Public have limited understanding of engineering and engineers according to new report

engineers are seen as people who build and fix things, rather than creative people who design and innovate according to a report published by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Engineering Technology Board

Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Brunel: Didn't just "fix things"

The study into public attitudes to and perceptions of engineering and engineers found that there was a limited awareness and understanding of engineering and engineers.

Typically it is seen as a male orientated profession related to construction and manual professions.

Seven out of 10 respondents said that the many types of engineering made it difficult for the ‘average’ person to understand. Engineering was seen as hard to define and vague and many put the confusion down to the misuse of the term engineering to describe other trades such as technicians or to describe repair work.

Younger people in particular were found to have a much more limited understanding of engineering in comparison to other groups

However there were some positive findings. Many thought engineering made a positive contribution to society and those with a higher awareness of the profession saw it as being more creative and cerebral compared to other professions.

The findings in the report will now be used to inform future action plans on raising awareness of the profession and engaging the public.