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Posts from the ‘Engineering’ Category

The Growing Skills Gap in Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM) is set to enhance innovation while providing financial benefits and efficiency improvements across the engineering landscape. Yet, despite this vast potential, the skills gap in AM — and STEM more broadly — poses a threat to the competitiveness of Canadian organizations worldwide.

Additive manufacturing (AM) broadly describes the technologies that build 3D objects by adding layer upon layer of material. This includes 3D printing, rapid prototyping, direct digital manufacturing and layered manufacturing. A growing trend in engineering fields, AM is a cheaper, waste-minimizing form of manufacturing that gives designers improved control over components manufacturing.

As AM takes hold in manufacturing processes, it will become increasingly important for Canadians to learn and adopt these practices in order to stay relevant and competitive on a global stage.

Competing in a global arena

The Canadian government has already taken steps to promote AM within the Canadian marketplace. In the past few months, the federal government has invested millions of dollars into additive manufacturing facilities, creating more jobs for Canadians and protecting our global competitiveness.

The May 2018 announcement of a $14 million investment from the federal government plus an additional $7 million grant from the government of Ontario to advanced manufacturing company Burloak Technologies puts that company on the path for global AM leadership. Similarly, the announcement of up to $21.1 million for TEKNA Plasma Systems Inc. from the federal and Quebec governments will allow TEKNA to increase their manufacturing capabilities to remain competitive globally. The projects are set to create 295 and 170 jobs for Canadians, respectively, while promoting AM within the industry.

Overcoming the skills gap

For organizations to stay competitive within their field they must review their workforce structure to take advantage of new technologies and to ensure they’re not left behind. Unfortunately, as the additive manufacturing field grows, there is strong competition for a limited talent pool. Few candidates, paired with constantly evolving AM technologies, materials, and practice, mean employers face growing gaps within their workforce.

To stay competitive globally, and help bridge the skills gap, employers should focus on promotion — evangelizing the benefits of AM will help draw attention to both the innovation itself and the skills required by this new technology. Other ways to help find and develop the talent necessary to take full advantage of AM include:

Training/re-training – Promoting from within can be a great way to help boost colleague moral while bettering your workplace culture. Consider offering online training programs or providing existing employees with financial assistance to develop their knowledge of additive manufacturing technologies.

Education initiatives – Organizations may consider visiting local elementary and secondary schools to promote the STEM fields to today’s youth, and at the same time encouraging the next generation of workers to explore careers in additive manufacturing that they may otherwise disregard.

Apprenticeships – There are many benefits available to employers by partnering with post-secondary institutions to offer apprenticeships for students or graduates within STEM fields. Not only do apprenticeships yield a positive return on investment by creating employable, trained candidates, they also help your organization build a relationship with educational institutions and students in these fields, effectively pipelining new talent for future employment.

The lack of suitable candidates in this field highlights the increasing importance of education, training and skills as AM technology continues to transform many industries. Interested in a STEM position to join the revolution? Talk to your local Roevin office today!

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Hire your perfect team, or get more staffing advice from our experts.

The Rise of 3D Printing

3D printing is becoming increasingly common and revolutionizing the Canadian market. With this new industrial revolution, Canadians can expect to see some changes to the labour market as we rely less on outsourcing production to other countries.

Though 3D printing has been around for over 30 years, its progression has been slow. The concept was originated as a toy, developed into a prototype and only recently, considered a solution for cost effective production. 3D printing is finally set to revolutionize the way we produce, with implications on where, how and when we manufacture.

A shift in manufacturing roles

Although the emergence of 3D printing will potentially reduce the requirement for certain manufacturing roles, it will result in the creation of new technical and creative roles. 3D printing will lead to a multitude of new, skilled positions including technicians, engineers and creative/graphic designers — creating an even greater need for applicants in the STEM related fields. 

Production assistance

There are many positives that cannot be ignored, including reducing costs, increasing opportunities and encouraging innovation. With factories pairing 3D printing technology with traditional manufacturing processes to accommodate custom and on demand production, many industries have reaped the benefits, such as: healthcare, consumer goods, aerospace, architecture, automotive and government, military and academic institutions.

Inventory management

The evolution of 3D printing enables companies to only produce goods when needed. Businesses no longer need to keep a large inventory on hand to prepare for an order, instead, this technology now allows them to produce on demand — which helps to reduce inventory management costs and store the product digitally instead of physically. Not to mention, as 3D printing relies on additive manufacturing, layering thin layers of materials atop one another to create the final object, the waste generally associated to traditional production is virtually non-existent!

The rise of a new industry

With 3D printing evolving into an industrial staple, a new budding industry is on the rise. As with the conception of any new industry, there is a boost to the economy as new businesses fill specialized, as well as professional positions, furnish office spaces and set logistical contracts. Ultimately this process benefits the surrounding economy and applicable industries.

In 2013, President Obama referenced 3D printing in his State of the Union address as having the potential to revolutionize the way we make everything. As the reliance on this technology grows, so will the positive impact on our economy. With companies less likely to outsource production to countries with cheap labour, 3D printing has the potential to increase Canadian production and efficiencies, while contributing to a labour market growth.

