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Topic Title: IEng = Engineer or Technologist?
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Created On: 07 July 2012 04:00 PM
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 17 May 2013 11:52 AM
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MosheW

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Its interesting to mention that Technologist in some countries is some one with Specialist ( Masters ) degree.
In Russian Federation the University Graduation Diploma also provides the Profession one graduated so for example a co worker from one of the companies I worked for had a Masters degree in Information Systems Engineering Technology and was qualified for profession as Engineer Technologist.

The person then joined a major utility company and his job title was Engineer Technologist. (combined full time 5 years of higher education)

Engineer Technologist is not the same as Engineering Technologist.

Edited: 17 May 2013 at 12:01 PM by MosheW
 17 May 2013 01:41 PM
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MAWilson

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I'd add to this that whilst engineers without higher level formal education can be extremely good at doing what has always been done before, it is rare to find to find engineers without higher education driving and leading change. I don't think this is necessarily because higher education teaches you how to drive change - although as Moshe says you are more likely to be aware of a wider range of possibilities. I think it is also because if you are interested in change and new ideas then you are likely to be interested in widening your knowledge. (I would certainly agree with Simon's post that there are many engineers who go through higher education without achieving this, but that may be the fault of their attitude rather than of the education system!)


Andy,

As someone more recently graduated as a mature student, I found that University would have been a lot less useful had I not had college and practical experience before. Electrical/Electronic Engineering degrees don't adequately prepare individuals for industry; there is actually a shortfall in designing of any practical system. You learn the concept of differing aspects and components, that's about it.

With previous experience, I took the opportunity to utilise the expensive uni equipment to design, build & test various projects but this was on my on free time and this was not the norm.

From my time in industry, I've had reports from design houses where some very smart people have come up with some very daft ideas because there is a gap in astute thinking when they were conceptualising their designs. I'm not having a go at these individuals because, as I've stated I find them quite intelligent and often they tell me they are this close to chartership yet their knowledge gap in terms of plant systems is worrying at time.

There needs to be a mixture of persons of Simon's ilk with graduates and seasoned professional engineers in a team for there to be optimum output in my opinion. What I find disappointing on these forums at least and to a less extent in industry is there does not seem to be a proper appreciation for hard skills learnt. Thankfully I was able to learn under an old school HNC Electrical Engineer when I first came out of university that wouldn't have a chance to attain CEng, but I've never learnt more about Transformers & Motos/Drives anywhere because he had an encyclopaedic knowledge of these things. This guy is probably retiring soon with no one bothered of that skill being loss, and I find that very depressing.
 17 May 2013 07:11 PM
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MosheW

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THE WORK-BASED ROUTE TO PROFESSIONAL REGISTRATION
e-Bulletin : May 2013
Engineering Gateways Workshop: Registration Now Open The Engineering Council will be hosting a workshop on the Engineering Gateways programme on Wednesday 11 September 2013 at the Royal Academy of Engineering, Prince Philip House, 3 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5DG. The workshop will focus on presentations by the current stakeholders and discussion groups to support future developments and promotion of this pathway, including the latest opportunities surrounding Higher Apprenticeships. The workshop would be especially useful to those universities considering the provision of this innovative flexible pathway to students by offering a work based route to professional registration. Participants would have the opportunity to meet with other key stakeholders, including Professional Engineering Institutions, universities, and employer representative bodies, such as Sector Skills Councils, involved in the scheme. The programme and registration form will be available shortly on the Engineering Gateways web page. Booking is required by 30th August 2013. Participating Organisations Programmes available at Aston University Cardiff University University of Derby University of Greenwich University of Hertfordshire Kingston University Leeds Metropolitan University Northumbria University University of South Wales Staffordshire University University of the West of England (UWE) Professional Engineering Institutions BCS, CIBSE, EI, ICE, IChemE, IFE, IED, IET, IMarEST, IMechE, InstMC, IOM3, IPEM, IStructE, IWater, RAeS, SOE Industry Representatives COGENT, ECITB, EU SKILLS SEMTA This list will be updated as further organisations become involved Participant Updates University of Derby The MSc Professional Engineering started in September 2012 and currently has nine students. Five of these students are from the same company, and are using the programme as part of their graduate training. The modular nature of the programme means that these students have passed their first module and completed their Professional Development Activity Record.
 19 May 2013 01:10 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: amillar
It often seems that for many people no, it isn't! What engineers need to be aware of is a sort of zoom effect - it is very easy to learn tinier and tinier facts about very specific areas of engineering which can give a false impression of both development and spread of learning. This is possibly a bigger problem now than it has ever been, as engineering fields have become so specialist that all of us inevitably end up in niches, and it is important that we realise that just because we know everything about that tiny niche doesn't neccesarily mean that we know anything useful, and certainly puts us at risk of extinction as that niche becomes obsolete. Education is the best kick start we have to avoid this.

