Engineers are behind the cars we drive, the pills we pop and the way we power our homes. They create new technology and appealing products to export.” James Dyson
Engineering is so central to our everyday lives we sometimes don’t realise it’s there. In January, bees in Australia were fitted with sensors to monitor their behaviour and their environment, a new suit was developed to prevent back injuries to astronauts, and experts debated the use of geo-engineering projects to offset climate change. All these thanks to the work of engineers around the world.
Ahead of 2014’s first investor summit on climate risk on Jan. 14, UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres urged global financial institutions to invest more in clean energy to help avert a climate disaster. She insisted on the importance of investing in new infrastructure projects to organise a shift from coal and oil-based economies to cleaner fuels and technologies. As a result of the meeting, the Ceres investment network published its ‘Clean Trillion’ plan for businesses and investors to dedicate $1 trillion a year by 2030 to solutions towards a clean energy economy. As the sector grows, so does the need for trained and skilled engineers, who can now be trained on highly specialised programs all over the world.
Green energy is a growing market worldwide and in the Asia-Pacific region in particular, and many international students study the latest technologies in Western universities before bringing them home. As more projects develop, more engineers will be needed to design solutions and see them through. China is completing its economic transformation through massive scale wind farms (China has the largest wind resources in the world), hydro power plants and other large projects such as the Three Gorges Dam and the high speed rail link. In fact, China has now become a leader on the clean energy market, with investment rising 20%.
Engineering is central to many economies worldwide. The sector delivers growth, builds capacity to compete in a global market and shapes our ability to cope with pressure on the world’s resources. It is expected engineering positions will increase in the next year, largely due to the talent gap created by the retiring generation of baby boomers. Engineers solve real world problems, whether that is inventing new technologies to detect diseases or to aid identity verification with biometric data.
A recent analysis of courses taken by students in the UK over the past 15 years shows that engineering programs have gained a total of 28,000 students since 1996-97, three quarters of which are from overseas. There is no doubting the popularity of the engineering courses in Western countries, which invest heavily in quality programs and offer specialisations from undergraduate level. Factors to consider when choosing an engineering course include facilities and equipment, as practical work is crucial in many branches of the discipline; but also experience of the teachers: have they got an industry background?
In light of this, here are seven of the best engineering programs for Asian students:
Milwaukee School of Engineering offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering, business, mathematics and nursing. Graduates enjoy a 96 percent job-placement rate, extremely high starting salaries, and a million dollar return on investment. The university is nationally ranked by Forbes and U.S. News and World Report. MSOE’s Graduate Tuition Grant enables bachelor’s degree graduates to pursue full-time graduate studies at MSOE with free tuition. Read the full profile here…
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…
Oxford is an established student city with more than 40,000 people from all over the world pursuing their education there. Oxford Brookes University offers academic excellence, great placement opportunities and student support so everyone can fulfil their potential. The Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Science is a close-knit community and offers technical expertise and creativity. Facilities and laboratories are state-of-the-art and students benefit from research opportunities and work placements. Teaching is research-led and equips students with practical skills to solve real-world problems. Oxford Brookes offers various courses in engineering both at Bachelors and Masters level, including automotive engineering, mechanical engineering, motorsport engineering and software engineering.
The College of Engineering at NC State is one of the best engineering and computer science schools in the world. Students engage in areas of research and technology transfers in state-of-the-art laboratories and a cutting edge research centre, working on some of the most important initiatives of our time in energy, health care, computer systems and other fields. The College offers 18 Bachelors, 21 Masters and 13 Doctoral degree programs and welcomes more than 9,000 students. The College of Engineering prides itself on the quality of its research centre, with $160 million spent in research expenditures last year, and more than 20 centres, labs and institutes.
UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE, UK
The School of Engineering, Physics and Mathematics at the University of Dundee prides itself on excellent academic teaching and on the career prospects it opens for its graduates, many of whom have gone to work for industry leaders. The School offers students a supportive and friendly study environment, quality teaching and research and life in one of the nicest areas of Scotland. The University of Dundee offers Bachelors and Masters programs in civil engineering, mechanical engineering and electronic engineering. Graduates from Dundee are highly employable and have a breadth of knowledge in their chosen area of study, preparing them for successful careers in the industry.
Australia is a very popular study destination for students all over the world as it offers excellent quality education in a cosmopolitan and multicultural setting. The Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Sydney equips its students with the fundamental skills of engineering and the ability to lead innovation. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in areas such as civil engineering, aeronautical engineering, biomedical engineering, electrical engineering and more. A flexible first year option enables students to keep their options open and find out where their strengths and interests lie before specialising in their second term or second year.
The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, is one of the finest universities in the African continent, having produced four Nobel Prize laureates in the last 30 years. This public research university is situated in the north of capital Johannesburg and offers options to study engineering at undergraduate and postgraduate level, including information engineering, biomedical engineering and environmental engineering. The Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment also maintains links with industry, via student bursaries, scholarships and internships. The School of Mining Engineering at the University of Witwatersrand is recognised as one of the largest mining engineering programs in the world.