The Life of an Engineer

Friday 10th May 2024

On Tuesday 30th of April, Dr Robert Witty gave an engaging talk to the STEM Society discussing anything and everything to do with engineering. The talk began by diving into how to become an engineer, with emphasis on continual professional development as the key to success. Dr Witty would advise budding engineers to learn to type, to maintain momentum, to update CVs continuously and to engage with professional institutions and networkers. The main message of his talk was that engineering is such a broad field and one that is developing at a rapid pace, and the more you know the further you’ll get.

When Dr Witty started in the industry, the computer had only just been invented, yet he developed his passion for software engineering into a very successful and fulfilling international career. Some of his proudest achievements include when he trained 10,000 software engineers for GEC and contributed to running the UK’s air traffic control system. He concluded by offering us a fascinating insight into the likely future impact of AI in engineering. Although it could be argued that all previous AI revolutions have failed, Dr Witty believes that the current revolution will succeed, as there is now sufficient computing power available to support Large Language Models and neural networks. In due course, he expects to see major improvements in areas such as the NHS and transport. However, AI will not solve the problem of climate change unless there is a dramatic increase in political will.

Even after so many firsts in his career, Dr Witty is still making more, including conducting further research and giving this brand new presentation to his youngest ever audience at Marlborough College. We were very lucky to have had this opportunity to hear from such an accomplished scientist and would just like to say a massive thank you.

Review by Katie M

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