World Engineering Day Podcasts

Series 2 - ENGINEERING A HEALTHY PLANET

ENGINEERING AI WITH MING-MING CHENG

Ming-Ming Cheng is a professor with the College of Computer Science, Nankai University, leading the Media Computing Lab. He received his Ph.D. degree from Tsinghua University in 2012 and then worked with Prof. Philip Torr in Oxford for 2 years. His research interests include computer vision and computer graphics. He has published over 60 papers in leading journals and conferences, such as IEEE TPAMI, ACM TOG, IEEE CVPR, etc. Many of his algorithms have become quite popular in the community, receiving more than 19,000 paper citations.

He received several research awards including ACM China Rising Star Award, the IBM Global SUR award, etc. He is a senior member of the IEEE and on the editorial boards of the IEEE TIP. 

 

You can view Ming-Ming’s online demos for computer vision algorithms: http://mc.nankai.edu.cn/ . Many companies play with these demos and come to Ming-Ming for collaboration. Making a lots of exciting software tools for: medical image diagnosis, defect detection,  Industrial Safety, insect pests detection, etc.

 

Ming-Ming’s homepage https://mmcheng.net/cmm/ contains a further introduction to Ming-Ming and his research team, as well as some latest research they are doing. They  make the algorithms they develop open source so that these algorithms could help people from many different areas. 

About your hosts

Melanie & Dominic De Gioia from Ramaley Media. They are also the hosts of the podcast Engineering Heroes.

Dominic is a mechanical engineer and the Director of a multi-disciplinary engineering firm in Sydney, Australia.

Melanie is the Director of Ramaley Media, a specialised media company promoting STEM.  She is the Producer of Engineers Australia’s podcast, Engineering Heroes and is the project manager at The Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering, within the University of Sydney.

About WFEO

The World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) is the international organization for the engineering profession. Founded in 1968, under the auspices of UNESCO, WFEO brings together national engineering institutions from some 100 nations and represents more than 30 million engineers.

EUROPEAN CLIMATE ACTION WITH MILDA PLADAITE

About Milda Pladaite

 

Milda Pladaitė is a civil engineer from Lithuania, she graduated civil engineering at the University of Southampton and worked on construction and infrastructure projects.

 

She is a Blue Book trainee at the European Commission in Brussels, Institution of Civil Engineers representative to WFEO Young Engineers Future Leaders Committee and a member of WFEO Action Group on COP 26, where she set-up a working group on SDG 13. Aim of this work is to contribute to the sustainable development of countries by deploying WFEO young engineers’ work in the climate action. 

 

About your hosts

 

Melanie & Dominic De Gioia from Ramaley Media. They are also the hosts of the podcast Engineering Heroes.

 

Dominic is a mechanical engineer and the Director of a multi-disciplinary engineering firm in Sydney, Australia.

 

Melanie is the Director of Ramaley Media, a specialised media company promoting STEM.  She is the Producer of Engineers Australia’s podcast, Engineering Heroes and is the project manager at The Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering, within the University of Sydney.

 

About WFEO

The World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) is the international organization for the engineering profession. Founded in 1968, under the auspices of UNESCO, WFEO brings together national engineering institutions from some 100 nations and represents more than 30 million engineers.

ENGINEERING INNOVATION WITH DONOVAN GUTTIERES

Donovan Guttieres is a research scientist for the BioACCESS Initiative within the MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation.

 

Donovan received an M.S degree in Technology and Policy from the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) at MIT. Before that, he received a B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University, with a focus on global health technologies.

 

He is the former Science-Policy Focal Point within the UN Major Group for Children and Youth, the General Assembly mandated, official, formal and self-organized space for children and youth to contribute to and engage in certain policy processes at the UN.

 

Donovan is a member of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations’ Young Engineers / Future Leaders Committee, Engineers Without Borders, and serves as Global Public Entrepreneurial Policy Liaison on the 2021 IEEE Entrepreneurship Steering Committee. 

 

About your hosts

 

Melanie & Dominic De Gioia from Ramaley Media. They are also the hosts of the podcast Engineering Heroes.

 

Dominic is a mechanical engineer and the Director of a multi-disciplinary engineering firm in Sydney, Australia.

 

Melanie is the Director of Ramaley Media, a specialised media company promoting STEM.  She is the Producer of Engineers Australia’s podcast, Engineering Heroes and is the project manager at The Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering, within the University of Sydney.

 

About WFEO

The World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) is the international organization for the engineering profession. Founded in 1968, under the auspices of UNESCO, WFEO brings together national engineering institutions from some 100 nations and represents more than 30 million engineers.

 

SMALL ISLANDS ENGINEERING WITH GENNA BANGAROO

Genna Rajam Bangaroo was born in Rose-Hill, Mauritius. She is 23 years old and is currently studying civil engineering full time at the University of Mauritius.

 

Genna’s life motto: Live your life having an artist’s ambition with an engineer’s mindset. 

 

About your hosts

 

Melanie & Dominic De Gioia from Ramaley Media. They are also the hosts of the podcast Engineering Heroes.

 

Dominic is a mechanical engineer and the Director of a multi-disciplinary engineering firm in Sydney, Australia.

 

Melanie is the Director of Ramaley Media, a specialised media company promoting STEM.  She is the Producer of Engineers Australia’s podcast, Engineering Heroes and is the project manager at The Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering, within the University of Sydney.

 

About WFEO

The World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) is the international organization for the engineering profession. Founded in 1968, under the auspices of UNESCO, WFEO brings together national engineering institutions from some 100 nations and represents more than 30 million engineers.

Series 1 - ENGINEERING FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Melanie & Dominic introduce the WFEO mini-series

This is not your usual Engineering Leaders episode.

 

Back at the World Engineering Convention in November 2019, we were asked to pitch an idea.

 

The World Federation of Engineering Organisations asked us to help promote the very first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development on the 4th of March.

 

In this mini-series, we hope to give everyone a bit of insight into what each goal actually means and how engineers globally are working to achieve them.

 

To really understand how engineers got on board with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, …. we think the best person to explain that, is none other than the recent past president of the WFEO, Dr Marlene Kanga.

 

So to prepare you for World Engineering Day on the 4th of March, just about every day in February you will be able to hear a new podcast. One engineer will chat to us about their work with one of the UN SDG’s.

No Poverty with Mustafa Shehu

This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken in this episode

 

It is not 100% accurate.
The guest was Mustafa Shehu, WFEO Executive Vice President.

 

  Mel De Gioia 0:25

Welcome to Engineering Leaders Mini Series in the lead up to the very first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development 2020. This mini series is being supported by the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. My name is Melanie and my co host and our podcast’s resident engineer is Dominic. Today’s episode is on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number 1, No Poverty.

 

  Dom 0:51

Our engineer today is an electrical engineer from Africa. He’s the executive vice president of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations and the chairman and CEO of MBS Engineering Limited a company he helped set up. And it is this company MBS Engineering and in his country Africa that he says is the key to how engineers can provide real impact in moving the world towards the no poverty goal. Speaking to us about the work he is doing on UNSDG 1 is Mustafa Shehu.

 

  Mel De Gioia 1:25

Mustafa didn’t have any engineering role models growing up, but he was an incredibly curious child. He was fascinated by everything that was happening around him. He wanted to know how things worked. And there was a lot going on for him to be curious about. His area was in a massive build stage with new roads, bridges and electrical installation. He wanted to know what was in the conductors and why his lights turned on with a flick of a switch and why people would get electrocuted.

 

  Guest 1:56

So I was actually inspired by what I see around me, not really any person particularly.

 

  Dom 2:03

Today we’re talking about UN SDG number one, which is no poverty. Can you tell us what that’s about?

 

  Guest 2:11

It’s about making sure that every human being, every mature person earns at least 1.9 dollars a day for subsistence living. And for us, in Sub Saharan Africa, we feel that that goal is really addressed to look at the challenges we have here in Nigeria or in Sub Saharan Africa. Because we are most affected by that poverty level. If you look at the global scale, we have over 730 million people who are living in extreme poverty. And out of this 730 million people about 85% live in Sub Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. And for me as a Nigerian, Nigeria is the most populous country, not only in Sub Saharan Africa and the poverty level in Nigeria is really very, very high, you know, up to maybe over 40%. And 

as an engineer, as somebody who is also enlightened, it is our responsibility to make sure that this poverty level reduces, otherwise all of us will be threatened.
 

If you live in a place where most people are poor, then you are also threatened. 

 

You cannot be at peace with yourself when your neighbourhood cannot find food to eat.
 

So it is a duty upon all of us to make sure that all the people around us, or as much as possible, many of them have something to do to make a good living, to find food and reasonable quality of life. 

 

If I contribute in reducing poverty in Nigeria, I am directly contributing in reducing poverty in Sub Saharan Africa. And by extension, reducing poverty globally,
 

because the percentage of people living below poverty line in Africa is the highest percentage.

 

  Mel De Gioia 4:19

That’s a great goal. Do you have a personal reason or an inspiration why you’re so passionate about this particular UNSDG?

 

  Guest 4:30

Number one, presence in a very remote village of Kano state in Nigeria. And, you know, that’s why I started my primary school, you know, in German. And then of course, after the death of my father, we had to relocate to Kano City, the capital city of Kano State. A lot of my friends who we started primary school together, many of them could not have the opportunity to further their education to secondary school to university. So their income is really very, very low, because when has to have a feeling and you see people living in deplorable conditions, you will feel very bad. And of course, you will have to think of making a lot of effort also to contribute in bringing them out of that poverty situation. And that is the more reason why we are doing what we are doing here, especially in my company.



  Mel De Gioia 5:29

When you’re surrounded by such poverty, yes, it’s great that you’re actually standing up and doing something about it

 

  Guest 5:36

Exactly.

 

  Dom 5:37

How you as an engineer contributing to UN SDG number one, are there any specific projects that you’re working on?