Interesting point but surely it is 'education' which has brought us to where we are now, and with all these 'experts'. No disrespect but I think part of the issue is that the education establishment has had too much of a say for too long. Nowadays you need to be qualified to the hilt to teach and the higher up the qualification ladder you go the more specialised it becomes. We are also each partly to blame because we use the term expert far to much and we have long since forgotten to celebrate a good all around knowledge. We can see this also in the media where a person either has to be a celeb or expert or else they hardly get a mention. Education has an important part to play but we must understand that education is much wider than universities and schools. The other thing is that we need to stop educating people to think they somehow deserve to have everything without having to work very hard for it and that they can have everything today and simply pay for it later on. Engineering is a part of society and I think we need to decide the type of society we want and educate and engineer accordingly.

Regards.
 19 May 2013 01:22 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: MAWilson
There needs to be a mixture of persons of Simon's ilk with graduates and seasoned professional engineers in a team for there to be optimum output in my opinion.

Good point!
What I find disappointing on these forums at least and to a less extent in industry is there does not seem to be a proper appreciation for hard skills learnt.

The value of the hard skills learned seems to be very much appreciated and discussed in the 'Wiring and the regulations' forum where the guys/gals are sharing their hard learned skills each and every day. I also see similar discussions in other forums.
Thankfully I was able to learn under an old school HNC Electrical Engineer when I first came out of university that wouldn't have a chance to attain CEng, but I've never learnt more about Transformers & Motos/Drives anywhere because he had an encyclopaedic knowledge of these things. This guy is probably retiring soon with no one bothered of that skill being loss, and I find that very depressing.

As you said, you learned these skills and obviously you are bothered, which sort of goes against your point that 'no one is bothered' and so do something to ensure those skills are not lost. Take ownership of it rather than deferring that responsibilty to someone else. If it matters then do something about it!! May help the depression a bit.

Regards.
 20 May 2013 11:56 AM
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amillar

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Originally posted by: MAWilson
As someone more recently graduated as a mature student, I found that University would have been a lot less useful had I not had college and practical experience before.

Very true. Although actually one of the reasons I didn't do as well as I should have done (to put it mildly) in my degree was because I also had experience before I did it, and I then couldn't see how my experience related to the degree. I made the mistake (being young) of assuming that the degree was at fault, but I discovered when I got into more serious design that what I had misunderstood is that whilst a lot of engineering is simply not at degree level, some key parts very definitely are.

Electrical/Electronic Engineering degrees don't adequately prepare individuals for industry; there is actually a shortfall in designing of any practical system. You learn the concept of differing aspects and components, that's about it.

Yup, that's the idea. It doesn't matter what the subject is, the idea of the degree is to give you the underpinning knowledge, not to train you how to apply it. That's why for every other profession (that I can think of) there is a postgraduate training route so that you can learn how to apply that background information in your chosen field. But in engineering we don't have that (unless you are very lucky). This is a huge problem.

My view on University education at the moment is a bit like Churchill's view on democracy: it's pretty awful but it's much better than the alternatives!

With previous experience, I took the opportunity to utilise the expensive uni equipment to design, build & test various projects but this was on my on free time and this was not the norm.

On the other hand, at my local university they are constantly battling to get students to take project work seriously, it's the students there that just seem to want to take exams without putting their knowledge to a real test. So I'm not sure how generally true this is.

From my time in industry, I've had reports from design houses where some very smart people have come up with some very daft ideas because there is a gap in astute thinking when they were conceptualising their designs. I'm not having a go at these individuals because, as I've stated I find them quite intelligent and often they tell me they are this close to chartership yet their knowledge gap in terms of plant systems is worrying at time.

But then, everybody comes up with daft ideas at times, whatever their background. What is important is knowing that you need to get many views from many backgrounds on any ideas, because we all miss stuff. But I'm sure you would agree that it is better to have those who came up with some new ideas - daft or otherwise - than those who insist that only what has been done before will work. So I have to come back to my point that - in my experience - the better educated people are, the more genuinly new ideas they come up with. And yes, that may need a group with further skills and experience to knock the rough edges off those ideas.

There needs to be a mixture of persons of Simon's ilk with graduates and seasoned professional engineers in a team for there to be optimum output in my opinion.

Absolutely.

What I find disappointing on these forums at least and to a less extent in industry is there does not seem to be a proper appreciation for hard skills learnt.

Having been active on these forums for far too many years I think there has been a very consistent message that both individual engineers and the profession as a whole need a mixture of theoretical and practical skills. Ok, for individuals the balance is going to vary person-by-person, but there always needs to be some mix.

