A Career as a Digital Engineer


Michael is a Chartered Engineer and has been working as a Mechanical Engineer at Atelier Ten since graduating from the University of Leeds in 2015. More recently, Michael has taken on the role of Digital Lead at Atelier Ten. He is a member of the CIBSE Society of Digital Engineering (SDE) Steering Group and a member of the Digital Innovations working group. Michael is also a committee member of the CIBSE YEPG and looks after the social media
content for the group.

What do digital engineers do?
Digital engineers primarily work with data integration within the traditional design and construction process, also known as Building information modelling (BIM). There are many benefits to BIM, including improvements to coordination and communication, risk mitigation, cost certainty and ultimately better outputs. In addition to working with BIM, a digital engineer may also look at improving workflows and processes within their organisation, which could be something as simple as a new Excel tool.

Tell us a typical challenge of your work.
I work with a number of different teams including the engineering, production (CAD/Revit) and environmental teams to identify processes and workflows that we can optimise. Typically, we are looking for time consuming or repetitive tasks that can be better performed by the computer, to allow us to spend more time where we bring value. We recently took part in the Society of Digital Engineering’s One Working Day Challenge, in which we were tasked with producing a concept design in one day. The challenge focused on design automations and methods of remote working (particularly relevant this year!) and it was a great opportunity for us to test our tools and workflows.

Why did you choose this role?
Having spent time working in the BIM team at Atelier Ten as part of my Graduate rotation, I wanted to continue with developing some of the work I had started. I enjoy the problem-solving nature of these challenges and I like being able to see the benefit in our output. As a mechanical engineer, I saw a great opportunity in digital engineering and I am already seeing the benefits it is bringing to the company.

What degrees could be suitable for this industry?
A number of engineering degrees could be suitable, and not necessarily of a Building Services bias. Having a background in Mechanical, Electrical or Environmental engineering would certainly give you the transferable skillset to become a Digital Engineer.

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