What 5 Characteristics Make an Engineer Top of Their Class?

What 5 Characteristics Make an Engineer Top of Their Class?


’Necessity is the mother of invention’ is a phrase we’ve all heard at one time or another no doubt. As humans, we’re hard-wired to think about the problems we face in life and try and come up with solutions to them, solutions which facilitate us and others around us. The invention of the wheel is a classic example.

Back in prehistoric times when people started using various tools, they also felt the need for a mechanism that would allow them to move heavy objects with minimal effort. An innovative individual must have thought about how to do it and come up with the ingenious design of the wheel; a simplistic invention that transported very heavy objects in no time and without much energy invested.

Engineers: The Present-Day Inventors

In the modern age, the professional fraternity performing this role of solving real-world problems is that of engineers. They are the people who are specially trained to interpret our problems and then apply their knowledge to find the best solutions. This puts engineers at an important position in society and places great responsibility on their shoulders. Here are the top 5 characteristics every great engineer should possess if he/she is to fulfil their role to the best of their ability:

1. Problem-Solving

This is perhaps the most desirable skill in an engineer since problems are exactly what they solve. A competent engineer is someone who meticulously studies the problem presented, comprehending it completely, and then applying their analytical skills to locate the very root of it. This whole process is the application of problem-solving skills and is clearly a must-have for any engineer who wants to excel in his / her profession.

2. Knowledge

As they say; ‘Knowledge is power’! Today’s world is evolving at a serious pace and everyone is encouraged to keep themselves updated as much as possible, especially engineers. These statistics by the US Patent and Trademark Office show a significant rise in the number of patents filed each year, which is a testament to the era of rapid development we live in. This means that if an engineer wants to be able to come up with solutions based upon recent developments in the industry, they must develop a habit of reviewing latest research and inventions in their related field and accumulate as much knowledge as possible.

3. Practical

One of the most popular debates in the engineering profession is the relative importance of theoretical and practical knowledge. There is obviously no definite formula to assess their relationship, but it would be foolish to say that a proficient engineer does not possess both these qualities. This article presents a good discussion on this debate and highlights how engineers must focus on developing their practical skills along with their theoretical knowledge. A very practical engineer for example, is not only more equipped with real-time problems, but they are much more likely to develop workable solutions because of their practical experience. Hence, we advise every engineer out there to feel no shame in getting their hands dirty; it builds your practical skills.

4. Inquisitive

This is a skill that every person must have to experience personal growth, as highlighted in this blog. Engineers are most often the people who know what technical problems exist in various walks of life. Engineers who are inquisitive and curious about these problems that they observe every day are constantly thinking about them and looking for ways to get rid of them. It’s this mental investment that makes them better than the rest since they are already one step ahead of their counterparts. It is usually this class of engineers that gain a reputation for being creative inventors.

5. Interpersonal Skills

Engineers are not people who spend all their time at a desk, solving math problems. Instead, they are people who manage human and monetary resources, collaborate with various professionals, and lead diverse teams. In such a case, it is expected that engineers must have great interpersonal skills, so they can smoothly perform these non-technical duties conferred upon them. Besides; a person who is a fluent speaker, charismatic leader, and friendly – is generally well-liked by people. Everyone should strive to be that person. This article accurately summarises the most important interpersonal skills engineers should have.

Final Thoughts

It’s clear that engineers are an asset to society, and that without their skills, we might still be living in the past. Having said this, every young engineer who aims to rise above their class must work hard to develop the 5 characteristics identified in the discussion above. With all engineers working towards developing these attributes in them, we humans can be ushered into an era of progress that has never been seen before.

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