Recognising the engineer

Recognising the engineerMore letters in response to Steve Smith’s letter. Reward those who go the distance Mr Smith’s letter has missed the mark by so far that it’s hard to tell where to start! The issue here is not about waving a magic wand and doubling the salary of every person in the engineering industry. It is about recognising and rewarding those who go the full distance in engineering. A major issue as I see it is that other professions have various different titles to indicate status within their field, particularly the top of their field, whereas engineering does not. The IEE’s requirement for Chartered Engineers is a good place to draw the line in my opinion – unfortunately, the uptake of chartered engineering status among those eligible for it is low, particularly in the electronics industry. Marc Greenberg, MEng(Hons), AMIEE What exactly does Mr Smith do? I feel compelled to write after reading Steve Smith’s statement that ‘If a Doctor makes a mistake someone may die… whereas if an engineer makes a mistake then your mobile phone may not work.’ (EW May 20th 1998) Mr Smith does not state whether he is an engineer or not or in what field, but even in my very limited experience (as a sponsored engineering student with only a year’s experience in industry), it is quite obvious that many, if not the large majority of engineers are involved in safety critical products. For example ABS brakes; if an engineer makes a mistake and a cars brakes lock in the fast lane on a motorway, then tens of people could be killed. If a Doctor makes a mistake, ONE person may die, if an Engineer designing avionics (for instance) makes a mistake, HUNDREDS of people could die. Alex Masidlover, student engineer, UMIST University guide skips electronics Whilst reading The Times today (May 13) I happened upon a page entitled The Good University Guide. This article, part of a series, reported the best universities for various subjects, broken down by category and subject. These apparently cover all the areas in which teaching has been assessed in English Universities (why only English I don’t know). The category for Science & Technology included the following subjects:-Chemical Engineering; Chemistry; Computing; Environmental Science; Geology; Mechanical Engineering. Notice anything missing. Yes, Electronic Engineering is of such low importance that no-one even bothers to survey it. THIS is where the real fight for status exists. Matt Oseman, senior development engineer, Electrosonic Age concern for doubting father With regard to recent letters advocating personal responsibility to improve one’s skill base in order to raise prospects, perhaps the authors could advise me on how to become younger. I will not encourage either of my two young sons to enter into a profession where they will find a steady reduction in job prospects from the age of 35.
Martin Scott B.Sc M.Sc


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