THE BLOG

A Song for Tomorrow's Engineers Week

03/11/2015 11:30 GMT | Updated 02/11/2016 09:12 GMT

I'm Joanna Anderson. I'm 23 years old and I'm a civil engineer.

I'm not a man, I don't walk around in a hard hat all the time, and I don't spend all day on a construction site. Most of us don't fit that stereotype!

I was 18 when I first found out about civil engineering. I spoke to a lady about it and in less than two minutes her passion and enthusiasm changed my whole life.

Five years later I'm a traffic signals specialist in the highways design and management team at Mouchel and working towards chartered status with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). This week I'm launching Mouchel's Graduate Scheme, I'm going into my old school and to "The Catalyst" to help the students learn about engineering as part of Tomorrow's Engineers week. And I've released a special YouTube song to mark the week.

Yes, you read that correctly! I'm a singing civil engineer. I teach guitar and music theory and I'm a regular performer of comedy songs at shows in Liverpool - often combining my passion for music with my love of civil engineering.

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When ICE asked me to write a song for Tomorrow's Engineers week I couldn't refuse. I'm a civil engineer simply because someone inspired me, they helped me to understand how engineers make a difference to people's lives, and they opened my eyes to civil engineering as a career. Maybe I can inspire someone in the same way...

It's this that drives my efforts to promote engineering. Put simply I love it, I love what I do, and I feel a duty to tell others, especially children, so they can get on the right educational path at the right time. I was 18 when I got into engineering; I wish I'd known about it earlier.

This isn't just about making young people more aware of a rewarding career option, it's about ensuring we have enough engineers to design, build and maintain our infrastructure - the roads, railways, bridges, tunnels, flood defences, waste, water and energy networks that we depend on every day. In the decade to 2022, engineering companies will need 182,000 people a year with engineering skills. This means we need to double the number of apprentices and graduates entering the industry.

More needs to be done to attract the next generation of engineers and we need to think outside of the box when it comes to how we engage with young people and quash outdated perceptions about engineers. We need to tap into their interests and how they like to communicate. And, dare I say, we need to lighten up!

This is why I wrote a song for Tomorrow's Engineers week. It's fun, it's simple, it comes with photos of some amazing engineering projects all over the world and it's only about four minutes long. You can even sing along! It can be watched online and shared with friends through social media.

I hope it makes people smile, and maybe see us civil engineers in a new light...

#Singingengineer #TEWeek2015