Future Skills week: tackle tomorrow’s challenges with these key engineering skills

By Jennifer Johnson, additional material by Joseph Flaig

What skills will engineers need to tackle the challenges of the future? (Credit: Andy Potts/ Good Illustration Agency)
What skills will engineers need to tackle the challenges of the future? (Credit: Andy Potts/ Good Illustration Agency)

The global challenges of tomorrow will be solved by engineers. Concepts that once loomed large on the horizon – from low-carbon electricity systems to large-scale industrial automation – have become present-day necessities. Delivering these solutions will require nothing less than a complete rethink of the infrastructure of modern society.

But countries like the UK, where there is a long-standing STEM skills shortage, may be slower to adapt to this new world order. This is why it’s critical that all engineers, be they recent graduates or senior staff, have the abilities needed to innovate in a rapidly changing field.

During a period of such major change, however, it can be hard to know which skills to focus on. Professional Engineering aims to answer that question with Future Skills week (13-17 September), an in-depth exploration of the techniques, approaches and mindsets that engineers should adopt to stay ahead in the field.

Starting on Monday, we will have daily articles highlighting key ingredients in the future skills mix. Pieces will focus on:

  • Bridging the skills gap with critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Programming for Industry 4.0
  • Innovative thinking for net zero
  • The importance of user-centric design
  • Why communication and collaboration are key.

The expert view 

The vital skills for tomorrow’s world are already being adopted. Alongside the articles, we have four case studies from engineers putting them into practice:

  • Murat Islam from John Crane, on the importance of programming and simulation skills
  • Imisi Joseph from Jaguar Land Rover, on coding and vehicle electrification  
  • Alexandra Mather from WSP, on diversity in the engineering workforce
  • Caitlin McCall from Swansea University, on taking responsibility under pressure.

Join us at from Monday, to learn how you and your colleagues can adapt to and overcome the challenges of the future.


For more on future skills, download the Future Manufacturing Engineer, a joint research project between IMechE and IET.

Join IMechE and Professional Engineering at THE virtual fair for early engineering careers and find your perfect job! Register for EngRec 2021 FREE today.

Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.


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