What It Takes to Be an Engineer in 2018

It is year 2018, some experts have already dubbed it “The Year of Engineering”. With the advancement of technology, architectural development and the continuous growth of machine-learning programs, there is no better time to be an engineer.

Engineering contributes massively to the UK economy, adding more than 25% of UK gross value and accounting to over half of the country’s exports. However, a shortage of about 20,000 graduates every year is impacting productivity and growth. The government hopes to resolve this in the coming years by encouraging more young people to take a career in engineering.

According to Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport, the year of engineering will unite and develop activities already happening across the industry. It will also support partnerships to reach more individuals and drive a national conversation.

But is it as simple as it sounds? What does it take to be part of this iconic era of outstanding technological progress? Knowledge, skills, great tools? Sure, but there’s more. Humanity; a patience for innovation and team excellence.

In this article, we list expectations for engineers (both upcoming and experienced) this year and how they can make an impact this year.

1.   Industrial optimization

Today’s engineers focus on optimising procedures in important areas such as product design, production, supply chain and predictability. Already, some engineering firms such as pump manufacturers are adopting quality enhancement techniques to boost the value of their materials.

The prevalence of Lean Six Sigma® and the importance of process/product quality will ensure a fully functional optimised industry.

2.   Sustainability

While every industry has a role to play, industrial sustainability is a responsibility modern engineers consider when designing and producing new age equipment.

More projects that involve emissions control, resource and energy conservation, waste reduction, or recyclable energy systems require engineering work should be performed by energy engineers, electrical engineers, environmental engineers and others. Every modern engineer should have this at the fore of their mind.

3.   Free-agent economy

Although the engineering profession has somewhat been a late adopter of this practise, engineers in 2018 will be freer to practice as “free-agent” consultants. The growth of online opportunities, open innovation practices and talent platforms are well-designed to offer new projects to engineering professionals.

4.   Open innovative mind

Open innovation is brought about by modern research and development practices that foster the collaboration of sponsoring manufacturers and project underwriters, consultants, suppliers, free agent engineers and engineering services companies.

These project teams, which unify regular employees and outsourced engineers create opportunities for open innovation in the industry. It is a fertile process that every engineer must learn to adopt to excel in their profession.

5.   A digital background; Industrial IoT

The coming of digital manufacturing will greatly impact engineering in the foreseeable future, especially as the demand for more digital solutions continue to grow. Engineers with a sound knowledge of Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) will be highly sought for these services.

Things like data connectivity between product machinery, CAM/CAD, and ERP are paving way for dynamic analysis and control of manufacturing services. Every engineer will do well to acquire AutoCAD® skills as it is required in about 17% of engineering roles.

The Year 2018 has only just begun, but it promises to be a revolutionary one for any engineer who knows what it takes to remain ahead in the profession.

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