The Engineer of the Future - White Paper 2018 By AGUPP - Airbus
Page content transcription
If your browser does not render page correctly, please read the page content below
001 The Engineer of the Future Contents Foreword 05 Executive Summary 08 CHAPTER ONE Work on Employability and Skills 1A. Skills Mismatch and Employability 17 1B. Defining Employability 19 1C. Employability Skills 21 1D. Engineering and Employability: The Changing Landscape of Engineering 23 1E. The Global Engineer 25 1F. Stakeholders’ Roles in Promoting Employability 27 CHAPTER TWO Skills & Competencies Discussions within AGUPP and Airbus 2A. Highlights of Discussions from Previous AGUPP Meetings 31 2B. Skills and Competencies at Airbus 33 2C. Developing Skills and Competencies at Airbus 37
The Engineer of the Future 002 CHAPTER THREE How Universities and Industry Can Best Work Together 3A. University-Industry Collaboration and AGUPP 42 3B. Improving University-Industry Collaboration 43 3C. University-Industry Collaboration in Practice 45 ISAE-SUPAERO and Airbus Defence and Space Master of Science in Space Applications and Services 47 Case Study 2: Airbus Airnovation Summer Academy 49 Case Study 3: Airbus Fly Your Ideas 51 Case Study 4: HAW Hamburg New Flying Competition 53 Case Study 5: Airbus Group Minds Master in Professional Development 4.0 54 Case Study 6: IMT Challenge Industry Mix 55 Case Study 7: Georgia Tech Grand Challenge 56 Case Study 8: Cyber Challenge CTF 57 Case Study 9: University of Exeter Green Consultants 58 APPENDIX I The Airbus Global University Partner Programme Charter 60 APPENDIX II Airbus Integrity Principles 64 Published aby Airbus Employment Marketing for the Airbus Global University Partner Programme
The Engineer of the Future 004 This paper was written by Monica Collins of Petrus Communications for Kimble Woodworth and the Airbus Employment Marketing team, on behalf of the Airbus Global University Partner Programme (AGUPP), with highly valuable input from the Chief Technology Office (CTO), Digital Transformation Office (DTO), Cybersecurity and Engineering. Many thanks as well to the following for their input: Paul Blackmore Divisional Head for Student Employability & Academic Success, University of Exeter Holger Brinkmann Engineering Resource and Competence Strategy, Airbus Helicopters Alice de Casanove Innovation Culture Lead, Airbus Defence and Space Uwe Geier Manager, Competence and Learning & Employment Marketing, Airbus Helicopters Aldert Kamp Director of Education, Aerospace Engineering, TU Delft Dimitri Mavris Regents Professor, Boeing Professor of Advanced Aerospace Systems Analysis, Langley Distinguished Professor in Advanced Aerospace Systems Architecture Gary Wicks Corporate Innovator & Innovation Architect with Airbus Corporate Innovation, Airbus
The Engineer of the Future 006 Foreword The Engineer of the Future White Paper was created in 2014 after the second Airbus Global University Partner Programme (AGUPP) meeting to capture the key points from an ongoing discussion among AGUPP stakeholders about: • what skills and competencies are needed in future Airbus engineers, • and how Airbus and universities can work together to develop these skills and competencies. As the landscape evolves within Airbus and our industry, we continue to also evolve this paper to keep it relevant, reflecting the dynamic, changing needs of Airbus and of the engineering profession. The 2018 edition is a result of this ongoing work. The overall aim being that Airbus articulates a clear vision of the graduate engineering skills essential to the continued success of the business; that Airbus’ partner universities are informed of Airbus’ needs in relation to graduate skills for the future; and that partner universities are able to work effectively with Airbus to develop these skills among their graduates. The paper has been developed and shared with the AGUPP community to provide stakeholders with insights and inspiration to facilitate useful collaboration between Airbus and AGUPP universities. Specifically, as Airbus employees should participate in the programme development structure of each partner university, the paper is intended to familiarise AGUPP Ambassadors with trends in the field and with Airbus needs. Practical case studies are included which serve as good practice examples.
007 The Engineer of the Future Content and Sources The paper combines current innovative global research on the attributes of the global engineer; Airbus’ perspective on changing industry needs and the impact on skills required; and universities’ perspective on their role in developing future engineers. This is presented within the broader context of global trends in employability, the engineering skills gap and best practise in university/industry relations. Input to the paper comes from expert panels, workshops, interviews with engineers, academy representatives and experts from across Airbus, feedback from senior AGUPP faculty and external experts in the field, and desk research drawing on multiple sources for example global engineering education organisations. The paper is structured in three chapters: • Chapter One: literature review, the changing landscape of engineering, the increasing focus on digital, cyber and rapidly emerging technologies, and the impact of this on training the engineer of the future. • Chapter Two: discussions from the AGUPP community on the engineer of the future, bringing together input from contributors across Airbus. • Chapter Three: benefits of different models of university-industry collaboration, an overview of the AGUPP programme, case studies involving Airbus and AGUPP partners.
