EngineeringUK Chief Executive on the Big Bang @ Parliament

Nov 8, 2017

Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2017 is all about celebrating the engineers on a mission to make a difference. The Week is a focused campaign to inspire young people about engineering and the vital contribution that it makes to the society and world we live in, as well as to the economy.

Yesterday (7 Nov) several groups of young people were invited to Big Bang @ Parliament to showcase their engineering projects, which have already impressed the judges of The Big Bang Competition.  I find the inquisitiveness and creativity at the core their endeavours simply incredible… not to mention the social good that many of these engineering minds are creating.

That’s what EngineeringUK is all about… working with our partners, including the professional engineering institutions, The Royal Academy of Engineering, engineering employers, schools and the wider community, to inspire tomorrow’s engineers and open pathways into engineering careers.

The people that work in engineering are responsible for helping us to meet some of the world’s biggest challenges from improving energy efficiency and tackling climate change, to providing clean water and better food, more sustainable housing and transportation, and enabling us to communicate better with each other, as well as helping to keep us safe and well.

Engineering is also helping to push back the frontiers of space… After all, it was only a combination of scientists and engineers, working together, that got Cassini to Saturn and provided us with those wonderful images and insights into another world.

And, to put it simply, we need many more people like the young scientists and engineers you see around the room today... around 186,000 of them, every year, to be exact. 

We are quite a way short of that target but look forward to continuing to work with all our stakeholders to ensure we do attract a new and diverse generation of engineers. Our sector must continue to challenge itself in addressing the gender imbalance and attracting more of those people who today are under-represented in engineering.

This is not only the right thing to do, it makes great business sense too. I’ve been passionate about this throughout my career and all my experience tells me that greater diversity brings more creative, ground breaking, insights that help to exploit the opportunities and solve the most complex problems that will make our world a better place.

My point about all this is that engineering is so much more than what we might normally think about and that engineers are critical to what happens in our world… and we must inspire as many young people as possible to follow pathways into our sector in full confidence that this is where they can make the biggest difference to society.

And that’s what Tomorrow’s Engineer’s Week is all about… engineers on a mission to do social good.

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