I agree mostly with what you are saying in your article Sumera, thanks for posting.

But I don’t agree that a high level of maths is not needed.

I’ve studied at four distinct levels in Engineering; Ordinary National Diploma, Honors Degree, Masters Degree, and PhD.

Before the honors degree, my maths could have at best been described as “Mickey Mouse”. I was told so at the time (late eighties), and warned that although I was already producing real Engineering accomplishments, degree maths was going to be a real challenge.

So I went through much of the Honors Degree thinking the maths was a largely unnecessary component of the curriculum, until I’d actually learned it.

But then it opened my eyes to a whole new universe. The more mathematical parts of the course became the ones in which I experienced the real highs of revelation, and could not get enough of. It really does change the way we think, and there is no way of understanding what we might have missed, before we’ve learned it.

With that knowledge, one can also quickly identify when others may not be as familiar with it than we know they need to be for a particular role.

So for example, regardless of gender, for any roles involving acoustics, hydraulics, or aerodynamics, I would demand a strong understanding of advanced maths as needed to apply things like Maxwells equations, which although developed for electromagnetics, also apply to acoustic and fluid fields.

I would go further to say we don’t really know which roles we would be most suited to, without the knowledge needed to do all of them, so for personal satisfaction in life, it is probably best to be happy that we know enough to have made the best decisions there.

In my experience, the best Engineers are truly merit driven, they do not discriminate by gender, they really will appoint the most talented to get the most challenging jobs done.

Seeing gender discrimination actually calls into question the skills of those practicing it, and I am happy to report I’ve never seen much of it at the sharp end of Engineering, though there does seem a shortage of women there.


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