The start of this week marked the beginning of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week. Now in its seventh year, Tomorrow’s Engineers Week allows engineers, employers, universities and schools to showcase how engineers working in all sectors are doing important work. As part of this, today is This Is Engineering Day, an opportunity to celebrate the variety of roles engineers play and the contribution they make to our lives.
As a company which puts innovation at the forefront of everything we do, and one which is fighting to address the imminent skills shortage caused by a lack of people choosing STEM-related subjects and careers, Keltbray is proud to acknowledge Tomorrow’s Engineers Week and This Is Engineering Day and raise awareness to hopefully help change the perception of our industry to inspire young people.
In honour of the event, we’ve looked to some of Keltbray’s own inspiring and diverse workforce and asked what construction and engineering means to them, and why it’s important to engage young people and women. We received some insightful words from Asha Panchal.
Asha is an Innovation & Systems Engineer working for Keltbray. As a qualified civil engineer with experience working for Dyer & Butler at Heathrow Airport, Asha has also worked with Cementation Skanska and spent three years researching geotechnical engineering related problems at City, University of London with particular emphasis on monitoring excavations and understanding the behaviour of deep foundations.
Asha is passionate about construction because it creates good, liveable places for people to be, exciting projects and challenging works. She believes that engineering presents difficult problems that need a new perspective to solve and likes that the projects are on a big scale. She also gets satisfaction in seeing her ideas coming to life and contributing to society.
On why we need to engage young people and women, in her own words, Asha believes, “It’s important to engage young people and women for fresh ideas. The best ideas are needed to meet the challenges of the built environment today and smart people need to be engaged to solve these challenges, a lack of women in construction is a wasted resource as we need the best people doing it. There is a lot of talent out there and we need to engage and encourage more of the right people to get involved. After all, there are plenty of different roles available in engineering and construction.”
We also heard from Stuart Vaughan, Director for Wentworth House Partnership. Stuart loves the challenges that engineering offers him, “Nearly every task encompasses a unique blend of spatial, dynamic, technical, logistical and interpersonal challenges. This forces us to develop new methods and solutions and skills meaning that no two days at work are the same. Through this we deliver the infrastructure and buildings that allow people to live, work, travel and be entertained or cared for. I am fortunate to have worked on a range of public and private projects from Crossrail and HS2 to hospitals, education buildings and housing schemes.”
Stuart believes one of the key challenges we all face is developing the next generation of construction professionals. Wentworth House continuously develops staff, exposing them to new and increasingly demanding challenges. This encompasses apprentices and undergraduates through to chartered engineers. Stuart adds, “There are few more rewarding experiences than seeing an employee develop competence and confidence to be able to successfully deliver increasingly demanding challenges.”
We’re facing an imminent skills shortage in our industry, which is why it’s so important that we keep attracting young talent. Tomorrow’s Engineers Week and This Is Engineering Day focusses on the great work the nations engineers do and showcases how engineers working in all sectors are on a mission to make the world a better place. Long may this continue.