A tribute to Chris Reay, (Hon. FSAIMechE), founder and owner of Engineer Placements, collaboration partner of Enshrine Placements, a devoted family man, husband, father and Oupa passed away at his home in Cape Town on Wednesday, 26 April 2017.
Chris, a man of integrity and wisdom, was devoted to the Engineering Profession as demonstrated by his commitment in promoting skills and experienced engineering, project management, contract management and artisans resources that are so dearly needed to build the country; and through his endless commitment as Council Member of the SA Institution of Mechanical Engineering, heading up the strategy and communications committees and writing the curriculum supporting the professional development programme and Co-author of the Professional Development Programme for SAI Mechanical Engineering and Mentor Training Programme.
Below a few extracts from the SAIMechE blog “An Engineer’s view” by Chris Reay http://www.saimeche.org.za/blogpost/604970/An-Engineer-s-View?tag=&DGPCrSrt=&DGPCrPg=4
“We have so much engineering talent in the retired age group that has the experience to train and mentor young entrants to the profession. With employment in reverse, it isn’t happening”
As Engineers build the environment, and that environment will need to keep being built and maintained, we as a profession cannot contemplate that we will not be needed. It is evident that whatever the growth state of the economy is, engineering resources are always a scarce skill and whilst one may measure numbers and deny that this is a reality, when it comes to quality, skills and experience, it holds true. Don’t be blinded by cycles, they are a fact of life. Of concern however is the growing gap in the age demographics where the rate of retirement from the profession and the lack of commensurate restocking from the entrants to the profession is causing the centre of gravity of available skilled engineering resources to move into the higher end of the age spectrum”.
“The goal is to produce professionally registered engineering resources for the economy, of concern is that the rate of exit of engineering talent is considerably greater than the rate of entry of new resources that have to be developed with the of the outgoing skills. It must be understood that numbers entering the industry may be improving but the experiential training is certainly not sufficient. This applies to the trades as well. The average age of a qualified artisan is now mid- fifties. This scenario then makes it very clear that unless we harness the ageing skills and experience of the baby boomer fraternity to mentor and upskill the young engineering resources entering the profession, where else will we get them? They are not available in a box, a book, a video, a classroom or a memorychip. It is time on the ground with the human interaction, learning on the job”.