Engineers play a vital role in society, coming up with solutions to common, everyday problems and more complex issues that affect our lives.
They invent, build and assess machines, structures and systems that allow us to live our lives and that helps the world to function effectively. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The role of an engineer is incredibly diverse and varies depending on the specialism.
To give you a better idea of the scope of a role in the field of engineering, here are four exciting engineering disciplines.
Biomedical engineers improve people’s lives. They combine engineering expertise and design skills to come up with creative solutions to problems in biology and medicine.
As a biomedical engineer, you could be involved with designing anything from walking aids to artificial body parts to robotic surgical instruments. And there are work opportunities in a variety of organisations such as hospital trusts, medical equipment manufacturers and university research departments.
It’s an exciting specialism with a far-reaching remit, where a day at work could see you testing and maintaining clinical equipment, training clinical and technical staff, using computer software to design, develop and test new equipment, materials and devices, and much more.
Chemical engineering is all about transformation, turning raw materials into useful products. Chemical engineers do this by changing the chemical, biochemical or physical state of a substance, for example making plastic from oil.
They are also responsible for developing new industrial processes, as well as designing and modifying process plants and equipment. These are then used to produce all sorts of products, ranging from food and drink to oil and gas.
Employers are as diverse as the products they produce, with chemical engineers enjoying work in industrial sectors such as pharmaceuticals, energy, and business and management.
Civil and Structural Engineering
Civil and structural engineers quite literally help shape the world around us, using their technical knowledge to design structures which benefit society. This could be anything from houses and office blocks to bridges and oil rigs.
As such, it’s a role that brings you into contact with a variety of stakeholders such as architects, contractors and engineers from other specialisms, who you’ll collaborate with in order to create structures that are structurally sound and fit for purpose.
There’s also the option for further specialism within civil and structural engineering with many engineers choosing to focus on a specific type of structure, for example, buildings, tunnels or vehicles.
Mechanical engineering focuses on the design, development and implementation of mechanical machinery, parts and tools.
Since mechanical systems are essential to the functioning of pretty much all industries, mechanical engineering is one of the most diverse of the engineering disciplines, with ample job opportunities available in a multitude of industries.
Whichever industry you end up working in, you’ll likely be involved in three core areas of product creation: research and development, design (using computer-aided design and computer modelling programmes) and production – seeing projects through from conception to completion.
Engineering Foundation Year
Engineering is a fascinating field of work that remains as in demand as ever across the industries. So if you’re looking for a career that’s future-proof, dynamic and rewarding, it’s well worth considering. And whatever specialism you choose, you can rest assured that you’ll have plenty of exciting avenues to explore.
Not sure which specialism you’ll enjoy the most? Our Engineering Foundation Year degree will provide you with a solid grounding in the key aspects of engineering. You’ll then be fully equipped to move onto a more specialist pathway on an industry accredited undergraduate degree.
Find out more on the Engineering Foundation Year course page.