 

  Guest 5:43

Yes, with the MBS engineering. So if you go to the construction side of the project we are handling, you’ll find that they’re all sort of people with varying educational qualification can get involved in. And the more you get the job, the more the engaged. You give them little training like labourers, like craftsmen, you have cable jointers. You know you do a lot of cable installations, you give them some training on cable draining, you give them some training on pole erection, you give them some training on fixing cross arms on poles. By that you get them engaged, they will acquire certain key skills that can be used not only in your product, but in any other similar project they find. So while we are making the engineers engaged you’re also making other people, other careers of the engineers family are also engaged. So you see for somebody who has not gone to the university but because he has engaged in one type of work or the other. I played that key Yes. And a reasonable amount of money to enable him to sponsor his child through secondary school education and even through university level. So, you always feel happy when you see that you have contributed something to the development of certain number of human beings. It doesn’t matter the number, it could be high, it could be low. 

 

On the issue of development of human being. No little is too small.
 

If your capacity is to develop 10 people, fine. If you have to develop hundred people is all right. If you can have the capacity to develop one further or 500,000 people that is great, but no little is too small. We have to look also very wide to cater for the interest of those who have the university education as well as those who don’t even have the university education. Trying to provide something that will bring people out of poverty line. And 

 

there’s no way you can get out of poverty life without having a skill,
 

having something to do, which you become proficient in doing. And once you are proficient in doing well skilled work, the chances of getting that jump from one place to the other from one place to the other, so that is what we are doing, at least to reduce the poverty level in our environment.

 

  Mel De Gioia 8:27

Yeah, it sounds like there isn’t one single project. It sounds like every single project you do, in the back of your mind, you’re very conscious that I’m employing people here. And by doing that, I’m moving them away from that poverty line and I’m allowing them to make, give options to their children and that’ll just continue on down the trains. It’s really a great perspective in things. Specifically speaking, is there a particular goal that you hope to achieve in 2020 in regards to helping this specific, no poverty UNSDG?

 

  Guest 9:06

Well, the project we have started the feasibility studies have done 132 kV line from one of the first stations in Legos to Atlantic City. Atlantic City is a very huge project in Nigeria, that is made of every reclaim in ocean, by about 10 square kilometres, of course, space to would need to be reclaimed, you know, to build a lot of hotels, offices, sports facility, educational facilities and educational institutions and as well as labour facilities. So we have just finished the feasibility studies. The contract is about to be awarded and we are going to be the engineers. The project is to take power supply of up to several hundred megawatts. But that pattern with the two by 75 MVA a lot. So this is one particular project, we are about testing. And there are also other projects we are about to commence in extension of 132 and 330 kV to the northern northern corridor. There is also a lot of towns and cities in northern part of Nigeria, that had to be connected with 330 kV transmission line. So, we are about to start that when this is going to be huge for them that can take us more than maybe three to four years.

 

  Mel De Gioia 10:53

How many people would you be looking to hire over the course of those projects do you think just roughly?

 

  Guest 10:58

Well for the Atlantic City project we are going to, because we are going to be involved in primarily in the supervision of the project. We are going to involve about 35 people you know, but for that project, the northern corridor project we are going to employ more than 45 people. You know for for that project. Having that project alone will attract a lot of economic activities around that area. And a lot of people will be gainfully employed. It is going to be very huge project. Because Nigeria has a very huge deficit of electricity. So, the government is trying a lot to make sure that this deficit is being breached. A lot more people have to be employed. Probably by the middle end of this year, where our employment, we will go more than six to 10 times what we have today.

 

  Mel De Gioia 11:58

Sound like a great, massive project. So that sounds wonderful.

 

  Dom 12:02

Yeah, it does sound wonderful. Thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been wonderful speaking you.

 

  Guest 12:06

You’re welcome.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Mustafa Shehu is an electrical engineer from Africa.

 

He is the Executive Vice President of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations, and the Chairman and CEO of MBS Engineering Limited, a company he helped setup.

 

And it is work in Africa, that he says is the key to how engineers can provide real impact in moving the world towards the No Poverty goal.

 

Speaking to us about the work he is doing on UNSDG1 is Mustafa Shehu

Zero Hunger with Fethi Thabet

This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken in this episode

 

It is not 100% accurate.
The guest was Fethi Thabet, Theme leader on Engineering and Sustainable Agriculture in the WFEO Committee on Engineering and the Environment (CEE)

 

    Mel

Welcome to Engineering Leaders’ mini-series in the lead up to the very first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development 2020. This mini-series is being supported by the World Federation of Engineering Organisations.

 

My name is Melanie and my co-host and our podcast’s resident engineer is Dominic.

 

Today’s episode is on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal number 2, Zero Hunger.

 

    Dom

Our guest today is a telecommunication engineer, also with a Master’s degree in Transportation planning and management

 

He is currently a city councillor for Ariana – noted as the 5th most important city in Tunisia.

 

Our guest was previously the General Manager for the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications in Tunisia and has been the Chairman of the first international conference on “Engineering and Food Security in Africa (2019)”. This was jointly organised by WFEO and the Tunisian Order of Engineers.

 

He has also held the position of task group leader on engineering and sustainable agriculture for WFEO

 

Our guest speaking to us about Zero Hunger is Fethi Thabet.

 

    Mel

In 1952 Tunisia negotiated its independence from France and it started to develop and grow. And as it grew it promoted the work their engineers were doing throughout society and the important role they were playing in their country’s development. And Fethi was inspired. Coupled with his skill in maths and science, along with a fascination with innovation, Fethi knew he wanted to be an engineer. And using science and technology as a tool to advance civilisation and welfare

 

    Guest 0:33

As an engineer now I know that there’s no problem without solution. So that’s the mission and that’s our mission and we can do it.

 

    Mel De Gioia 0:44

I love that.



    Dom 0:45

I think that’s great. I think the engineers who, who have that belief that there’s no problem without a solution they’re the best engineers there are.

 

    Mel De Gioia 0:53

So today’s episode is about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number two, which is zero hunger. What can you tell us about this goal?

 

    Guest 1:03

The mainkey I think, aspects of this there are four points. The first one is ending hunger everywhere in the globe at any time. So, we have to look to the problem on the global basis. The second one is achieve food security and there is the need for vision, need for strategic plan, for tools. And we have an objective now. 2030 has an objective to get zero hunger. The third point in sustainable development goals number two is improved nutrition. So, all linked to diet and how we can improve so that this is directly linked to the heads (i.e leaders), people of the population and to the level of awareness and knowledge. So, that’s why the issue of nutrition is important. And the fourth one is promoting sustainable agriculture and

 

still the word sustainability is not very well clear in many minds of different professions, and even in the minds of many policy decision makers, especially in developing countries.
 

 

Still, it’s not simple to explain.

 

It’s not simple to apply in real policy sectors.
 

 

So the word sustainability and agricultural side is very important. So that’s from my point of view, the main objective of Sustainable Development Goal is number two.

 

    Mel De Gioia 2:37

They are very great pillars.

 

    Dom 2:38

Was there a particular reason why you’ve aligned your work to UN SDG number two?

 

    Guest 2:44

The main thing about this is that the engineering profession has a key role to play in this field and still not very visible. So the main aim is to highlight and to make more visible engineering experts. In what field they get to achieve sustainable development goals. So, this is very challenging, because in many times we talk about financing, about money, about financial aspects, but not about practical things. Not about natural resources. So you have to talk about water, talk about energy. And we have to talk about climate change. So these are not very well understood by many people.

 

Engineers, they know the problem.
 

 

They know the details. Okay, so sometimes you don’t need a lot of details. But sometimes it’s important to know the details because

 

it’s not enough to have a strategy if you are not very good applying it, in implementing solution in taking actions.
 

 

So that’s why I think the engineers and the engineer profession can take practical actions to achieve sustainable development goals number two. This is why, so I am inspired. And the other thing is that there’s a little bit some gap in terms of between civil engineers because engineers have different professions, different working in different fields. So sometimes it is important that the different backgrounds, different experts, as engineers meet together. Like the communication engineers, like engineers working in the the meteorology side, like engineers working in infrastructure, so to talk about how they can help farm to increase production, how they can help farmers to increase productivity, and to make best use of their piece of land. So that’s the main issue. So the main issue and you know, I attended so many meetings all over the globe about the subject. But I still never forget this lady in Addis Ababa and say that it’s about Africa, Ethiopia. And this day we say we not need money, we need knowledge. And we need somebody experts to show us how we can increase you know, our food production, how we can feed our people, you know, and so, this is the technical aspects which still are not very well explained. Or they was covered by many medias. I have taken chosen subject, which is linked to poverty to other subjects and I think we have to help because this is critical. And it is unacceptable to have something like 820 million hungry person now in the world. Now the hunger levels are going up in recent years unfortunately. So, we are now at risk of undoing much of the progress that has been done over most of our lifetime. So, the number of undernourished people is going up, you know, will now we are reaching the level of 2010 2011 levels, referring to FAO (Food and Agriculture organisation) which is food and agricultural in their nation, they just bought my 2019 report. So, this is an alarming message to all crowds of colleagues or people involved in this subject to you know, to try to curb the tendency.

 

    Mel De Gioia 6:48

So, as this number is going up, so it’s going kind of going the wrong direction. What is an example of something that you’re doing to help claw it back to something that might be even vaguely close to acceptable?

 

    Guest 7:00

That’s an important question because there are many things that we are doing and practical. So we are just gathering information, you know, encouraging research, information exchange to what do we can do in this field.

 

I think the main role for the engineer to focus is to look to the issue of irrigation.
 

 

So this is the issue of water. And I have to tell you the because of climate change, which is becoming a big worrying problem, so there is a bigger issue. So now, we have the problem of water as the temperature is expected to rise, I hope but less than two degrees. So we expect by 2050 in this part of the world, I’m talking about Africa, that there will be a reduction in precipitation by 20%.

