Engineering a better future

Ofwat’s Principal Engineer, Alison Fergusson, on the future of engineering

One of the many challenges facing the water sector is that their workforce is the age and diversity of their workforce.

According to the UK Government in 2012, 54% of the water sector workforce was over 45 years old and are expected to leave or retire from the sector in the next 15 years. Across utilities generally, the workforce is predominantly male with a low proportion coming from black or minority ethnic groups. And one of the critical skills shortages in the future will be for engineers.

Alison Fergusson is Ofwat’s Principal Engineer. She was recently awarded an honorary fellowship of the Institution of Primary Engineers. We spoke to Alison to find out:

  • why she chose a career in engineering
  • why the water sector (and Ofwat) need engineers;
  • the need to engage the next generation into engineering
  • how to encourage more women in engineering
  • how engineers can help create a better world

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