What I find disappointing in UK industry at least and to a less extent on these forums is there does not seem to be a proper appreciation for people who are trying to develop themselves, and the profession, and to move engineering forward - yes, based on our experience, but also based on the possibilities of the future. We are too good in this country at taking any new design and saying the whole thing is rubbish because we can find a tiny (often even irrelevant) flaw which we can laugh at. Makes us feel better, doesn't actually help anyone. Sorry, rant over! ('MA', that rant it wasn't aimed at your posting, just general frustration with the undeserved smugness which the UK engineering profession - at all levels - often seems to give off.)

It's really hard to find the right balance betwwen overenthusiasm for a new idea, which can result in complete rubbish being produced, and over conservatism which can result in nothing being produced. When it works well it is usually because everybody on an engineering team respects everbody else's abilities, and they all learn from each other, which is sort of where we came in.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 21 May 2013 06:06 AM
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MosheW

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Gentleman

If you earned your Engineering degree from MIT or Stanford, UC Berkeley then you got really good preparation for the career as an ENgineer.

In USA you would need to pass State Examination called FE - Fundamentals of Engineering and then go get 4 years of qualifying experience followed by another tough PE - Professional Engineer examination.

You can choose the area be it Civil, Electrical, Mechanical etc.

Then you are a licensed Professional Engineer a PE.

I seen difference in knowledge when some one came out of OU type degree in Engineering and some one with MIT degree in Engineering
.
It had higher effect in early stages of the career.

Later if a person had experience from name recognized company,
That surpassed the origin of degree,
 26 May 2013 12:46 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: amillar
When it works well it is usually because everybody on an engineering team respects everbody else's abilities, and they all learn from each other, which is sort of where we came in.

It's a good point and I agree with the main theme of what you are saying. I think it goes wider than just the engineering team, because that team operates within a culture and parameters which are set by the relevant company. I think we engineers also need to play a bigger part in developing the correct environment in which the engineering team can perform at its best.

Regards.
 27 May 2013 07:10 AM
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MosheW

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Employers require more and more degrees because they are no longer burdened with growing and developing (those terms are different) employees. It is left to the employees to manage their own career development.
 27 May 2013 11:28 AM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: MosheW
Employers require more and more degrees because they are no longer burdened with growing and developing (those terms are different) employees. It is left to the employees to manage their own career development.

If we are running a business and it is our own money then it is for us to decide how to spend it in order to maximise the chance of success. There are many employees who take the development and then move on to another company at the end of it. I appreciate that there can be good reasons for that, but none the less it's a cost to the employer. Some companies try to tie employees into schemes where the cost of a course is paid back if the employee leaves but of course that is not really ethical. I think there has to be a responsible and honest partnership between the employer and employee in developing what is good for the employee and employer and there are many many companies which do this. Equally now access is much easier to higher education and many young people choose to take up that opportunity......in many cases that is before any discussion with any employer. There are many employers who want more for less and equally there are many employees who want more for less and as we humans are less than perfect I do not think we will be arriving in the ideal situation anytime soon.....it's a work in progress.

Regards.
 28 May 2013 05:39 AM
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MosheW

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westonpa you bring valid points. My statement wasn't positive or negative.
What I stated is my observation, in the past it was different, now its different.

I was a "product" of such investment.
When I worked for Scitecx the average cost for Scitex Engineer training was about 60,000 USD it was in 1988.
Then a contract of 3 to 5 years in USA.

I agree with your point, that many employees jump jobs once their value is up. There should be a way that leaving employee to repay for training investment..
 28 May 2013 09:54 AM
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amillar

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Originally posted by: westonpa
Some companies try to tie employees into schemes where the cost of a course is paid back if the employee leaves but of course that is not really ethical.

Interesting point. At my company if we request to attend a course which gives us a personal qualification, e.g. anything between an HNC and a Master's degree, then the company reserves the right to ask us to pay back a percentage of the costs if we leave within a period (on a sliding scale). If we are required to attend job specific training, e.g. IPC or H&S training, or training on (say) a specific software package, this does not apply.

Personally I've always thought this quite fair. For example, I've just completed my Master's degree at the company's expense (although largely in my own time.) It was my idea to do this, and while it will certainly help me do my job better, I could still have carried on doing it without it. And it has, probably, made me more employable outside the company. On the other hand, at the same time I was required to attend an occupational H&S management course which was essential for the company to demonstrate appropriate risk management. The first of these I'd consider a 'fair cop' if I had to pay back a proportion of the fees (and I'd still be getting a bargain), the other is the company's responsibility. Of course what would be unnacceptable would be for companies to require staff to attend training and then demand payment for it if they leave.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

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"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 28 May 2013 10:51 AM
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Simon750

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The company that I work for will offer financial assistance for preliminary qualification courses, but not for additional courses after that (post-grad).

Similarly, they don't offer recompense for professional membership fees.

