“Engineering is a fantastic base for any career.” – Chris Liddell
It’s a well-known fact that the global engineering services industry is indeed big business; that it’s an ever-expanding sector experts expect to keep on growing. According to the respected IBIS World Industry Report, the international engineering sector was worth US$782.8 billion in 2014, and the industry is predicted to swell to beyond a trillion dollars in less than a 10-year period.
As Gavin Christie of the KKOOEE notes, if the global sector was instead a country, it would rank within the Top 20 in terms of its annual GDP.
Last year, as the UK clambered free of a deep generational recession, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) decided to collaborate with the Royal Academy of Engineering in order to commission a Technopolis review on the economic return of the sector. The report uncovered results that were deemed extremely encouraging: firstly, it found that engineering-related industries contributed around £280 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA) in the year 2011 – a figure that amounts to 20 percent of the country’s total GVA.
The report also notes that not only does this represent a three percent rise on figures from 2007, it also confirms that the UK has officially recovered from pre-financial crisis levels of economic output.
The UK’s engineering research strategy is widely recognised as one that is both adept and highly-focused. To highlight this point, the EPSRC report positions the UK first in the world in terms of productivity, and second in the world in terms of research excellence.
“Engineering is central to the well-being and economic development of every nation,” states the report. “Creative and dynamic, it evolves continuously to meet the needs of human civilisation. Engineering is pervasive in our modern society, enabling every sector from communication and entertainment to finance and healthcare, as well as its more visible applications in construction, manufacturing and transport.
“Progress is driven, as it has always been, by human curiosity and experimentation, but resources are finite and the art of engineering is to devise affordable solutions to problems.”
One UK institution actively capitalising on a thriving global engineering sector is the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), where it’s Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering (FACE) is driving students towards success within the various fields of engineering. UWTSD represents an esteemed UK university with the resources, support systems and faculty in place to shoot prospective engineers to the top of their respective professional fields. While every facet of FACE’s engineering portfolio boasts a history of graduate success, here we have named just three of the University’s respected postgraduate routes:
“Learning new topics and working with great lecturers who understand industry having worked in the environment,” says former student Christian Wilmot.
The technology and applications of Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) are all-encompassing and ever-evolving. Among the major fields of application are the aerospace industry; oil, gas and energy generation; chemical industries; space technology; rail transport; automotive and motorsport; and shipping and manufacturing. But other applications are steadily emerging, with new NDT techniques being established in order to meet the needs of rising nanotechnologies.
“NDT plays a big role in keeping our world safe and is used to test many of the things that you come in contact with everyday,” says the National Science Foundation. “…NDT methods are used to make sure that important parts in airplanes, trains and automobiles are free of defects that could lead to an accident…As a career field, Non-Destructive Testing offers many opportunities, and there is a big demand for technicians and engineers trained in NDT.”
Careers in NDT often provide ample opportunity to travel and work in new, high-technology industries. Due its status as the lead academic partner in the NDT Validation Centre and strong ties with TWI – one of the UK’s largest research organisations, UWTSD’s Swansea campus is one of the best providers of NDT education in terms of real-world and relevant experiential learning opportunities within a global context.
Possible Career Path: Non-Destructive Testing Technician
Hours: 30-40 per week
Starting Salary: £17,500+ per year
“At a leadership level it’s allowed me to feel confident in my environment, and talk with confidence around moving my business forward at a senior leadership level,” says Mark Lambart, former student of UWTSD’s MSc in Engineering and Project Management.
The Engineering Project Management programme at UWTSD reflects increasing demand for qualified engineers who already have project management training and experience under their belts. The course examines key areas in the management of projects within a professional engineering environment, allowing students to develop financial and people management skills, while comprehensively honing project management expertise specific to engineering. The discipline embraces core areas like quality and supply chain management, which are absolutely vital to the success of all projects.
“…A degree in engineering management (most often a Master’s degree) qualifies you for a wide spectrum of positions, ranging from the academic to the technical,” writes WorldWideLearn.Com. “Individuals that excel in this field possess a strong combination of scientific knowledge and a passion for problem solving…The breadth of opportunity is one of the most attractive facets of this speciality.”
Possible Career Path: Design Engineering Manager, Specials Project Manager, Engineering Projects Manager, Operations Manager, Production Manager, Design Engineer
Hours: 37-40 per week
Starting Salary: £36,501+ per year
The MSc in Lean and Agile Manufacturing (otherwise known as Industrial Engineering) at UWTSD echoes current industrial demand for skills in lean and agile manufacturing techniques. The programme incorporates activities that play a key role in managing the extended enterprise, designing products and processes for manufacturing, while managing risk at the design stage of product development and process planning.
“The course was highly attuned to the professional manufacturing standards many companies aspire to achieve,” says Chris Cook, former student of the programme. “Lean and Agile techniques now apply to a far broader area than the manufacturing floor so the expertise gained on the course can be utilised in many different ways.”
With this programme, UWTSD seeks to instil students with the knowledge of key procedures in international trade and how organisations can reduce their environmental impact throughout the supply chain and manufacturing operations.
“In today’s global marketplace, industrial engineering is fast becoming international engineering,” writes WorldWideLearn.com. “Global boundaries are diminishing, requiring industrial engineers to be fluent in foreign languages and customs. International travel could very well be the norm for engineers, as companies expand and conduct more and more business with foreign governments.”
Possible Career Path: Production Manager, Production Planning, Materials Manager, Logistics and Supply Manager, Continuous Improvement Management, Asset and Integrity Management
Hours: 37-40 per week
Starting Salary: £25,000+ per year
UWTSD also provides world-leading degree programmes in the fields of Applied Computing, Automotive Engineering, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, and Logistics and Transport. And with international researchers confirming this field of study as the most common degree among the globe’s top billionaires, UWTSD can be deemed an official gateway to the world’s thriving engineering sector.