009 The Engineer of the Future The world is changing rapidly and while this presents tremendous challenges, there are ample opportunities for those who innovate and implement rapidly. Some experts, such as Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, have argued that we are now entering a completely new industrial revolution. This fourth industrial revolution, Schwab says, is ‘built on the digital revolution and combines multiple technologies that are leading to unprecedented paradigm shifts in the economy, business, society, and individually’1. Several converging driving forces behind this transformation have been identified: • Globalisation – not a new trend but one that continues at an increasing pace is particularly impactful when combined with the other trends listed here • Digitalisation – the rate of technological change is now exponential, rather than linear • The horizontalisation of the socio-economic world – traditional hierarchies are being replaced. For example, more power transferred to the consumer and end-user, who are demanding that ‘products and services that are marketed on a global scale feel local, personalised, and one-off’. • The blending of technical, economic, and societal cultures which results in, for example, individuals with access to easy-to- use software and tools now able to become manufacturers, and innovation increasing as diverse stakeholders and cultures come together. 1 Schwab, K. (2016). The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Geneva, Switzerland: World Economic Forum, p.3. 2 Many of these driving forces are artfully outlined in Kamp. A. (2016). Engineering Education in a Rapidly Changing World. Delft: Delft University of Technology. 3 Ibid.
The Engineer of the Future 010 Airbus is constantly innovating for the future, and strives to be at the forefront of the digital transformation by being a digital aerospace champion setting industry standards. We recognise that in this changing world, engineers will play an ever more crucial role, acting as intermediaries between technical specialists and daily life.3 However, we also recognise that due to these changes, the skills and competencies Airbus requires in engineers are rapidly evolving, in some cases much faster than the systems in place for training engineers with these skills and competencies. As a result, talent shortages are prevalent in fields such as big data (advanced analytics), cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), etc. To best identify – and then develop – the skills and competencies needed in the engineer of the future, Airbus is committed to communicating and collaborating with universities and other higher education institutions providing engineering education. The Airbus Global University Partner Programme (AGUPP), which brings together Airbus Ambassadors from across the company and some of the top engineering universities in the world, facilitates and encourages this communication and collaboration. With Airbus, AGUPP is leading the discussion on how to best work together to develop and engage the engineers of the future. Before delving into the details of these discussions, though, it is first helpful to contextualise them within the much broader discussions on employability in addition to the evolving roles of industry and universities in developing students’ and graduates’ skills and competencies.
011 The Engineer of the Future The Engineer of the Future in Context Engineering, while the focus of this paper, is only one field which is experiencing competency gaps – 43% of 43% OF EMPLOYERS employers in a wide variety of fields globally have said that they cannot find enough skilled entry-level workers, although some experts have argued that this is perhaps can’t find enough skilled entry-level workers partially due to unrealistic expectations of employers.4 On the other hand, unemployment, especially among youth, is increasing even while more youth are pursuing 79% some form of higher education. 50% of youth (ages 15 OF STUDENTS – 29) are unsure whether their postsecondary education has improved their chances of finding a job, despite went into higher education 79% of students stating that they went into higher to improve job opportunities education to improve job opportunities.5 The skills and competencies that make individuals more employable are a mixture of degree-specific or technical skills, plus ‘soft’ or transferrable skills and professional skills or what has been called ‘commercial awareness’.6 • technical skills As the pace of technological change increases rapidly, these transferrable skills and competencies – or more • transferable skills generally, the ability to learn – are becoming more • professional skills important to employers because employees will need to be capable of using new, disruptive technologies. Universities cannot be solely responsible for developing students’ transferrable skills, however. All stakeholders, including employers, need to play a role. 4 Mourshed, M. et al. (n.d.). Education to Employment: Designing a System that Works. McKinsey Global Institute. Retrieved from http://mckinseyonsociety.com/downloads/reports/Education/ Education-to-Employment_FINAL.pdf 5 Ibid. 6 Blackmore, P., Bulaitis, Z.H., Jackman, A.H., Tan, E. (2015). Employability in Higher Education: a review of practices and strategies around the world. London: Pearson.
The Engineer of the Future 012 Competencies of the Future Engineer at Airbus At Airbus specifically, there are four broad competency areas, which are essential in current and future engineers: Baseline Generic Transversal Soft technical areas disciplines disciplines skills7 During the 2017 AGUPP meeting, several skills that are especially important to Airbus in the current context of digitalisation and increasingly rapid technological change were discussed, including: • Digital competencies including advanced analytics and big data, cloud and as a service platforms, mobility, etc. • Innovation • Systems thinking • Design thinking • Entrepreneurial thinking • Cyber security skills • Skills related to virtual/augmented reality The changing nature of the engineer’s role was also discussed. Today, engineers are required to collaborate more and work together in flatter hierarchies, uncertainty, and complex environments. Airbus engineers will need to start to ‘think statistically, not deterministically’, have more interdisciplinary training, and be able to learn continuously.8 At Airbus, it is important that engineers have not only deep technical competencies and a broader range of transversal and soft competencies, but also the ability to innovate. This combination takes what is traditionally called a ‘T-shaped’ engineer and turns it into a ‘Pi-shaped engineer’, which is discussed on pages 34-35. 7 See Chapter Two for some examples of each of competencies that fall under each of these categories 8 Dr. Matthew Evans, AGUPP 2017 Annual Meeting, Competencies Panel Session
013 The Engineer of the Future Working Together to Develop the Engineer of the Future To be able to better develop the engineers of the future, it is key that universities and industry work together. AGUPP is a platform which does exactly this, and during AGUPP meetings, participants have shared many ideas and best practices on how to effectively collaborate. These include: • Regular collaboration between partner universities and Airbus • Collecting feedback from all stakeholders, including students, advisors, recent graduates, etc. • Course credit for non-academic work that can develop both technical and transferrable competencies • More university programmes that simulate real life workspaces and situations, such as team-based projects which require students to build a product together from start to finish to build the softer, more collaborative and team-dynamic skills For the full list of ideas, as well as some case studies of programmes already put into place, see pages 38-59. The case studies in this White Paper are meant to give stakeholders examples of how the ideas in this paper have been implemented, and include programmes between a wide range of Airbus divisions and universities in multiple countries.