 

Lēad Blog is part of Adecco and Roevin Canada. Hire your perfect team, or get more staffing advice from our experts.

 

Sustainable Energy and Engineers

The green movement is increasing pressure on governments and industry alike to develop efficient renewable energy sources. Engineers play a crucial role in the development and implementation of these sustainable energy sources. 

In a conscious effort to minimize the use of fossil fuels that are harmful to our environment, we are moving towards a greater reliance on re-useable energy sources including solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric. The growth of these areas has increased job opportunities for both recent graduates and experienced engineers.

Solar engineers

The falling costs of materials and new technologies have resulted in great growth for solar energy, making it one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy.[i] Many are opting to incorporate solar panels into their projects not only for the positive impact on the environment but also due to the reduction in monthly energy bills, potential government subsidies and tax incentives. Solar engineers plan, design and implement solar panel systems for projects ranging from home-owners’ rooftop installations to major city projects.

Wind engineers

Large wind turbines harness wind power to produce electricity for utilities. This is a growing area, with the Canadian Wind Energy Association noting that wind energy infrastructure installation outpaced all other energy projects between 2006 to 2017.[ii]  Wind engineers focus on the design of turbines and wind farms, rotor blades, electrical systems and overall energy production. Due to the complexity of wind turbines, to construct efficient wind farms, wind engineers rely on the assistance of aerospace, civil, electrical, environmental, industrial and mechanical engineers.

Geothermal engineers

Unlike solar and wind energies, geothermal energy is available 365 days a year, as it is created from the heat from the earth’s surface.[iii] The energy is predominately generated in the United States and Iceland, with geothermal heat pumps that can tap into the earth’s surface to provide enough energy to heat and cool buildings.[iv] Geothermal engineers are responsible for creating the processes and equipment that converts this heat into renewable energy.

Hydroelectric engineers

Hydropower is the oldest large-scale system for generating electricity.[v]

As hydropower accounts for 63% of Canadian’s electricity,[vi] hydropower engineers play an essential role in providing the electricity we use on a daily basis. Hydropower engineers are responsible for the design, construction, maintenance and production of hydropower facilities such as river dams. These engineers look for ways to modernize older hydropower technologies, making them more efficient while minimizing the impact on the environment.

As concerns about climate change and global warming continue to grow, greater pressure is placed on engineers to design and implement new and efficient ways to harvest sustainable energies.

To learn more about these renewable energy sources, or to start your career in a sustainable engineering field contact Adecco today!

To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employment resources page on our website.


[i] https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/solar-energy-is-fastest-growing-source-of-power-1.3618361

[ii] https://canwea.ca/wind-facts/why-wind-works/

[iii] https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/geothermal-energy/

[iv] https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/geothermal-energy/

[v]https://www.engineering.com/ElectronicsDesign/ElectronicsDesignArticles/ArticleID/5761/Hydropower-Energy-Harvesting.aspx

[vi]https://www.engineering.com/ElectronicsDesign/ElectronicsDesignArticles/ArticleID/5761/Hydropower-Energy-Harvesting.aspx

 

Women in STEM. Closing the Gender Gap

Although the STEM fields have historically been male dominated, many are mindful that it’s time to bridge the gender gap and work towards encouraging female innovators and leaders of the next generation to explore opportunities in this field.

Women have accounted for 30% of employment growth in STEM since 2010, but still make up less than one-quarter of employment in these occupations. The persistence of low female representation will bear a larger and larger economic cost with time. [iv]

To promote the willingness and inclusion of women in STEM, everyone has a role to play to shift away from keeping the status quo it being a field that is male dominated, and, encourage and spark the interest of females early on.

Parents

Parents hold an impactful role in creating an open dialogue with children to address gender stereotyping. Parents should encourage children to explore different interests and provide them with means to do so, which can be as simple as investing in educational toys that foster a healthy interest in technology and science. Make the connections between your child’s interests and possible career options. Provide resources, extracurricular activities and any additional educational assistance to help the younger generation reach their academic and career goals. To assist parents, Engineers Canada has started programs to hello young girls explore engineering programs, including a crest for Girl Guides and its support for the Engendering Success in STEM research consortium.

Educators

With only one in five of engineering program graduates being women — identical to statistics from 10 years ago[i] — it’s apparent that adjustments are needed as it relates to our teaching approaches to provide a gender balance in the STEM fields.

In computer science and math, a mere one in four graduates are women – which is less than 20 years ago.[ii]

Educators can review current lesson plans to ensure they are enticing to both genders. This may include collaborative group work or hands on lessons to help girls develop an interest and confidence in STEM related subjects. Educators can also provide information on the full range of career options available within the STEM fields to peak the interest of young girls and boys alike early on.

The media

From Bill Nye the Science Guy, to the heavily male dominated cast of MythBusters, the media continues to play a role in gender stereotyping. Engineers and Scientists are frequently represented by men in the media — playing a part in how youth view gender representations in society. Rather than continuing down this path, we can leverage the media to highlight females who have made strides in their respective STEM industries, providing other females with role models. A great example of a positive female representation in STEM was with the 2017 release of the movie Hidden Figures. Based on the true story of the lives of three women working at NASA during the “space race” of the 1960’s, it provides an insight into the female contributions to STEM.