 

So, there is a problem of water scarcity, there is a problem of water misuse. And this is a critical problem.
 

 

So where I am now in North Africa, in this part of the world, we have a big problem of scarcity of water and people are not conscious of our waste water. So linked to this is all you know all the issue of pollution and all the issue of this. So still a lot of things to do in the field of irrigation. I know that there are many techniques, very good techniques used in many African countries. So all this issue is try to optimise every drop, you know, every drop of water for crops. So many people so engineers can do a lot of things and this is a big issue. The other field is the field of energy and renewable energy. And here there’s also the issue of use of solar energy issues of pumping. You know, because India for example, I know that a lot of energy consumption is consumption is used in pumping, pumping water. So, it’s important to diversify the use of energy and to try to use renewable energy. And the other important points in this feed is as an engineer is the issue of infrastructure and how to make food accessible to markets. And here, feeder roads rural roads are important to market. But I must not forget all issue related to telecommunication, infrastructure and the use of digital agriculture, which is an important use of all social media. And this is called IT agriculture, Because it is an important technology, but still, there’s a problem of trading of small farmers, problem of how they can use devices, how they can make the best use of data, because we can have a very good climate from weather data. But unfortunately, they are not accessible to many small farmers. Because we are lucky in Tunisia and Australia, we get kids now through this, but believe me, in many, many African, especially in the rural area, they don’t have access to this nice technology. So that’s why we have to use other means of communication to transmit always HR development in agriculture field to farmers and small farmers, even if they don’t have the communication tools, or the telephone tools. And now we know there’s a widespread of phones, but also mobile phones in Africa. And this is a good thing for I think for agriculture. We have to make best use of this.

 

    Mel De Gioia 10:55

There are so many ways that engineers can help contribute to this Sustainable Development Goal. So you’ve listed a few there, which is a great starting point.

 

    Dom 11:05

Particularly in relation to how they all intertwine. I think that’s one of the factors that that sort of is run through having spoken to a few engineers now that they’re all so closely linked to because you were talking about water. And here in Australia, we’ve been suffering drought for quite a long time now, and that it really does play into that food insecurity. So it’s an extremely important issue that unfortunately, a lot of people don’t really seem to understand just how important it is. Are there any goals that you hope to achieve in 2020 in relation to this UN SDG?

 

    Guest 11:40

I have to tell you that one other important point that was not mentioned unfortunately and which may be linked because SDGs are interrelated. This point is like one third of the food produced is wasted. We have had, we have had an important topic during the International Conference in Engineering and Food Security in Africa last year, June in Tunisia, we had 400 experts, and this is important for Sub Saharan Africa, because one period of time, they had for one, two three demands, they can have a lot of fruits and vegetables and because of the absence or the inefficiency of cold chain infrastructure, they cannot store it and so they cannot have available food during other months of the year. So that’s the programme I am initiating with many others is a programme of preparing and this is a total we go much more focused here. So we will prepare a workshop on cold chain in Sub Saharan Africa under role of engineer to reduce food loss and waste, and what are the obstacles of implementing the cold chains. And luckily, this is an important point because last November 2019 there was a wrong Declaration on the contribution of the Montreal Protocol to food loss reduction through sustainable cold chain development.

 

    Mel De Gioia 13:24

Are you saying cold chain?

 

    Guest 13:26

Yes, that’s cold chain development. Yeah. And this is a big problem for Sub Saharan Africa. So they don’t have enough cold chain so they cannot store food. If they don’t have refrigeration, it’s a big problem. So that’s why it’s important to look at this and what I am pushing and the help that I got the green light by my colleagues to organise this workshop next September in the Ivory Coast that’s in Abidjan and we have already the concept. So as you can see, so we have a clear, you know, vision on what we want to do. So this is one issue is the issue of reduction of food loss and waste. That’s what the one thing that I hope to achieve during 2020.

 

    Dom 14:15

It sounds like a wonderful, wonderful goal. It’s such a huge problem. It’s heartbreaking. It’s really heartbreaking.

 

    Mel De Gioia 14:22

Yes, it sounds like a great workshop that you’ll be running in September. So best of luck with that.

 

    Guest 14:29

Oh, thank you very much. As I told you, this is just a new we’ve just discussed this two months ago, two weeks ago. How we can execute refrigeration, which is based in Paris in France. So and we are putting this together. And we hope to get all the support in order to move ahead and to try to do something in the industry. But as I told you

 

if we can reduce the food loss and waste, we can reduce hunger.
 

 

    Dom 14:59

Thank you so much. for joining us this evening, it was wonderful speaking with you.

 

    Guest 15:04

Oh, thank you very much. It was a great pleasure, you know, to talk with you and I hope that we can one day we can, you know, talk about what are the output and the results of all this.

 

Mel De Gioia 15:14

Yeah, well, it sounds like you’re doing some amazing work over there, especially towards zero hunger. So thank you again for your time tonight. And thank you for tuning into Engineering Leaders as we prepare you for the first World Engineering Day on Sustainable Development, which is going to be held every fourth of March. We hope you’re enjoying our mini series which is brought to you with the support of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. The best way for you to show your support for our show, is to tell people, either in person or write a review. Just spread the word. Seriously, it is that easy. We look forward to you and your friends joining us next time when we bring you another episode with one of our engineering champions.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

 

Fethi Thabet is a telecommunication engineer, also with a Master’s degree in Transportation planning and management.

 

He is currently a city councillor for Ariana – noted as the 5th most important city in Tunisia

 

Fethi was previously the General Manager for the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications in Tunisia and has been the Chairman of the first international conference on “Engineering and Food Security in Africa (2019)” which was jointly organized by WFEO and the Tunisian Order of Engineers (TOE).

 

He has also been the task group leader on engineering and sustainable agriculture for WFEO.

Good health and well-being with Shankar Krishnan

This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken in this episode

 

It is not 100% accurate.


The guest was Shankar Krishnan

 

    Mel

Welcome to Engineering Leaders’ mini-series in the lead up to the very first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development 2020. This mini-series is being supported by the World Federation of Engineering Organisations.

 

My name is Melanie and my co-host and our podcast’s resident engineer is Dominic.

 

Today’s episode is on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal number 3, Good health and well-being

 

    Dom

Our guest is based in the USA and is a full professor at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, where he is the founding director of the biomedical engineering department.

 

He is an academic, but has a wealth of consultancy experience. He’s worked in the medical device industry as well as actually designing and building hospitals

 

He is the President for the international Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering

 

Our guest today, speaking to us on UNSDG3, good health and well-being, is Dr Shankar Krishnan

 

    Mel

Shankar grew up where engineering was a difficult discipline to get into but were considered special people in society.

 

He didn’t grow up with role models, but was good at maths and science and when he commenced his engineering study he fell in love with electrical engineering. However, as time passed his family was suffering from kidney diseases and there was just not much medical equipment available….

 

    Guest 0:33

So, I thought I should do my highest studies aimed towards solving something on medical devices which would eventually help people, you know in places where they do not have advanced medical devices. Also in creating devices which would help solve some problems with relation to medicine. So that is why I moved from Electrical.

 

    Mel De Gioia 1:01

Okay. Alright, so that’s an excellent reason to move across to biomedical actually, that personal experience. Now today’s episode is about UN SDG Number 3, Good Health and Well Being. What can you tell our audience about this particular goal?

 

    Guest 1:20

So the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3, which is

 

SDG 3 is to ensure healthy lives and to promote well being at all ages.

 

So, engineers have a special role in ensuring healthy life when it comes to all ages
 

 

and

 

as a biomedical engineer, I believe you know, there are significant activities which can be aimed at contributing to achieving the goals.
 

 

So as an example, you know, there was a target set in 2015 to reduce one third of premature mortality from non communicable diseases through prevention, treatment and promote mental health and well being by the year 2030. This was a target set. And I think if you look at statistics, you know, these are all coming along, you know, maybe not necessarily at the expected rate, but it is getting better. So, as a biomedical engineer what we do, we ensure healthy lives through getting involved in various layers of medicine. For example, get involved in diagnosis, in therapy, in treatment planning, in assessment in rehabilitation and wellness. And is not only this, we also try to understand, you know, what’s happening inside the body. I mean, there’s more of a long term thing but these others are really tangible things which can result in some devices to help in diagnosis and treatment. But we also work on things which are to understand how our cells communicating with each other, why there is mutation and things of the sort. So that gets more into the biological arena, which has longer term effort required. So my focus more and then many biomedical engineers are focusing on the aspect of we say diagnosis and treatment. That this one can have a direct impact immediately on the sick and diseased persons.

 

    Dom

You said earlier that you got into Biomedical because of the kidney issues with your family. Was that also your inspiration in aligning your work to this UN SDG goal or were there other factors…?.

 

    Guest

Yeah, that was… That’s a very good question that was also the inspiration, you know. Of course, you know, when you are young you want to be an engineer solve problems, make lots of money and be respected in society, but we know

 

when you apply engineering to medicine, then this is solving problems and improving actually the care and also the quality of life.
 

 

So this has a greater societal impact. So this is what I also mean, right from my inner days because of my upbringing, always feeling to help other people. So you know, one way to go to medicine engineering was what I thought was best for me. And so this belief of trying to help other people, applying something that I was good at inspired me to select the field of biomedical engineering. Which, you know, aligns also with the goal of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 3.

 

    Mel De Gioia 5:10

So it’s all very intertwined there. So how are you as an engineer contributing? Can you give us an example of how your work can help the goal towards good health and well being?

