At the UTC you learn how engineering impacts on our life, drives our economy and shapes our future.
Engineering now touches every aspect of our lives. The electronics inside a smart phone; the robotics of mass production; the lasers used in eye surgery and the marine, aeronautics and space technologies that allow us to explore a world beyond our natural limitations.
Engineers shape the world by turning ideas into reality – engineering is highly creative and engineers are inventive and entrepreneurial. Beyond their ideas engineers have to apply scientific and mathematical principles in logical, rigorous and disciplined ways to find solutions to problems and challenges.
Engineers have to know the theory and be practical – being practical can mean carrying out experiments, reading and interpreting technical instruments. It often means designing, often virtually in the first instance. But it also means making, testing, evaluating and improving.
Building your future in engineering
The careers in engineering are vast and growing, engineers are in demand, well paid and opportunities are global. Career routes in engineering are equally varied.
Progression into engineering beyond 18 could be onto a degree course at university – strong A-level grades in Mathematics and Physics are the most common qualifications needed to secure a place university degree course in the field of engineering.
However, technical awards (BTEC and Cambridge Nationals) can lead into engineering degree courses at university, sometimes via a foundation course such as a higher national certificate (HNC), or higher national diploma (HND). These have lower entrance requirements than a degree course.
You can also progress onto traineeships and advanced apprenticeships. Some of the most successful engineers started via this route, only going to university much later in their careers.
You really need to decide what area of engineering you want to focus on and then find a progression route that suits your qualifications and skills.
Having undertaken a high level of formal education in engineering you will continue with industrial training in order to secure professional qualifications in the sector such as Chartered Engineer status. As an engineer you will always be learning new things as technology is always moving forward.
Aeronautical engineering is the branch of engineering that concerns aircraft, spacecraft and related topics. It concerns engine design and performance, aerodynamics, control systems, aspects of materials science amongst other things. The reduction in sound and energy pollution are integral to new aircraft design.
Career paths often taken by aeronautical engineering graduates include:
- Aerospace manufacturers
- The Armed Forces
- Government departments such as the Ministry of Defence
- Airline operators
- Regulatory authorities like the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
- National and multinational space agencies such as NASA or ESA
Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
Chemical engineers are engaged in the development and production of a diverse range of products, including refining oil and petro-chemicals. These products include high performance materials needed for aerospace, automotive, biomedical, electronics and military applications. There is now a strong emphasis on the development of materials with key environmentally friendly characteristics. Examples include ultra-strong fibers, fabrics, adhesives and composites for vehicles, bio-compatible materials for implants and prosthetics, gels for medical applications, pharmaceuticals, and films with special dielectric, optical or spectroscopic properties for optoelectronic devices. Additionally, chemical engineering is often intertwined with biology and biomedical engineering. Many chemical engineers work on biological projects such as understanding biopolymers (proteins) and mapping the human genome.
Career paths often taken by chemical engineering graduates include:
- Oil and gas industries
- Petro-chemical industries
- Armed Forces
- Nuclear industry
- Bio-medical and health sciences
- Waste water treatment
Civil and Structural Engineering
In modern usage, civil engineering is a broad field of engineering that deals with the planning, construction, and maintenance of fixed structures like buildings and bridges. Civil engineers are responsible for things such as roads, water supply, sewage systems, flood control and traffic. In essence civil engineering makes the world a more habitable place to live.
Career paths often taken by civil engineering graduates include but are not limited to working for or in:
- The Armed Forces
- Construction Sector
- Water and sewage utilities
- Architectural design
Electrical and Electronics Engineering
Electrical engineering is an engineering discipline that deals with the study and application of electricity, electromagnetism and electronics. Electrical engineering is considered to deal with the problems associated with large-scale electrical systems such as power transmission and motor control whereas electronics engineering deals with the study of small-scale electronic systems including semiconductors and the design of integrated circuits.
Career paths often taken by electrical engineering graduates include but are not limited to working for or in:
- Communication technology – e.g. digital streaming
- The Armed Forces
- Hardware (Computers, mobile devices and TVs) and software engineering
- Lighting and sound engineering
Mechanical engineering is a very broad field of engineering that involves the application of physical principles for analysis, design, manufacturing, maintenance of mechanical systems and other components and equipment based on mechanical principles. Basically anything that involves moving parts – from robotic production lines to motors and engines.
Due to the broad nature of mechanical engineering, graduates find employment in virtually every sector of engineering. Examples include:
- Energy production (Oil & Gas, Utilities, Renewable, Nuclear)
- Automotive & Aerospace sectors
- Defence industry and the Armed Forces
- Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals
- Marine & Shipping
- Building Services & Construction
- Fast Moving Consumer Goods
- Medical & Biomedical
Information and Information Systems Engineering
Information Engineering is a relatively new engineering discipline developing due to the widespread availability of computational resources and the growing amounts of data being collected. This area of engineering is often combined with computing and mathematical courses. Information Engineers develop algorithms and systems to process, manipulate and extract meaningful information from data. As a consequence, information engineers must have mastery of the disciplines of mathematics, statistics and computer science as well as being well versed in traditional engineering methodology. They must also be flexible and able to adapt their generic data analysis methods to potentially very different problems.
- Designing a intelligent system for identifying malignant tumours from MRI scans
- Identifying cracks in rails from ultrasound images
- Developing an early warning missile tracking system
- Automatically identifying known troublemakers from CCTV images of football crowds
- Finding patterns in Google search usage
- Designing automated speech recognition systems
- Online optimisation of aircraft performance
As information engineers are data specialists they can often find jobs in many different industries.
- Communications technology
- Software engineering