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TMCNet:  ASME Releases Study on the Future of the Mechanical Engineering Profession

[August 20, 2012]

ASME Releases Study on the Future of the Mechanical Engineering Profession

NEW YORK --(Business Wire)--

As the world's population nears seven-billion people, mechanical engineers will play a major role in meeting global challenges says a research study conducted by ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers).

The study, The State of Mechanical Engineering: Today and Beyond, was the result of a survey of over 1,200 engineers with a minimum of two years of experience in mechanical engineering-related positions. The survey asked participants to rate everything from the current levels of optimism around the field to their opinions on the hottest areas in mechanical engineering, along with the personal and professional skills they think are needed to succeed now and in the future.

With the expanding global population comes the need to address challenges such as clean water, sanitation, food and energy. While the study shows optimism about the ability of engineers to meet global challenges, it points to the importance of working on interdisciplinary teams of professionals to address these issues.

The study also revealed that early career engineers and students will play a major role in meeting global challenges over the next 10-20 years, especially in the areas of sustainability or renewable energy, bioengineering and biomedical fields, nanotechnology, green building technology, energy storage, smart grids and greenhouse gas mitigation.

The ASME research study also evealed that over the next two decades:


  • The prestige of working as an engineer will increase
  • The financial rewards of working as an engineer will be greater
  • The number of engineers working in less-developed countries will be greater
  • The need for engineers to increase their ability to communicate more effectively, increase language skills and manage global teams will increase
  • Skills in motion simulation, animation and virtual prototype creation are needed

When participants were asked how they would acquire additional knowledge or expertise needed to address future challenges, almost all engineers said they would employ self-study. According to the survey, "early career engineers prefer traditional face-to-face instruction for acquiring knowledge such as in-house training, mentoring, and part-time graduate degree programs. More experienced engineers, on the other hand, are more comfortable relying on magazines, books and online courses."

The study also indicated that "basic engineering disciplines will continue to be indispensable. Abilities such as multilingual and multicultural skills will be essential in the anticipated increasingly global work environment."

In compiling the results of The State of Mechanical Engineering: Today and Beyond, ASME sought to provide an accurate picture of the current attitudes of today's engineers as well as their expectations on the future of the engineering profession.

About ASME

ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real world challenges. Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world. For more information, visit www.asme.org.


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