The Engineer of the Future 014 Engineer of the Future 2018 What’s New? All chapters have been updated in this 2018 edition. Chapter One has been updated with further input from experts in employability. Chapter Two includes new input from experts at Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space, and Airbus Helicopters. In Chapter Three, types of and motivations for university-industry collaborations are explored in more depth. New case studies of collaboration between Airbus and AGUPP universities are included in order to demonstrate how collaboration can work to the benefit of all stakeholders. With this paper, we seek to invite comment and promote further exchange on the topic, and to encourage effective practical actions to be taken. We see this paper as outlining a practical, not theoretical, approach to effective collaboration, and so we look forward in advance to your feedback and contributions.
015 The Engineer of the Future 1 Work on Employability and Skills The discussion of the engineer of the future is taking place in a much wider context/environment on the employability of graduates given current competency gaps across many fields and the changing landscape of higher education. Employability skills and competencies for the engineer of the future are a mixture of technical and soft or transferrable skills, the latter of which are increasing in importance given the rapid pace of technological change today. See pages 25 - 26 for a full list of skills and competencies for the global engineer of the future developed by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).
The Engineer of the Future 016 Engineering educators and relevant industries are only two of many groups seeking to understand and improve 1. the skills that are being taught by universities, 2. the skills that are desired by employers, and 3. the relationships between universities and employers. Indeed, the discussion on the engineer of the future is taking place within a much broader context on employability in a changing world. A review of some recent literature on employability and university-employer relations is briefly outlined below, followed by a review of selected literature on employability in the field of engineering specifically.
017 The Engineer of the Future 1A Skills Mismatch and Employability The concept of employability has been discussed and debated more and more over the past decade, and especially since the economic crisis of 2008. This is in a large part due to an increasing concern with the matching of skills that are needed and desired by employers with the skills that those entering the labour market actually have. A skills gap already exists today, especially for high-skilled jobs, and is projected to increase if nothing changes. For example, Boston Consulting Group carried out research in 2014 on 25 developed and developing countries around the world, and found that in 2020, 10 out of 25 countries will experience overall labour shortages if no action is taken. By 2030, this number raises to 20 out of 25 countries expected to experience shortages in labour. The estimated cost of these labour imbalances is estimated at USD10 trillion. 9 The problem of skills mismatch is especially prevalent among those aged 16 to 29. According to the OECD, 75 million youth (16-29) are currently unemployed. 10 However, only 43% of employers agreed that they could find enough skilled entry-level workers in a survey performed by McKinsey Global Institute. 11 The same survey revealed that 50% of youth (ages 15 – 29) are not sure that their postsecondary education has improved their chances of finding a job. 12 This is despite the fact that 79% of students say that they went into higher education to improve job opportunities. 13 Pressure due to the skills gap outlined above, as well as increasing scrutiny of the contribution that universities make to the economy overall and a rising concern with return on investment by students, has induced universities to take more of a role in adapting educational provision in order to better develop the employability of their graduates. For industry, on the other hand, the challenge is to articulate their evolving needs in advance. 9 Strack, R. et al. (2014, June). The Global Workforce Crisis: $10 Trillion at Risk https://www.bcgperspectives.com/ Images/The_Global_Workforce_Crisis_Jun_2014_tcm80-173241.pdf 10 OECD (2015, May 27). OECD Skills Outlook 2015. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/edu/oecd-skills-outlook- 2015-9789264234178-en.htm 11 Mourshed, M. et al. (n.d.). Education to Employment: Designing a System that Works. McKinsey Global Institute. Retrieved from http://mckinseyonsociety.com/downloads/reports/Education/Education-to-Employment_FINAL.pdf 12 Ibid. 13 Wilson, T. (2012). A Review of Business-University Collaboration. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/ uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/32383/12-610-wilson-review-business-university-collaboration.pdf
The Engineer of the Future 018 Paul Blackmore, Head of Student Employability & Academic Success, Education and Student Experience Directorate at the University of Exeter, has put together some questions meant to stimulate and inspire new and innovative thinking around skills gaps and to lead to action allowing industry to take responsibility alongside universities and students. See these questions – which include topics such as the time-lag between higher education practice and labour market requirements, empowering students to take more control of their own skillsets, and more – in the box below. What do We Really Know about the Skills Gap? Paul Blackmore, February, 2017 • Is the meaning and definition of skills agreed upon amongst employers responding to surveys about desired skills? How confident are we that all stakeholders are working with the same definition? • Are we talking about the same ‘level’ of competencies and knowledge acquired by students and graduates being inadequate for the labour market or have expectations grown amongst employers? • To what degree is this a mismatch in semantics rather than actual skills or knowledge? To what degree do academic learning outcomes need to be translated so that students, graduates, academics and employers are all talking the same ‘language’? • Do the methods of measuring the understanding, acquisition and application of skills and attributes in higher education need to better reflect that way in which this process is undertaken in the working environment? How authentic are ‘work authentic assessment’ methods that are being applied in higher education? • Given that technology, knowledge, and practice applied in the workplace are continuously improving at pace, and institutions of higher education need time to respond and develop curriculum, is it not reasonable to assert that there is always going to be a time-lag between higher education practice and the requirements of the labour market? • If we accept this time-lag is always going to exist, does the debate and assessment around the ‘skills gap’ pertaining to those leaving higher education need to evolve to consider whether graduates have the ability, willingness and evidence to learn and acquire these skillsets once they enter the workplace, and as part of their ongoing professional development in the workplace? • Not all employers want the same skills and attributes or prioritise their importance in the same way. If students had more understanding of these requirements or ability to research them, would they be better able to assess how their personal profile is appropriate to the needs of a given occupation, employer or sector? Can all parties do more to empower students to choose the most appropriate opportunities and plan to reduce their personal ‘skills gap’ before they reach the job application and selection stages? • Considering the significant attrition rates experienced by many employers, how much is this actually symptomatic of a mismatch in an individual’s motivations, values and interests in the job and organisation, instead of a mismatch of skills?
