On the path towards professional registration
Shankara later moved to WS Atkins India, which was when his journey towards professional registration began.
“My employer encouraged me to join the IET and also the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE). I began engaging with the local IET community, attending events and learning about professional registration. The IET guided me through the processes and routes to IEng and I received the support of an independent professional registration advisor (IPRA), who advised me on my application.”
In order to achieve IEng registration, Shankara set himself continuing professional development (CPD) goals that would help him to meet the required competences. One year later he became professionally registered as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) – a professional standard that also allowed him to achieve Member level category of the IRSE.
From Incorporated to Chartered
But Shankara had no plans to stop there. His next career step was to work towards becoming a Chartered Engineer (CEng). He looked at the competencies he needed to develop and evidence but discovered that not all of these were a part of his day-to-day work. His solution was to ask his line manager to allocate him any work that would particularly help him in these areas. In response, his line manager helped Shankara get a secondment to Birmingham, where he was able to work on more complex projects that gave him the experience he needed in order to gain CEng.
Shankara later joined WSP Consultants, a company that he discovered strongly encourages its engineers to achieve professional registration and provided him with an opportunity to lead the new team. This inspired him to go a “step further” when the opportunity arose. Four years later he achieved CEng registration.
“My advice to fellow applicants is if you see a shortfall of evidence you need to match your CEng competences then speak to your line manager. Note what kind of work you need to do in order to achieve these competencies and ask if they will help you. You can feed these into your annual development discussions and together build a personal development plan,” he adds.
Life after Chartership
Shankara says that achieving CEng has made him a more confident and responsible engineer because he’s recognised in the industry as someone who has demonstrated competence. Now he’s ready to take up new challenges and move up the management ladder.
CEng helped support his application for IRSE Telecoms Designer Licence Code 2.1.115 and his new aim is to achieve the Engineering Manager (Designs) Licence from IRSE. He’s also passionate about giving back to the industry.
“I now mentor individuals working towards professional registration as well as volunteering as an IPRA. I’m also going to be visiting colleges and sharing my knowledge with engineering students and I am first starting with the college I studied,” he says proudly.
The importance of sustainability
During his professional development, Shankara took a particular interest in sustainable engineering. “I realised that being a good engineer is also about taking care of the environment and understanding how our designs affect Mother Nature,” he says.
He spent a lot of time studying this area and now looks for sustainability in all the designs he develops. But he’s also taken this interest beyond his workplace. Upon discovering permaculture; a design process that focuses on intelligent systems that meet human needs while reducing our impact on the planet, he began considering sustainability within agriculture.
“As a permaculturist, I’m using my engineering skills and permaculture techniques to develop a self-sustainable farm and educate my farming neighbours, so they see it as a step towards responsible living and giving back to society and Mother Earth,” he concludes.
More information on professional registration is available.