In 2013, the Academy worked with the University of Winchester and a community of engineers and educators to identify the characteristics and attributes of engineers. Engineers make ‘things’ that work or make ‘things’ work better. But they do this in quite particular ways. The report identifies six engineering habits of mind (EHoM) which, taken together, describe the ways engineers think and act:

  1. Problem finding
  2. Creative problem solving
  3. Adapting
  4. Visualising
  5. Improving
  6. Systems thinking

Thinking like an engineer makes a compelling case to suggest that, if the UK wants to produce more engineers, it needs to redesign the education system so that these EHoM become the desired outcomes of engineering education. It also needs to work closely with the teachers of, for example, science, design and technology, mathematics and computing.

The summary report and full report are presented below:

Thinking like an engineer: implications for the education system (2.44 MB)

Thinking like an engineer: summary report (2.59 MB)