019 The Engineer of the Future 1B Defining Employability Definitions of employment frequently involve two components: outcomes of employability, and employability skills, or those required to achieve desired outcomes. For example, The European Commission’s Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) defines employability as ‘a combination of knowledge, competencies and personal attributes that make graduates more likely to gain employment and progress during their career.’14 Many authors, however, highlight that employability cannot be linked solely to employment because it actually ‘encompasses the development of a “combination” or “set of achievements” of skills, knowledge, understanding, and personal attributes; that together make a graduate more likely to gain and remain in employment.’15 This idea of defining beyond employment alone can be seen in Professor Mantz Yorke’s definition of employability, which has since been adopted by the UK’s Enhancing Student Employability Co-ordination Team (ESECT) as: …a set of achievements, skills, understandings and personal attributes that make graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations, which benefits themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy. 16 14 Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Eurydice brief: Modernisation of higher education in Europe (2015, p.15) As cited in Blackmore, P., Bulaitis, Z.H., Jackman, A.H., Tan, E. (2015). Employability in Higher Education: a review of practices and strategies around the world. London: Pearson. 15 Blackmore, P., Bulaitis, Z.H., Jackman, A.H., Tan, E. (2015). Employability in Higher Education: a review of practices and strategies around the world. London: Pearson, p. 10. 16 Emphasis added. ESECT 2004 (Enhancing Student Employability Co-ordination Team), Learning and Employability Guides. Recent and on-going project covering generic employability within HE. http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/ employability As cited in Lowden, K., Hall, S., Elliot, D., & Lewin, J. (2011). Employers’ perceptions of the employability of new graduates. London: Edge Foundation.
The Engineer of the Future 020 ENTS SKI TS M MEN LLS E SK I L L S V IEVE PER HIE SON P E R S OO ACH AL C EMP UTC NAL A O LU T CO O M ME E KNO YA O IT Y SUCPLO M WLY A B B ILIL E WKCNEOSWSLEDGGEECACRIATRYNECIEESR ED PE EETE U ORK M R S CO S N E IES UNDERSTA C F D ORC S U C K FORCE ERS E ENC TAN WOR PET DIN G COM NDING
021 The Engineer of the Future 1C Employability Skills The above definitions focus on the outcomes of employability, but they all mention that certain skills and competencies, or ‘employability skills’ are required. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) defines employability skills as ‘the skills, knowledge and competencies that enhance a worker’s ability to secure and retain a job, progress at work and cope with change, secure another job if he/she so wishes or has been laid off and enter more easily into the labour market at different periods of the life cycle.’ Most authors state that employability skills are a combination of degree-specific or technical skills, transferrable or ‘soft’ skills, and commercial awareness.17 After surveying more than 350 employers across nine industries in 15 of the world’s largest economies, the World Economic Forum developed these lists of the top desirable skills and competencies according to employers for 2015, and for 2020 to show how these are projected to change: 2015 2020 • Complex problem solving • Complex problem solving • Coordinating with others • Critical thinking • People management • Creativity • Critical thinking • People management • Negotiation • Coordinating with others • Quality control • Emotional intelligence • Service orientation • Judgement and decision making • Judgement and decision making • Service orientation • Active listening • Negotiation • Creativity 18 • Cognitive flexibility 17 The term ‘transferable skills’ is often used in place of ‘soft skills’ in the rest of this paper in order to better highlight the nature of these skills – those that can be used within nearly any professional context. 18 World Economic Forum (2016). The Future of Jobs: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Geneva: World Economic Forum. For another study what asked employers about desirable skills in employees, see: Lowden, K., Hall, S., Elliot, D., & Lewin, J. (2011). Employers’ perceptions of the employability of new graduates. London: Edge Foundation, p. 12.
