What makes a great engineer?

Published: 05 Nov 2013

Engineers are educated, intelligent and creative people – but what else is essential for an engineer to be great?

What engineering qualities do you possess?

Analytical thinker

All engineers have excellent analytical skills. Whether you’re looking at a nuclear reactor and trying to make it more efficient, or developing a new type of superlight metal, you’ll want to make it work better. There’s a natural inquisitiveness into understanding how and why the world around you works the way it does.

Great communicator

Your communication skills are going to be highly advanced. You’ll be fluent in the complexities of technical jargon and a million acronyms when speaking to your colleagues. When non-technical clients and stakeholders need updates or overviews on the latest developments, you’ll be able to flip a switch inside your head and immediately translate high level concepts into layman’s terms.

Mathematically adept

You’ll also be as good with numbers as you are with words. Engineering is a mathematically involved and complicated science, which requires engineers to perform extremely complex calculations and analytics.

Well educated

Education is important to you. So important, in fact, that two degrees and continual top up courses are essentially standard engineering requisites. BSc, MA, MBA, Charter ships and PHDs in all varieties of engineering specialisms are part of a continuing drive to be expert in your field. Technology is always changing and if you want to be at the forefront, you’ll strive to stay current.

Precise and meticulous

The smallest error can lead to an entire structure failing. Your meticulous nature will examine, re-examine, test, analyse and retest every bit of data possible as you strive for perfection. Your attention to detail can make or break a project.

Creative thinking

Creative thinking is essential to come up with the most innovative ways to improve and create new systems and processes. Can you predict what the market will require in ten years’ time? You’ll need to think ‘outside the box’ to find solutions to problems and implement successful improvements efficiency boosts.

Logical problem solver

As a logical thinker you’ll be able to decipher new technology, take control of complex systems and understand why things work and what causes problems. Your problem solving skills will be able pinpoint where the issue is and what the best solution is.

Team worker

A great engineer knows that they are a cog in part of a larger machine. Everyone around them has a part to play and unique knowledge to share and a successful engineer knows how to work as part of a team. Project work is a careful balance of bringing together specialities and everyone playing their part.

Technical expert

Your technical knowledge and desire to learn more about your engineering passion is vast. As well as specialising in something like mechanics or chemicals, you will also find computer systems and data interpretation a breeze. From Computational Fluid Dynamics to taking data readings from a physical test, you’ll be comfortable doing it all.


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