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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Structural Integrity, Volume 3, Issue 1
The current global economic slowdown has its epicentre in the USA but the contagion is being witnessed in all major economies of the world. Several countries are experiencing rapid contraction in their Global Domestic Product, rising unemployment levels and an overall slowdown in the pace of investment activity. What started as a shock in the financial markets has spread to all sectors of the world economy and the exact depth and breadth of the impact is still unclear.
According to global market indicators it is expected that the next decade will be very different from the last one, with structural shifts in demographics that will reflect more prominently in international trade and economics. Technology evolution and adoption is expected to witness some disruptive changes as the internet generation takes over the workforce calling for rushed out-sourcing. The risk involved, at least for the first years, will be hidden behind ruthless economic figures suppressing, even the most rational disagreement.
Market projections that nourished engineering for decades are being re-evaluated and significantly downgraded. Engineering education will be the first to take the flak with education cuts and plummeting student numbers. It is not unrealistic to say that university research within five to seven years will experience significant losses in its critical mass. Research on the other hand will experience significant reduction in its medium term projects, responding with resources shifts towards short term tasks.
It is not unlikely to experience significant mobility of highly trained people without however being able to anticipate focal points of concentration, i.e. developing countries. Such action will not trail a route leading to increasing excellence and experience but will be governed by the need for survivor. The result, most likely will be a complete generation of people without the anticipated experience.