Bridging the gap between engineering education and practice

View the Workshop Communique here. This paper summarises the main points raised and we hope provides valuable recommendations for educators, professional institutions and employers of engineers.

Debate Topics
1. Developing graduates into proven engineers
2. Educating Engineers for the Future
3. Attributes of Global Engineers

The rate of development in technology to assist the structural engineer has never been so vertical. What took hours of mathematical computation could now be done in minutes on an everyday computer – does this mean that the older generation of engineers are becoming left behind? Or do younger engineers lack the appreciation for what real engineering involves?  We have gathered a panel of representatives to voice their point of view on this topic as an MC will raise important questions to the panel such as

  • Are we sufficiently preparing Engineering University graduates for the ‘real world’? Experience of both the employer and the engineering graduate
  • Are the expectations of employers of what knowledge and skills engineering students leave university with realistic?
  • Do young engineers really understand structural engineering – can young engineers see beyond the values in tables, clauses in standards and numbers that the computers output?
  • Should engineers take standards and computer results verbatim and at what point should we use real engineering to deviate from them?

David Cruickshanks-Boyd, WSP Australia

1. Kyle Hourigan, Robert Bird Group
2. Prof. Kourosh Kayvani, Aurecon
3. Freddy Smyth, WSP Australia
4. Faith Wainwright, President of the Institution of Structural Engineers
5. Prof. John Wilson, University of Swinburne