Creativity in engineering

What do Millennials want from their jobs? Bonuses? Free lunches in the cafeteria? Complimentary iPads? Maybe not. Because, according to a recent survey conducted by Universum, “a creative and dynamic work environment” is perhaps the defining mega trend for Generation Y…

engineering creativity

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Creativity, it turns out, is the single most desirable attribute for engineering students around the globe. Oddly “creativity” isn’t the word that always springs to mind when you think of the industry. Instead, the stereotypical images of hard hats and rolled-up schematics spring to mind. The general impression of engineers is of people doing things by the book, rather than writing the rules. Nothing could be further from the truth. Today’s engineers have more opportunities to be creatively engaged than most.

But don’t take our word for it. We asked Shaun Simmons, Managing Director of Cordant Technical & Engineering, a specialist recruitment firm for the Technical and Engineering sector, to offer expert insight.

“Engineering is a creative profession to be in,” Shaun confirms, nixing any preconceived notions. “It is not only booming, it’s a broad discipline offering a variety of exciting, challenging and creative career paths; aside from good pay, great employment rates (85% of graduates gained employment in six months of leaving university) and a balanced lifestyle.”

So where can we see examples of engineering creativity in action?

“Look around you,” Shaun suggests. “From F1 cars to satellites, bridges to bullet trains, they all have a good team of engineers behind them designing, creating, researching and inventing products and services that will have a real impact on the physical world.” So why, then, do some believe that engineering has something of an image problem when it comes to being perceived as a creative industry? Possibly, it’s due to the fact that engineers don’t always get the praise they’re due.

“Engineers don’t always receive personal recognition as they are usually part of an engineering project, working as a team, rather than an individual creator like you’d find in fashion,” Shaun explains. “Together, they work to create the latest concepts and design on a range of products or projects, such as robots in car manufacturers, luxury yachts, bridge building or aeroplane design, that may challenge existing products or bring something different or new to the market.” What it all points to is that engineering’s creative horizons are practically limitless.

“Generally, engineering can be considered to be made up of the following sub-disciplines which all have creative opportunities,” Shaun notes, before listing five that are fast shaping both the world around us and the future beyond us:

  1. Aeronautical/Astronautical – research, design and manufacturing of products for the aerospace, defence and space sectors
  2. Chemical – oil & gas, processing plant design and operations
  3. Civil – major infrastructure projects, complex building and renewable energy
  4. Electrical – product design and maintenance for low to extra high voltage systems, specialised equipment for almost all sectors
  5. Mechanical – automotive, turbines and power generation, high-tech manufacturing.


So, fancy using your creativity to engineer a brighter future for yourself? Then check out the latest vacancies.  But not before you read about five specific engineering job roles that will be in high demand in 2015.