An industry in crisis: why we need more women in engineering

EME Outlook Magazine | May 05, 2020

In 2016, Engineering UK announced a severe crisis in recruitment. More people are leaving the engineering sector than entering. Even with the best case scenario in mind (that is, given the lowest estimate of the numbers leaving), engineering’s future looks bleak: there are 69,000 people abandoning the sector every year, compared to around 46,000 apprentices and undergrads seeking to replace them.

It is thought that a combination of uncertainty around Brexit, along with rising wages in Eastern Europe, is playing a significant part in the crisis. After all, Britain has leaned heavily on its EU labour force in the recent past. Now that the world is changing, it is going to have to look elsewhere to fill the shortfall. It just so happens that the UK is abundant with a powerful natural resource - its population of women, who outnumber men by a slender margin.

We like to think of the UK as a hugely successful and progressive country, but remarkably it lags behind a lot of countries when it comes to the STEM fields. For example, the UK has the lowest number of women in the engineering sector out of any European country - with a figure of 11 percent.

Spotlight

Direct Torque and Flux Control - What Is It? The Direct Torque and Flux Control (DTFC) is a control technique developed for three-phase AC permanent magnet synchronous motors. DTFC uses a model of the electric motor flux and torque equations. Theta Power Systems International (TPSI) built an implementation allowing high-efficien

Spotlight

Direct Torque and Flux Control - What Is It? The Direct Torque and Flux Control (DTFC) is a control technique developed for three-phase AC permanent magnet synchronous motors. DTFC uses a model of the electric motor flux and torque equations. Theta Power Systems International (TPSI) built an implementation allowing high-efficien

Related News

ENGINEERING TECH,CONSTRUCTION

OpenSpace with Insta360 Sphere Expands Support for Drone-based Reality Capture

Openspace | January 24, 2023

OpenSpace, a global leader in reality capture and AI powered analytics, has recently announced platform support for the Insta360 Sphere, an easy-to-install, dual 360° camera that can be mounted to DJI Mavic Air 2 and Air 2S drones. When combined with OpenSpace's technology, drone capture with Sphere is simple and scalable, making 360° capture accessible to a broader corporate audience. Sphere joins an increasing list of capture technologies supported by OpenSpace's platform, such as 360° cameras, mobile cameras, drone cameras, and LiDAR scanners, empowering users to capture in a manner of their choice. The Insta360 Sphere integration produces a 360° view using two cameras, one upward facing and one downward facing, where the camera is rendered invisible in the capture, allowing drone pilots of varying levels of experience to capture all aspects of a job site without the need for additional flights. In addition, Sphere simplifies installation and flight with an easy locking mechanism and FlowState stabilization to ensure smooth filming. OpenSpace is currently beta testing captures with the Insta360 Sphere in order to optimize calibrations, capture processing, image quality, battery life, ease of installation, elevated captures, and angle selection. Customers will be able to get Sphere support later this quarter. OpenSpace Capture allows users to attach cameras to their hard hats, drones, robot, or other apparatus and walk around the site as they usually would. Once the video is sent to the cloud, OpenSpace's computer vision technology stitches images together and pins them to the floor plan regardless of where the camera is mounted, thus establishing a reliable visual record of the site state. Powered by the company's Vision Engine, the site image map is ready to view about 15 minutes after it has been uploaded. About OpenSpace OpenSpace, founded in 2017, is an AI technology firm on a mission to bring new levels of transparency and efficiency to the construction and real estate industries. It uses cutting-edge technology to empower teams to capture, evaluate, and complete their job efficiently. OpenSpace integrates common off-the-shelf 360° cameras, computer vision, and artificial intelligence, thereby making it simple to capture a complete visual record of a project site, share it over the cloud, and track progress remotely. The platform serves as a single source of information, increasing coordination, driving accountability, and simplifying conflict resolution.

