the SOLIDWORKS Simulation suite of analysis tools. Download Now
eBook - Integrating the Engineering Ecosystem
Aras Innovator provides multiple options for integrating data between systems, depending on the scenario. Utilizing the right approach to meet specific business requirements is vital. These needs range from authoring tools, federating data from various and dissimilar databases, and triggering processes and workflows. Download Now
Research Report - Simulation-Driven Design for SOLIDWORKS Users
In this engineering.com research report, we discuss the rising role of simulation and the paradigm shift commonly called the democratization of simulation. In particular, we focus on how SOLIDWORKS users can take advantage of simulation-driven design through two analysis tools: SOLIDWORKS Simulation and 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close