Engineering graduates are well-placed to take advantage of the widespread innovation currently taking place in the fields of renewables, building services and HVAC. Here is our guide to some of the top jobs for ambitious university leavers who are keen to be at the forefront of the technological revolution that is transforming the way our buildings function. These changes are being driven by climate change, regulation and the increasing prominence of IoT, smart controls and AI.
Control engineers are responsible for designing systems that monitor the efficiency of operational equipment such as heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Their expertise is in the field of automatic controls and they share many skills with those of an automation engineer, which is another exciting role for graduates to consider. Many engineering degree courses now include Controls and Instrumentation modules.
HVAC mechanical engineers select the products that are best suited to a particular air conditioning, renewables, heating or ventilation scheme. Mechanical engineers in the HVAC sector will look at both technical and budget requirements and may also be involved in providing technical data and training. As with most engineering roles, some experience of software development is an advantage as most modern systems involve advanced computer technology.
The role of R&D engineer is ideal for graduates who enjoy exploring new ideas and working on proof of concept as part of a product development team. It’s a highly creative role that involves detailed technical analysis and is also perfectly suited to graduates who have their sights on career progression. They will be working at the heart of the design and innovation team, often under the guidance and mentorship of senior engineers who will be able to share their industry experience.
Project engineers sit between the sales and technical teams and are critical to the success of an HVAC project. They are problem solvers within a project team, providing design information and technical solutions. They are also excellent communicators, acting as a bridge between external customers and internal staff to make sure information flows smoothly between the two.
Like project engineers, mechanical design engineers are part of the journey between sales and fully installed solution. They first become involved at the enquiry stage, supporting sales engineers with technical information and advice as they look to develop a solution for a client. They will come up with initial designs and calculations and help to move the project forward by creating a fully costed solution. At a time when many building projects are looking for innovative and intelligent products that support their sustainability goals, this is an exciting time to embark on a design engineering career in HVAC and renewables.