RAEng announces 2020 This is Engineering day

The Royal Academy of Engineering’s 2020 This is Engineering Day will celebrate the engineers and engineering shaping our everyday lives and the world around us.

2020 This is engineering day
The This Is Engineering campaign was launched to address damaging and outmoded perceptions of what a career in engineering looks like.  Image: This Is Engineering

Working with EngineeringUK and partners across the profession, the initiative is central to the Academy’s This is Engineering campaign to give more young people, from all backgrounds, the opportunity to take up engineering careers. This is Engineering Day, which will take part on Wednesday 4th November 2020, will form a key part of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week 2020.

This is Engineering Day 2020 will be themed ‘Be the difference’ and engineering companies, organisations and individual engineers are all invited to get involved and think of ways in which they can showcase how engineers make a difference – online, on social media or via events and engagement activities.

To coincide with the first UN World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development, a new season of This is Engineering films has been launched, focusing on nine real-life engineering heroes whose work helps make a difference in the world: from mitigating flooding and addressing climate change to making farming easier and improving healthcare.

Many of the emerging and in-demand jobs identified by the World Economic Forum are engineering jobs, yet every year the UK is short of up to 59,000 engineers, while only 12 per cent of the engineering workforce in the UK are female, and nine per cent are from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. But the narrow image of an engineer is reinforced online by endless pictures of white men in hard hats. These images often lack diversity, both in the faces of the people and in the disciplines of engineering represented, and there is evidence that it is deterring the next generation from joining the profession.

A key objective of the first This is Engineering Day on 6 November 2019 was to change the stereotypical image of engineers, and the Academy set up a free public image library at www.flickr.com/thisisengineering/ for media, photo, advertising agencies and the general public to view and use in projects, articles, campaigns and on social media.

Other highlights of This is Engineering Day 2019 included pledges from organisations including the BBC and Facebook to increase the public visibility of more representative images of engineers and engineering, and a host of high profile endorsement from celebrities including F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and astronaut Tim Peake that helped the campaign reach over 12 million people on 6 November alone

Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “More than 150 engineering companies and organisations across the UK have so far pledged to help the Academy to show a different, diverse and surprising image of the profession. We’re calling for even more partners to join our This is Engineering campaign and celebrate This is Engineering Day on 4 November 2020 as we continue our work to transform the image of engineering.”

The Engineer is delighted to confirm that its annual Collaborate to Innovate Awards ceremony, which celebrates some of the UK’s most inspiring examples of engineering collaboration, will once again be held on This Is Engineering day.