The following questions are adapted from a form used by the IMechE to assess undergraduate students seeking to undertake professional development whilst at university (i.e. through work placements). Read through the questions and try to rate yourself according to their grading system. Remember however that you are at the beginning of your studies and so you may not be able to answer all of them. Rather you should use this exercise to gauge the skill level you will be expected to demonstrate as a professional engineer, and use that to develop targets to aspire to as you progress through the course.
Part 1: Personal Development
1.1 Self Management
The ability to control and direct own training, career and efforts.
4 confident, able to negotiate own requirements and accept responsibility
3 works towards personal goals using available resources, with minimum guidance
2 accepts responsibility but requires prompting to work towards goals
1 has difficulty identifying personal goals and appropriate resources
1.2 Communication Skills
The ability to give a complete and concise account of a situation, either orally or written.
4 clear and accurate, high standard of presentation; can communicate with people at all levels
3 reasonable presentation and generally accurate in content; rarely has difficulty making a point
2 usually easy to understand; has difficulty presenting to people at all levels
1 tendency to be inaccurate and has difficulty conveying information in any form
The ability to work with others and gain respect.
4 works well in a group or team and establishes good relationships with people at all levels
3 works in a group or team, good relationships at own level
2 attempts to mix and make a contribution
1 prefers to work alone and has difficulty establishing good relationships
1.4 Organization Skills
The ability to structure circumstances to a given objective.
4 aware of importance of planning & scheduling dependent on changing circumstances and tasks
3 usually organises well but sometime needs guidance on some areas of planning
2 average ability but needs reminders on critical factors
1 muddled approach and unable to set priorities
Part 2: Technical Development
2.1 Engineering Principles
The ability to apply sound engineering principles and technical judgement.
4 fully able to apply engineering principles to design, development and research activities
3 able to apply established procedures
2 needs some guidance on the application of engineering principles
1 needs frequent guidance on the application of suitable engineering principles
2.2 Technical Achievement
The ability to translate knowledge and skills into achieving results.
4 quickly develops skills and achieves excellent results without prompting
3 achieves well with little supervision
2 average ability in achieving results but hesitant with little initiative
1 usually needs supervision and assistance to achieve tasks
2.3 Problem Solving
The ability to originate new and improved uses of people and resources.
4 excellent problem solver; can propose innovative solutions
3 good understanding and useful innovator
2 puts forward some ideas but has difficulty with decisions
1 usually able to follow set procedures but shows little capability at proposing new solutions
2.4 Commercial and Financial Implications
The ability to see engineering in a business environment.
4 fully aware of the commercial and financial implications of the task at hand
3 generally aware of implications but sometimes needs clarification on particular points
2 only aware of the business environment when seconded to a commercial department
1 limited awareness of any commercial / financial ramifications
2.5 Engineering Practice
The ability to apply sound engineering practices.
4 fully able to select materials, processes and components to customer specification
3 able to advise on suitable materials, processes and components
2 able to select and specify form organisation's own capabilities of manufacture
1 has difficulty selecting suitable materials, processes and components