A team of researchers from across New Zealand and Australia are studying how the engineering profession is changing over time and this will provide real evidence for industry.

The nature of the engineering practice is changing but there is a lack of research on how the practice is changing. The BeLongEng Project, led by Associate Professor Enda Crossin from the University of Canterbury, was developed in response to the lack of research.

“There is a lot of hype around what the future might hold for the engineering profession, but surprisingly, there isn’t a lot of empirical evidence on how engineering is changing,” said Crossin.

The longitudinal project will track the careers of thousands of engineers across Australia and New Zealand. “This will be the biggest study of its kind, anywhere in the world. We’ll be able to provide industry and engineering education providers with unique insights into what engineers do, how this changes over time, and factors that influence this change.”

The inaugural call for participants has begun. “The first round of the surveys started in February 2022. We are planning to track these engineers over a long period of time by surveying participants every year or two. The individual journeys of engineers are what will shape the outcomes of this study, and every voice counts. I’d encourage all engineers to participate in the BeLongEng Project so that they can help shape the future of engineering.”

To participate, please follow the URL link: www.BeLongEng.org/join

The Project Team includes researchers from the University of Canterbury, The University of Auckland, The University of Melbourne, UTS, and QUT.

Academics from other tertiary institutions will also have opportunities to participate in the project. “The Project Team will be contacting academics at polytechnics and universities around New Zealand in early 2022 to help with recruiting participants. In exchange, we’ll provide these institutions with key insights into their graduates. In addition to this, academics will also be able to apply for a data sharing agreement, so that they can conduct their own research on the project,” said Crossin. Academics who are interested in these opportunities should contact Assoc. Prof. Enda Crossin (enda.crossin@canterbury.ac.nz).

BeLongEng and IPWEA NZ 

IPWEA NZ is a peak-body supporter of the project, helping to spread the word and recruit participants.