The Engineer of the Future 022 FIGURE 1: Highly Employable Engineer Graduate Source: Adapted from Morgan, M., & O’Gorman, P. (2009). Manufacturing Engineering Mathematics TECHNICAL COMPETENCE Respect Communication time Skills schedules COMMERCIAL AWARNESS TRANSFERABLE SKILLS Negotiating Operate within budget Team- Working In addition to technical competency and transferrable skills, Blackmore et al. highlight commercial awareness, which they define as ‘the ability to work in a business environment and apply theoretical knowledge in real-time,’ as well as the closely related concepts of enterprise and entrepreneurship, as important to employers.19 The model above – adapted from Morgan and O’Gorman and seen in Blackmore et al. – shows a highly employable graduate engineer and incorporates the different components of employability discussed above. 20 19 Blackmore, P., Bulaitis, Z.H., Jackman, A.H., Tan, E. (2015). Employability in Higher Education: a review of practices and strategies around the world. London: Pearson, p. 36. 20 Morgan, M., & O’Gorman, P. (2009). Enhancing the employability skills of undergraduate engineering students. In Aung, W., Ilic, V., Moscinski, J., & Uhomoibh, J., (Eds.), Innovations 2011: World Innovations in Engineering Education and Research). USA: iNEER. (pp. 239–246) Retrieved from www.ineer.org/selections-from-ineerbooks/2011_Innovations_v7_ RLA_Final_Chap-18_Morgan-and-O%27Gorman.pdf
023 The Engineer of the Future 1D Engineering and Employability The Changing Landscape of Engineering As seen in Figure 1 above, a highly employable Globalisation is today combined with other megatrends, engineering graduate will require not only engineering- however, which together have created a unique specific skills, but transferrable skills and commercial environment. These converging trends have been awareness. Stakeholders have recognised, however, identified by experts as: that ensuring that these and other skills required of the • Globalisation – which has had an impact for ‘Engineer of the Future’ are identified and taught is a decades already, but is increasing in pace challenge today. A skills gap has been identified by employers, as demonstrated in the results of a global • Digitalisation – technological change is occurring survey of employers performed by Manpower Group in faster than ever before, creating a gap between 2016 – engineers and technicians are number 4 and 5 technological innovation and societal progress. respectively on the global list of most difficult positions Digitalisation has resulted in the blurring of to fill.22 boundaries ‘between nations, disciplines, and professions, between academia and industry, and What has led to this skills gap in engineering? between applied science and engineering.’ Globalisation has been having a significant impact on engineering work and the engineering skills needed, • The horizontalization of the socio-economic and is a trend that was already identified by authors world – in which traditional hierarchies are being in the early 1990s as one that will require adaptation replaced. For example, more power is being in engineering education.23 Globalised markets transferred to the consumer and end-user, who have resulted in increased connectedness and are demanding that ‘products and services interdependency, and multinational companies have that are marketed on a global scale feel local, been growing for the past decades, as well as global personalised, and one-off.’ product development.26 Author Sarah Rajala illustrates • The blending of technical, economic, and this point well in her paper ‘Beyond 2020: Preparing societal cultures – which results in, for example, Engineers for the Future’ by listing the locations of individuals with access to easy-to-use software the teams required to produce one jet airliner – eight and tools being able to become manufacturers, different countries in total.27 and innovation increasing as diverse stakeholders and cultures come together. 28 22 Manpower Group (2015). 2015 Talent Shortage Survey. Retrieved from http://www.manpowergroup.com/wps/wcm/connect/db23c560-08b6-485f-9bf6-f5f38a43c76a/2015_Talent_Shortage_Survey_US-lo_res.pdf?MOD=AJPERES 23 Arango, I. (1991). From US engineer to world engineer. Journal of Management in Engineering, 7(4), 412-427. Moran, R. T., & Richard, D. L. (1991). Preparing technical professionals for cross-Cultural interactions. Journal of European Industrial Training, 15(3). 26 Eppinger, S. D., & Chitkara, A. R. (2006). The practice of global product development. MIT Sloan Management Review, 27(4), 1-11. 27 Rajala, S. A. (2012). Beyond 2020: Preparing engineers for the future. Proceedings of the IEEE, 100(Special Centennial Issue), 1376-1383. 28 These driving forces are artfully outlined in Kamp. A. (2016). Engineering Education in a Rapidly Changing World. Delft: Delft University of Technology.
The Engineer of the Future 024 This particular configuration of megatrends has led World Economic Forum (WEF) Founder and Executive Chairman, Klaus Schwab, to argue that we are now in the beginning of a fourth industrial revolution, based on the following reasons: • Velocity – this industrial revolution is evolving at an exponential pace rather than the linear pace of past industrial revolutions • Breadth and Depth – the fourth industrial revolution is ‘built on the digital revolution and combines multiple technologies that are leading to unprecedented paradigm shifts in the economy, business, society, and individually’ • Systems Impact – the ‘transformation of entire systems, across (and within) countries, companies, industries, and society as a whole’ marks the fourth industrial revolution The fourth industrial revolution presents great opportunities for societies around the world, but also great challenges. Engineers are uniquely positioned to address these challenges, but this requires engineering education to adapt to this new environment in which: • The exponential pace of technological innovation has led to increasingly rapid changes in industry needs • The aforementioned blending of boundaries and changing paradigms mean that engineers of the future need skills that go beyond more ‘traditional’ engineering skills, for example systems thinking, the ability to work in interdisciplinary and multicultural teams, ethical leadership, etc. 29 Schwab, K. (2016). The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Geneva, Switzerland: World Economic Forum, p. 3 30 For more information on how universities and industries can work together to address skills gaps in engineering, see the GEDC Industry Forum 2017 Report: Designing the Future of Engineering Education which can be downloaded at this link: http://gedc-industryforum.com/
