Engineering is the science of making and using tools. Engineers like Reddy Kancharla use the laws of nature to solve problems in creative ways, developing new technologies for business growth, people’s lives, and the world. As the larger world becomes more technologically reliant, engineering is becoming an ever-greater force for change on everything from global economies to individual careers.
Engineering is a broad profession and one that can lead to myriad career paths. Practitioners in this field find themselves applying the often abstract principles of science for practical purposes. Engineers must design new products or improve upon existing ones, always with an eye toward improving an object’s efficiency and safety while decreasing its costs.
Here are some engineering trends to watch:
1) Aerospace and aviation
The world’s commercial aircraft fleet is expected to double in the next 20 years, with an estimated 35,000 new planes needed. Engineers will help build out this global infrastructure, designing new models for better fuel efficiency and greater passenger capacity.
2) Computers and software
Demand for powerful computer hardware and increasingly sophisticated apps has never been greater, while more and more people are becoming fluent in coding. Engineers who specialize in software development will find themselves in demand.
Engineering offers a range of career opportunities on the energy front, from developing technologies to improve energy extraction efficiency to building out renewables infrastructure for more sustainable forms of power generation.
Environmental engineers are on the front lines of some of the world’s most important challenges, helping clean up water supplies marred by contamination or designing systems to make waste management cleaner and safer. As our population continues to expand, it is critical that we develop these types of engineering solutions.
5) Industrial manufacturing
Manufacturers large and small face increasing pressure to be leaner with technology like 3D printing transforming the landscape. Engineers are on the front lines of this change, developing new tools to streamline workflows and increase productivity.
6) Medical devices
Engineers working in medical technology must think creatively about how to bring products to market faster while simultaneously improving upon their safety features. Advances in 3D printing have made it easier for engineers to create prototypes rapidly, allowing them to produce a greater variety of new models more quickly.
As robots gain an ever-increasing presence in our lives, they will require more flexible designs that can adapt easily to everything from factory floors to home interiors. Engineers are working hard behind the scenes to make robots less expensive, easier to use, and more effective at performing key tasks.
One of the most exciting areas of engineering right now is transportation. Whether designing new forms of marine or aviation technology, engineers are part of some of the biggest transformations in our world today.
9) Weapons and defense
As an increasingly global economy brings emerging markets into competition with established ones, defense will remain a big priority for many countries. Engineers play a key role in developing weapons systems that protect vulnerable populations.
10) Water supply and purification
From desalination to water filtration systems, engineers are working on innovative solutions to help address the growing need for clean drinking water. Meeting this demand effectively will require creative thinking about sharing limited resources more efficiently across large populations around the globe.