Document Type

Conference Paper


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


2.1 CIVIL ENGINEERING, *pedagogy

Publication Details

44th SEFI Conference, 12-15 September 2016, Tampere, Finland


My interest in preparing graduates for a successful career in industry stems from personal experience of employing graduates as civil and structural engineers in an engineering consultancy role. The range of skills, abilities and values of each graduate was varied, and it became apparent that academic achievement, whilst important was not the defining skill for achieving early responsibility or promotion within the company. More often, the graduate who was able to communicate well and self-direct his/her work was given more responsibility and opportunity. Many graduates would define early promotion, advanced responsibility and the associated increase in salary as the beginnings of a successful career in engineering consultancy. My intent in this paper is to present a plan for a PhD research project to investigate how academic institutions and academics themselves can provide opportunities for students to develop the key skills required for a successful career in consulting engineering. Furthermore, I am interested not only in the skills required of the graduate of today, but the skills that will be required to meet the challenges we face in the future. This paper is presented with two aims. The first is to summarise the research plan and objectives. The second is to elicit critique and advice in the design of the study, including the research questions and the methodology proposed