One of the great attractions of engineering work is the huge variety of tasks and environments in which engineers find themselves working.
From designing programs at a computer terminal, to overseeing maintenance operations for major structures such as aircraft, ships, heavy earth moving equipment, mobile cranes and offshore oil platforms, there are many variations of engineering.
General manager of Engineers Australia - Newcastle Division, Helen Link, said that mainstream engineering used to be divided into the four broad disciplines of chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, with several branches within each discipline covering an enormous range of fields.
“Today, we are seeing the emergence of new disciplines of engineering including aerospace engineering, environmental engineering, biomedical engineering and software engineering,” she said.
“Engineers are creative thinkers who seek to find solutions to human and environmental problems. They research, design, produce, operate and maintain many of the things we use each day, often with the aid of computers.
“If you’re looking for a career that is rewarding, challenging, and actually means something, then engineering is for you.”
Ms Link said that Australian engineers work every day to build a better world for future generations and are pushing the boundaries of possibility.
“We hear so much about the ‘jobs of the future’ – the ones that haven’t yet been created, but as an engineer you are working on the projects that will evolve into those jobs of the future.
“The world would not have mobile phone or clean drinking water or aviation technology or even toothpaste without the involvement of engineers,” she said.
“Engineers make ideas come to life, developing new materials, making machinery and designing technologies for a sustainable future.
“Emerging branches of engineering often combine elements of traditional disciplines, such as mechanical and civil engineering, with new technologies and areas of scientific research.”
Many engineers take these skills and knowledge with them overseas as they work with disadvantaged communities to develop everything from water systems to provide clean water to a whole village, through to prosthetic limbs to allow people to walk again.
Ms Link said engineering is one of the most sought after professions in the world, and the key set of skills you learn as an engineering student are attractive to employers from a broad range of industries beyond engineering.
To learn more about the diverse range of engineering branches, visit http://www.engineersaustralia.org.au.