Olympics boost engineering careers

The London 2012 opening ceremony showcased a wide variety of engineering roles, and expert say that this exposure has "reinvigorated" engineering as a career choice among young people.

Nigel Fine, the head of the Institution of Engineering and Technology said that the Games are a perfect example of what can be achieved through science, technology, engineering and maths skills, and hopes it will inspire many young people to take up a career in the field.
“This is the first digital Games - it's the engineers making sure the signals are delivered through HDTV, for example," he said.

"There's a real opportunity to get more people interested in engineering."

Nigel’s words and enthusiasm for the field of engineering echo the results of a recent poll commissioned by the Institution of Civil Engineers which found that a third of Britons believe the Olympics had helped them appreciate the importance of civil engineering to society.

The survey also showed that over half of the public were no longer just thinking about "bridges" when they thought of what civil engineers built; with 45% saying it is a "respected" profession.

Civil engineers are finally getting the public recognition that they deserve, after all that played a crucial role in bringing the Olympic Park to life, including designing and building the venues and facilities, building 30 new bridges, restoring 8.35km of waterways, and building 1.8km of sewer tunnels underneath the site.

They also oversaw the demolition of over 200 buildings, the removal of 52 electricity pylons, the cleaning of more than 2m tonnes of soil and the protection of wildlife and plant species.

“Unfortunately it is often only when things go wrong that the work of civil engineers is thrust into the media spotlight,” said ICE president Richard Coackley.

“The London 2012 Games have changed this - showcasing and celebrating the work of these often ‘unsung heroes’ while at the same time helping the public understand more about what civil engineers do and what a diverse and exciting career it is.
"If anything could excite and inspire young people to pursue civil engineering as a career it’s the Olympic and Paralympic Games - a true feat of engineering in every sense.”
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