Goodbye to the old... hello to the new
‘Not too bad’ might be the traditionally British reserved assessment of 2015. Symbolically our last deep mine closed in the UK, but in general the engineering environment was stable, if not buoyant, which probably reflects the British economy as a whole. Technology, particularly in engineering materials and energy efficiency, continues to develop, while the disruptive potential of additive manufacturing seems to be being realised by more engineers in a broader range of applications.
The skills shortage continued to be the biggest issue for many engineering companies, some finding it difficult to grow due to the lack of available expertise. While the Government has made encouraging noises about apprenticeship schemes, the issue remains and unless we can start, as an industry, inspiring potential engineers at an early age it will add a long term problem to the short term issue we already have. Expect to hear much more on this in 2016.
On Eureka – my first full year as Editor – it has been both inspiring and intriguing. Even in the ‘not too bad’ years there is plenty to set the pulses racing – The America’s Cup yacht design and HAV airship being a couple of my favourites – where engineering design is raising the bar as to what can be achieved. The launch of our new event in Newcastle – Manufacturing & Engineering North East – to sit alongside our now established Engineering Design Show was another highlight. And the very best were lauded once more at the British Engineering Excellence Awards where a start up in the space industry – one of the UK’s most promising sectors – won the top prize.
2016 will, I am sure, be just as exciting. I hope it is a happy and prosperous one for all of our readers
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