Andy Gotts talks to Urban Realm about the future of engineering
Andy respond's to a Q&A session with Urban Realm for the 2017 Engineering Survey.
Are you optimistic for the profession’s future?
Society and the economy will always need engineers to develop and maintain our built environment and infrastructure. You only need to look at the three iconic bridges spanning the Forth, all built at different periods over the last two centuries, for evidence of this. However, engineers can’t be complacent. We must embrace new technology such as virtual reality, which we use at BakerHicks to communicate our designs to clients and architects. And, we need to ensure engineering remains an attractive career choice. The quality of the graduates and trainees employed by BakerHicks makes me very optimistic about the future of the profession.
Are we closing the skills gap to push the industry forward?
While the industry still faces challenges attracting and retaining talent, it’s encouraging to see programmes such as ICE Quest giving engineering students the opportunity to study at UK universities and gain work experience. BakerHicks currently sponsor seven Quest students, over half of which are female. This is equally encouraging as showcasing engineering as a career option for women is essential to helping push the industry forward. It’s important that we continue to work with schools and universities, making students more aware of engineering as a fulfilling career option to enable us to attract and retain a diverse and talented workforce for the future.
What is your proudest moment of the past 12 months?
I love seeing projects we’ve been involved in get the recognition they deserve. The standout one for me is the Eastwood Health and Care Centre which has won numerous awards this year. BakerHicks worked closely with hub West, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, East Renfrewshire Council, Hoskins Architects and the wider design team to develop the innovative and flexible layout, enabling a number of local health and care services to be brought together under one roof. The project has been hugely successful, winning coveted architectural awards, including the European Healthcare Design and RIAS Awards. It’s hugely satisfying to see a project you’re proud of being recognised as an example of excellence.