From Australia’s bushfire crisis to the COVID-19 pandemic, the engineering profession has worked through a number of challenges since Melbourne hosted the World Engineers Convention (WEC) in November 2019. Now, selected experts are back to discuss how the engineering landscape has altered, and what the future might have in store.
Aptly themed ‘A changing landscape in 2020’, the Engineers Australia presented World Engineers Symposium, held from 18 to 20 November, will see WEC 2019 speakers return to share their knowledge and new experiences gained over the past 12 months.
There will be six plenary sessions across the event, with experts discussing everything from climate-smart engineering to the future of the office.
It is a forward-thinking line-up filled with great engineering minds from Australia and overseas, who will explore several big ideas.
This includes Professor Carlo Ratti, Director of the Senseable City Lab at MIT and Founding Partner of Carlo Ratti Associati, who will discuss the evolution of the traditional workspace, offering a glimpse into new ways of working in the office of the future.
Also making a return appearance is Matt Gough, Director of Innovation at MACE, the construction company behind structures such as The Shard and the London Eye.
After delivering a keynote address at WEC 2019 about why the construction industry should be more sustainable, Mr Gough is back to explore the future of the built environment in a post-pandemic era.
The symposium also promises some informative panel discussions that are sure to spark conversations. This includes ‘Build Back Better’ on 18 November, where CEO of the Green Building Council of Australia, Davina Rooney, will join CEO of Solar Victoria and co-Chair of Victoria’s Building Recovery Taskforce Stan Krpan, and Peter Colacino, Chief of Policy and Research at Infrastructure Australia, to discuss the role of engineers in Australia’s economic recovery following bushfires, floods and the pandemic.
Then there’s another topical discussion on 19 November, with three panelists examining how COVID-19 has disrupted the future of engineering – from individual education pathways and careers to organisational working patterns and national economies.
Speakers including Tesla Industrial Engineer Meredith Westafer, Minderoo Foundation Data Ecosystem Lead John Sukkar, Swinburne University Director of Industry Partnerships Felicity Furey MIEAust and moderator Fifth Frame Partner Jon Williams will explore how engineers more can continue to work together to contribute most effectively.
The World Engineers Symposium will be held virtually this year. The event will consist of six two-hour sessions spread across three days, with each session including a plenary presentation and two technical speakers – one from the World Federation of Engineering Organizations, and one of the highest-scoring abstract authors from WEC 2019. For more information on the event please visit here.