Engineering then and now

If you’re thinking of studying for a degree in Engineering, there has never been a more exciting time to start. Engineering is an incredibly diverse and stimulating industry. It has never been seen as static and is now moving faster than ever. With new inventions and chances for innovation, embarking on an engineering career has never been so exciting.

In this blog we’ll explore how engineering achievements have shaped how we live, current trends and where the future of engineering can take us.


Over the past 50 years, the speed of engineering and technical advancements have been incomparable; these are some of the ground breaking engineering achievements of the last few years.

Could you imagine a day without checking Instagram on your phone? Travelling somewhere new without Google Maps? Or perhaps a day without your phone at all? We may forget that the mobile phone is still relatively new, only being invented in 1973.

Further ways in which engineering has made a difference in day-to-day life is with anti-locking braking systems. They help maintain traction control with efficiency and safety. However, did you know they only became widely available in the 1970s? In 1978, Mercedes-Benz released the first production car with ABS implemented for all four wheels.

As engineering has always been innovative and forward thinking, 1991 saw the construction of the UK’s first onshore windfarm. It consisted of 10 turbines and produces enough energy for 2700 homes.

In 1998, a team of students came together to design and build a single-seater racing car, which became known as Formula Student. Once the car was created, it was put through rigorous endurance tests and scrutiny by engineers and experts. This student led competition can still be found today.


UK engineering is going through a period of phenomenal achievements with Dyson and McLaren pushing boundaries not only with technology, but also with design.

There are jobs in sectors that exist now which may not have existed 15, 10 or even five years ago. This is because technology is not static and a move in technology means a change in the type of resources required. Engineers should be aware of technological trends and the impact they have on the engineering sector.

With data becoming more and more valuable, engineering is also becoming data driven by using, thinking and deep learning systems to seek crucial insights.

Automotive engineering designers are currently experiencing a boost thanks to the help of new advances in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. This means engineers are working with more powerful tools assisting them in their jobs. Augmented Reality is growing and helping engineers work and collaborate. If automotive engineering is something which interests you, take a look at the modules you will be studying on our automotive engineering course.

The future

The future of engineering lies in the evolution of technologies. Technologies will help support engineers in their work and efficiently uncover new ways of solving problems. This is not purely for the manufacturing and industrial world, there is scope to focus on environmental and adaptive technologies.

One of the biggest issues facing industries today is the impact their actions have on the environment. The mission to go green will affect the tech used by engineers. Technologies required to meet new more stringent emission guidelines are already available. This is evident in the automotive industry, where electric vehicles are becoming more common.

Security engineers will focus on advancements in cybersecurity and how to stay ahead before vulnerabilities turn into security breaches. By using tools such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, enterprises can predict and protect from cyber-attacks.

Organisations will benefit from enhanced performance, higher productivity, improved products and more, with the adoption of new technology. Engineers will work to create robotics that complement human work. The future of engineering could see the creation of robots being programmed to do more than repetitive tasks.

At its core, engineering is about solving problems, and the need for this work won’t disappear anytime soon. As time moves on and we face new challenges, the core skills required by engineers remain the same. A useful knowledge of maths and physics will always be desired alongside a spark of innovation. 

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