One of the great things about being involved in the current, cutting edge of steel is that it means you not only see the history of metallurgy, but also how far and wide the new world of metals, scientific discovery and engineering is spreading.
While it’s easy to see when you’re involved in the field, there’s so much going on in the world today that most people don’t have space to find use for all of the changes that occur and they only keep a basic knowledge of things.
West Yorkshire Steel loves to make the case against the public perception that steel is still the world of smoking chimneys seen in the Industrial Revolution, but it’s also applicable to the world of engineering. While the word ‘engineer’ originally referred to the man in charge of the steam train engine, it’s now incorporates a vast world of technological and scientific areas which are responsible for shaping how we live tomorrow.
While much of the general public identifies with this archaic image, the knock on effect is that engineering becomes uninteresting to young people, who concentrate on new and exciting fields, such as web design. Although websites are an important part of the way we live and do business today, the role of an engineer can actually change the world.
Engineering is needed by every section of society, from energy generation, transport, construction, travel infrastructure, aerospace, electronics and computing to medicine. It not only reaches through every part of the way we live today and can take you all around the planet, but completely off it as well.
The skills of engineers are vital to every Government that runs a space program, but to add a twist of extra fun, the constant conditions that we have on Earth such as air, pressure and gravity don’t apply in the same way on Mars, the Moon or the vacuum of space. The ability to engineer a solution to a problem which you can only experience and monitor remotely means that you can’t rely on presumptions and must rise to a much more challenging set of circumstances.
When put in these terms, the challenges, the possibilities and the rewards from a career in engineering become a lot more enticing to a younger audience. It incorporates a world of science, mathematics, metallurgy, electronics and technological advancement that can literally breakthrough to change the world.
To support the next generation of potential engineers, the Science Museum is holding the Engineer Your Future exhibit, which involves short films, designing a space rover, tests for big-science thinking and the ability to explore a city where the engineering breakthroughs today have become the usable technology tomorrow.
West Yorkshire Steel know that the world of metallurgy and engineering is one of the most exciting and fastest moving areas in the world and making it enticing and accessible to a new generation of minds that bring along a new generation of discoveries can only ever be a great thing.
Photo credit: Science Museum