Read More

DESIGN,CONSTRUCTION

Colliers Engineering & Design Selects Agile Frameworks to Streamline and Standardize Operations Through Automation

Colliers Engineering & Design | November 16, 2022

Agile Frameworks®, a leader in integrated field and lab management software for the engineering services industry, today announced Colliers Engineering & Design has selected MetaField® cloud-based software to streamline and standardize operations through automation. Headquartered in Red Bank, New Jersey, Colliers Engineering & Design, an affiliate of Colliers International, is a national multi-discipline engineering, architectural, design and consulting firm serving public and private sectors. Following two large commercial laboratory acquisitions, they now have one of the largest construction materials lab testing operations in the country. As they acquired new firms, Colliers Engineering & Design needed to unify their people and techniques. They experienced issues maintaining consistency and scheduling people across disparate groups; thus, they sought a way to streamline and standardize operations using a digital solution. Colliers Engineering & Design selected Agile Framework’s MetaField solution, a field and lab data collection and reporting Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, to improve their operational efficiency. After implementing MetaField, they realized an immediate tangible benefit in completing reports in real time and an increase in profitability on projects. “What attracted us to MetaField was that it’s an engineering software solution designed by engineers, Once we realized the issues we had to resolve and what we would gain from implementing a robust cloud-based solution, the cost of the software was insignificant. I had to warn our clients and the contractors: ‘be careful, you’re going to actually get data in real-time now! The whole thing has been eye-opening for all of us. It is so much simpler to do it this way.” -Philip Gauffreau, Discipline Leader for Geotechnical Services at Colliers Engineering & Design. Prior to implementing MetaField, Colliers Engineering & Design had been utilizing a homegrown scheduling system and Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) database which were unwieldy and hard to maintain. It had previously taken weeks to get reports turned around to clients, and since using MetaField they are experiencing remarkable turnaround time and more confidence in their data accuracy. “The concept of online scheduling has been a game-changer for our customers, It saves a lot of effort on the managers’ part to understand who is available, who is going where, what credentials do they have, etc., and it’s helpful to schedule everything across departments in the same place. Colliers Engineering & Design embraces leading edge technologies, and we are proud to be their technology partner to help them achieve strategic and sustainable growth.” -Adam Jones, Chief Customer Officer at Agile Frameworks. “The technology adoption is happening faster than I thought, We are already seeing the benefits of automated scheduling and field reporting. Our field professionals have told me: ‘Wow, this really makes my life a lot easier.’ We are eager to recognize the full value of the platform and increase our organization’s capacity once the system is rolled out to other departments yet this calendar year.” About Agile Frameworks: Agile Frameworks® provides comprehensive software-as-a-service solutions that integrate corporate, field, and lab data for business process automation across architecture and engineering disciplines. We transform workflows, create high-value data, and deliver outputs you can trust, resulting in industry-leading productivity and profitability. MetaField® — our field and lab data collection and reporting platform — offers a cloud-based digital workflow to automate and connect the process from project set up and scheduling, to mobile data collection and report submission. Companies that use MetaField experience a dramatic cost benefit with a distinct competitive advantage.

Read More

DESIGN,ENGINEERING TECH

Hexagon introduces Elements to help engineers design increasingly complex products with system-level modelling

