This is Engineering Day’ the changing image of engineering

This is Engineering Day’ the changing image of engineering



A picture paints a thousand words’ has never been so true.  In today’s digital age, image is everything.


Searching ‘engineer’ online results in images that offer a very narrow view, one that supports stereotypical ideas that engineering only happens in hard hats, on construction sites.


That’s certainly one aspect of engineering. But what about the other roles that engineers play?  What about the engineering roles that help people and planet, like the This is Engineering campaign, careers that make a difference.


Our engineers feel passionately about how a career in engineering is portrayed;


 Jess said:

“When I was young, I thought that engineering is all about hammers and spanners but engineering is more than that.

“Engineering is about finding ways to make the impossible possible. It is everywhere and in everything.

“I was always a curious girl. My first plane ride that I could remember paved my curiosity into all things aerospace. How does a plane go up? How does it stay up in the air? Why is shaped the way it is? I believe anyone with a curious mind is an engineer.

“If you want to figure out how things work, why they work the way they do, you might be an engineer.

“It is more than old stereotypes and is always evolving. I am proud to be an engineer and I know I chose the right path to nourish and encourage my curiosity.”

Christina - who now uses her engineering expertise help recruit our next generation of apprentices and graduates - previously used her skills to ensure that the maintenance of equipment on board Navy frigates is as easy as possible whilst deployed at sea. Something she may not have imagined as a child.

Christina said:

“When I was 10, during a Navy Day in Plymouth, I went on a tour of a Type 23 frigate and realised how much the sailors depended on their on-board equipment when they were at sea and deployed to serve our country. 

“Little did I know, that many years later I would be part of an MBDA team focussing on ensuring our equipment on today’s Type 23’s could be maintained as easily as possible whilst at sea. The ships seemed a bit smaller than I remembered!

“This experience has been part of a varied engineering career that I have had to date, but one with a personal satisfaction of supporting our Navy.”

Engineering things to work is not all about mechanics. Today software engineering is just as important, using platforms such a Linux and Windows, and utilising languages like C, C++ and Java.

Inspired by taking part in one of our sponsored ‘Robot Rumble’ challenges whilst at school, Nicola is now one of MBDA’s a software degree apprentices.

Nicola said:

“I became interested in an engineering career when I began robot rumble at the age of 15. I found building a robot and programming this metalwork to move and compete in challenges an incredible notion. When I left school, I signed up to study engineering through an apprenticeship.

“I realised quickly that being a woman in this industry was not a usual as it is in others, but over time I’ve felt very accepted in this community. The ratio of girls to guys still isn’t there yet, though I do have strong faith it will get there and if companies like MBDA, and others, keep pushing for it like they’re doing with This is Engineering Day, it will eventually make for a more diverse workforce.”

We’re celebrating our engineers on This is Engineering Day and the varied roles they work in.


Dr Hayaatun Sillem, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, further explains:


 “Engineering and technology play an incredible role in shaping the world around us and in addressing some of society’s biggest challenges, from providing a sustainable supply of food, water and clean energy, to advancing healthcare, and keeping us safe and secure. We know that young people increasingly want to tackle these issues and make a difference in the world, but unfortunately the lack of understanding around engineering is stopping them from exploring careers that will enable them to do this.

“This matters because we face an estimated shortfall of up to 59,000 engineers each year in the UK, and there is a pressing need to diversify our engineering workforce since only 12% of professional engineers are female and 9% are from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. That’s why we’re making 6 November This is Engineering Day, to raise awareness of what engineers really do and celebrate those that are shaping the world we live in.”


If you’re an engineer, you can show your support on This is Engineering Day by visiting, by following @ThisIsEngineering on Instagram or @ThisIsEng on Twitter, or search “follow what you love” on Facebook and, for those engineers among us, by showing the world just who you are and what you really do.