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December 2018 comment: If you don't shout about it, who will?

This year was designated as the Year of Engineering by the government with the aim of getting more young people interested in engineering careers.

claire clipped nov18 in article

claire clipped nov18 in article

Claire Smith is editor of Ground Engineering

It was a laudable cause, but has it made any difference? I think it will take much more than a year to change hearts and minds to ensure there are enough engineering skills to meet future demand.

So what as an industry are we doing about it to ensure that geotechnics and ground engineering are part of the mix when it comes to career planning?

GE played a critical role for me when it came to driving my career choices, and working on the magazine’s 50th anniversary issue brought that memory back to the front of my mind. The news and articles in the magazine demonstrated to my teenage self that there was a sector where innovation and knowledge had still to be learned. Researching and writing the supplement has shown that it still the case and I hope you enjoy reading your copy  which comes with this issue.

What does frustrate me is the number of project completion press releases and news stories I read daily that focus on the outcome of an engineering scheme – a shiny new building, repaired infrastructure or an averted emergency. What each of these stories is missing is the nitty gritty of the engineering – what the engineers actually did – and the focus is just on the benefit to society and cost, which are important too.

To convert these news stories to the ones you read in these pages and online at www.geplus.co.uk, we have to do a lot more research to find out the geotechnical story behind the headlines. e general public does not have the benefit of the technical press to tell them the engineering back story so all they see is the outcome.

Without the detail, how are we to ever inspire future engineers? So next time a project you’re involved in reaches its conclusion, make sure you tell people what delivery really involved and add to the client’s or the accountant’s story.

You can read the December issue of GE in full here and the 50th anniversary supplement here.


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