 

    Guest 5:22

It’s a little bit of a broad spectrum of activity although in many cases I didn’t seek it. It seemed like it just came, it fell in place. So I started working in academia then in research and development. And I got offered to go work for medical device industry and then I was applying what I learned. The core principles and the aim is still the same. One you work in university then I work for a medical device company in Miami working on making automated blood cell analyzers and chemistry analyzers. So this was all related to biochemical analysis. But that was in a medical device industry. Then I went to work in hospitals and design a hospital and how all the biomedical devices can be integrated in a very modern hospital. So this was really a multi billion dollar project in the Middle East and I was proud, to have been honoured to have been selected to work in this. We make some design of hospitals and we worked in actual management of installation as well as operation. That kind of work, the complexity of diseases that are handled and where technology is needed. It’s not you know, there can be a lot of things done by procedures, physicians, nurses, all healthcare personnel and medicine. My area is not into the pharmacology drugs you know, I normally joke saying we don’t do drugs, but we do medical devices, we do tools and techniques and various systems. So, since you asked me in my own life, you know, I have been very much interested in the international activities have been with the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering. So, this has like 60 different societies in different countries. And we have started doing work with interested countries and participating, young and ambitious biomedical leaders in Africa. So, the types of solutions that various colleagues of mine in the world biomedical engineers working under research centres, or universities or companies are to also meet what is the region specific solution. Because what may be best in New York may not be the best in some part of Indonesia or some part of Chile or Mexico or so. So, there are different solutions, you know. I’m also from India, so there are different so heterogeneous and

 

the solutions required are different for different people also depends on the resources.

 

So, Resource-dependent, region-specific solutions are required to be successful.
 

 

One cannot copy the best one that is available in best hospital and then say that we are going to do this across the world. It is not going to be successful. You know what may be great in Melbourne or Sydney may not be the best again in Thailand. So,

 

we need to come up with interesting solutions which are sustainable
 

 

I’ve been fortunate enough to work in different segments of the biomedical engineering and interact with international people and that’s, you know, my greatest gain I would believe. You know, having close collaboration with a multitude of people with completely different circumstances, resources, availabilities, situations and problems.

 

    Mel De Gioia 9:14

I find it so interesting that in your line of work that you’re actually building hospitals, but to tie in what you were saying, the hospital that you would build is different depending on location. So that’s a really key takeaway.

 

    Dom 9:29

Are there any particular goals that you’re looking to achieve in 2020 for this UN SDG?

 

    Guest 9:34

I have many interesting goals, I don’t know if I can accomplish them. So my first activity, you know where my income is, I do educate students who would be working in these areas in the future. That’s one, but in the other activity will be, we have regional conferences in which I take part and we disseminate the knowledge about the modern techniques which are used to achieve the development goals, particularly 3 in terms of healthy life and promote well being. Okay. And then we have some student competitions. So my goal or target this year is to continue educating, participate and give lectures in different regions of the world. And also to work towards developing something, I’m more interested in cardiovascular diseases. And you may be hearing this term a lot artificial intelligence and machine learning. So my, you know, in the available time, I’d like to look and see, are we able to get some signals from these wearables that we can indeed, predict attack. It is not so simple. But there are also people monitoring so many parameters and trying to correlate them and see if we can do some prediction because the human body is so complex, it’s so difficult to predict exactly what’s happening. However, with this so called Big Data and we have so much information. We do some analytics and it is possible to come up with this. So I intend doing a little bit of work in this and maybe publishing some paper and giving some lectures. That’s my goal for this year.

 

    Mel De Gioia 11:16

Yeah, that would that would be worthy goal.

 

    Guest 11:19

I think that the dissemination of information is so important as well. It’s just something that, you know, in order for us as a society to grow, it’s not about keeping information to yourself, it’s about sharing it so that new ideas can come in and can continue to evolve. And it’s a wonderful thing, realising that getting that information out there.

 

    Dom

I think that’s where the technology is playing a big role. See in the past, you know, some patient went to the doctor and he gave some prescription and he or she just took didn’t ask question. Now patients are knowledgeable and technology is available, you know, for them to even get information and the new way of getting better outcomes is patient engagement, engage the patients. So this helps. And then this new field of health informatics, and what I may call digital medicine, is actually revolutionising the healthcare delivery system. While the initial costs may be, you know, somewhat higher for the leaders to write cheques. However, long term goals are really good and they are achievable.

 

    Mel De Gioia 12:36

Thank you for joining us today.

 

    Dom 12:37

Thank you so much.

 

    Guest 12:38

Thanks to Dom and thanks to Mel, you know, have a wonderful day.

 

    Mel De Gioia 12:43

And thank you for tuning into Engineering Leaders as we prepare you for the first World Engineering Day on Sustainable Development, which is going to be held every fourth of March. We hope you’re enjoying our mini series which is brought to you with the support of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. The best way for you to show your support for our show, is to tell people, either in person or write a review. Just spread the word. Seriously, it is that easy. We look forward to you and your friends joining us next time when we bring you another episode with one of our engineering champions.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

 

Dr Shankar Krishnan is based in the USA and is a full professor at WIT in Boston, where he is the founding director of the biomedical engineering department.

 

Shankar is an academic, but has much consultancy experience. He’s worked for a medical device company in Miami and then gone on to actually design and build hospitals.

 

He is the President for the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering.

 

Our guest today, speaking to us on UNSDG3, good health and well-being is Dr Shankar Krishnan.

Quality Education with Raida Al Alawi

This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken in this episode

 

It is not 100% accurate.
The guest was Raida Al-Alawi

 

    Mel De Gioia 0:24

Welcome to Engineering Leaders Mini Series in the lead up to the very first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development 2020. This mini series is being supported by the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. My name is Melanie and my co host and our podcast’s resident engineer is Dominic. Today’s episode is on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number 4, Quality Education.

 

    Dom 0:51

Our guest today is a chemical and electrical engineer speaking to us from the Kingdom of Bahrain. She’s the Director of Technology Development at BFG International. She’s active within many engineering groups and societies, and is currently chairing the ICT committee of the Federation of Arab engineers, and is a board member of the Bahrain Society of Engineers. Currently, she is holding the position of programme evaluator for the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology, and is a programme reviewer for the Bahrain Education and Training Quality Authority, and the Oman Academic Accreditation Authority. Our guest today is Dr. Raida Al-Alawi

 

    Mel De Gioia 1:32

Raida’s older brother is an electrical engineer, so she suspects she followed a little in his footsteps, but in school, Raida loved maths and science. She loves solving problems, and found inspiration for her creativity and curiosity within science.

 

    Guest 1:47

So I decided to go for engineering where I’ll be using my math and science skills to design, to be creative and to solve practical problems.

 

    Dom 1:57

This series is actually based around the Sustainable Development Goal number 4, which is quality education. Can you tell us a little bit about what is involved in that UN SDG?

 

    Guest 2:08

So, this goal is concerned about delivering quality education and to ensure that it is in delivering inclusive and equitable quality education that promotes also life long learning opportunities for all.

 

    Mel De Gioia 2:26

That sounds amazing, I can really see the need. Why are you focusing on education?

 

    Guest 2:33

I am wearing a lots of hats in my career and then in my voluntary work and all of these I feel that I’m directly contributing to SDG number 4. So to start with, I have been working with the university and as a higher institution, Education Institute for around three decades now. So I’m contributing to the achievement of this SDG by providing accessible, affordable and inclusive education for all. I’m also a board member of Bahrain Society of Engineers and the Director of Training Centre at the society which is in a voluntary capacity. BSE which is the Bahrain Society of Engineering and its Training Centre is very active actually in delivering conferences, workshops, training courses, to upskill and reskill people from all sectors and from all ages with the technical knowledge demanded by the workplace, and to also establish lifelong learning support to the community in technology and engineering. Hence delivering considerable benefits to the science society as a whole. Also, I am a programme reviewer for the International ABET Accreditation Board, as well as regional engineering a programme quality evaluator. So I am directly contributing to SDG 4 because working with programmes that working with the higher education quality authorities, it will ensure the development of engineering education programmes that has to comply with the international standards and ensure this programme addresses the 4 components of the

 

SDG 4 which is being inclusive, equitable, quality education programme that promotes lifelong learning for all.
 

 

Actually all of these are among the standard that has to be fulfilled by any programme we review in order to be an accredited or to pass the review.

 

    Dom 4:39

How you as an engineer contributing to this UN SDG?

 

    Guest 4:43

As you know, we are on the cusp of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the emerging digital technologies has widened the manufacturing skill gap. Hence if we are adapting teach technology, they are also useful tools to closing the manufacturing skills gap. That’s why they at BFG where I’m working currently has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bahranian Economic Development Board to support its vision and its initiative to develop local talent pool of expert in technologies associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. And this partnership is aimed to help young talents to bridge the gap between academic and industrial knowledge by giving them access to key technologies. So me as the leader of the industry 4.0 team, with the team we are trying to develop skills and know how knowledge through the engagement of our young engineers and the different projects in the factory, hence helping them to become leading expert, a local experts in the field. But I have got a voluntary project that I am hoping to achieve and I have proposed it to the WFEO. And that was about what I call the project, the Global Cyber School.

 

    Mel De Gioia 6:15

That sounds fascinating.

 

    Guest 6:17

 

Yes. So this project really involves a collaborative effort from all over the world to create an online global interactive cyber teaching platform for the K to 12 grades.
 

 

    Mel De Gioia 6:34

And is it general teaching or is it specific to engineering?

 

    Guest 6:38

It’s directed to school. So it’s a general teaching.

 

The idea is that we would like to reach all societies without any boundaries by using ICT tools and technologies for the benefit of the developing nations.
 

 

Specifically, those would for example, Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia and the vulnerable populations such as person with disability, the refugees, which are now for example, in Syria and all over the world and the children in poor rural areas. We are trying to utilise all the efforts and all the schools teaching and to bring them through utilising the ICT to make like a virtual learning platform.

 

    Mel De Gioia 7:32

Can I just clarify… were you also talking about needing to put in the infrastructure? So say for instance, a refugee camp or something may not have…. or a third world, developing country may not have the infrastructure.. would… Did your project cover that as well?

