A new program from Engineers Australia aims to showcase the important work engineers play within society to the broader public.
From addressing global challenges like climate change to making life better for local communities through innovations in key areas like transport, health care, and water infrastructure, engineers play a vital role in society.
But despite being a profession that has a tangible impact on the lives of Australians, many people can’t describe what engineers do — it’s not all hard hats and hi-vis vests.
In fact, much of the public lacks an understanding of the profession’s depth and breadth, not realising engineers develop solutions and solve problems. Often, engineers are tackling challenges others haven’t thought of, such as managing fine motor manual tasks in extreme locations like space or the sea floor (check out the world’s smallest and most dextrous underwater robotic arm), or predicting where an artery may fail in a cardiac patient.
In response to this, and drawing on input from members as part of brand research, Engineers Australia has launched its first national brand campaign to showcase the pivotal work of engineers across mainstream print, television and social media.
Placing engineers front and centre
The brand campaign tells the story of different engineering projects to show that the profession is much more than buildings and bridges — it includes everything from robotics in surgery and pumped hydro electricity generation to micro-recycling and soaring structural feats like a clifftop skywalk and a modular construction high-rise.
Nada Jolic, Engineers Australia General Manager Brand, Marketing and Communications, says the campaign, which features members, shows how engineers make an impact in real life.
“Our members asked us for an advocacy campaign that highlights what a progressive, society-advancing profession engineering is,” she says.
“The campaign will raise awareness and understanding of the value of the engineering profession, what engineering is today and how engineering improves the world around us by improving people’s lives.
“It will be an uplifting, inspiring message that engineers can take pride in, and will elevate the status of engineering in the hearts and minds of the public.”
With its purpose of “advancing society through great engineering”, Engineers Australia advocates for the effective resolution of some of the most pressing issues facing Australia and the world. To do that, it must also help secure the next generation of engineers, attracting the nation’s best and brightest by generating greater awareness of what engineers do.
Australia will need an estimated 100,000 extra engineers to cover proposed projects out to 2030 and this new campaign will help recruit the next generation of talent into the profession. This is vital for Australia’s sovereign capability and capacity to tackle the challenges of managing the clean energy transition.
“By enhancing the profile of the profession, we are effectively amplifying the voice of engineers and giving them a seat at the table of government and corporate decision-making,” Jolic says.
Engineers — Australia’s hidden leaders and innovators
“From speaking with our members, it became clear that, although we know engineers are leaders and innovators, it’s not always clear to the general public,” says Dr Nick Fleming FIEAust, Engineers Australia National President and Board Chair.
“We wanted to develop a program that shows how engineering touches the lives of people in practical and powerful ways every day. Engineering is so pervasive that it’s almost invisible. It’s time for engineers to stand up and for engineering to stand out in the public and national interest.”
Through powerful storytelling, Fleming says the campaign will help to elevate the profile of engineers, and Engineers Australia as a recognisable and trusted representative of the engineering profession.
“It will connect the average Australian with the power and potential of engineering, show how great engineering makes people feel, and fuel greater respect for engineering and the aspiration to be an engineer,” he says.
“It’s another step in Engineers Australia and our profession making a proactive contribution to creating the world we want to live in.”
Jolic says she hopes the campaign will galvanise all engineers to join Engineers Australia and be part of the movement to create safe, sustainable, healthy and prosperous societies. The campaign tagline is “Engineering. Making life happen.”
“Great engineering advances society and Engineers Australia is the home of all engineers,” says Jolic.
“Engineers have a unique way of seeing the world. They are the ones who can creatively solve the challenges of today and tomorrow. Because of them, nothing is impossible — it just hasn’t been done yet. This is what we want all Australians to know.”