Historically, Britons have been responsible for many of the world’s major engineering triumphs and experts working in technical fields within UK now have access to better equipment and resources than ever before. For example, there is an impressive array of engineering plastics on offer and these materials can be used in a host of innovative ways.
One man who is keen to see the country exploit its full potential is Google UK’s engineering director Mike Warriner. Writing in the Guardian recently, the expert suggested that engineering is key to the nation’s future, not just its past.
Cradle of invention
Talking about the UK’s illustrious history, he said: “Since the industrial revolution, Britain has been a cradle of invention. From railways connecting our cities to the world wide web connecting our globe, Britain can take pride in its part in the development of many of the technologies that have transformed our lives. Even at the dawn of the technological revolution – from radio and television to the computer – Britain was playing a key role.”
However, he went on to note that, over recent years, the most significant innovations have occurred elsewhere around the globe.
According to Mr Warriner, the country needs to get better at nurturing the relevant skills and talent. Drawing attention to the importance of this issue, he added: “Companies from architecture to manufacturing are using and relying on technology to run their businesses. This, in turn, creates jobs and value to the economy.”
Getting started at a young age
The expert drew attention to the importance of getting people interested in technical disciplines at an early stage. Commenting on his own experiences, he said: “Since I was four, I’ve been fascinated with how things work – pulling things apart and then putting them back together again. I’ve introduced my son and daughter to coding too and they love playing with Scratch, a free programming language for creating your own games.”
He added that he is keen to see more children across the UK get excited about science subjects, stating that youngsters should receive the help they need to turn their skills into careers.
More ground-breaking technology
In conclusion, Mr Warriner remarked: “We want to see more ground-breaking technology invented right here in Britain.” For this to happen, there needs to be continued investment in education and students, teachers and parents should receive help to understand the importance of engineering in everyday life, he added.
In encouraging news for the UK’s technical industries, figures released by manufacturers’ organisation the EEF and global law firm Squire Sanders have indicated a rising number of companies are re-shoring their production to the UK both in-house and by choosing British based suppliers. The main country that businesses were re-shoring from was China, followed by nations in Eastern Europe.
Firms would be unlikely to move back to UK production if they were not confident in the skills on offer within Britain. Of course, the country also benefits from impressive transport links, high-quality infrastructure and an abundance of other important resources.
Anna Longdin writes regularly about UK engineering. She visits sites including A.I. International to ensure she stays in the know when it comes to all the latest industry news and developments.