Making the World Work

Daily Mail (London), May 18, 2000 | Go to article overview

Making the World Work


Byline: LYNNE BATESON

ENGINEERS are the invisible heroes who keep society ticking.

They make sure aircraft stay in the air, put cars on the road, let us cross rivers - and they may even keep blood pumping around our bodies.

There are many types of engineers, but they all have one thing in common: they build practical solutions to problems and improve the quality of life.

Civil engineers construct fixed objects, such as bridges, roads, railways, airports, dams, power stations and water treatment plants. They also design and analyse buildings such as tower blocks. They are the people who were behind the construction of the Millennium Dome.

Mechanical engineers build objects with moving parts. They will work on anything from jet engines to dentists' drills and car transmissions.

The other major branches of engineering include electrical, chemical and electronic.

Medical engineers are a relatively new breed. They work on artificial organs such as hearts, lungs and kidneys, and make artificial limbs and joints.

Increasingly, many computer experts are being perceived as engineers. The internet has, in effect, been 'built' by people using mathematics and science.

Juliette Upton, of the Engineering Council, says: 'Engineering opens doors to successful careers across business and industry.' And Chris Bane, of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, says: 'It is a career path with no limits.

'Management can be an option.

Indeed, many of Britain's top companies are led by engineers - 40 pc have at least one engineer on the board. The new chief executive of British Airways, Rod Eddington, is an engineer.

YOU can earn a good salary soon after finishing your degree, and engineering is a great career for people who want to travel.

'However, women are still underrepresented in the industry, but the proportion is steadily rising.' If you want to be a professional engineer, it is best to get a university degree. You should be good at maths and physics, and computer literacy is expected.

The best starting point is to contact the Engineering Council.

Alternatively, do a Foundation Modern Apprenticeship or an Advanced Modern Apprenticeship.

The National Training Organisation for Engineering Manufacture (EMTA) can supply information on most apprenticeships. When it can't, it will refer inquiries to organ-isations that can help. People who go down the apprenticeship route may be able to take professional qualifications later on. …

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