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Kalani Jones, Engineering Vice
President at Tachyon Inc. (San Diego)
"Welook for people whocan lead a team,
someone who can get a small team—
four to six people—motivated and a
person who can quickly learn which
people are best at doing what”
John Reinert,EngineeringManager at Aeroflex UTMC
Microelectronicsin Colorado Springs, Colorado
"The soft skills are just as important as engineering skills"
"At a start-up a small company trying to win contracts, it's
important to knowhow to use these skills veryefficiently.
Conflict resolution also comes into play during some contract
negotiations, although mostpeople think of conflict resolution
[as something that happens] mainly within their own offices."
Vern R. Johnson, Associate Dean at the University of
Arizona's College of Engineering(Tucson)
"Manyemployerschoose to hire skills ratherthan people”
"The newskilled/global engineersmust keeptrack of what is
happening in the global market to determine gaps in their
knowledge, skills and attitudes so they will know whereto focus
their learning. They must becomeexpertswith career
development so they can strategically plan their employment and
learning activities, and they must learn howto learn so they can
fill their learning gaps."
JosephLillie, area manager at Bellsouth in
"The key non-technical skills I prefer to see people polish are
public speaking, written communications and ethics. The
goofball in that bunch is ethics, which I define as doing the
right thing. But the key thing is that along with your technical
skills, you've got to be prepared for the times when personal
With an Mechanical Engineering degree from Arizona
State University, Ahmad started as a production
His education had not completely prepared him for
workplace realities. "You come out of school and you
think you know things," Ahmad said. "And then you join
the real world, and it's completely different.“
Ahmad said. "It was not always about the technical
aspect of things, although that was a lot of it."
But Ahmad also sought pointers on soft skills, including
how to get along with managers, customers and co-
ROLE OF ENGINEERS CHANGE
OVER THE CENTURIES
19th Century And First Half Of The 20th
Second Half Of The 20th Century
The 21st century
Early engineering programs focused on
providing their graduates with
considerable hands on training.
However, the role of science and
mathematical modeling slowly increased
and gained acceptance.
Second Half Of The 20th Century:
By mid century, technological progress, including the
successful harnessing of nuclear energy, as well as
geopolitical realities as materialized by Sputnik, drove
home the need for engineers to be well versed in
science and mathematics and the engineering
curriculum adjusted to the changed needs.
This structure has, to a large degree, continued until the
present time, although “design” content increased
slowly. In the early nineties it was clear that more than
science was needed and many schools started to
emphasize non-technical professional skills such as
teamwork and communications
The 21st century:
The rapid changes that the world is currently going through,
coupled with changes in engineering education starting to take
place in the nineties, are likely to result in an extensive re-
engineering of engineering education. While the new structure
will, almost certainly, continue to be based on a solid preparation
in mathematics and sciences, it is likely to emphasize the
professional role of the engineer, and then demand new
qualifications suited for the new world order.
What are employers looking
for in an engineering
• "Graduates that tend to be successful
normally have a sound grasp of the
importance of customers.“
-Martin Dare, Director, Solution Partners
Organisation, Hewlett Packard Australia
• We look for engineers who not only have
excelled in their studies but exhibit excellent
- Lauren Jones from Huntsman
What are employers looking
for in an engineering
graduate?• "Brief knowledge of the interviewing
organisation's activities and background, a
positive attitude and display of confidence in the
graduate's own abilities impress the interviewing
- Amal Hanna, Manager of TeleGrid for
TransGrid and Vice-President of Engineers
• "Graduates who have experience of working in
teams are highly regarded...“
- Michael, IBM Corporation, Officer in
charge of graduate recruitment
The Engineering Graduate Today
Firms look for skills and attributes in two
I) Defining skills- Technical skills- a sound
knowledge of the engineering
fundamentals within their discipline, built
on a solid basis of mathematical know-
II) Enabling skills- Soft Skills-
ABET EC-2000 Criteria
Program Outcomes and
a) An ability to apply knowledge
of mathematics, science, and
b) An ability to design and
conduct experiments, as well as
to analyse and interpret data.
c) An ability to design a system,
component, or process to meet
d) An ability to function on
e) An ability to identify, formulate
and solve engineering
f) An understanding of
professional and ethical
k) An ability to use the
techniques, skills, and modern
engineering tools necessary for
Engineer Of The Twenty-
Knows Everything —can find information about anything quickly and
knows how to evaluate and use the information. The entrepreneurial
engineer has the ability to transform information into knowledge.
Can Do Anything —understands the engineering basics to the degree
that he or she can quickly assess what needs to be done, can acquire
the tools needed, and can use these tools proficiently.
Works With Anybody Anywhere —has the communication skills, team
skills, and understanding of global and current issues necessary to work
effectively with other people.
Imagines And Can Make The Imagination A Reality —has the
entrepreneurial spirit, the imagination, and the managerial skills to
identify needs, come up with new solutions, and see them through.
ENGINEERS OF THE
They must be able to do more than just
perform technical tasks.
They will be responsible for creating new
ideas and solutions and seeing them through.
Not only must the engineer innovate, he or
she must be able to help the innovation
become a reality.
In 21st century, the societal needs regardingenergy resources,
transportation,housing needs, packagingmaterials/recycling,and
biomaterialsand healthwillgrow rapidly. Thechallenges we face for a
sustainabledevelopmentof the globeareimmense.
These challenges can be tackledthrough engineering profession. So the
case for engineering as anenablingprofession for sustainable
developmentof the globe.
WISHING YOU ALL ENGINEERS OF
THE FUTURE A CHALLENGING JOB