Am I an Engineer, yes,no, maybe?

Last week my Colleague at the Science Museum Corrinne Burns  wrote an article for the Guardian Website,  Are you an Engineer? then don’t be shy about it.

I talked to Corrinne about some of the ideas that she was thinking about and contributed a quote to the article.  

We talked about how people who are tackling interesting and very worthwhile problems, creating useful products and services don’t necessarily identify as engineers.  A lot are coming from design and creative backgrounds.

 We talked about how the  movements of hackers, makers, entrepeneurs are taking over the space and vocabulary traditionally taken by engineers and engineering. 

Early on in my career I did look at going down the route of becoming a professional engineer of some sort.  I considered returning to either full time or part time education and aiming to become a Chartered engineer.  I considered using my HND to fulfil the requirements of becoming a Incorporated Engineer.  

But after spending a University Work experience year at a badly run  company that went out of business while I was there. Followed by working nearly two years at another company that was continuously struggling,made me redundant and eventually went out of business. Both of those experiences left me with bad feelings towards the engineering industry, so I decided that engineering wasn’t for me and went into computers and I.T. work.  

My current job is New Media Engineer.  Its definitely an odd job title. Whenever I tell anybody my what I do  I always have to follow it with a brief explanation of what the job involves.  I work alongside and collaborate with artists, curators,designers,developers,museologists, scientists and technicians.  I’m not any of those things but at the same time need to have an appreciation of what all of them do.

New Media Engineer isn’t formally defined anywhere.  If you Google it most likely you will come across my job description or now Corrinne’s article.  A twitter response from the article asked me what I did and wondered if I developed websites.

I’ve just had a look at the requirements at becoming a chartered engineer or Incorporated engineer again, and I still don’t see how either would benefit me.  But that doesn’t mean that I’m not continuously studying,learning and wanting to improve my work, I am and I do.    I love learning new things but don’t want to be constrained to the those requirements.  

Its as important for me to visit art exhibitions, keep up with current science and technology news, follow trends in the media and advertising, understand how digital technologies are used in museums and galleries.  All of these things are important alongside developing my purely technical skills. 

So am I an engineer?  Yes I am but I’m so much more.  I’m a New Media Engineer  and if you don’t like it. Tough

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