025 The Engineer of the Future 1E The Global Engineer One of the first steps in adapting engineering education to address the aforementioned skills gaps is to agree on what skills and attributes are needed in future engineers. This is what the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), the Global Engineering Deans Council (GEDC), the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies (IFEES), and Boeing have attempted to do in their Global Engineer project, which started in 2008. To date, the study has identified 20 attributes in 5 groups. TECHNICAL engineering-related knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for success • Understanding of engineering, science and mathematics fundamentals • Understanding of information technology, digital competency, and information literacy • Understanding of stages/phases of product lifecycle (design, prototyping, testing, production, distribution channels, supplier management, etc.) • Understanding of project planning, management and impacts of projects on various stakeholders (project team members, project sponsor, project client, end-users, etc.) PROFESSIONAL workplace related competencies for global performance • Communicating effectively in a variety of different ways, methods and media (written, verbal/oral, graphic, listening, electronically, etc.) • Communicating effectively to both technical and non-technical audiences • Maintaining a high-level of professional competency • Embracing a commitment to quality principles/standards and continuous improvement • Applying personal and professional judgment in effectively making decisions and managing risks
The Engineer of the Future 026 PERSONAL individual characteristics needed for global flexibility • Possessing the ability to think both critically and creatively • Possessing the ability to think both individually and cooperatively • Maintaining a positive self-image and possesses positive self-confidence • Showing initiative and demonstrating a willingness to learn INTER-PERSONAL skills and perspectives to work on interdependent global teams • Functioning effectively on a team (understands team goals, contributes effectively to team work, supports team decisions, respects team members, etc.) • Mentoring or helping others accomplish goals/tasks CROSS-CULTURAL society and cultural understanding to embrace diverse viewpoints • Understanding of political, social and economic perspectives • Understanding of the ethical and business norms and applies norms effectively in a given context (organization, industry, country, etc.) • Possessing an international/global perspective • Possessing fluency in at least two languages • Embracing an interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary perspective In summary, the attributes of a global engineer: are not specific to any industry sector or country, should be accumulated over time, and are a shared responsibility of universities and industry. 28 28 ASEE, GEDC, IFEES (2015). The Attributes of a Global Engineer Project. Retrieved from http://www.gedcouncil.org/sites/ default/files/ASEE%20Attributes%20of%20a%20Global%20Engineer%20Paper.pdf
027 The Engineer of the Future 1F Stakeholders’ Roles in Promoting Employability While universities and industry/employers are most often cited in discussions on building employability, there are other stakeholders that could play an important role in developing the employability skills and competencies listed in this section. Some of the ways stakeholders can impact the employability of students and graduates, according to Paul Blackmore, Divisional Head for Student Employability & Academic Success, University of Exeter, are below. Universities and Employers Universities and employers can work together to enable students to be more responsive, and help students and graduates beyond university to become more effective lifelong learners. As such, both students and professionals will be more self-reliant in being able to reflect on their current skills and experiences and be capable of identifying skills, their learning styles and knowledge gaps and developing their own continuing professional development (CPD) action plans and career progression relevant to the needs in their role, for the employer and sector. An inherent problem in academia in keeping practice and knowledge content current is the time- lag in approving courses then developing relevant content. To address this issue, universities and employers can collaborate to provide more real-world problem solving in curriculum, which requires employers to provide real-world problems they face and then feedback to students. Enterprise education, commercial awareness, intercultural awareness and career development learning are not traditionally seen as core or mandatory aspects of engineering and STEM degree programmes more generally yet they are absolutely key to an employer and graduate employee. Universities and employers can work together to determine what is possible to teach within higher education, and employers specifically can help universities to better understand the relevance of these areas of learning in engineering occupations. To facilitate university - student - employer communication, universities can leverage virtual learning environments to emulate the online workspaces that today’s engineers work within and adopt Computer-Supported Collaborative Working/Learning approaches used by industry. Such innovation can readily facilitate increased ‘remote’ engagement and input by employers and alumni thus avoid the usual barriers of time and distance between campus-based students and employers.29 29 Paul Blackmore, personal communication, February 11, 2016.
The Engineer of the Future 028 Professional Associations Professional associations, depending on the context, can play a more proactive role in helping students maintain what they learn and in engaging them in cutting edge issues through student-specific membership and relevant extra-curricular opportunities. Professional associations could also require and audit the inclusion and effectiveness of learning outcomes such as enterprise education, commercial awareness, intercultural awareness and career development learning. In order to help lighten the related workloads for employers, professional associations could additionally collate and provide access to a database of case studies for universities?30 Alumni Alumni – especially recent graduates – could play an active role in helping current students better understand how they can prepare themselves for the workplace and gain insight from those actively working in their sector and learn from their experiences whether these are good or bad. Mentoring schemes supported en masse can also help ensure that the mentor and employer are benefiting from investment in this time. These might include exposure to leadership and coaching as well as playing a role in brand exposure of employers and opportunities and design of programmes the relevance, currency and usefulness of learning outcomes post-university in the context of their own work.31 30 Paul Blackmore, personal communication, February 11, 2016. 31 Ibid.
029 The Engineer of the Future 2 Skills and Competencies Discussions within AGUPP and Airbus • Competencies for the engineer of the future at Airbus fall under four broad categories: baseline technical areas, generic disciplines, transversal disciplines, and soft skills. • Innovation is a key competency at Airbus. See page 35 for a discussion of the innovation competency making ‘Pi-shaped’ team members. • Airbus regularly analyses competency gaps at the company and develops internal learning solutions to help close these gaps. • AGUPP and the Airbus competencies team have established ongoing dialogue to best determine and communicate needed competencies within the company.
The Engineer of the Future 030 The skills and competencies of current and future employees are of critical importance to any employer as seen in Chapter One, which is why the topic is discussed and developed within Airbus, and at Airbus Global University Partner Programme (AGUPP) meetings. This chapter provides some highlights of these discussions, both in the context of AGUPP and within Airbus.
