We live in a complex world, no profession can survive without changing with the times; with improving technology and environmental impacts high on agendas, what direction do our women engineers see their industry heading?
Today we asked: How do you see the engineering industry evolving?
Kirsty Barrie, Project Manager
“Development of cost effective and innovative technology used in the Built Environment to contribute to carbon neutrality.”
Joanne Cunningham, General Manager - Project Management
“More women are studying engineering, however it is still seen as a male-dominated industry. Many 15-year-old girls seem to think an engineer is a car mechanic or a train driver.”
Susan Kizito, Senior Project Manager
“Water is a strained resource and has become a contentious commodity across borders and communities. As the demand for access to water supplies increases against what can be deemed as finite useable water, the need is increasing to access water in an inexpensive manner. As such industry will need to further refine and also develop technologies that are inexpensive, efficient and easy to run, demonstrate adaptability to different environments, produce minimal waste streams, have minimal environmental footprint or impacts, and can effectively treat various types of water and turn it into potable water.”
Utkarsha Somalwar, Assistant Project Manager
“I see the engineering industry integrating more heavily with all other sectors of work including health, science, consulting and law.”
Maria Petropoulou, Senior Engineer
“Sustainability and environmental considerations seem to be the driving force towards evolutions in the Industry with more and more developments wanting to achieve BREEAM Excellent or Outstanding.”
Oriel Webster, Senior Project Manager
“I have witnessed organisations focusing on achieving activities and tasks for the leanest cost possible and leaving their people behind. There is definitely a shift in modern successful organisations who are mature with robust systems and practices that encourage focus - less on the dollars (which will always be important), but more towards people, safety and the environment. I have seen this shift transform over the years in construction organisations where there were multiple contract administrators and clerks of work on projects to a construction team that has only one (if any) contract administrators; the construction project manager is now often expected to do this role. Construction teams now have multiple safety officers, environment and quality people to ensure the organisation's people are safe and supported. This has majorly changed the work culture and the morning toolbox talk. It will evolve further with the introduction and reliance on new technologies: we have already started to see technology's influence running through more mature organisations.”
Michelle Mabbitt, Senior Engineering Technician
“From an engineering design office point of view, the way we progress to our final output project reports, schedules and drawings, has rapidly changed in my career.
Gone are the days of drawing boards and basic 2D drawings on Autocad. Today’s engineering technicians and engineers have to be “Jack of all trades”. We have the advantage in our office of having a BIM Training Manager and a great IT team to aid us with any software queries. There is a need to be proficient in Autocad, Revit, 3DCivils, WinDES, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets as well as using engineering construction techniques and buildability knowledge at early stages of design.”
Kerstin Hucknall, Project Planner
“In light of recent developments - in particular the UK’s commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, I believe that research, design and development of ever more sustainable and environmentally friendly design, material and construction solutions will be at the forefront of our industry’s considerations and efforts.”
Angharad Llewellyn, Project Manager
“The number of women in engineering has significantly increased particularly over the last decade, I think particularly because there is a greater appreciation for what engineering involves and the opportunities it provides. I think the use of robots and subsequently software engineering will greatly enhance automation of manufacturing processes and computer based tasks however this will only go so far. Engineering, particularly systems engineering, is a form of critical thinking and develops your analytical and problem solving skills; combined with interpersonal skills there remains a need for people (particularly engineers) to create and deliver solutions in our modern world. I see the industry evolving to integrate the two.”
Is engineering heading in a direction you want to go? Check out our careers page to see all our current job opportunities.
Read our introduction to our amazing series Celebrating International Women in Engineering which we are running all this week, recognising International Women in Engineering Day on 23 June.