-------------------------
Simon Long CMgr FCMI FInstLM
 28 May 2013 01:34 PM
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MAWilson

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As you said, you learned these skills and obviously you are bothered, which sort of goes against your point that 'no one is bothered' and so do something to ensure those skills are not lost. Take ownership of it rather than deferring that responsibilty to someone else. If it matters then do something about it!! May help the depression a bit.


Thanks for the responses westonpa/Andy. I was a little strong on my wording in the post, I guess working through the weekend and some frustration came out there. My point on this really is that there is no career advantage, at least in large organisations as far as I can see to pursue such routes. The person I referenced, it took him 20+ years to progress past the initial engineering grade and it was a case of the company really needing someone like him in the management position due to mismanagement than him being rewarded for his knowledge/time in service etc. They just use to pull him from normal duty to project manage stuff in the past. I find I just get snowed under with actions while someone gets to go to management and state how smooth things are going. (They do say thanks though sometimes)

What I find disappointing in UK industry at least and to a less extent on these forums is there does not seem to be a proper appreciation for people who are trying to develop themselves, and the profession, and to move engineering forward - yes, based on our experience, but also based on the possibilities of the future. We are too good in this country at taking any new design and saying the whole thing is rubbish because we can find a tiny (often even irrelevant) flaw which we can laugh at. Makes us feel better, doesn't actually help anyone. Sorry, rant over! ('MA', that rant it wasn't aimed at your posting, just general frustration with the undeserved smugness which the UK engineering profession - at all levels - often seems to give off.)


That's a good point Andy. I think and maybe you may know better as I'm speaking from a perspective of someone foreign to this land from a small degree of observance is there seem to be insular teams as part of organisations each really only interested in their part with only some correspondence to the outside group. This sometimes leads to everybody in a corner arguing their bit. I also think there is never enough consideration of the end product and what the customer might want. There is no point in a brilliant design which does not do what the operator wants.

On the other hand, at my local university they are constantly battling to get students to take project work seriously, it's the students there that just seem to want to take exams without putting their knowledge to a real test. So I'm not sure how generally true this is.


I can't argue with that. I started an electronics club in the university to try and get person's involved as well and ended up with Product Design students and no Electrical/Electronic Student participating; gave up after 2 years. I do somewhat sympathise as engineering is being sold as a career path and persons like myself who started out taking apart radios and trying to design their own remote control cars with small battery powered motors are in decline. Overseas where I come from, if you're smart they pressure you into science class regardless of your interest. I took the technical route which shocked teachers (mainly because I hate chemistry). University is just a tick in the box in the process now I'm afraid.
 01 June 2013 11:45 AM
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amillar

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Originally posted by: MAWilson
There is no point in a brilliant design which does not do what the operator wants.

Yes, as an engineering profession we can be extremely good at that if the company is totally engineering led. Or if the company is totally sales led it just produces the safe "me too" option with no real innovation. A bit more respect all around would go a very long way...I don't know if there has been any research on this (it would be interesting to know) but I would lay a fair bet that the most consistently successful technology delivery companies are those where the sales, marketing, production, finance and engineering functions are determined to work collaboratively, rather than - as you say - each sitting in their corner saying how dreadful the other is. Unfortunately it seems sometimes that these are the rarities. If anyone would like me to try to turn their engineering department around to try to work like this I am easily contactable

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 01 June 2013 03:36 PM
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westonpa

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Originally posted by: MAWilson
University is just a tick in the box in the process now I'm afraid.

In many cases this will of course be true but equally there are many other ticks in boxes which have zero to do with university. The fault is not however really with the university if it is not used correctly. If used correctly then it is much more than just a tick in the box and both educates and opens a persons mind and provides a life experience for 'young' people which they will never forget. Normally they meet new friends and make aquaintances which will go with them on their journey through life. In my opinion one of the areas in which we often fail, with regards to young people, is with careers advice. Not everyone can be an academic and we need also craft and other skills too and even if someone wants to go to university they are not always given good advice to help them choose the correct area of study. Many parents also fail to engage in the process and instead try to palm it off as someone else's responsibility and yet they have the best local knowledge....does not mean they have all the answers but it does mean they can 'often' add value to the process. Of course I appreciate there is much more too it than what I have stated above. Sometimes the operator/person is not using the tool/design correctly and needs a little bit of education and encouragement.....it's not just about the design, the training and education and follow up is also important.

I do however think with universities today they are still suffering from a culture where they could easily turn students away and thus not work for their money. They often forget who the customers are, but of course tougher economic times are helping to balance the situation. I would suggest that also in the workplace many people get stuck in their ways and forget who the customers are, maybe the external ones because they cannot see them and the internal ones because they have forgotten how to see them. Society works better when we work together and for the benefit of each other and in my opinion a lot of this has been lost over several decades as many people have become in it just for themselves.

Regards.
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