Employers

Employers continue to hold a large role in closing the gender gap.

With less than 13% of practicing licensed engineers being women,[iii] greater efforts can be made by hiring managers to diversify their employees. Although women in STEM occupations generally earn more than women in other positions, they still earn less than their male counterparts.[iv] Companies must be mindful of these division of wages — developing objective metrics and holding themselves accountable for meeting them. Fair wages combined with the recognition of accomplishments will assist in providing women with a sense that they can succeed in an industry, even if it is male dominated.

As a society we need to make a conscious effort to continue to draw females into this under-represented field.  Ultimately, this will lessen the skills gap. Collectively, we need to place greater efforts on continuing to expand strategies that will lessen the gender gap and encourage women to pursue careers in STEM.

For more information on how to close the STEM gender gap, or to start your next STEM career, contact Adecco today!

To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employment resources page on our website.


[i] https://globalnews.ca/news/3739338/women-stem-lower-paying-jobs/

[ii] https://globalnews.ca/news/3739338/women-stem-lower-paying-jobs/

[iii] https://engineerscanada.ca/diversity/women-in-engineering

[iv] https://economics.td.com/domains/economics.td.com/documents/reports/bc/wistem/Women-and-STEM.pdf

 

Top Trending Engineering Jobs

With demand increasing for technology, science and computing, engineering candidates are a hot commodity. We’ve got insight on the upcoming years’ trending engineering roles that offer competitive salaries and job security.

Civil Engineer

With the population continuously increasing, our infrastructure will require growth to support it. This includes the maintenance and construction of new roadways, management of water supply, waste filtration and residential real estate development. This career path means that you’ll be creating new infrastructures in a healthy economy and maintaining and repairing the existing infrastructure in a recessed economy — making it virtually recession proof!


Environmental Engineers

Unsurprisingly, with an increase in socio-economic pressures for sustainable energy, environmental engineers are in high demand. Their jobs include applying their knowledge of natural science to develop solutions for air and water pollution, recycling, waste management and green energy. An increasingly environmentally conscious civilization means environmental engineers have the opportunity to implement changes that better our society and world.


Software Engineers

From cell phones, to cars, to household appliances, these days a computer can be found in everything! With an emphasis on cloud technology and mobile computing, software engineers develop new systems and apps, increase cyber security and create code — making this industry extremely profitable for budding engineers with an interest in math.

“Digital technologies and artificial intelligence will become more closely integrated with all aspects of the traditional engineering sectors. Therefore, engineers who can expand and develop their expertise in this area beyond their current knowledge base will be in very high demand” – Mark Matters, Senior Vice President, Roevin


Petroleum and Chemical Process Engineers

In attempts to recover oil/gas where engineers have retired or left the industry, petroleum and chemical process engineers remain in high demand. Petroleum engineers conduct studies for new oil and gas fields, oversee drilling operations and develop production equipment. While chemical engineers develop processes that turn raw material into product. These engineers apply economic and environmental practices to ensure oil fields are efficient, safe and cost effective.

For more information on trending jobs, or to get started on your engineering career today, contact Adecco today!


To view more of our blogs and articles, visit our Employment resources page on our website.

The Future of Women in STEM: A Multifaceted Approach

 

Katie Bieber is an IT Recruitment Consultant in Roevin’s Edmonton branch. She brings over three yearKatieBiebers of professional experience to her role and in Edmonton’s tech sector.  Katie focuses on clients in the IT realm and has developed exceptional connections and a network of candidates in the STEM field. She works with many passionate and pioneering candidates who overcome impressive hurdles as the only women applying for a role or being the only women on a team. Their perseverance and success have inspired her own passion for promoting women in the tech arena.


With March being National Engineering Month – coupled with International Women’s Day falling on March 8th — Adecco is continuing our look at the underrepresentation of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

The topic has become an increasingly important point of discussion. Various government bodies, reports, studies, organizations, mission statements and think tanks have explored it in recent years.  The problem has almost unanimous support — both from diversity advocates and the STEM sector itself. In 2010,  Natural Sciences and Engineer Research Council of Canada (NSERC) released an 84-page report on Women in Science and Engineering in Canada which explored the “under-representation of women in the various fields of science and engineering” and noted that this long-recognized problem was “of concern to the…NSERC”.

Are women really underrepresented in STEM?

Undeniably, yes!

WomeninSTEM_infographic

According to the 2011 National Household Survey, women accounted for only 39% of university graduates aged 25-34 with a STEM degree, compared with 66% of university graduates in non-STEM programs.  Moreover, the percentage of women working in the fields has barely changed in 30 years. In 1987, 20% of the STEM workforce were women. Today, it is still only 22%.

And as NSERC pointed out in their report, “Virtually all countries in the world, to varying levels, have fewer women than men studying in the NSE” (natural sciences and engineering).

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