Editor’s comment: Engineers will save the day…

Author : Mark Gradwell | Editor | EPDT

02 November 2022

Mark Gradwell, Editor, EPDT
Mark Gradwell, Editor, EPDT

Regular EPDT readers will know that I often write about the key role engineers play in addressing the grand challenges facing society – from improving energy security & confronting climate change, to ensuring universal access to clean drinking water & maximising the benefits of AI for all. Engineers are tasked with creating, developing, building & maintaining the technologies to solve these problems & improve everyday life...

A version of this editorial leader was originally featured in the November 2022 issue of EPDT magazine [read the digital issue]. And sign up to receive your own copy each month.

But the perennial skills gap remains. So how can we encourage more young people to study STEM (science, technology, engineering & mathematics) subjects – and ultimately, to become engineers? Well, many of the engineering trade bodies and institutions are focused on this very problem, working with government, industry and academia to raise both the profile and understanding of STEM careers – and promote the value engineers bring to society, the economy and everyday life for all.

National Engineering Day takes place on 2 November 2022. Since November 2019, as part of its This Is Engineering campaign (designed to help change public perceptions of engineering and bring it to life for young people), the Royal Academy of Engineering has led a national awareness day to raise public awareness of how engineers make a difference in the world and celebrate how they shape the future. After 3 years of This is Engineering Day, to broaden its appeal and reach audiences who aren’t familiar with the This is Engineering campaign, the Academy has changed the name to National Engineering Day – and in 2022, it focuses on showcasing how engineering improves lives.

This year’s theme – improving lives through engineering – was chosen because research shows that ‘having a positive impact on the lives of others’ is a key career motivator for young people. They want to see how engineers come up with solutions and learn more about the people benefiting from the innovation. So, whether it’s a device that makes music tactile or a virus-busting vaccine, clothes that grow with you or a battery that makes any bike electric, National Engineering Day aims to make visible the engineers and engineering delivering improvements to people’s day-to-day lives, as well as helping to tackle the biggest challenges of our time.

Hot on the heels of National Engineering Day, Tomorrow’s Engineers Week (#TEWeek22) returns for its 10th year from 7-11 November 2022, shining a spotlight on engineering, engineering careers and engineering professionals. From individual engineers to professional engineering institutions and global engineering companies, TEWeek22 will showcase modern engineering and inspirational engineers and technicians.

Since it began in 2012, hundreds of thousands of young people have been involved in Tomorrow’s Engineers Week. This year, the focus is on looking forward to the future of engineering – with schools from all over the UK invited to come together and discuss their ideas for what engineering could achieve in the next decade. Engineers from a variety of industry sectors joined an online event with school pupils in October, Future Minds Live, co-hosted by STEM-Champion, Fayon Dixon and notable engineer, Simon Crowther. They discussed ideas for the future of engineering across four key sectors: Entertainment, Sport, Technology and Environment.

Filmed and edited for broadcast, Future Minds will be available to watch from 7 November, the first day of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week. All schools across the UK will be able to watch the broadcast and engage with the conversation. An accompanying toolkit and lesson plan will give pupils around the country a chance to be inspired by the ideas discussed. After watching the broadcast, schools will have the opportunity to vote on their favourite of the featured ideas and submit their own thoughts on where engineering is headed in the future.

Whether it’s tackling the biggest challenges of our time, or making improvements to people’s everyday lives, engineers will save the day!

EPDT November 2022 cover image
EPDT November 2022 cover image

EPDT's November 2022 issue also contains features on Manufacturing technologies and Automotive applications, plus the latest edition of EPDT's T&M supplement, covering the world of test & measurement (T&M). Read more on what's inside EPDT this month

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