 

    Guest 7:48

Yes, of course. I mean, this is a

 

very challenging because you have to use the ICT and engineering skill-set to bring up this one.
 

 

So connectivity for example, there are so many challenges to achieve this specially, we’re talking about areas where there is no telecommunication infrastructure there. So the

 

engineering skills are really needed to implement such an infrastructure or this ICT,
 

 

a Global Cyber School.

 

When we talk about the infrastructure it utilises the unlimited potential of the internet, the satellite communication, all of these technologies
 

 

from developing countries to have interactive classroom delivered by teachers from participant countries who should be visible and accessible in real time. So they will be conducting lessons in real time, interactive lessons. In addition to this interactive real time teaching, the platform will be a providing learners and open access extensive educational resources and services to reinforce their learning and educational experience. What I was hoping is that

 

it is collaborative from all over the world. It’s going to… going to be a multi language, cloud based interactive learning management system,
 

 

which will cover the basic education curriculum taught in school from the kindergarten and up to the 12th grade.

 

    Mel De Gioia 9:31

That’s a lot of education to put into that cloud.

 

    Guest 9:34

It is, it is yeah, it’s the huge global network. Yeah, and many of these really are available nowadays. But let me say they are not available in a single platform.

 

    Mel De Gioia 9:48

Sounds like an amazing, amazing project.

 

    Dom 9:51

It’s definitely it’s a very large task as well.

 

    Guest 9:56

It is a huge task because it’s a collaborative task which needs lots of effort from many different entities.

 

    Dom 10:06

Do you have any goals that you’re looking to achieve for 2020?

 

    Guest 10:09

This is one of the things that I would like to start with this in 2020. What I’m looking for because I’m supposed to start before, but there was no sufficient funds to do it. So now I’m working really in getting a fund from entities or government here to support my project.

 

    Mel De Gioia 10:30

How much are you asking for? Or are you thinking you need to get this up?

 

    Guest 10:34

To start with what I have really a test to be in stages. So what’s in my mind is that it has to be start with with one topic, one subject for example. I was thinking about learning Arabic as an initial topic, and connecting all Arabic schools which would like to collaborate in this a project. At all stages from kindergarten to 12th, specific teacher, for example, and grade one, grade two and so on, that they wish to broadcast their lessons across the internet through this platform. And then we succeed and this we can go and introduce a new topic and so on. I’m putting really as starting the requested budget is something around 250,000 Bahranian Dollars.

 

    Mel De Gioia 11:32

Was this your project, your idea?

 

    Guest 11:34

Yes, this is an idea that or I propose it for the WFEO.

 

    Mel De Gioia 11:40

Where did the idea come from? Why did you come up with this?

 

    Guest 11:46

Actually being involved in education and seeing the need. And when I said I will started with Arabic because I have seen the need from different sectors for learning Arabic, and I’m talking specially for those refugees, also many of the native Arabs, which are living abroad, and they don’t have access to Arabic language, learning Arabic language. This idea started with me. So let’s start with Arabic. Many people who are living abroad and they need to teach their children Arabic. And they want a platform where it’s just like a traditional school, but they will get everything through the internet in a uniform way.

 

    Dom 12:37

It’s an amazing project.

 

    Guest 12:38

Thank you.

 

    Dom 12:39

So quality education is really the foundation to absolutely everything in the world.

 

    Mel De Gioia 12:46

And to be able to provide that sort of education globally and uniformly would be an amazing feat. So well good luck with getting funding for that over this year.

 

    Guest 13:02

Thank you.

 

    Mel De Gioia 13:03

Thank you so much for joining us today.

 

    Dom 13:05

Thank you so much. It’s been wonderful speaking with you.

 

    Guest 13:07

Thank you. Thank you very much.

 

    Mel De Gioia 13:09

And thank you for tuning into Engineering Leaders as we prepare you for the first World Engineering Day on Sustainable Development, which is going to be held every fourth of March. We hope you’re enjoying our mini series which is brought to you with the support of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. The best way for you to show your support for our show, is to tell people, either in person or write a review. Just spread the word. Seriously, it is that easy. We look forward to you and your friends joining us next time when we bring you another episode with one of our engineering champions.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

 

Today we speak to Raida Al Alawi who is a computer and electrical engineer, speaking to us from the kingdom of Bahrain. She’s the director of technology development at BFG International.

 

Raida is active within many engineering groups and societies and is currently chairing the ICT committee of the Federation of Arab Engineers and is a board member of the Bahrain Society of Engineers.

 

Currently, Raida is holding the position as Program Evaluator for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology and is the Program Reviewer for Bahrain Education and Training Quality Authority and external the Oman Academic Accreditation Authority (OAAA).

Gender Equality with Yetunde Holloway

This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken in this episode

 

It is not 100% accurate.
The guest was Yetunde Holloway, Chair of the Committee on Women in Engineering (WIE).

 

    Mel De Gioia 0:27

Welcome to Engineering Leaders’ mini series in the lead up to the very first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development 2020. This mini series is being supported by the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. My name is Melanie and my co host and our podcast’s resident engineer is Dominic. Today’s episode is on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number five, about gender equality.

 

    Dom 0:51

Our guest talking to us about her work on the SDG is a civil engineer. She was recently made the chair of the Women and Engineering Committee Of The World Federation of Engineering and Organisations. She has held a variety of engineering roles within Nigeria and in the UK. Our guest also co founded a climate change initiative called Green Vantage. Our guest today is Yetunde Holloway.

 

    Mel De Gioia 1:17

Yetunde grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and was naturally good at maths and physics. As she was growing up so too was the city around her. Utanda would constantly marvel that she could pass an empty lot one day, and then six months later, something would be there. And she would look at it and wonder what’s going on.

 

    Guest 1:37

When I was growing up, the city was growing with me. And that’s basically how I decided to do civil engineering.

 

    Mel De Gioia 1:43

To experience that rapid growth in your own city and be curious about that I can completely see how you would want to be a part of that development.



    Dom 1:53

Now as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we’re talking about each of them and today, we’re talking about UNSDG number five. Now would you be able to run us through just exactly what that is?

 

    Guest 2:04

The SDG five is really about gender equality. And the targets include ending all forms of discrimination against females and women worldwide. The SDG goals basically wants to make the world a better place by 2030.

 

None of the goals – that of the 17 goals – are achievable without SDG five.

 

Women and females have to be respected, they have to be empowered.
 

 

    Dom 2:24

What was your inspiration for aligning your work to goal five?

 

    Guest 2:28

I can’t say there was an ‘aha’ moment when I thought ‘I will align my goals to SDG 5’. But my experiences in life, my experiences in the profession, as a female engineer in Nigeria, have shown me that women need to have a voice in engineering. We really need to speak up.

 

The growth of any human grouping depends on diversity and innovation.

 

From diversity, we get innovation, we get improvement.

 

And I also realised that I didn’t necessarily have a voice to speak up for me when I was younger.

 

And I thought now that I have a voice, let me use it to elevate others.
 

 

    Mel De Gioia 3:04

Did you have any personal experience of being left behind?

 

    Guest 3:09

I’ve had experiences of being left behind, being overlooked, gender pay differences and things like that. In fact, I was in a conversation with colleagues about two, three months ago, and they said, “we’ve given women enough.”

 

    Dom 3:24

There’s such a massive waste of talent if people are thinking like that, as well. So it is

 

    Guest 3:30

honestly

    Dom 3:31

so many wonderful engineers out there. And if they’re not being given the opportunity, then that’s sad that it’s actually like that.

 

    Guest 3:40

I agree. I couldn’t agree more. So I’m motivated by much better by much older engineers. So I’m motivated by them and their successes. Other women and my colleagues, we strengthen each other in the Association of Women Engineers of Nigeria. So that helps us a lot.

 

    Mel De Gioia 3:56

So within the engineering space, how are you as an engineer contributing to this very important Sustainable Development Goal?

 

    Guest 4:05

We have what we call the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria. I had served with them as an executive. And during that time I was able to contribute. And I still do contribute by giving talks by encouraging young professionals to be tenacious and to be focused and not to give up and then the emphasis is on women to ensure that they are empowered and encouraged to continue with engineering. I also have a group of friends, we call it Green Vantage, we are focusing on climate action. But then we are now looking at women within climate action so SDG 5 climate action, that’s two SDGs in one. You know I said that the other SDGs can not succeed without SDG 5, but we realised that women are affected more by climate action than men. And so we are trying to have groups of women and encouraging them to reuse things so that we can reduce the effects of climate change on the environment.

 

    Mel De Gioia 5:03

So you’re tying up your work at Green Vantage with you and SDG 13, which is climate action. And you’re tying that into number 5,

 

    Guest 5:15

Ultimately.

 

    Mel De Gioia 5:16

Yes. And you bringing this all together. Yeah. And that’s the beauty of the those goals that’s being created is that they all work in so well together. So you’re focusing on a climate action initiative, but angled towards gender equality as well. So if you bring gender equality along, you will get climate action as well, so yeah, I like that. I like the balance that you say that you can’t have one without the other. As you said, I think you said, that you can’t have one without the other.

 

    Dom 5:48

Are you seeing a shift? Is it encouraging with numbers increasing?

 

    Guest 5:51

We haven’t been able to have formal indicators of what we have achieved so far. That’s the pity and it’s probably one of the things that I will be doing with the WFEO – establishing indicators and metrics, saying this is where we are, what have we achieved? So those are four things we’d be looking at doing.

 

    Mel De Gioia 6:12

Is that one of your goals for 2020 do you think?

 

    Guest 6:15

Yes, definitely it is. It is.

 

    Mel De Gioia 6:17

So we’re coming up to our first World Engineering Day. We’ve just passed the landmark starting a new decade 2020 here we come. Are there any goals on the horizon for this year that you hope to achieve?

 

    Guest 6:34

Well, I’ve raised some efforts. I think I haven’t made enough effort. So I want to make more efforts and have a global spread.

