Problems to be solved by the upcoming generation of engineers

Posted in: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Undergraduate

Author: Suvid Jain -

The world's current problems will provide numerous opportunities for this generation of engineering students to solve. I have made a list of problems that, in my opinion, will require the most attention from engineers and will therefore determine the careers of the future.

  1. Climate change: It is no secret that one of the biggest issues in the world today is climate change and the effects that it has on the planet. Therefore, a lot of investment will go into reducing these effects in numerous ways, from making transportation greener, to designing methods to harvest more energy from the sun. A crucial role is to be played by future engineers, to provide a way of living efficiently with the environment around us.
  2.  Increase in global population: An exponential increase of humans in the last 200 years has resulted in a rising demand for new infrastructure and facilities. This trend will only be on the rise as the rate of the population increase is not slowing down. New cities will need to be designed and constructed, systems of transport will need to be put in place to transfer resources such as energy and water across new land, and new networks will need to be developed to keep more places connected to each other, all which lies in the hands of future engineers.
  3. Space exploration: If you have been reading the news lately, you might have read all about how companies such as SpaceX have been developing new spacecraft to travel to new planets, with Elon Musk publicly speaking about his plans on colonising Mars. The many threats that face Earth (Asteroids, Gamma Ray Bursts, Super-volcanoes) to an extent where humans are not able to survive, make it essential to colonise different planets, thus in my opinion the sector of space exploration will grow rapidly in the next decades. Engineers will be the ones who develop the technology to reach places never reached before by humans and make dreams of touching the sky a reality.
  4. Diseases: After Covid, a prediction of mine is that a lot of investment will go into ensuring the effects of another pandemic it will not be anywhere as severe as it was from Covid. This means developing strategies to prevent the spread of future contagions by manufacturing more contactless machines, or by advancing technologies that can monitor the spread efficiently (for example, a much better trace and track system). Chemical engineers will be needed to develop vaccines without issues quickly and might need to update vaccines annually for different variants. Hence, a future team of engineers across a range of courses would be required to combat any future contagion.
  5. Digitalisation: Over the course of a few decades, the world has evolved into a digital world. The role of humans in certain jobs has decreased as the evolution of the online world, drones and robots have removed the need for them. Software engineers are rising, designing websites for businesses, programming apps, and improving cybersecurity as a lot of personal information is shared across the online world. Mechatronic engineers will manufacture robots to help humans with their work and electric engineers will develop suer-fast quantum computers. All will help advance this world from a manual world to a world of Artificial Intelligence.
  6. Resources: The future only holds a fixed number of resources and how we use them will need to be adapted to match the store left. This will force engineers to invent new materials that require less resources to make, and delay the inevitable usage of all resources. Engineers will also advance the quality of materials made to improve our infrastructure, such as carbon-fibre replacing aluminium in planes. This finite store may also accelerate space exploration to mine resources from other celestial bodies. Resources will be used by a variety of engineers in the future to advance civilisation to the next stage.

Posted in: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Undergraduate

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