Do You Have the Classic Traits of a Great Engineer?

  • Possesses a Strong Analytical Aptitude: A great engineer has excellent analytical skills and is continually examining things and thinking of ways to help things work better. Great engineers are naturally inquisitive.

  • Shows Attention to Detail: A great engineer pays meticulous attention to detail. The slightest error can cause an entire structure to fail, so every detail must be reviewed thoroughly during the course of a project. 

  • Has Excellent Communication Skills: Great engineers have great communication skills. They can translate complex technical lingo into plain English and also communicate verbally with clients and other engineers working together on a project. 

  • Takes Part in Continuing Education: A great engineer stays on top of developments in the industry. Changes in technology happen rapidly, and the most successful engineers keep abreast of new research and ideas.

  • Is Creative: A great engineer is creative and can think of new and innovative ways to develop new systems and make existing things work more efficiently. 

  • Shows an Ability to Think Logically: Great engineers have top-notch logical skills. They are able to make sense of complex systems and understand how things work and how problems arise.

  • Is Mathematically Inclined: A great engineer has excellent math skills. Engineering is an intricate science that involves complex calculations of varying difficulty. 

  • Has Good Problem-Solving Skills: A great engineer has sharp problem-solving skills. An engineer is frequently called upon solely to address problems, and they must be able to figure out where the problem stems from and quickly develop a solution. 

  • Is a Team Player: Great engineers understand that they are part of a larger team working together to make one project come together successfully, and therefore, must work well as part of that team. 

  • Has Excellent Technical Knowledge: Great engineers have a vast amount of technical knowledge. They understand a variety of computer programs and other systems that are commonly used during an engineering project. 

What makes a great engineer?

The website EngineeringSchools sets out 10 attributes of a great engineer. Some of the traits fly in the face of the notion of an engineer slaving away at the bench alone, but we know great engineers are team players.

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Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 15 years, 12 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.

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