031 The Engineer of the Future 2A Highlights of Discussions from Previous AGUPP Meetings Since the inaugural AGUPP meeting, the topic of the engineer of the future has been a major theme. The latest AGUPP meeting, which took place in 2017 in Toulouse, France, included a digital-focused Competencies Panel Session and Competencies Workshop which discussed the skills and competencies needed for future engineers and how AGUPP universities and Airbus can work together to develop these skills and competencies. In AGUPP discussions to date on the engineer of the future, delegates have focused on the fact that today’s students will be the mid-career engineers, experts, change agents or innovators by 2050. Therefore, what they learn today needs to prepare them as much as possible for this future. There are multiple trends that need to be taken into account in order to make sure future engineers are learning what they need to. These include: continued globalisation, rapid technological innovation, more focus on the customer and end-user due to the horizontalization of the socio-economic world, and increased competition and innovation from previously unlikely sources due to the interconnectedness of the technical, economic, and societal cultures.32 Digitalisation – defined as much broader access to data and its multiple related users – is especially having an impact on the field of engineering and is the reason behind many of the competency gaps that exist today.33 All of the above means that engineers’ roles are breaking away from what they have been, requiring engineers to think ‘statistically’ rather than ‘deterministically’.34 In addition, collaboration (across locations, disciplines, etc.) is increasing at work, new technical knowledge is being used, and teams and company hierarchies are becoming flatter. These new blended ways of working are becoming the norm thanks to new technologies, for example virtual & augmented reality. 32 AGUPP 2017 Competencies Panel Session panellist Aldert Kamp mentions these trends in his book Engineering Education in a Rapidly Changing World, Second Revised Edition. 33 This definition of digitalisation was given by 2017 Competencies Panel Session panellist Geraldine Thiercelin, Head of R&D Processes & Quality, Airbus Helicopters 34 Quote from 2017 Competencies Panel Session panelist Mathew Evans, VP Digital Transformation Programs, Airbus
The Engineer of the Future 032 Developing Complementary Skills These trends and new ways of working require that engineers learn not only important engineering fundamentals, but also roles and skills beyond those considered ‘typical’ for engineers today: from cyber security to lean management or logistics management and transportation. So, not only is there both a role for non-engineers within the business, but engineers will be required to have an understanding of these roles and skills as part of the fundamentals of the ‘big picture’ and the elements that contributes to Airbus’ success. In addition to atypical roles and skills, it will be critical that engineers learn complementary non-technical skills (some of which are listed in the next sections), with the most important being the ability to learn how to learn.40 For example, graduates will have to cope with an increasingly virtual environment, working with colleagues in different countries all over the world. Therefore, another skill to master is to be able to foster engagement and to build trust in teams spread across different sites and different cultural paradigms.41 This means that experience and time spent in different cultures is important; from cross-continental competition teams that confer on Skype, to exchange programmes and agreements with other teaching institutions around the world.42 These critical complementary skills are increasingly part of the discussion surrounding skills for future engineers, and Airbus is working to advance this discussion for example through taking part in events such as the GEDC Industry Forum, which emphasised the importance of non-technical skills in the engineer of the future.43 40 As mentioned by Alice de Casanove, Engineering Academy, Airbus Defense and Space, moderator of the AGUPP 2017 Competencies Panel Session 41 Parkinson et al. (2010). Developing Cross-Cultural Virtual Teams for Engineering Design Education. Retrieved from http:// www.ineer.org/Events/ICEE2010/papers/W16C/Paper_1111_1288.pdf 42 Bremer, D. (2008). Engineering the world. Online Journal for Global Engineering Education, 3(2), 2. 43 See http://gedc-industryforum.com/ for more information on the GEDC Industry Forum
033 The Engineer of the Future 2B Skills and Competencies at Airbus Within Airbus, since its 2013 merger, there has been intensive study of the core competencies (over 80 in total), across every single job and function within the Group. These core competencies reflect Airbus’ changing mission. To quote the company: ‘We make things fly.’ As noted by Gary Wicks, now Corporate Innovator at Airbus, this now means designing the architecture of large avionics platforms and systems, integrating components and sub-components of these complex systems and then servicing these platforms. Airbus’ core business activity is in complex systems integration. Four Broad Competency Areas for the Engineer of the Future at Airbus Four broad areas of competencies have been identified as key for engineers of the future at Airbus, based on the company’s long-term strategic assessment of skills and competency requirements. These categories, as well as some examples of specific competencies highlighted during interviews with Airbus competency experts are: BASELINE TRANSVERSAL GENERIC SOFT TECHNICAL AREAS DISCIPLINES DISCIPLINES SKILLS engines, lean, innovation, design systems design, management, aerodynamics, thinking, sub-contractor systems integration, leadership, exhaust systems, management, green service engineering, entrepreneurship, blades and de-icing, and eco efficiency, IP configuration resilience, teamwork, thermal engineering, management – for management, etc. emotional intelligence network security and people who have not (and all the various social data, nuclear studied core engineering facets within), cross- safety disciplines, ecosystem cultural and intercultural thinking – managing fluency across networks
