Finding suitable engineers to work on our challenging and innovative design projects remains our biggest challenge. In the good old days a distinction average from one of Australia’s better universities meant that you at least had the fundamentals under control. And not just the fundamentals of the maths, physics and chemistry that underpins everything design engineers do. Fundamentals such as report writing, engineering drawings and the design process. And then on to real fundamentals, like time management. Universities have become businesses rather than institutions of higher learning. Quantity has triumphed over quality. Research drives rankings, so design teaching and practice has lost out in engineering faculties. Design engineering practitioners with industry experience are approaching extinction on Australian University payrolls. What does this mean for you? It means that your education in design needs to be acquired elsewhere. And that your fundamentals need work. If you are a graduate and you get a job with us your learning curve will be steep. But you will gain experience that is increasingly rare and valuable. You will learn how to bring to life new technologies, products and systems in a commercial (read real-life) environment.
You have two options. If you apply for employment with us and your application looks promising we will get you to sit our tests. These are designed to separate engineers from those that just have an engineering qualification. If you pass our test, you will receive a certificate to prove it and you will be registered on our AppliTick register – you will have our tick of approval as a design engineer.
If you don’t want to apply for a job with us at this time but would like to achieve AppliTick accreditation you can sit the test if you have a mechanical, mechatronics or similar degree from an Australian or NZ university. You will need to provide us with a copy of your transcript. You will receive a certificate (BYO frame) and be registered on our AppliTick database.
Q: Why do we run the AppliTick program?
A: To us an engineer that can’t design, build and create is a scientist. Universities seem to have lost track of that. Ideally we would do much more than just the AppliTick program, but we have to start somewhere. What we would really like to see is the establishment of a Graduate School of Engineering Design as proposed by the Engineers Australia National Committee on Engineering Design.
Q: What does the test consist of?
A: The test is designed to test your aptitude and knowledge of mechanical engineering fundamentals. Basic electronics knowledge is also tested. A condition of taking the test is that you keep it confidential. The test will change from time to time.
Q: Can I sit the test remotely?
A; Yes, the test is conducted online.
Q: What is the pass-mark?
A: The pass mark will vary from time to time as test questions change, but keep in mind that in real life 51% is not a pass. Not by a long shot. Imagine if we handed over a project to one of our clients with 51% of the work done and expected to get paid.
Q: What feed-back will I receive?
A: Unfortunately we are not in a position to provide detailed feedback. We will only report whether you have passed or failed.
Q: Can I re-sit the test if I fail?
A: Yes, but not within 2 years.
Q: If I fail does that mean that I am unsuitable for a career in engineering design?
A: No, not at all. Plenty of engineers that have not passed our test go on to have rewarding careers. It must be said that we set high standards – the reality of our business is that it is only viable with the very best people. And to us that means engineers that have aptitude, creativity, good communication skills and very good analytical capabilities.
Q: How long does the test take?
A: The test is in 2 parts. The first test takes 90 minutes. If you pass this we get you to sit a second test which will take 60 minutes. Both tests are conducted online at a time of your convenience. Each test must however be done in one continuous sitting.
Q: Why do you let engineers not applying for employment sit the test?
A: It seemed like a good idea. Our little contribution to the profile of engineering design. But for selfish reasons too – if we have a sudden need for additional engineers we might get in touch.
Q: Do I need to be a graduate to sit the test?
A: Yes, you must have a relevant degree. We don’t care though whether you got the degree last year or 30 years ago.
Q: Who should sit the test?
A: If you don’t have a passion for engineering design please don’t apply to sit the test. Telltale signs include tinkering, pulling things apart and making stuff from an early age.
Q: Why is the test limited to Australian and NZ graduates?
A: It isn’t – if you are applying for employment with us. Other than that it is, just to keep numbers under control more than anything else. We may open it up to others in future.