With Google’s new self-driving cars hitting the streets for some extensive real-world testing, and scientists in Madrid developing a system for cars to detect pedestrians at night, engineers around the world have made progress that will make driving safer for all in the near future. Engineers everywhere, whatever their area of expertise, can appreciate the importance of their work and see its application in the real world.

Technologies that just decades ago only existed in a few visionaries’ minds will soon be available to the general public and improve modern life in our society.

And it’s not only to transport that engineers make valuable contributions; medicine too highly depends on the work of scientists with bright ideas and the courage to develop new things. For example, researchers in North Carolina are working on a device that uses ultrasound to help identify risks of heart attacks.

Pic: Engineering at Lincoln

The evolutionary nature of science and engineering means progress in those areas is constant, as is the need for skilled research. Curious and analytical people make for great engineers, whose role it is to bring solutions to some of the problems society faces and make sure advances in technologies can help make things better. As more countries develop, their need for viable infrastructure increases too.

With one of today’s most famous entrepreneurs, James Dyson, recently donating £8 million to the faculty of Engineering at the University of Cambridge to set up a technology hub at the heart of the city, there can be no doubt that engineering is worth investing in. One of the main aspects about becoming an engineer, says Dyson, is to turn powerful ideas into useful products and enabling students to put into practice what they have learnt in the classroom.

Engineers nearing retirement age have recently warned of a skills vacuum which may compromise the future of the sector. There may not be enough talented graduates to fill all the jobs.

Pic: Engineering students at Toronto

As a result, engineering courses in the UK and worldwide compete to attract the best students and offer the most advantages. On top of universities’ reputation and faculty, prospective students looking to study engineering in the UK, US, Australia and Canada should consider many other aspects. First, location is crucial in terms of job opportunities during and after studies; as well as links with industry, partnerships with companies etc. Programmes vary enormously from one school to the next, as do curricula. Have they been written up with the changing industry in mind? Have professional advisors recommended and informed courses of developments with the latest research? How much practical work are students expected to take on the course? Are internships provided, or encouraged? What are the facilities like?

Choosing a university course and moving abroad have always been daunting decisions to make; but when prospective students know they are entering a sector which offers jobs and future prospects, they have all the cards in hand to make the decision of a lifetime.

SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY – VIRGINIA STATE UNIVERSITY, USA
Virginia State University was founded in 1882 and is one of Virginia’s two land-grant institutions. Located 20 minutes south of Richmond, in the village of Ettrick, it welcomes 5,300 students from all over the world. Virginia State University is composed of five colleges and offers 55 baccalaureate and masters programs as well as some doctoral degree programs. The School of Engineering prepares students for careers in industry and for further study in engineering graduate programs. All programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Read the full profile here…

MCMASTER UNIVERSITY – HAMILTON, CANADA
McMaster University is a public research university in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada composed of six academic faculties, including engineering. McMaster University has consistently been ranked one of Canada’s top universities, and was ranked third nationally for research performance in the fields of engineering, computing, and technology. It is home to the McMaster Nuclear Reactor, the 2nd largest research reactor in North America, which is used by students in nuclear engineering and other fields. Read the full profile here…

FACULTY OF APPLIED SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING – UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, CANADA
The University of Toronto (U of T) is a public research university in Toronto, Canada. Founded in 1827, it is renowned for the quality of its research. It comprises 12 colleges and welcomes international students from all over the world. Notable alumni include four Prime Ministers of Canada, four foreign leaders, and 10 Nobel laureates. U of T is highly ranked in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (1st in Canada, 20th globally) and in the QS World University Rankings (1st in Canada, 17th globally). Read the full profile here…

SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING – UNIVERSITY OF LINCOLN, UK
The University of Lincoln is located in the heart of England and offers excellent courses in the modern facilities of its newly developed campus. The University has a rapidly growing international reputation for academic excellence and research, and is proud of the industry partnerships it develops. The School of Engineering has developed a unique approach to collaboration with industry, including a partnership with Siemens, and ensures all students are ready for industry when they graduate. Read the full profile here…

Pic: Virginia State University

SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT – GLASGOW CALEDONIAN UNIVERSITY, SCOTLAND
Glasgow Caledonian University is a public university located in the heart of Glasgow, in Scotland. With a history going back to 1875, the university now welcomes more than 18,000 students from more than 100 countries. The School of Engineering and Built Environment (EBE) offers flexible study options and has more than 200 academics. Having recently spent over £1.5 million on research and knowledge transfer infrastructure, the University offers excellent courses in modern facilities including at postgraduate and PhD level. The EBE maintains links with professional bodies and industry and develops their programmes in line with their standards.

SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING – UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a global centre for research and teaching located in Vancouver and Okanagan, Canada. UBC welcomes almost 60,000 students, a sixth of which come from more than 149 countries. A veritable international institution, UBC develops new ways of learning and exploring.  The School of Engineering offers unique and innovative programmes to prepare students for modern engineering practice. Through team-based project learning and practical thinking, students get all the opportunities and are encouraged to develop a solid engineering education to start their career. UBC offers three engineering undergraduate programmes: Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering and some graduate courses.

FACULTY OF ENGINEERING, COMPUTING AND MATHEMATICS – UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA
The University of Western Australia (UWA) in Perth was established in 1911 and it is the oldest university in the state of Western Australia. One of Australia’s best and most prestigious universities, UWA is ranked internationally in various publications.  The Engineering, Computing and Mathematics faculty at UWA offers courses to tackle today’s challenges and create tomorrow’s engineers. With programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level, UWA offers teaching that is informed by the latest developments in research and industry in modern, purpose-built facilities. UWA is committed to internationalization and has formal agreements with more than 44 institutions around the world.