Three into one will go

I almost wrote following the article ‘Creation theory’ about the new head of the Royal Designers for Industry, Chris Wise but resisted. However, after Prof Harrison’s observations feel I must put pen to paper


I almost wrote following the article ‘Creation theory’ about the new head of the Royal Designers for Industry, Chris Wise (Interview, 14 January) but resisted. However, after Prof Harrison’s observations (Letters, 11 February) feel I must put pen to paper.

Engineers come in three types — and we need them all.

First there are the innovators, known as designers when I was in employment, who come up with the basic ideas. Perhaps systems engineers is a better title.

Then there are the design engineers, the science and mathematics people, who turn it into a practicable design.

And finally there are the development test guys. Their unique job is to make work something that has never worked. It requires a different kind of skill to find, for example, the extra circuit connection that was not supposed to be there, and I am sure there are parallels in all branches of engineering.

We could also think of a fourth category — the people who find the faults after a device has been put into the field. Maybe they are engineering technicians or technician engineers, but we need them just as much — and the best need a broad knowledge and understanding of the technologies with which they work.

We need all three branches of engineering and if advertising concentrates on the ‘artists’, then the others may give up.

I don’t pretend that I have the answer, but just warn against going too far down that particular road.

Brian Hammond

Lichfield, Staffs