 

    Mel De Gioia 6:40

Global, yes,

 

    Guest 6:42

There is a need for us to for women engineers all over the world to collaborate and so that our voices are louder in their head in every corner of the world. So I’m hoping that through my position as chair of the Women in Engineering of WFEO, that I will work with amazing and brilliant people. And I already have a few of them on my team. I have Dawn. She’s a professor at a University. She’s brilliant. I have Annie-Anam. She’s from Ghana. Very brilliant as well. I’m hoping that I’ll be working with amazing and passionate people to increase that capacity for cross border collaborations, essentially leaving the world a better place than we found it. So my goals would include encouraging and empowering women all over the world to smash the metaphorical barriers that have been created. I don’t want women to hang around waiting to be given opportunities. Given, quote, unquote, to be given opportunities by men. They should take what is theirs. They should own their successes and be the best they can be in engineering and any … in STEM …. and any other thing they’re doing really.

 

    Mel De Gioia 7:45

Yeah, I can’t wait to see what comes out of the Women in Engineering group that’s underway here this year. It’s going to be a big year. We definitely will be watching out for that. And thank you so much for your time today. I’ve really enjoy it.

 

    Dom 7:57

Yes, thanks for joining us.

 

    Guest 7:58

Thank you very much.

 

    Mel

Thank you for tuning into Engineering Leaders as we prepare you for the first World Engineering Day on Sustainable Development, which will be held every fourth of March. We hope you’re enjoying our mini series which is brought to you with the support of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. The best way to show your support for our show is to tell people, either in person or in a review. Just spread the word. Seriously, it is that easy. We look forward to you and your friends joining us next time when we bring you another episode with one of our engineering champions.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

 

Yetunde Holloway speaks to us about her work on SDG5 as a Civil engineer. She was recently made Chair for the Women in Engineering Committee within the World Federation of Engineering Organisations.

 

Over the years Yetunde has held a variety of engineering roles in Nigeria and the UK. She has also co-founded a climate change initiative called Green Vantage.

Clean Water and Sanitation with Tomas Sancho

This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken in this episode

 

It is not 100% accurate.


The guest was Tomas Sancho, Member of the WFEO Executive Council and Chair of the Working Group on Water (WGoW).

 

    Mel De Gioia 0:25

Welcome to Engineering Leaders mini series in the lead up to the very first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development in 2020. This mini series is being supported by the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. My name is Melanie and my co host and our podcast’s resident engineer is Dominic. Today’s episode is on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 6, clean water and sanitation.

 

    Dom 0:50

Our guest today grew up in Spain and is a civil engineer. He is the chair of the working group on Water for WFEO and has been a member of WFEO’s executive council since 2015, and is a member of the Spanish Committee on Large Dams. He’s considered an expert in topics related to infrastructures, funding, planning and water management. Our guest today is Tomas Sancho.

 

    Mel De Gioia 1:16

Water is in Tomas’s veins. Both his grandfathers worked in the water industry, one in irrigation, and the other was part of the first River Basin Organisation in the world. Even his father was a civil engineer working in the water space, and Thomas would accompany him on many trips to his father’s works. However, it should be mentioned, Thomas is one of 10 children and he was the only child following in his father’s and grandfathers’ footsteps, but possibly the most significant push into this field was when he was a child in Spain in the early 1960s.

    Guest 1:55

When I was child in Spain, in the early 60s,

 

there was an outbreak of cholera, and I saw that the most important mission was to improve the water supply to the populations.
 

 

    Dom 2:07

As part of this miniseries, we’re talking about the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, we’re talking about SDG 6. Can you tell us what that one’s about?

 

    Guest 2:16

Yes, they professional related with water, and our and other professions, because it was an international movement to reach that the water was nominated as one of the Sustainable Development Goals. And there was a rich, there was a world that many professionals desires. And finally, one of the 17 SDGs is the SDG of Water Safety – water for all and clean water for all.

 

    Dom 2:51

I think it’s really a critical one. Not that any of the Sustainable Development Goals are any less than the others, but water is such a critical factor, it’s a part of life, particularly in countries like Australia. We have previously taken it for granted. But with our current drought, we realise just how important it is and just how precious it is.

 

    Guest 3:11

Yes, really because water is also related with other SDGs as the hunger and the safety of the population and climate change and cooperation. It’s under specific, but also he appears in transport. So issues with other SDGs. And it is quite important because without water, life is not possible.

 

    Mel De Gioia 3:38

Absolutely.

 

    Dom 3:39

It’s very true.



    Mel De Gioia 3:39

And I’m thinking your origin story of why you became an engineer will probably answer this question, but what was your inspiration to align yourself to the clean water and sanitation goal?

 

    Guest 3:54

To see the extreme poverty of countries like Haiti and see the importance of water to improve people’s living conditions. I was working in Haiti during five years from 2012 to 2015, after the third world earthquake, and I can see the importance to solve the water supply to solve the few problems of this country. And I can also see the importance and the good effects of the Spanish corporations. I’m SSR of the Spanish Fund of Water Corporation, the most important bilateral water fund of recent years, dedicated to Latin America. And so

 

the importance of water to improve people’s living conditions. I can see that and it’s an inspiration for me.
 

 

And the other hand, the light given by my master in the international issues Jose Medem. He was former president of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations and also of the World Council of Civil Engineers. And they asked me to return part of what society has given me to the society on the associated issues of engineering. And so I was dedicated to that from 2008 until now, because really, water is very important and the international issues to cooperation, to understand that we are not alone in the world. And our capabilities must be dedicated to human mankind. And this is my inspiration. Really.

 

    Mel De Gioia 5:42

Yeah. So you’re actually seeing the fact that water is very much a foundation in communities in crisis. Getting the water right is such an important component.

 

   Guest 5:54

Yes, yes. Really,

 

without water life is not possible.
 

 

But for the living conditions for the women in Africa for the people to increase the welfare for the economic development, water is the basis. And so we must show the basis but in good condition for all the people and with a good knowledge of how many resources we have in each basin of the wall in each aquifer, and which people need the water to increase and to improve the living conditions in these areas.

 

   Mel De Gioia 6:43

Sounds like a very natural fit for you from everything that you’ve built up over the years.

    

Dom 6:50

So, how are you as an engineer contributing to the UN SDG number 6? Are there any particular projects at the moment that you’re conducting to work on this problem?

    

Guest 7:00

On the one hand, in my professional exercise, I am dedicated as an expert to works related to the planning and integrated management of Water Resources. For example, I was a public servant in the Ebro Hydrographic Confederation during nine years and after I was president of this confederation for ten years, and in the last three years, I have been coordinating the hydrological plants of the real basins of Spain. We are now in the third cycle in the context of the European Union’s water Framework Directive. And also I’ve been working in the updating of their special draft plans. This is one of my contributions with my professional company and with my work. On the other hand, in my associative work, which I have been been developing in the last 12 years. I have been the first chairman of the World Council of Civil Engineers Water Committee, which is part of human water system. And now I chair the WFEO Water Working Group. This working group was created two years ago in London. And we are now working all over the world with water ratios and contributing to SDG 6. Specifically this year in 2020, we are preparing a report about the contribution of engineering to this as the SDG 6 water.

    

Mel De Gioia 8:36

What’s an example of something that will be included in that report?

    

Guest 8:41

Well, in this report, we are compiling the contributions all over the world of our colleagues, especially the best practices, contributing to this. In 2019 we have launched a specific report about the best practices with Engineering contribution related with the drought and flood management. We have studied 19 case and experiences in Africa in Asia, in America and Europe. And

 

we have selected the lesson learned, the best practices and also the challenges for engineers. Because we have a very important role in order to solve these issues.
 

 

You know that

 

the drought and the floods are the most important natural risk in the world, for the humanity.
 

 

So, this is very important and in the context of the climate change, especially important. The number of people living at risk flooding areas will increase from 1.2 to 1.6 billion people by 2050. This is the position of specialised institutions. And the greatest number of weather related disasters is due to flooding, followed closely by storms. The United Nations agency remarks that and also droughts. There are many episodes of droughts around the world with terrible, terrible consequences.

   

 Dom 10:34

Definitely. And so I can imagine that benchmarking information will be a great resource in order for engineers across the world to be able to have a better understanding of what’s available or what they should at least be striving for or trying to achieve. Is that is that what the basis of that information is there for?

    

Guest 10:53

Yes, of course. All the water resources management must be integrated and they are participating the whole society. But it is not possible to do good plans and to take the best decisions without the engineering works. We need hydrological and hydraulic models. We need the complicated studies to know the resources, the water resources that we have in the aquifers. And in the reverse, we must manage with public works, dams, reservoirs and channels, pipes. And for the engineers, for the energy what the resources are very important and we need water for energy but we need energy for water. And so for good efficiency we need the engineering works and then in the warm knowledge, and we are now applying many actions related with new technology and innovation. All those systems to know to transmit information to the warning systems. Many, many fields are open to the internet in contribution. And so we are working to know these best practices, the lessons learned and to disseminate all over the world through these international associations like the World Federation of Engineering Organisations.

    

Dom 12:29

And are you seeing a change? Do you think that globally we are being better with water? That we’re treating it as the valuable resource it is? Is it getting better year by year?

    

Guest 12:46

Sorry, I cannot understand you now.

    

Dom 12:48

I was wondering, have you seen a change in the way that people are treating water as a more precious resource? Are we being better with it? Are you seeing a shift in the mindset that people are being better with water you know in the past few years and into the coming decade, do you think we we managing water better than we have previously?