The Engineer of the Future 034 The Engineer of the Future Gary Wicks, AGUPP meeting 2014 • Is a complex systems engineer, by nature • Understands both leadership and teamwork – and has learnt skills to improve their proficiency in both • Remembers to keep the end user in mind, and that this is a customer-centric business • Is a design thinker as well as systems and requirement engineer In 2017 discussions, experts across Airbus have also highlighted the growing need for graduates trained in cyber security, and in data science (including data visualisation and data analysis) as well as UI/UX design due to the vast digitalisation trend in companies. The combination of the above specific technical skills and transversal and broader skills can be cultivated on an individual level or collectively within a company. In an individual, the result is a ‘T-shaped’ skills profile. T-shaped is a metaphor used to describe an individual’s competencies, where the vertical bar of the ‘T’ represents depth of knowledge and skills in a particular field, and the horizontal bar represents knowledge and understanding of other disciplines and how these interact with the T-shaped person’s own discipline.38 Collectively, the same combination of depth and breadth could be achieved by optimising the short and mid-term staffing activities in plants and final assembly lines. From an early stage in their career with the company, managers and senior staff now introduce early careers technical and engineering employees into the world of complex systems engineering. This means that although these employees may continue to focus on one area, they will develop a holistic understanding of how their role interconnects with every other part of the business, and with employees in different but connected functions, like information technology and design. This is ideally matched by a deep knowledge of the elements of engineering, which is as important as ever. Customer-centric engineers are not only expected to design the ‘perfect’ product (or to develop the perfect solution) but also to define which solution will best satisfy customer requirements under a set of constraints, including financial ones. Such engineers will be increasingly able to combine different internal and external inputs to design such a solution, from identifying those inputs, then modelling their interactions in order to successfully integrate them. 38 See Karjalainen, T. M. et al. (2009). Educating T-shaped Design, Business and Engineering Professional. Proceedings of the 19th CIRP Design Conference – Competitive Design, Cranfield University 30-31 March, 2009. Retrieved from https://dspace.lib.cranfield.ac.uk/bitstream/1826/3645/3/Educating_T-shaped_Design_Business_and_Engineering_ Professionals-2009.pdf for more information on the T-shaped skill profile. If innovation as a skill is added to the T-shaped model, it becomes the ‘Pi-shaped’ model described below.
035 The Engineer of the Future Innovation as a Key Competency Focusing company-wide on efficiency means that innovation is an emerging key competency. That means having an open and entrepreneurial mind-set, and moving towards a fast-to- market, try-and-fail model. Innovation as a competency relates to other competencies in the ‘pi-shaped’ ideal Airbus employee, according to Gary Wicks. This refers to the idea that the ‘T shaped’ engineer mentioned above, are those who appreciate the existence and importance of other engineering roles and technical disciplines, and are able to cross technical boundaries conceptually and in vocabulary and ways of working. Extending this ‘T’ to ‘π’ means engineers are additionally able to work effectively with all business functions, in particular innovation, marketing and sales, services, finance and procurement. Design thinking is an important part of this – the ability to work without a roadmap. For example – conceiving ideas with the ambition of the Concept Plane, without being restricted by a systems-requirement analysis, or a detailed roadmap of how to deliver the Concept Plane. Below is an illustration of a ‘π – shaped’ individual. KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING UNDERSTANDING AND APPRECIATION OF ENGINEERING UNDERSTANDING AND APPRECIATION OF OTHER DISCIPLINES AND HOW AND TECHNICAL OF OTHER BUSINESS FUNCTIONS THESE INTERACT WITH ENGINEERING DISCIPLINES IN INDUSTRY INNOVATION COMPETENCY DEPTH OF KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS IN THE FIELD TECHNICAL EXPERIENCE Figure 2: From a 'T-shaped' to a 'Pi-shaped' Individual
The Engineer of the Future 036
037 The Engineer of the Future 2C Developing Skills and Competencies at Airbus To develop the above skills and competencies within the company, Airbus employs engineering and technical graduates with deep knowledge of specific disciplines and progresses them along a development path. Each job now has associated competencies and proficiency levels, and in the future, all jobs will have associated learning paths as well. Engineers have both an annual and a mid-year review. During a session with their manager, employees review where they are versus where they need to be. After identifying any gaps, a structured plan for each employee is designed, which includes development solutions such as training, coaching, challenging projects, mobility within the company. Moving forward, however, it will be expected for employees to self-evaluate on a regular basis and build their own development plan with the support of their management and network. Airbus Academies 2.0 are also used to ensure that competencies are developed and maintained as needed on a broad level within the company. Each Division has its own Academies by function, and there are Group Academies that are common to all Divisions. Focal points within the Academies act as a bridge between the business and HR. Academies work to: • Define competency catalogue, strategy, and priorities • Analyse competency gaps • Define action plan (incl. learning priorities) • Specify requirements for new learning solutions
The Engineer of the Future 038 In order to meet identified training and competency requirements, Airbus continuously introduces new learning solutions, such as blended learning or social learning, and is currently building a strategy for a future learning environment. In conclusion, at Airbus, while engineering fundamentals are as important as ever, future engineers will also need to move beyond 20th century style ‘how to do it’ engineering and gain the skills required to work in ‘what to do?’ engineering functions. Additionally, because the pace of change in the world is so fast today, and challenges unstructured and global in nature as outlined above, future engineers also need to develop the ability to learn how to learn continuously. Learning is a continuous process which is done through failing and interacting, and often requires ‘learning by doing’. Ensuring that graduates are equipped with the skills and competencies they need as the ways of working are changing both at Airbus and in higher education will require Airbus and AGUPP universities working together to adapt. As Yann Barbaux, then Chief Innovation Officer at Airbus said at the 2017 AGUPP meeting, to keep up with changes, a ‘new model which is more dynamic’ is needed. Some of the ways universities and industry work together in general, and some specific examples of how Airbus and AGUPP universities collaborate are discussed in the following chapter.
You can also read