“A good scientist is a person with original ideas. A good engineer is a person who makes a design that works with as few original ideas as possible. There are no prima donnas in engineering.” – Freeman Dyson
Engineering UK is a professional, not-for-profit organisation that works alongside the nation’s engineering sector to highlight the importance of engineers, and engineering, within our complex, global society. Through a comprehensive annual report that gives detailed analysis into the workings of the industry, Engineering UK helps shed light on the true extent to which we value this discipline. The group’s most recent research not only highlights that graduates hoping to forge a successful career in engineering look forward to encouraging prospects, with above average employment rates and starting salaries, but also that a thriving engineering sector makes for a more prosperous UK economy overall.
“A healthy economy requires strong productivity and here the UK’s engineering sectors continue to punch above their weight,” says Nick Boles, Minister of State for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education.
According to the report, in 2014, engineering contributed over £450 billion to the UK economy, 27 percent of total UK GDP and more than the retail & wholesale, and financial & insurance sectors combined.
“Engineering sectors also produce the majority of the nation’s exports and play an essential role in supporting the UK’s international competitiveness by investing in research and development,” Boles explains.
“…for every new engineering job another two new jobs are created for the wider economy,” he adds. “So it is good news that the 5.6 percent growth in the number of engineering enterprises during 2013/14 was the highest in six years.”
The report also points out that in order to uphold, and also to heighten its reputation as leader, innovator and pioneer of engineering and technology, the UK must continue to invest in world-class engineering higher education. And with professionals forecasting an annual shortfall of 69,000 graduates and engineers, the nation will continue to push, review and improve its specialised engineering programmes. That being said, there’s never been a better time for the field’s future pioneers to dedicate their talents to the nation’s booming sector.
Here are 5 UK Engineering Schools with outstanding industry links…
Located in the vibrant Welsh capital, Cardiff University is an outstanding and ambitious university that offers exceptional academics and an unforgettable student experience. Driven by intense curiosity and creativity, the University consistently strives to fulfil its social, cultural and economic obligations to Cardiff, Wales, the UK and the world.
With 1,200 undergraduate students, 400 postgraduates, 100 members of staff and 200 members of research faculty, the School of Engineering is a reputed powerhouse of the Cardiff University brand. Frequently conducting internationally-recognised research and nurturing ideas rife with ambition and innovation, the School is known to provide an excellent educational experience that places students at the heart of a dynamic learning environment.
The School’s undergraduate portfolio is incredibly well-regarded, with programmes that are valued by local, national and international employers. On top of this, strong industrial partnerships allow students to find meaningful solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems and maximise the impact of research. These partners are not mutually exclusive to the School of Engineering, and students of the College of Physical Science and Engineering have the opportunity to benefit from them. Partners include: Airbus, ARUP, BP Global, DoW, ESA, Ford, Jaguar and Land Rover, Matthey, Mott MacDonald, National Grid, Ricardo, Tata Steel and beyond. Students can benefit from these diverse connections through the opportunity of industry placements and internship opportunities, giving them the chance to forge an invaluable professional network long before they graduate.
The University of Strathclyde is a leading technological university in the heart of Glasgow – Scotland’s largest city. Through a flexible and creative learning environment, students here enjoy a first-rate academic experience, enriched with industrial placements, scholarships and opportunities to study abroad.
Strathclyde’s Faculty of Engineering is a respected figure in the UK higher education landscape, with seven out of its eight engineering departments being ranked in the top 10 in the UK in terms of research power. Also hosting one of the most extensive industry scholarship catalogues in the region, there’s boundless opportunities for students to excel at Strathclyde Engineering.
Firm links with industry partners is another core strength of the Faculty, harbouring relationships that have major impact on research programmes and taught courses, on top of keeping Strathclyde’s staff and students at the forefront of the business. Not only do these ties greatly benefit industry partners, as the Faculty provides elite services and training, and imparts its knowledge and expertise in order to strengthen their business, it also equips students with the relevant skills needed to forge a long and successful career.
Ranked in the top 1% of universities across the world by Times Higher Education and in the top 10 of the Times good University Guide, the University of Exeter is held in high regard on the global higher education stage. A respected member of the Russell Group, Exeter is a well-known provider of both cutting-edge academics and research.
Engineering at Exeter upholds an unrivalled standing in the UK and the world, consistently ranking within The Guardian’s and The Complete University Guide’s top 10. Perfectly combining academic rigour with a firm focus on industry demand, the Department hosts a broad spectrum of programmes for undergraduates, comprehensively covering all engineering disciplines. For prospective postgraduates, the Department also offers a range of research-led Masters and postgraduate research programmes.
Exeter’s research-informed teaching in engineering is further enhanced by its outstanding industry connections, with its specialist MEng/BEng programmes receiving professional accreditation. Undergraduate engineering students are able to pursue a period of study overseas, or partake in an industrial placement with key industry players.
In 2015, Times Higher Education (THE) asked graduate hiring Managers from 21 different countries to select the universities producing the most employable graduates within their main recruiting areas. According to the results, King’s College London – one of the most cutting-edge and globally-connected universities in the UK capital – ranks 43rd in the world in terms of producing top graduates for hire, also coming in 7th out of all UK universities.
The Division of Engineering formally closed on 31st July 2013, but research and teaching in engineering and related areas continues as part of other units at King’s. Continuing MSc and research programmes have now been transferred to the Department of Informatics and the Department of Physics, in the Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences and the Department of Biomedical Engineering, part of the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine.
Soon after the founding of King’s College London in 1829, a Department of Engineering was established at King’s in 1838, making it arguably the oldest of its kind in England. With so many years’ experience in the discipline on top of an elite reputation for both teaching and research, KCL Engineering students are given the advantage of industry links and placements that truly are unparalleled.
The University of Sheffield stands as a world top 100 university, renowned for the influence, impact and distinctiveness of its research-led learning and teaching. Working alongside powerful partners in virtually every endeavour, the University has brought cultural vibrancy, expertise and a flourishing economy to Sheffield City.
Providing research-led learning and teaching that spans the breadth and depth of the entire discipline, Sheffield’s Faculty of Engineering is one of the UK’s best and biggest, refining more than 5,000 talented students, and contributing an annual research income of over £65 million.
Sheffield’s specialised research and teaching covers Aerospace, Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, Bioengineering, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Civil and Structural Engineering, and Chemical and Biological Engineering, ensuring there’s something to suit all prospective students of this field.
Through leading-edge research and strong partnerships with global industry leaders such as Boeing, Siemens and Rolls-Royce, Sheffield’s academics help tackle the biggest challenges facing the modern world through an increasingly collaborative and multidisciplinary approach.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International