    

Guest 13:26

Well, things always are changing. And so for instance, in droughts and in flood management, well, traditionally, we are facing with a crisis based approach. We suffer the crisis, we suffer the incident we suffer a disaster and after that, we manage the crisis. But today, we are with a risk management approach and we are preparing before the crisis in order to have less damage and to be well prepared. And so this is a new focus that we are now applying all over the world and we want to disseminate. And so it’s also very important. But in the monitoring and in the knowledge we have now with the new missiles, new elements, we have the MGTs, the digital models of the terrain. This is very important to have new flood risk management plans. We have also a study nonstructual resources, native by solutions to manage the floods. Adding to the structural protection measures that we know before. And so, we are now contributing and the design, the focus and the instruments to deal with the drought and flood risks.

   

Mel De Gioia 15:21

What do you hope to achieve in 2020?

   

 Guest 15:24

Well, I hope significant progress in the SDG 6. It is quite important for the engineers continue to contribute. So we will disseminate the first report of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations the Working Group on Water. This report was dedicated to the engineering contributions and best practices on drought and flood management. And we will prepare the second report. In this time it was dedicated to achieving SDG 6 on water, engineering’s contribution. This is the second report and we are also contributing to the new water agencies. We are partners of the new water system. And so, we will participate in the two workshops that we will be prepare. But I also hope with to this 2020 that progress will be made in water financing, because nothing can be done to move forward if the financial instruments cannot come. They are quite a necessity for all these financing instruments for reelection and these finance instruments must be aligned. And so, we will progress. We need public works, we need action in order to achieve the goals of SDG 6. Less talking, more acting. It’s my wish to 2020.

    

Mel De Gioia 17:09

I like that.

    

Dom 17:11

Sounds great.

    

Mel De Gioia 17:12

Thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciated your patience with us.

    

Guest 17:17

Thanks for you. I only wanted to contribute.

 

I really feel the need to contribute in this international water issues because this is very important
 

 

and perhaps I can put my grain of sand in this field.

    

Mel De Gioia 17:35

Excellent. Thank you so much. Thank you for tuning into Engineering Leaders as we prepare you for the first World Engineering Day on Sustainable Development, which is going to be held every fourth of March. We hope you’re enjoying our mini series which is brought to you with the support of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. The best way for you to show your support for our show is to tell people, either in person or write a review. Just spread the word. Seriously, it is that easy. We look forward to you and your friends joining us next time when we bring you another episode with one of our engineering champions.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

 

Tomas Sancho grew up in Spain and is a civil engineer.

 

He is the Chair of the Working Group on Water for WFEO. He has also been a member of the WFEO’s Executive Council since 2015 and is member a of the Spanish Committee on Large Dams.

 

He is considered an expert in topics related to infrastructures funding, planning and water management.

Affordable and clean energy with Ania Lopez

This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken in this episode

 

It is not 100% accurate.


The guest was Ania Lopez, Member of the WFEO Executive Council and Theme leader of the Committee on Women in Engineering.

    

Mel De Gioia 0:25

Welcome to Engineering Leaders Mini Series in the lead up to the very first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development 2020. This mini series is being supported by the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. My name is Melanie and my co host and our podcast’s resident engineer is Dominic. Today’s episode is on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number Seven, Affordable and Clean Energy.

    

Dom 0:49

Our guest today is originally from Cuba but has lived in Italy for more than a few decades. She is a mechanical engineer and a Counsillor of the Italian national Council of Engineers and a member of the board of directors of Foundation of National Council of Engineers in Italy. Our guest has presented at many WFEO conferences, most recently in Melbourne, Australia. Speaking to us today about affordable and clean energy is Ania Lopez.

    

Mel De Gioia 1:18

Ania cannot imagine a world without engineering. Could you? She believes engineers are in service to society to find solutions to problems dealing with the environment, sustainable structure, IT and security.

    

Guest 1:33

I think that is the profession of engineer is the most beautiful of the work, is my opinion.

    

Mel De Gioia 1:40

Can you tell our audience a little bit about what UN SDG seven, affordable and clean energy is about?

    

Guest 1:48

I think that this energy is very, very important in the agenda.

 

The goal seven, energy is the centre to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today.
 

 

Security, climate change for production, job increases and income, sustainable energy generate opportunity, is for me the life. Economy on the planet is very, very important the energy, okay.

 

Drastically reduce the fossil fuel and providing everyone with access to green energy in sufficient quantity to need to do this Seven Goal indicates in the agenda.

 

Energies can make an important contribution not only for from economic and social and ethical point of view.
 

 

For example, in the concrete you see an eco sustainable materials for the construction work in the building site. Using the system to reduce for example, the pollution by using recyclable products on the, for example the specifical name is this circular economy okay. For example Italy, the government introduced in the buliding site, public building site, green public procurement. This is the system to enforces environmentally products or service. I introduced the rule on the public job, okay. And the product and service that have a long word and reduce effect and the human health, environmental compared to other products and service associated with the same purpose. Okay, this is the rule for all engineering Italy to work with the government.

    

Dom 3:48

What was your inspiration in aligning your work to affordable and clean energy?

    

Guest 3:52

My inspiration in this case, my personal vision, I think about my family, my daughter.

 

I think about what the future will they have if we don’t work to improve it.
 

 

We live in very complex facets of human society, social development, where technology gives us they take us away. We have to find compromise with above the new generation. Moreover we are aware that this resource, we have not infinite and is necessary to create the solution. I think as an engineer is a role – very, very important in this goal and other goal of the agenda.

   

 Mel De Gioia 4:44

Yeah, it’s very important, as a parent, you kind of want to leave a good world for your children. It does shift your focus a little bit. As an engineer, what’s an example of a project that you’re working on, that’s leading towards an affordable and clean energy?

    

Guest 5:01

For example, I see I think that is the tangible achievable goal with for example the Mini car manufacturer. For example, they try to produce machine with a hybrid electrical engine.

 

A lot of car industry change the mentality today introduced the new type of engines because that is necessary for today.
 

 

The pollution in the city the first with the engine of the car of the heating and if necessary change the mentality with the client, with the enterprise with the producer of the car. And this is very, very important because not only change the consumption of fuel, fossil fuel and the quality of the air of the city for example, in Italy have a problem with Rome, with Milan and the traffic, okay, because it’s not possible and have the misery every day with the quality of the air. And it’s very, very important in agenda is not a specific goal, with this I make the point, but this is a relationship with energy, with a consumption.

    

Mel De Gioia 6:27

Are you working in the car industry?

    

Guest 6:30

No, I not work in the car industry but I have this research, I present the research three years ago ago in London in the conference, I work together with Toyota and say that any small that I have talked about with in my city and work with the building side and control show with their pocket in the electric car, incentive is unmotivated. With my client with both the home and introduce the new offered with I present the home the new home with highly designed okay and I presented the political and talk about with the problem I have two parts to send my visit inside okay with my colleagues I not only worked in this project, the name is Casa de Qualita, quality home, okay on analyse all include all okay and a clean energy, renewable energy. Okay,

    

Mel De Gioia 7:35

So that’s something that you presented three years ago in London was it?

    

Guest 7:41

This is that project because every year, the World Federation of Engineering Organisations organised the conference with all engineers present the specifical objectives of the goal, okay. I participate in a different conference. I talk about, for example, the last year I talk about with biomass in Europe in Slovenia Ljubljana, in Lisbon, okay. In Australia and Melbourne, talk about with renewable energy with energy okay. But I have seen this change in mentality of the people. Okay. This is a very, very important, okay. It’s not only engineer, government is the international organisation, I think this is

 

the first step is by the people, the community and the government, the political of the government is very, very important.
 

 

    Dom 8:47

Yeah, I agree. Once you get the people changing their mind, their mindset and pushing it, then everything else will fall into place as well. It’s much easier to make governments do what you want when all the people are doing it.

    

Guest 9:03

And for example the people use the bicycle not car please. Now it’s better for for all.

   

 Dom 9:12

So what do you hope to achieve in 2020 in regards to this UN SDG?

   

 Guest 9:17

When I talk about introduce, I seen that with the law okay with the government, use the electrical and hybrid engine in the car introduce with the law because it’s not a lot of the government is very difficult that people know and analyse the situation and I see them for example reduce for example with in the home use with heating okay and open air unchanged depend on the weather. That is, is whether analyse but create for example, a seminar, a conference with the people. Engineers have a good opportunity and in this school of the students I will explained for example 10 years ago, I present of my students the hydrogen engine and explained very quickly because one hour. This is very important under the relationship with agenda with energy goal, but you know, listen to agenda I don’t know? No this is important. This student and the mother of the student and the family because this increase the culture with the people, okay. It is not only engineer is not only my friend, understand this is a big problem, a big problem and consumption.

    

Mel De Gioia 10:50

So are you hoping to talk to some governments to get them to support the Clean Energy cars and move that forward in 2020?

    

Guest 11:01

Yes, for example I talk about with Italy and Europe. Europe introduced the specific project of our energy. For example, I work in the CNI, the Consular National Engineers. Our relationship with the government the Department of the Government, but is not in Italy is not Energy Ministry, it is a different ministry and talk about this topic. Okay. And work together with university work for this research. And work together with government, research university, the engineer on the organisation to introduce a new topic a new law, okay and discuss with the political of the Parliament and introduce the good opportunities with the family for the reduced consumption on the work together because I think that is only government is impossible. You need the engineer this specific person or people to a study the subject and explain very easy to all and the government and the political understand what is the possible solution okay. I seen that is not immediately but state by state with probably a creative way because it’s necessary.

    

Dom 12:41

Thanks for speaking with us. It was wonderful.

    

Guest 12:42

Sorry for my English.

    

Mel De Gioia 12:46

I love it. We’ve been… with this series, we’re talking to engineers from all around the world. So it’s wonderful to hear the strong Italian accent.

