Engineers joining the workforce fresh out of university need to have an awareness of what is happening on a global scale in the industry, according to a pair of officials from Pennecon Ltd.
Don Noseworthy, senior vice-president of the company’s energy division, and Terry Carter, manager of business development, spoke Wednesday evening at Memorial University for an event focused on the role young engineers must play in a growing Newfoundland and Labrador economy.
Both men spoke with The Telegram yesterday afternoon prior to the evening event.
“What’s happening is there’s a move to globalization of best practices and incorporating best practices locally,” said Carter, who is from England and has experience working all over the world.
“To do that, the engineers are going to have to know how to communicate and how to transfer technology into the province effectively. Because at the end of the day on these projects in the province, everybody here locally has to make these plans work, and work effectively.”
While technology helps those processes, Carter said, there are other skills of importance, particularly with regards to effective communication.
“There’s cultural differences as well,” said Noseworthy. “When you’re depending on conference calls or video conference technology, you’re still not there. You’re not person-to-person. That personal contact shouldn’t be lost.”
Pennecon deals with companies in Norway, United Kingdom
In Wednesday’s presentation, Noseworthy was due to highlight Newfoundland and Labrador’s growth over the last 150 years and how engineers had a role to play throughout that time.
On an international level, Pennecon primarily works with companies in Norway and the United Kingdom. The energy division serves clients in the oil and gas sector.
“Our business is a combination of service in the energy side, because energy is one of four divisions of Pennecon Ltd.,” said Noseworthy, adding other divisions handle construction, concrete and real estate.
Noseworthy has a personal understanding of what new engineers are like, given the fact his son, Michael, graduated from MUN’s engineering program in the spring. Michael Noseworthy is set to move to Ottawa for work next month.
“I’ve got the biased opinion of a father who just had a son graduate this year. So I’ve seen what I did, and I’ve seen what he’s done.”
The elder Noseworthy said the current crop of new engineers is a versatile bunch that appreciates feedback and can access it immediately through that knowledge of the Internet for research purposes.
“They have this aloofness about them and this willingness to learn, and ability to just absorb whatever they can find,” he said.
Those traits, combined with the work experience they have through co-operative education work terms, often forces senior staff members to adapt to the ways of their junior employees, according to Noseworthy.