Engineering the future

Monday 18 November 2019

The Australian National University (ANU) College of Engineering and Computer Science is proud to be supporting partners of the World Engineers Convention (WEC), which is being held for the first time in Australia this year.

The convention takes place in Melbourne on 20-22 November, with a theme of ‘Engineering a sustainable world: the next 100 years’. 

College Dean Professor Elanor Huntington will speak on the Reimagine investment, and how it ties into the convention’s theme.

The College is reimagining engineering and computer science disciplines with a focus on 2050, and this event is a fantastic opportunity to contribute to important conversations about how engineers can make a positive impact in our world.

ANU is a world leader in the field of humanitarian engineering, and Program Convenor Jeremy Smith from the Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering will present at the convention.

“Engineering and technology have, and will continue to, contribute directly to economic, social and environmental sustainability in both positive and negative ways.  As engineers, we have to consider how our work can positively impact in all these areas to ensure we are focusing on quality of life and human wellbeing,” Jeremy said.

The convention focus is on the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals. The three-day program offers six streams, which each align to one of the goals.

Jeremy says this impact-centred approach will be a point of difference from other traditional engineering events.

“This is the first time that WEC has been held in Australia, so the opportunity to create new international links is really exciting.  It’s great to have an engineering conference not focused on a technology or engineering discipline, but on the UN goals to give an overarching structure and framework to our work,” he said.  

ANU PhD candidate Ellen Lynch will also attend, and she is excited to be part of an international community passionate about humanitarianism.

“I’m excited that WEC is bringing together a diverse range of people all committed to working towards a sustainable future, led by social responsibility and transdisciplinary approaches. It’s personally exciting to see engineers framing our role in society around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and more importantly, around people,” she said.

As well as being held in Australia for the first time ever, the convention also coincides with the anniversary of 100 years of professional engineering in Australia.

Ellen says that the future of engineering in Australia and globally is bright.

“Engineers thrive on problem solving and complexity. The challenges we are facing globally are the wickedest yet. We need to be having discussions about sustainable practices, ethics and engineers’ role in society to ensure we create a prosperous, safe and equitable future for all,” she said.

Visit the WEC2019 website to register and find out more about the World Engineers Convention this November.

Updated:  10 August 2021/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing