Message from the President August.2017

Message from the President August.2017

Antennas and Sensitivity

The automotive industry is entering a period of seismic change at the moment.

In Europe, France has set out a clear policy of banning domestic sales of gasoline and diesel vehicles by the year 2040, and Germany has approved a bill to prohibit registration of new vehicles fitted with internal combustion engines from 2030 onwards. Swedish auto manufacturer Volvo has announced a strategy of replacing all vehicles with electric or hybrid equivalents from 2019. German manufacturer Audi meanwhile has announced that it will be releasing a commercial vehicle with Level 3 autonomy (vehicle-led automatic driving assistance) as early as 2018.

Although news such as this will obviously have a direct impact on engineers working in the automotive industry, it’s not something that engineers in any other manufacturing industry can afford to ignore either. Technology is advancing and the environment changing at a faster pace than even I had imagined.
With so much information available, this is why we need to put our antennas up, so that we can identify and gather correct information for ourselves. Sensitivity is also important, so that we can recognize changes and ensure that we take them on board. Without these two things – antennas and sensitivity – you cannot understand or truly appreciate your own place in the world. The lack of these opens up the potential for engineers to choose the wrong direction or career path in the future.

So, how should we go about honing our antennas and sensitivity?

Personally, I think it’s crucial to have a questioning and inquisitive mind. Ask yourself, “why is change happening?”, then think about “What will happen after the change?” If you keep throwing questions like that at yourself, again and again, you will find yourself putting up antennas in search of answers, and it will make you more sensitive too.

One other thing that is crucial is to think about processes. For example, if you’re working with 3D computer-aided design (CAD), you can map out complex shapes relatively easily, without having to picture them in your head. If you are unable to picture something in 3D in your head however, that makes it all the more difficult to turn that something into reality. If you have studied the basics of technology as an engineer, you will have a range of information at your disposal, including processing technology, assembly technology, materials and their components. Drawing on that, you should be able to think through the processes involved and come up with a 3D plan, which you can then put into practice. Thinking about processes will help you to put up your antennas and gather as much useful information as possible, and give you the sensitivity to understand that information, which in turn will pave the way for optimum design and development.

In April 2017, we branded ourselves as an “Engineering Firm at The Core.” As well as referring to the company itself, the word “firm” expresses our desire to become “a group of independent engineering professionals inspiring our customers.” Let us all work to hone our antennas and sensitivity, so that we can provide our customers with the very best solutions and services to meet their needs.