The Future Engineer

Underpinning ethos and objectives

The Future Engineer

“The Partnership for 21st Century Skills”, or P21, is a U.S.-based alliance of the top engineering-led firms which aims to revolutionise the entire education system by fusing the three Rs together with the four Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation).

In 2010, the American Management Association and P21 carried out a major study which confirmed that the new workplace requires more from its employees. Employees need to think critically, solve problems, innovate, collaborate, and communicate more effectively—and at every level within the organisation.

In this context, the future engineering graduate is ideally perceived to have technical expertise of world-class standing, to be an integrator who can operate and manage across boundaries in a complex business environment, and who, as a change-agent, provides the creativity, innovation and leadership to shape engineering practices and industry for a successful future.

The T-shaped engineer ethos

In terms of positioning the core ethos underpinning the Future Professionals Series, the methodologies and structure have been chosen to facilitate the growth and emergence of what is sometimes referred to as the ‘T-shaped engineer’.

The stem of the T indicates depth of knowledge in a discipline of science or engineering and the top of the T indicates breadth of knowledge in areas such as business, management, and communication. Such training prepares professionals for success negotiating the corporate, global world of industry.

Our programme methodologies

The task for those involved in the professional development of engineering graduates in the 21st century is to organise CPD in such a way that learners are given adequate opportunities for both deepening and widening their knowledge base and for obtaining all the necessary skills, with an entrepreneurial flair and a genuine concern for the environment.

The novel combination of methodologies employed in the Engineers Ireland Future Professionals Series (including our Learning Management System, the use of Learning Contracts and workplace Mentoring) has been chosen to allow graduate engineers become deep, analytical thinkers and problem-solvers with rounded skills and abilities.