What does the future of Engineering look like?.
Technology is swiftly changing everything we do, from how we connect with friends and family, to the way we work, shop, travel and learn. These lifestyle changes have forced Engineers to adapt and advance. The need to embed new technologies into processes has become essential in order to meet the new reality of how we live.
As travel is becoming more advanced and the world is becoming better connected, the need for change in mechanical engineering has become apparent. With AI, sensors, zero emission vehicles and self driving cars (to name few!!) becoming widespread, the need to integrate new technologies to improve, advance and develop transportation systems is essential if the work is going to be done effectively and delivered on time.
The development and revolutionization of cities has forced civil engineering methods to progress and incorporate new tech. The demand for new, modern and innovatively designed buildings built sustainably and at speed is becoming the new norm.
Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) have become popular tools to support the demand for unique and aesthetically pleasing buildings. They improve design, detect errors early and gain better control over developments.
Building information modelling (BIM) is another technology being used which is quickly becoming a standard across the industry. Its 3D technology system is able to design a project from concept to competition. It allows engineers to pre-plan the use of space and energy consumption, whilst giving all parties including suppliers, stakeholders and occupiers visibility before completion.
Over recent years, building regulations have put increasingly more pressure on the sustainability and environmental impact of developments. It is essential engineers have strong knowledge of ‘green’ solutions, materials and technologies in order to operate under new legislations and requirements.
A great example of a new technology supporting renewable energy is Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV). This development serves as a building envelope material and power generator – saving energy and material costs, while reducing the use of harmful fuels and gases.
What does this mean for Engineers?
Tech advancements offer real time data, support problem solving, and ultimately allow teams to make improvements faster. These developments mean engineers can deliver faster product development cycles and work to much shorter deadlines. AI and robotics are enabling tasks to be conducted more efficiently, and ‘green’ solutions are permitting engineers to have a real positive impact on the planet.
Engineering roles and responsibilities are advancing and diversifying. Engineers are having to acquire more technological skills, environmental knowledge and be flexible in adapting and learning how to operate new equipment. These changes and new technologies are significantly supporting career progression and job performance, and making project opportunities much more innovative.