You may not know it, but this week is Tomorrow’s Engineers Week. The purpose of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week is to inspire and put a spotlight on engineering careers. There have been a number of initiatives undertaken that shine the spotlight on engineering in a way that young people, particularly females, may have not considered before.
One woman who is greatly shining the spotlight on engineering is 23 year old Joanna Anderson, a Traffic Signals Specialist for the engineering firm Mouchel. Joanna has written and recorded a song about engineering, so as to inform people about what engineers actually do and to allow them to see engineers in a new light.
The song is cleverly formed around some distinctly challenging lyrics, for example “Engineers build the skyscrapers, large structures and our homes; They provide the power for us to use our computers and phones”. The song is available on YouTube, and it also features photos of some amazing engineering projects all over the world. The ICE and other organisations in the UK have now used the song to highlight engineering careers in a bid to help address the skills gap.
ICE’s North West chair Gareth Scott praised Joanna’s initiative, saying: “Joanna eats, sleeps and breathes civil engineering and I think her infectious enthusiasm and her catchy chords and lyrics will help get the message to young people that they can have a fantastic, exciting, rewarding career in civil engineering if they choose the relevant subjects at school.”
Although a lot of people hear the words ‘civil engineering’, they don’t have a clue what it actually means. Joanna’s choice to go into civil engineering is an interesting one; she only actually found out about civil engineering when she was 18 – she spoke to someone for 2 minutes who helped her understand how engineers make a difference to our lives, and this inspired her to choose civil engineering as a career. These 2 minutes changed her life, and she is hoping she can inspire young people in the same way, as she now wishes she found out about civil engineering sooner.
Joanna also wants to challenge the view that a civil engineer is a man in a hard hat who spends all day on a construction site, as most civil engineers do not fit the criteria for this civil engineer stereotype. She wants people to understand what civil engineers actually do, rather than just what people say civil engineers do.
Joanna feels a duty to promote engineering, since she wants young people to get on the right educational path at the right time, like she wishes she had. However it not just about making young people more aware of a rewarding career option; Joanna also wants to promote engineering as the world needs to ensure that we have enough engineers to design, build and maintain the infrastructure that we rely on every day. By 2022, we will need 182,000 people a year with engineering skills; we need to double the amount of people entering the industry, and therefore initiatives need to be undertaken to achieve this.
Tomorrow’s Engineers Week ran a school programme last year to help inspire the next generation of engineers – they managed to reach 40,000 young people, and this year they are doing the same thing. As part of this, Joanna is helping launch Mouchel’s Graduate Scheme, and is going into her old school to help students learn about engineering.
Others are promoting engineering in Tomorrow’s Engineers week too. For example, young engineers have written blogs that detail about working in the engineering industry, including Spacecraft Structures Engineer Abbie Hutty who has written about dispelling the 10 common Engineering myths.
Vloggers and ambassadors for Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, Lily France and Nayeeb Chowdhury, have been vlogging to help bridge the gap between young people and STEM careers. Their vlogs have included meeting both male and female Engineers, finding out people’s perceptions of engineering, and visiting Thorpe Park to see if people realised that designing and building rollercoasters is actually an engineering job.
Engineering is all around us, whether we realise it or not. Every time we step outside we’re touching engineering, as civil engineering is needed to design, construct and maintain roads. ICS is located in Lancaster, with the construction of the Heysham to M6 Link Road going on nearby. The Heysham to M6 Link Road is one of Lancashire’s top priority transport projects, and will be a 4.8km dual carriageway with a footpath and cycleway along the whole route – this also involves a completely remodelled junction 34, with new slip roads, a new bridge over the River Lune and a 600 space park and ride site. We’re looking very forward to this, as not only will the new road provide better access for residents, businesses and tourists, it will reduce congestion and therefore pollution, meaning our air quality will be improved and we will be living in a healthier environment.
The road has also created new jobs for engineers, and here at ICS we think new engineering roles and anything that promotes engineering is great, as we understand engineering is needed for everyone’s basic living. Many workers in the engineering industry are contractors, and we don’t think engineering contractors should have to waste time on boring accountancy and paperwork when our world’s needs are far more important. Hence, we’ve been helping engineering contractors with their accountancy and administration since 2002 – you can check out our Engineering Contractor Accountants page here.