As 2019 begins another year of engineering innovation lies ahead.
This year’s engineering buzzword is: REVOLUTION. The cutting edge technologies that have begun to change the way engineers are educated and the way they perform their tasks in the workplace will only increase.
The Engineer, a UK based engineering magazine, has outlined what technologies will see ongoing development in 2019:
- Electric-powered mobility
- Additive manufacturing
- Virtual and augmented reality
- Artificial intelligence: smartphones, smart factories, etc
They suggest that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will impact all industries and all levels of society and reach mainstream status in 2019. This makes it critical for people across the board – but particularly in industries underpinned by these technologies – to become familiar with them, to ensure they can contribute ably in their places of work.
Most importantly, they warn that the engineering sector should address the skills shortages that may well become prevalent with the disruptive nature of these technologies.
The UK based magazine is inevitably reflecting on the lingering uncertainty of Brexit. If all goes smoothly it should be a done deal by the 29th of March 2019. They write:
“Despite this, the pace of technological change in the UK has continued largely unabated. And while most engineering and manufacturing businesses we’ve spoken to over the course of the past couple of years would happily turn the clock back to those uncomplicated pre-referendum days, there’s a growing sense that technology - in particular processes and techniques that can help boost manufacturing productivity - will play a key role in helping the UK adjust to the outcome of Brexit.”
The global shifts in government - prompted by elections – also impacts engineering. But aside from government policy changes and the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, technical skills remain vital. They are needed for the maintenance of already existing technologies (and indeed those still emerging).
Training and education providers will need to ensure they are prepared to service this changing workforce. It is likely that micro-degrees and micro-credential will gain further attention and traction in 2019, as people seek to update skills and knowledge.
Computers, robots, coding
Luke Dormehl, a technology commentator and author, speaking to the team at the Engineering & Technology website said:
“AI and its related hardware-centric field of robotics will continue transforming the workplace in 2019. Whatever profession you work in, whether it’s medicine, law, driving a taxi or working in a warehouse, you can expect to see a growing level of disruption from the steely hand of automation.”
He comments on one of the World Economic Forum’s predictions: 75 million jobs will be replaced by automation in 2025; the good news is that 133 million jobs will be created. He says:
“Many new jobs will involve computer skills. For instance, machine learners and coders will be poised to reap the rewards. However, not every new type of job will involve being the next Mark Zuckerberg.”
Examples abound: if you are based in India, for instance, it may be worth viewing your career through an Uber-lens - an Uber-digital lens: Uber in India will be doubling its engineering workforce - from 500 technologists to 1,000. They will also be sourcing product designers, data scientists, user researchers, front-end and back-end engineers, plus machine learning and artificial intelligence professionals.
For prospective engineers this New Year: stay in the loop, constantly upskill and work hard! And one more thing: keep your eye on those companies which were established in the last decade and are on the cutting edge of engineering endeavor - they are hiring dozens of engineering personnel.
Pozniak, Helena. “Technologies to Watch in 2019: Predictions for the Engineering Year Ahead.” RSS, 7 Dec. 2018, eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2018/12/technologies-to-watch-in-2019-predictions-for-the-engineering-year-ahead/.
“Tech Trends 2019 - the Engineering Year Ahead.” The Engineer, 5 Dec. 2018, www.theengineer.co.uk/tech-trends-2019/.
“Uber India to Double down on Hiring Engineers in 2019.” The Economic Times, Economic Times, 8 Dec. 2018, economictimes.indiatimes.com/jobs/uber-india-to-double-down-on-hiring-engineers-in-2019/articleshow/66998276.cms.