We've lost the art of engineering - with Shawn McIssac

Shawn McIssac is one of two directors at Oculus Architectural Engineering Ltd. He spoke to us about some of the biggest challenges facing our sector. 

Shawn McIssac

Shawn McIssac

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing our sector? 

I believe one of the biggest challenges facing the engineering and construction sectors today is that we have lost the ability to think for ourselves. There are too many people trying to use cookie-cutter solutions from the past. We've lost the art of engineering. 

If you could get the Government to do one thing tomorrow, what would it be? 

The government needs to give greater power to the profession to regulate itself. The industry should have greater powers to grant and revoke chartership, levy fines and pursue people who are doing engineering work without licences. 

What's your best piece of advice for an up-and-comer in our sector? 

When you go to school to learn to be an engineer, you only learn one thing. That is how to solve problems. Your whole career revolves around solving problems using that same formula. Just because you learn one thing at University doesn't mean you can't practise something completely different later on in life. 

What is the most important life lesson you've learned? 

Life is just too short to take things too seriously. 

How do you encourage innovation? 

At Oculuswe're constantly trying to innovate. We see a lot of stuff in New Zealand that continues to be done in a way that reflects the saying "that is always the way its been done". So, we are continually looking for and bringing over international best practice and products and applying them to the New Zealand climate.

What's the number one skill a good consultant should have? 

You need to have an open mind to ensure you can consider a range of options, not just have a preference for a few particular ideas. 

Who do you most admire and why? 

I am a big fan of Richard Branson. He is not afraid to take chances. Sometimes they work, at times they don't, but the ones that do work are quite successful.  

Next steps

Connect with Shawn on LinkedIn