Author ORCID Identifier


Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


2. ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY, 5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES, Education, general, including:, *pedagogy

Publication Details

SEFI Conference, September 2021


Employers recognise that the future is changing and as such the structural engineer’s role is changing along with the skill set required. The skills gap has been acknowledged yet there is no consensus on which skills are most important for these engineers. This research presents the outcome of a project which proposes future professional skills needs for the structural engineer and the co-creation of their definitions. A review of the most recent relevant literature alongside chartership requirements of the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) and Engineers Ireland (EI), as well as consideration of three seminal consultation and analysis reports on the future skills in the sector, led to the identification of 7 skills. These are the traditional, though evolving skills related to communication, technical ability, management and engineering practice as well as emerging skills related to sustainability, technology and digitisation and society. It is accepted, however, that there may be different conceptions of each term, therefore, the presented research describes the co-creation of definitions for each of these skills with undergraduate structural engineering students. The work describes how focus groups were used to engage students in a conversation around the meaning and importance of each skill resulting in specific action orientated definitions for each skill. These definitions will then be used in the next phases of the project which engage the same students in a reflective e-portfolio exercise and structural engineering educators in a review of the programme outcomes in relation to such skills.



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