The engineering industry is intrinsically linked with innovation and creativity. With the current climate for forward thinking and future proofing, we’ve examined how the industry is keeping up with wider industry changes and trends. Here are three of the most important developments:
Diversity still an issue
Diversity is an issue which has long plagued engineering around the world, and the UK is not exempt. With just 20% of physics A-levels awarded to girls, it’s clear that the diversity issues begin long before people hit the work force. The industry woefully underrepresents women and people from minority ethnic backgrounds, and while some strides have been made in recent years to improve figures, progress has been slow and there remain few people from diverse backgrounds at the professional level of engineering.
Keeping up with the digital era
The digital age shows no signs of slowing down, and industries worldwide are having to keep up with the technological takeover or find themselves left behind. Digital engineering is one of the most prominent places we can see technology’s full force, with Redline predicting the explosion of start-ups, apps, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence will help to shape this sector. Similarly, those in the Defence corner of engineering will see huge changes in the way they work, with 80% of executives in the industry saying the pace of technological change in their corner of the market will increase rapidly over the coming three years.
Engineering becomes more environmentally aware
The past decade has seen society shift to an ever-more environmentally conscious way of thinking, with climate change threatening the world around us and political change unsettling many. Chemical engineering in particular must take heed of shifting environmental concerns, while the growing push towards low-carbon energy sources and reduced emissions means the engineering industry must balance being efficient, profitable and competitive with protecting the environment from excessive damage. While this will be an ongoing effort for engineers and organisations around the world, we’ve already seen many adopt more eco-friendly methods and processes.