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Celebrating Global Day of the Engineer

Today, 3 April 2019, is Global Day of the Engineer – a worldwide event to celebrate the achievements of the engineering community.

And, for the first time, volunteer student engagement community DiscoverE conducted a global survey to understand what the engineering industry is really like.

The Global Engineer Survey was designed to help the engineering community learn about and celebrate its many shared values—and at the same time, the qualities that make it diverse. The hope was that the findings will be useful in sparking interest and enthusiasm among tomorrow’s engineers.

Survey Highlights

  • 2,882 participants were surveyed in 82 countries, who speak six languages
  • 56% of participants were male, 42% female and final 2% identified as other
  • The top four disciplines surveyed include: Civil (24%), Mechanical (20%), Electrical (15% and Chemical (10%)
  • 56% participants decided to become an engineer between the ages 15-18 years old
  • Participants identified Problem Solving as the top skill required to be an engineer, while strong math and science abilities ranked towards the bottom
  • Participants identified environmental issues as the most daunting global challenge

Discover the full survey results here [8.6MB]

Wood & Grieve Engineers, now part of Stantec, took inspiration from DiscoverE’s survey and asked some of our own people three simple questions about life as an Engineer and what they’ve learned along the journey.

It’s fair to say that WGE also agrees – problem solving is the most important part of the job! Check out some of the highlights below.

What makes an Engineer?

“A problem solver and good communicator” – Michael Bourke, Electrical Project Engineer Associate

“Continuously improving, learning, developing and a love for problem solving. A great engineer can put themselves in the client’s shoes and empathise” – John Lucchetti, Hydraulic & Fire Protection Section Manager, Principal

“Willingness to explore and solve problems. We’ll often jump straight to the solving part, even before figuring out what the problem is” – Elliot Alfirevich, Electrical Project Engineer, Principal

“Someone that has a drive to learn and solve problems” – Vivienne Edwards, Civil Project Engineer, Principal

What don’t they tell you while studying?

“That sometimes (most of the time) you don’t actually need five decimal places” – Erika Voges, Hydraulics Project Engineer

“The softer side of consulting” – Brett Davis, Perth Office Manager, Director

“Engineering as a discipline is broad. The tools you learn as an engineer are valuable across disciplines. You can mould your career into whatever you want it to be” – Oliver Walsh, Civil Project Engineer

“That being an engineer is much more fun than endless calculations!” – Vivienne Edwards

“How important and hard effective communication is. The first day on the job when you meet an important client, you default to speaking to them like an engineer because that’s what you know. When you meet a builder or contractor, you’ll fail to appreciate their experience and motivation to get the job built. The technically perfect solution might not be the best” – Elliot Alfirevich

“If you don’t like coffee now, you soon will!” – Michael Bourke

What would you tell your younger self?

“Use the early years of your career to build a really good foundation in the fundamentals. Also, look your very best for staff photos; they are going to follow you for years and become the source of much enjoyment for those you will manage in the future” – John Lucchetti

“Ask many questions and listen a lot!” – Brett Davis

“Don’t second guess yourself. Engineering is broad and diverse, you will find your groove” –Erika Voges

“1) You must be technically competent, but your customer service skills differentiate you. 2) Think before you ask a question, but don’t hesitate to ask. No one minds taking 10 minutes to answer you. 3) Your client’s reaction to news is guided by how you present it. If you have to share a problem, make sure you have a solution” – Oliver Walsh

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