Simon Larcombe – engineering lead at Altair

What are the highest priority areas for government spending to enhance the UK’s capability in your sector, and in technology in general?

Renewable energy around wind turbines is the most critical area.

Which of the engineering and technology sectors are underperforming in the UK currently, and what could be done to bolster them?

No response

From what you’ve seen so far, which of the main political parties has the best policies to address these issues?

Both mainstream parties talk about pushing towards a carbon free economy but the momentum is very slow.

What are the biggest opportunities for growth in your sector, in the short and medium terms?

Within power generation the drive in the short term is to achieve gains in Gas Turbines operating efficiency and reliability. Long-term it is more difficult to see where the sector is heading – maybe towards more automation within Gas Turbine operations.

What is the best way to approach technological goals in the long term (ie, with results more than five years off)? Can and should government play a role here?

The government should engage with companies like GE to part fund development opportunities that will lead towards the goal of higher levels of energy production vs reduction in carbon emissions.

What do you think of the current status of engineers in the UK? What can be done to enhance it?

Overall engineering in the UK is in a very strong position. However it is a matter of concern that many 1000s of young people under 25 are not currently in education or work. Within this large group there are potentially some very good engineers and it is a great pity if these individuals are not given the opportunity to flourish.