Electronics and computing engineers study device security

© University of Southampton

The Royal Academy of Engineering has declared today “This is Engineering” day! This year’s campaign focuses on challenging the image of the engineer and overturning the narrow stereotype of engineering.

Female electronic engineer with drone

© University of Southampton

If you type the word “engineer” into a search engine you’ll likely turn up a whole host of images that all look very similar. To test the representation of the profession online, an AI machine learning model, otherwise known as a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN), analysed over 1,100 images of engineers sourced online, and generated images based on this given dataset. The images generated by the GAN showed how narrowly an engineer is typically portrayed online: the majority of the generated images were of a white male wearing a hard hat.  This image is simply not representative of the profession as a whole. In fact we can confidently say that not a single one of our CircuitWorx engineers has worn a hard hat in the course of their work here!

Male and female engineers examine a circuit board under a magnifying glass

© Rolls Royce PLC

So on #ThisIsEngineering Day, CircuitWorx are joining the like of Rolls-Royce, National Grid, and Sony UK Tech in pledging to use and promote imagery of engineers and engineering that properly reflect the breadth and diversity of the profession.  And if you’re ever looking for stock images of engineers to use on your website or in marketing material, look no further than the This is Engineering Flickr image library – we’ve used some great example images in this blog to get you started, showing what electronic engineers look like in the real world!

Female computing engineer with device

© University of Southampton