Digitisation: the key to attracting young people to an engineering career
Source: Aurecon , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Sat June 16, 2018 4:23 pm

INTERNATIONAL. Engineering consultancies who want to maintain a competitive edge need to encourage young people to drive digitisation projects and strategies within their organisations, says Keith Katyora of global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon.

An Electrical Engineer and Chairperson of the Young Professional Forum’s Gauteng North Division, Katyora, who completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering in 2016 from the University of Pretoria, says many South African students and graduate engineers are presenting innovative digital solutions to engineering problems.

“It’s not only experienced senior engineers who come up with workable solutions for infrastructure, energy, buildings and roads in South Africa. Many of the most disruptive, digital-focused and innovative ideas that are being presented in the industry, stem from young engineers who are in forward-thinking engineering consultancies who are looking to create smart African cities. Students, in particular, are coming up with interesting solutions that industry should take note of.
Young people who, for example, are researching blockchain solutions, renewable technologies and power plant efficiency, are the ones who are presenting new solutions to old problems,” he says.

The Young Professional Forum (the Forum) is part of Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) and its goal is to aid the advancement of young professionals within the consulting engineering industry. The Forum will host six prominent events in 2018 with the focus of many of these to encourage young people to pursue careers in engineering.

“The engineering sector continues to lose young engineers to the finance sector. Why is it that engineers are increasingly taking jobs at insurance companies and banks? Many young engineers, including me are of the opinion that it’s because the finance sector in South Africa is embracing technology. Financial institutions are often agile, flexible and open to being led by young people with new ideas. Many engineering companies are still clinging to the old way of doing business. To ensure that engineering remains a desirable career, we need to make sure we’re not frustrating young people who want to explore digital solutions,” says Katyora.

Some of the upcoming events that the Forum will be hosting include: the Future Leaders’ Career Expo on 20 July; a panel discussion about how young professionals should go about mapping out their career paths called ‘Transform Yourself’ on 1 August; and an energy debate on 13 September.

Katyora says he is particularly looking forward to the energy debate as the event will be focused on gathering perspectives from young professionals and an array of industry bodies, including the Black Energy Professionals Association, SA Institute of Electrical Engineers, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and Youth in Energy.

“Many discussions about current energy issues, such as Eskom’s possible restructuring, which will play a significant role in the development of South Africa’s energy landscape in the future, do not include the voices of young people. Not only do young engineers have a solid understanding of the current challenges, as well as digitally-driven ideas about how to overcome these challenges, but many of these people will also be in decision-making positions soon. It’s time for young engineers to band together and make sure our voices and ideas are heard, and what better time to do this than Youth Month,” concludes Katyora.

Photo Captions:
1. (above)  Keith Katyora of global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon
2. (inset)  For illustration purpose only (File photo)

About Aurecon
Aurecon is an engineering and infrastructure advisory company, but not as you know it. We’ve reimagined engineering.

Our clients’ ideas and aspirations drive all that we do. We work alongside them like no other firm to co-create clever, innovative solutions to some of the world’s most complex challenges, adding value across the project lifecycle through deep technical and advisory expertise. We serve our clients across a range of markets, in locations worldwide. Hardwired in our DNA are engineering, design and the deep need to leave a legacy. We are as diverse as we are dynamic. As curious as we are clever.

Drawing on our deep pool of knowledge, we bring vital engineering experience, technical capability and design expertise to the table. Then we listen deeply and intently. We see the opportunities, possibilities and potential that others don’t. Through a range of unique creative processes and skills, we collaborate with our clients to re-imagine, shape and design a better future.

We believe humanity depends on engineering; and we recognise we have a broader stewardship role to play. A deep responsibility to hold. As we continually strive for a life in balance, Aurecon clients will be both future ready and engineered for life.

Think engineering. Think again.
Aurecon: Engineering, re-imagined.

To find out more about what we have been up to visit our newsroom, or take a glimpse into the future on our Just Imagine blog.

Privately owned by employees, Aurecon formed in 2009 when Africon, Connell Wagner and Ninham Shand announced the formation of a new global group.

Please visit www.aurecongroup.com for further information.

 

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