The UK is suffering from a lack of interest in engineering according to a report from the organisers of the Queen Elizabeth Prize.
The report, Create the Future, interviewed more than 10,000 members of the general public across 10 markets and found that the UK had the least interest in the sector.
Out of the all the locations covered, which included China, the US and Germany, British 16 and 17 year olds in particular showed a lack of interest.
The report also found that engineering tops the list of professions seen as most vital for economic growth. 57 per cent also believe it is critical in solving the world’s problems, particularly in the US, UK and Germany.
71 per cent of those interviewed think engineers’ contribution to society is undervalued and should be given more recognition.
The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering recognises innovators in the field who will ‘inspire the next generation of engineers’.
This year, Dr Robert Langer (above) was recognised for his work in developing a large molecular drug-delivery system to treat diseases like cancer.
“Being awarded the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering is a huge honour,” Langer said.
“I was shocked to receive such an incredible award. It is wonderful that The Queen recognises the importance of engineers around the world and engineering is being honoured in such a way.
“I am reassured the Create the Future Report confirms engineering outputs are valued around the world and considered genuinely life changing.
“I take heart in the number of people who see engineering as a great way to contribute to society; that is what motivated me and inspired my work on mental health and cancer treatments.”
E&T Magazine interviewed Langer earlier in the year, when he discussed his drug-delivery system.
Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Prize Foundation Lord Browne said: “It is encouraging to see that people think the priority for engineers should be improving renewable energy and healthcare, not just traditional engineering infrastructure such bridges and buildings.
“The QE Prize aims to highlight the engineering achievements that have the greatest impact on society, to raise engineering’s international profile and inspire young people to consider the wealth of opportunities that an engineering career offers.”
The Create the Future report was sourced from an online survey that took place in May 2015 in the UK followed by the other nine markets in June and July 2015.