Engineering the Future
As a father of two budding technophiles, and having my first college degree in electrical and computer engineering, please allow me this opportunity to promote this important profession …
As the world’s population nears seven-billion people, mechanical engineers will play a major role in meeting global challenges says a research study conducted by ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers). The study, The State of Mechanical Engineering: Today and Beyond, was the result of a survey of over 1,200 engineers.
With the expanding global population comes the need to address challenges such as clean water, sanitation, food and energy. While the study shows optimism about the ability of engineers to meet global challenges, it points to the importance of working on interdisciplinary teams of professionals to address these issues.
The study also revealed that early career engineers and students will play a major role in meeting global challenges over the next 10-20 years, especially in the areas of sustainability or renewable energy, bioengineering and biomedical fields, nanotechnology, green building technology, energy storage, smart grids and greenhouse gas mitigation.
The ASME research study also revealed that over the next two decades:
- The prestige of working as an engineer will increase
- The financial rewards of working as an engineer will be greater
- The number of engineers working in less-developed countries will be greater
- The need for engineers to increase their ability to communicate more effectively, increase language skills and manage global teams will increase
When participants were asked how they would acquire additional knowledge or expertise needed to address future challenges, almost all engineers said they would employ self-study. According to the survey, “early career engineers prefer traditional face-to-face instruction for acquiring knowledge such as in-house training, mentoring, and part-time graduate degree programs. More experienced engineers, on the other hand, are more comfortable relying on magazines, books and online courses.”
The study also indicated that “basic engineering disciplines will continue to be indispensable. Abilities such as multilingual and multicultural skills will be essential in the anticipated increasingly global work environment.”
Download the study results here: The State of Mechanical Engineering: Today and Beyond