Five Lessons For A Successful Engineering Career

BioTrib is comprised of fifteen Early Stage Researchers all located in substantial engineering groups within five european universities in the global 1%. Each ESR is pursuing a PhD and developing significant expertise in the fields of Tribology, Biomechanics, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Polymer Science, Multifunctional Biomaterials and Materials Science. Following graduation from the BioTrib programme, our Early Stage Researchers will be equipped to be future engineering leaders within the medical technology community driving significant innovations in joint replacement technology.

To this end it is useful to consider what skills are required by effective engineering leaders. A recent article by John Butterfield at Hallam ICS reflects on five lessons learned throughout his own engineering career.

  1. Recognize you own strengths; respect those of others
    • None of us can be good at everything. We are at our best when we are engaged in work that fits our aptitudes, interests, education and experience.  Respect others for things that they know, and you don’t. Others can help you succeed.
  2. Understand your personal “value proposition”
    • What unique value do you offer through your personal combination of knowledge, skills, aptitude and experience? People will respect you and seek your advice for things that you “are good at”. Your contributions will also help others be successful.
  3. Never stop learning
    • Continuous learning and broadening your range of knowledge expands your mental “toolbox”. Our biggest limitation, is “not knowing what we don’t know”
  4. Communication is your link to the world
    • Your ability to speak, read, write and listen surpasses your technical knowledge and experience.
  5. Even in Engineering, it’s not just the technology, it’s really about the people
    • Cultivate the colleagues and contacts around you, they are your biggest asset and support network.

You can read the full article along with John’s own experiences throughout his engineering career here.