“Inventors’ Inbox”

I’m a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and a Chartered Engineer. My views on membership are controversial, in that I believe there is a strong case to be made for strictly limiting access to use of the title Engineer, in order to boost fee rates…exactly what the sawbones and ambulance chasers have done forever (and teachers, for example, have failed to do).

It therefore isn’t surprising that lawyers and medics are highly paid, whilst Engineers generally aren’t (or at least not for practising Engineering). We need many fewer people at the highest level within the profession, rather than recruiting truckloads of mediocre students to do uncreative, low-level degrees -and then allowing anyone, including car mechanics and drain diggers, to use the title anyway.

It’s time for Engineers to stop thinking of themselves as employees and encourage them to be leaders.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

ETB report outlines crisis in UK engineering
Unemployment amongst engineering and technology graduates is persistently higher than the average for other subjects, reveals a report by the Engineering and Technology Board.

The report sums up recent trends in the science and engineering workforce. It warns that engineering graduates are regularly lost to city careers, women are still not being attracted to SET studies and that international visitors outnumber British students on postgraduate engineering courses. The crisis is particularly acute in electronic and electrical engineering, where UK-based enrolment has more than halved since the early part of the decade.

The board also warns that unless the UK is unlikely to reach it target of a 2.5 per cent R&D spend as part of the Lisbon strategy unless more public and private investment are attracted and productivity is increased.

Anyway, Mark Sheahan and I write this column for the IET Magazine. Sometimes he manages to turn my imaginings into practical products.

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