When you think of an engineer, what do you think of? In this day and age, there are so many different types of engineer, who work in many different fields. To name just a few, there are:
– Electrical Engineers
– Chemical Engineers
– Software Engineers
– Material Engineers
– Aerospace Engineers
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Have you ever thought about all the steps that go into engineering a product through project work? Let us take the example of The Happy Tomatoes Company. They tell you, as an engineer, that they want new packaging that uses up less plastic and also has a reduced production cost, and reduced carbon footprint.
- The first step you would take to engineer a product would be to capture the requirements of the customer. This includes asking The Happy Tomatoes company what they want, and what success of this product looks like to them.
- The next step is design, and this would involve the design and build team. This team works hands-on to design a product that fits the requirements outlined in stage 1. Mechatronics would also play a part in this stage, analysing the production line of the tomatoes. As well as factory optimisation and data visualisation. Data visualisation can produce VR to simulate the product to see if the customer is happy without wasting materials.
- Next is delivery. This stage involves producing the agreed product with the customer and giving it to them.
- After this, the product will be reviewed. Here, you would look at how well you have done with the product. Are The Happy Tomatoes Company happy with the final product? Does it fit the specification? Did anything go wrong? did anything go particularly well? What can you take from this project, to use in the next?
Whilst it may seem like there are a lot of teams listed above required to engineer a product, there are many teams working in the background in order to ensure the operation runs smoothly. For example, management will work to see that everyone is working happily and productively, and the legal team will work to see that all the legal obligations for the project are being followed.
So, because of the numerous teams involved in engineering a product, there is an overwhelming importance for soft skills in engineering roles. Communication plays a huge part in engineering, and when this is done well, it can increase everyones happiness and will improve the overall outcome of the product.
Some examples of important soft skills include:
– Emotional intelligence, such as understanding your own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.
– Communication skills, such as how you deliver messages to others.
– Social skills, such as respecting personal space and appreciating differences.