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Where does Engineering stop and Technology begin?

By Ashleigh Fitzgerald
03-08-2021

There is a sense, with the speed of change across industry, that there is blurring of boundaries between Engineering and Technology. We facilitated a healthy debate on this topic, last week on our Engineering focused call. 

 

The traditional viewpoint is noted in the diagram below with clear delineation between the 2 codes:

·        Engineering is said to be the mind and effort into making something. 

·        Technology is the result of application of this mind and effort. 

Some argue that Engineering is more specific than technology. Technology is seen as the solution, with technology able to be applied on repeat in different scenarios. 

 

Anthony Goodwin, Antal founder and Chairman opened the debate on this topic with his statement that the gap between Engineering & Technology appears to be reduced. He questioned if boundaries between the two disciplines are shifting, especially as technology co-joins most things and is creeping into every element of our lives. 

 

We discussed this in detail and reflected on how the rapid changes in the application of technology were evident across many industries. 

 

Pascal Dutfoy, from one of our offices in France explained 3 key trends which are developing in his industry speciality, Automotive:

1.      Electrification - computer power and software development becomes key differentiators, not the engine

2.      Automatic driving – there is an increased impact from artificial intelligence

3.      Connectivity – cars will be able to connect with each other and the infrastructure (red lights, warning signs, intelligent highways….)

Pascal noted that advances in this new technology was certainly having the biggest impact on the automotive industry.  He said, “The cars we will be driving in the future will be dramatically different because of this technology, allowing for many new entrants in this space (Tesla etc…). Some people are predicting cars may become “just” computers on wheels. “ He whole heartedly agreed that the link between engineering and technology was being challenged. 

 

Uwe Weigand, from one of our offices in Germany, also agreed and added that although the changes in application of technology have moved quickly in the automotive sector, this technology was not all new as it has been used successfully to pilot planes for many years. 

 

Uwe highlighted one poignant concern, with the advancement of new technology there is a risk of isolating large portions of the population, especially those afraid of technology or not open to learn about new gadgets. He noted, there was a high risk to classical automotive jobs with potentially 200,000 jobs being lost in Germany alone, with the shift to the new technologies. 

 

Uwe argued that the overlap between Engineering and Technology was vital to the progress of industry. Although these changes are not new, Uwe felt that following the pandemic, there was now a sense of urgency to this advancement. It certainly appears to be a higher priority to businesses than before.

 

Strong demand from our clients in Italy for staff with skills in Engineering and Technology was reported by Andrea Fornasieri and is evidence that both areas are of key strategic importance to business, even in a recovering market. 

 

My personal view on the catalyst to this increased speed of change is that with a shrinking workforce and reduction of available human capital, engineering and indeed the resulting technology is seen as the only viable solution. Machines will need to step up and perform where we simply cannot.  And so, the line between Engineering and Technology is being squeezed. 

 

Our offices are on hand to assist you find the right Engineering and Technology talent you need for your projects. Please connect with us via www.antal.com.

 

Written by:       Ashleigh Fitzgerald

Contribution with special thanks to:        

Anthony Goodwin, Founder & Chairman, Antal International

Pascal Dutfoy, Managing Partner, France                                                                              

Uwe Weigand, Managing Partner, Germany

Andrea Fornasieri, Lead Recruiter, Antal office, Milan

 

Reference Source:          

Difference Between Technology and Engineering (With Table) (askanydifference.com)

Website accessed on 30/7/2021 : [Difference Between Technology and Engineering (With Table) (askanydifference.com)]