Engineering the Future: The Profile of the Modern Engineer

Engineering the Future: The Profile of the Modern Engineer

Publication: FIDIC Leaders Booklet - Conference Publication
Author: Neelam Parbhoo
Issue: September 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to be adaptable in order to thrive in the face of constant change. In an ever-changing global environment, it is important for engineers to continue to increase their range of skills to remain relevant and progress further.

Whilst the most recognised profile of an engineer focuses on technical and analytical skills, there are several other skills required for effective performance in workplace and project environments. Some of these skills are discussed below:

COLLABORATIVE AND INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACH TO PROBLEM SOLVING

Collaboration is essential in any team-based work environment. Therefore, it is important for engineers to have the ability to communicate and collaborate across disciplines, in addition to gaining technical knowledge within their field of expertise. This is increasingly true in modern society, where engineers are tasked with addressing complex challenges, which are often less defined and require thinking beyond the traditional engineer’s tasks and responsibilities. Solving these problems can only be successfully done through collaboration, and an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving whereby, engineers are able to evaluate, synthesize and apply knowledge from both technical and non-technical fields.

Whilst most engineers are involved in projects where multiple disciplines contribute to a problem solution, modern engineers are required to understand how to integrate and apply knowledge from various disciplines to solve complex problems. In addition, it is important for engineers to understand that fields outside engineering also play an important role in problem-solving process and are required to make connections to knowledge and skills from fields other than engineering.

The development issues we face as society require engineers that are socially connected and able to work both within and outside the boundaries of his or her own discipline, working towards integrating environmental, social, and economical objectives in their work.

 

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