Hexagon | December 02, 2022

Hexagon's Manufacturing Intelligence division has today introduced Elements, new simulation software that helps engineering teams understand the behaviour of systems that are becoming increasingly complex in modern products. Using the software, teams can evaluate the performance and feasibility of new design concepts quickly to inform more efficient product development and reduce risk and cost. Elements addresses the growing importance of integrated, multi-disciplinary system development and end-to-end workflows. Customers in every industry are demanding technologies that consider many physics domains and tackle mechatronics challenges in a robust way, fuelling a growing trend towards system-level engineering. Achieving this requires the integration of all relevant engineering disciplines, control systems, and third-party supplier systems to understand how the domains interact, and how a design decision in one discipline impacts others. Systems engineers can easily learn to use the Elements software, using its drag-and-drop environment to model any physics type or logic and analyse systems by intuitively connecting blocks – regardless of whether they represent electrical, hydraulic, mechanical components – to solve system-level engineering problems. It is based on the Modelica language, which is an open and widely used standard for building fast, flexible, and customisable models. Systems modelling is indispensable in the early design phases because little information is required – often a CAD model, equation, or lookup table is sufficient and a 3D mesh is not required. Elements further speeds up engineering development because it also ensures that system-level models compute quickly and efficiently by optimising equations and code for fast calculation, but with no loss of fidelity. As the design develops, and components and subsystems are detailed in specialist simulation software, the components can be routinely integrated into a larger system through full compliance with the FMI standard and Hexagon's proprietary SmartFMU technology. SmartFMU unlocks the Functional Mock-up Unit (FMU) for supported Hexagon products so that changes can be made directly in the Elements system-level model without having to go back to the specialist Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) software and its expert user. This helps to avoid resource bottlenecks, time-consuming switching between applications, and versioning problems. Hexagon's roadmap will see its best-in-class CAE technologies readied for easy and productive use with Elements. At launch, the software provides SmartFMU connectivity with Adams multibody dynamics software and Easy5. Future plans are likely to include workflows with Cradle CFD thermal-fluid dynamics and Actran acoustic simulation products, among others. Both standard FMI support and the novel SmartFMU plug-and-play capabilities offer immediate value and address challenges of system complexity, including those for transportation electrification; for example: Helping automotive engineers to find optimal solutions to vehicle range optimization issues by considering a vehicle's energy use under different driving conditions, taking into account eDrive design, regenerative braking, climate control, ADAS safety requirements, and battery choice. Improving the flexibility and accuracy of industrial robotics by designing control systems that take detailed mechanical system vibrations and interactions from multi-body dynamics simulation into account. Right-sizing heavy battery systems in new eVTOL aircraft designs by helping engineers understand the power draw during take-off and landing, safety margins, and thermal management system controls. Implementing safer, more sustainable long-life battery systems by using Elements to design control systems that balance the improved performance of lithium-ion batteries at elevated temperatures with the impact heating has on cell degradation. Elements was developed in close cooperation with Maplesoft, building upon its powerful maths engine to optimise system equations and deliver fast efficient simulation to Hexagon's customers. "We are excited to begin this long-term collaboration with Hexagon, which has an impressive vision and track record of innovation. By combining the tried-and-tested Maplesoft system-level modelling technology with the extensive Hexagon CAE portfolio, engineers in many industries benefit from new productivity-boosting solutions that significantly reduce simulation effort." -Chris Harduwar, VP of Strategic Solutions at Maplesoft Mahesh Kailasam, General Manager for Design and Engineering Software at Hexagon, commented, Elements offers engineers an easy way to explore behaviour of systems quickly and find better solutions to problems using simulation, before committing designs to subsequent resource-intensive engineering processes. We look forward to a long-term collaboration with Maplesoft, using its powerful and open technology foundations to realise synergies with our extensive Hexagon CAE ecosystem portfolio and deliver valuable capabilities to our customers. About Hexagon: Hexagon is a global leader in digital reality solutions, combining sensor, software and autonomous technologies. We are putting data to work to boost efficiency, productivity, quality and safety across industrial, manufacturing, infrastructure, public sector, and mobility applications. Our technologies are shaping production and people related ecosystems to become increasingly connected and autonomous – ensuring a scalable, sustainable future. Hexagon's Manufacturing Intelligence division provides solutions that use data from design and engineering, production and metrology to make manufacturing smarter. About Maplesoft: Maplesoft is a leading provider of high-performance software tools for engineering, science, and mathematics. Maplesoft Engineering Solutions provide advanced tools and services for system simulation, calculation management, and systems engineering, helping organisations maximise the power of their engineering knowledge so they can complete their projects quickly and successfully. The Maplesoft product suite includes Maple, the world's most powerful math engine; Maple Flow, math software for engineering calculations; MapleSim, the advanced system-level modeling and simulation tool; and MapleMBSE, which supports a model-based systems engineering approach to requirements management. Maplesoft products and services are used in machine design, robotics, aerospace, automotive, industrial automation, and many other fields where engineers face complex challenges. Maplesoft is a subsidiary of Cybernet Systems Co. Ltd.

Read More