Industry Jolted by EV Engineer Shortage

17 Jun 2010 Sandeep Mehta
Here is a short article describing of key skill-set shortages in hybrid / EV automobiles: Industry Jolted by EV Engineer Shortage.  On one hand this is a new skill-set that was not really in existence a decade ago.
The already-tight market for mechatronics engineers just got more competitive with Thursday’s announcement of a proposed joint venture, led by Magna International Inc. founder Frank Stronach, to develop vehicle-electrification technology.
On the other hand, the industry has known about this trend for more than 10 years.  They could have easily trained new engineers if strategic skill-set planning had been in place (or tools existed to forecast skill-set needs for long-term).  As was pointed out in Toyota Way lost on the road to phenomenal worldwide growth, it takes years to get engineers trained to work effectively.  That training and management is even more difficult when new disciplines or technologies are being introduced in the products.  Even so, some people believe that market forces will take care of everything:
Veteran engineer Chris Theodore, whose fingerprints are on the Dodge Viper and Ford GT, also is unfazed.
“There is an imbalance,” Theodore says, referring to the dearth of mechatronics engineers. “There’s more knowledge required.”
But the shortage is temporary, and the impact of EVs on automotive engineering should not be exaggerated.
“The pendulum will swing the other way,” he tells Ward’s. “When all is said and done, we’re in a physical world.”
What do you think?  Does your organization face similar problems?

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