• Question: Whats he hardest part of working as an engineer?

    Asked by HollyT on 4 Mar 2021. This question was also asked by MyaC.
    • Photo: Ayla Cooper

      Ayla Cooper answered on 4 Mar 2021:

      Hi Holly, I’d say the hardest part is also actually the most interesting part and it’s the problem solving. A lot of the time we are looking at building or upgrading structures that were build hundreds of years ago so there isn’t any information on the initial construction so we have to do a bit of investigation to work it out ourselves. There isn’t a right or wrong answer but it’s all about finding the most suitable designs that are practical to build and save the client time & money.

    • Photo: Emma Robertson

      Emma Robertson answered on 4 Mar 2021:

      Solving some problems can be hard as sometimes I find I end up solving one problem but creating another one! It’s all part of the challenge and I enjoy it though, it’s always very interesting 🙂

      Also, sometimes projects do change and it can be hard to adapt to the changes, especially if they are very last minute. But being able to adapt to change is a good skill to learn!

    • Photo: Sarah-Jane Potts

      Sarah-Jane Potts answered on 4 Mar 2021:

      In my case as a Research Engineer it is having to quickly adapt to changes in project requirements due to unforseen issues or updates in the technology. However, the ever improving and adapting technology in engineering keeps it fun and interesting.

    • Photo: Amy Carter

      Amy Carter answered on 4 Mar 2021:

      Hi Holly! For me, I often have to design something for limited money that keeps a lot of different people happy (even people I sometimes don’t agree with). So it can be hard knowing that at the end of the day, the design will be a compromise, when inside you feel you could have designed something a lot more exciting or attractive. But it’s all part of solving the puzzle, and at the end of the day it is always great to see something you’ve designed being built in real life!

    • Photo: Graeme Cunningham

      Graeme Cunningham answered on 4 Mar 2021:

      Sometimes when faced with a problem my team will come up with some really creative ideas, which can then spawn many new ideas. Sometimes we have to prioritise the ideas that will lead quickly to commercial products which means we can’t always pursue some ideas regardless of how clever they are.

      I was told once that engineering, at its core is about money! In that, its more than just collecting knowledge or finding clever ways to do things, it about using that knowledge and clever ideas to solve practical problems.

    • Photo: Michael Jones

      Michael Jones answered on 5 Mar 2021:

      For me as a PhD student doing research it is definitely that sometimes you can come up against problems that you can’t ask many other people about because it’s possible that nobody in the world has ever encountered the same problem before. That’s the nature of research, we are trying to find out completely new things and expand our knowledge. It can be quite frustrating in these situations, but it makes it all the more satisfying when you finally figure something out that you’ve been stuck on for a while.

    • Photo: Jasmine Bone

      Jasmine Bone answered on 5 Mar 2021:

      For me I think the biggest problem I’ve come across is having to focus ideas for research projects. Coming up with solutions or ideas for what to research is really interesting and fun, the hard part is defining what is feasible in terms of time/money/equipment constraints, and convincing the people in charge of the money your idea is worthwhile funding! It’s always exciting having to adapt to new challenges though.

    • Photo: Alex Evans

      Alex Evans answered on 6 Mar 2021:

      The hardest part I’ve found developing new technology is having confidence in the decisions you make. Unlike at university or school when you sit exams there is usually a right or wrong answer that can be checked. However at work there is usually more than one answer. Its rewarding when you see you work pay off but it can be frustrating sometimes when you can’t quite see what the right choice is.

    • Photo: Kiri Hatton

      Kiri Hatton answered on 8 Mar 2021:

      I would say that hardest part for me is prioritsing which of my projects is most important. All my road safety schemes have come about because there are safety improvements that can be made, so they are all important! But I have to work out which are most important.

    • Photo: Anna Garcia-Teruel

      Anna Garcia-Teruel answered on 9 Mar 2021:

      Hi Holly. I think the hardest part for me, when you come up with new solutions in a research context, is getting these new solutions to work as you expect them to, and making sure that you got it all right. So you need to be very thorough, and you need to challenge your own work. In this process, it is, however, very very interesting for example to then have discussions with your colleagues, who can then give you new ideas to improve or develop your solution further. Generally, working with other people in a research context, is really helpful, to challenge your work and come up with better solutions.

    • Photo: Tom Pratt

      Tom Pratt answered on 9 Mar 2021:

      The hardest part of being an engineer is time pressure when working to deadlines and also when you have a difficult problem to solve and can’t find a solution to it.

    • Photo: Adrian Marsland

      Adrian Marsland answered on 15 Mar 2021:

      in the current digital and technology climate one of the challenges is staying up to date with the advancing capabilities and keeping in one mind where although new developments and ideas may be possible, they may not profitable, sustainable or the right thing to do, engineers need to ask not only technical, but also ethical questions

    • Photo: Magdalena Grzybek

      Magdalena Grzybek answered on 26 Mar 2021:

      Hmmm difficult question, of course sometimes can get stressful when deadlines are close or something doesn’t work the way you want it. You need to be flexible and quickly adapt to changes around the project.