ASME: Coronavirus Changing the World of Engineering

Alan S. Brown for ASME
Engineering COVID-19

The new coronavirus is sweeping through the world like a scythe, disrupting not only our lives but also our jobs, companies, and industries. Whether we suddenly find ourselves telecommuting, facing unanticipated supply chain difficulties, or unable to run our factories, we’re all affected. This update looks at some of the ways this virus-borne disease, Covid-19, is reshaping the engineering world. 

Big Slowdown in Global Economy

Covid-19 hit China first. To contain it, the government ordered a series of lockdowns that brought industry to a stall. As a result, Chinese automobile sales in February dropped a record 80 percent while exports declined 17 percent January and February. According to analysts at Brookings Institution, China’s February Purchasing Management Index (which assesses orders) collapsed to the lowest ever recorded: 26.5 for services and 35.7 for industry. A PMI below 50 indicates the economy is contracting.