    

Mel De Gioia

And thank you for tuning into Engineering Leaders as we prepare you for the first World Engineering Day on Sustainable Development, which is going to be held every fourth of March. We hope you’re enjoying our mini series which is brought to you with the support of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. The best way for you to show your support for our show, is to tell people, either in person or write a review. Just spread the word. Seriously, it is that easy. We look forward to you and your friends joining us next time when we bring you another episode with one of our engineering champions.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

 

Ania Lopez is originally from Cuba but has lived in Italy for more than a few decades. She is a mechanical engineer and a Councilor of the Italian National Council of Engineers and a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation of National Council of Engineers of Italy

 

Ania has presented at many WFEO Conferences, most recently in Melbourne, Australia, during the WEC 2019.

Decent Work and Economic Growth with Firas Bou Diab

This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken in this episode

 

It is not 100% accurate.


The guest was Firas Bou Diab, Chair of the Committee on Young Engineers / Future Leaders (YE/FL).

 

Mel De Gioia 0:24

Welcome to Engineering Leaders Mini Series in the lead up to the very first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development 2020. This mini series is being supported by the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. My name is Melanie and my co host and our podcast’s resident engineer is Dominic. Today’s episode is on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth.

   

 Dom 0:49

Our guest today is a civil engineer and currently works as a project manager and senior transportation engineer for a top global consultancy. In his role for the Order of Engineers and Architects in Beirut, Lebanon, he is involved with establishing the young engineers form that helps young engineers to transition smoothly into the labour market. Late last year, he was elected as a chairman of Young Engineers Future Leaders Committee at the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. Our guest today is Firas Bou Diab.

    

Mel De Gioia 1:23

Firas had a love for design and problem solving. As a young child he was drawn to be a doctor. However, he got into engineering and has been naturally drawn towards civil engineering. Firas says that being an engineer seemed like a smart idea. It had a very desirable career path. But engineering means more than just a stable career to Firas.

    

Guest 1:45

Engineers are the heart of the communities and they serve to improve these communities. Originally, I wanted to be part of that and to contribute for the better of the society and for the environment.

 

 

   

 

 Mel De Gioia 1:58

Today we’re talking about United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 8, which is around decent work and economic growth. Can you tell us a little bit about this particular goal?

    

Guest 2:10

Yeah, absolutely. We can say that all SDG’s aim to encourage sustained economic growth. That would happen by achieving higher levels of productivity and applying innovation. If we go directly to goal number 8, you can say that goal number 8 mainly is to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full of productive employment and decent work for all. We can say that SDG 8 is about full employment and fair compensation. It’s about a minimum of 7% annual growth of the economies. Specifically, in the least developed countries, it’s the end of forced labour and slavery. SDG 8 protects labour rights and promotes safe and secure working environments. It should promote skill building for youth empowerment. Finally, we can say that SDG 8 is about implementing policies to promote sustainable tourism. I believe if we go back to the engineering, engineers can play an important role in sustainable development. They really can play a very big role in the UN SDG goals, and specifically in SDG 8, because simply,

 

engineering is about planning and building projects that preserves natural resources, that are cost efficient and support the human and natural environments.
 

 

    Dom 3:35

So, what was your inspiration in aligning yourself to UN SDG number 8?

    

Guest 3:42

First, SDGs resonate deeply with my personal values. I am keen to support the United Nations raise awareness of the goals in the minds of the wider public. Being now Chair of the Young Engineers Future Leaders Committee in the WFEO, this committee we specifically believe that promoting decent work is really important because decent work involves opportunities for work that are productive and deliver a fair income all young people, engineers or other than engineers are looking for income, for security in the workplace and social protection for their families, for better prospects of personal development. They’re looking for freedom in their work place. That’s why we do believe that all the UN Sustainable Development Goals are really important. And all organisations from different fields and mainly engineers need to work together throughout the national and international associations and throughout the companies, throughout their businesses, to promote these goals and reach for the agenda of 2030 in developing these goals. The inspiration was and anyone should not give up the change of start with every one of us. Every human of earth,even the indifferent, the laziest person among us is part of this solution. This really was my inspiration.

    

Mel De Gioia 5:09

You’re a civil engineer, how are you contributing to this goal of decent work and economic growth?

    

Guest 5:17

Being part of the WFEO, and being the chair of the Young Engineers Future Leaders, I see our role in this is divided into three parts. First of all, engineers as I said before they play a crucial role to transform a plan to real action. We have a big role in influencing the success or the failure for these UN goals. First of all, the WFEO, since 2015, in inspiring, in engaging professionals on how engineering contributes to sustainable development, we have been engaging with leaders on the need for training and work placements for young engineers. We are supporting engineers with the skills and evidence to help create change. And we always believe that we need to act to translate the SDGs into an engineering specific plan on how we as a profession can reach these goals. If I’ll put it in a in a simpler way, we tried in 2017/18/19 and we’ll continue trying to work on the awareness, we need to raise awareness. And by running advocacy campaigns, we aim to reach young engineers and tutor them on the SDG 8, and its impact by 2030. You need to raise awareness on the younger peers. And we need to host events that can put the understanding on SDG number 8. These events in 2020 we’re looking to to have them as youth speaking forums in various locations around the world where we can engage young engineers to search for solutions on how to attribute on SDG 8. We’re finally thinking also in 2020, to take an action by creating volunteering opportunities locally and globally to enable contribution to a cause you believe in SDG 8. So we are working in parallel. This is not only the role or the work that the Young Engineers Future Leaders are working on, this is the strategy of WFEO. This institution is working on promoting all the goals, all the UN goals, and definitely we hope probably in the coming two years to create development orientation policies.

 

These policies should support diverse jobs, creations, creativity, innovation, enterpreneurship
 

 

and the definitely to encourage the growth of small and medium enterprises. All these together will definitely promote for the best of SDG 8. We still have 10 years to 2030 and definitely every year we need to be working to attain and obtain new goals and new results in order to achieve our targets in 2030.

    

Dom 8:11

We’ve covered off quite a lot of goals there.

    

Guest 8:13

I need only to insist on something that

 

through the Young Engineers Future Leader Committees of the WFEO, we need to target to provide young engineers with the skills and education and help them to be young entrepreneurs.
 

 

You know,

 

the world is changing. Entrepreneurship is now something that might be an interest of the youth peers of the young engineers and professions around world.

 

We need to think out of the box
 

 

and figure out that at some point in time, several jobs will disappear and other jobs will come over.

    

Dom 8:49

You’ve probably answered this quite a bit, but are there any major goals that you hope to achieve for 2020 in regards to UN SDG 8?

    

Guest 8:59

To achieve SDG 8, we will need to reach several ambitious goals. By 2030 we need to achieve full employment and decent work for all women and men, including young people and persons with disabilities as well as equal pay for equal work. This is really something big that needs to be achieved in 2030. You know that, if you think of it, the United Nations Goal 8 is basically to ensure a 7% growth rate in developing countries per year in the economy. And

 

SDG 8 is achieving high levels of economic productivity, through diversification, technology, upgrading and innovation.
 

 

These are plenty of things that we need to work on. I don’t say that all of these targets will be achieved in one year or in two years. It’s a way of living. We need to teach younger engineers, students are studying engineering in the university is that the SDG Goals are important that would attain sustained economic growth, and gives everyone a full and productive employment and decent work.

    

Dom 10:10

I think I think we’ve got everything that covers it all. Thank you so much for joining us.

    

Mel De Gioia 10:15

Thank you so much for joining us today.

    

Guest 10:16

It’s my pleasure. It’s my pleasure. I thank you. I really thank you very much.

    

Mel De Gioia 10:20

And thank you for tuning into Engineering Leaders as we prepare you for the first World Engineering Day on Sustainable Development, which is going to be held every fourth of March. We hope you’re enjoying our mini series which is brought to you with the support of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. The best way for you to show your support for our show, is to tell people, either in person or write a review. Just spread the word. Seriously, it is that easy. We look forward to you and your friends joining us next time when we bring you another episode with one of our engineering champions.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

 

Firas Bou Diab a civil engineer and currently works as a project manager and Senior Transportation Engineer for a top global consultancy.

 

In his role for the Order of Engineers and Architects in Beirut Lebanon, he is involved with establishing the “Young Engineers Form” that help young engineers to transition smoothly into the labor market.

 

And late last year, Firas was elected as a Chairman of Young Engineers / Future Leaders committee at the World Federation of Engineering Organizations.

Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure with Stacey DelVecchio

This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken in this episode

 

It is not 100% accurate.
The guest was Stacey Delvecchio, WFEO Committee on Women in Engineering secretary.

 

  Mel De Gioia 0:24

Welcome to Engineering Leaders Mini Series in the lead up to the very first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development 2020. This mini series is being supported by the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. My name is Melanie and my co host and our podcast’s resident engineer is Dominic. Today’s episode is on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

  

Dom 0:48

Our guest today is a chemical engineer and is working in the very exciting and very new industry of 3D printing. She spent most of her 30 years working for Caterpillar where she was the Additive Manufacturing and Product Manager. But she has branched out and now has her own consultancy. While she is speaking to us on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 9, our guest is also very passionate about gender diversity in engineering. She’s the vice chair of the Women In Engineering Committee for the World Federation of Engineering Organisations, and she also represents the American Association of Engineering Societies. Speaking to us today about industry, innovation and infrastructure is Stacey DelVecchio.

  

Mel De Gioia 1:29

Stacey was inspired by her high school math teacher, Mr. Buddy. He’s passion and excitement for calculus and mathematics was integral to Stacey and she really wanted to understand how she could apply her excitement and talent for math in the real world. Her career counsellor was very good in helping guide her and her parents while being small business owners and not engineers, supported and encouraged her to follow some engineers and learn from them.

 

 

Guest 1:55

So it was with the help of these adults in my life that really lead me to something that became a love of mine.

  

Mel De Gioia 2:03

Yeah, it sounds like they’ve really guided you into something that’s been great for you.

  

Guest 2:08

Yes.

  

Dom 2:08

From all the people we’ve spoken to. Over the past two years, people who’ve had good guidance counsellors seem to be more passionate about their job than those who have had those sorts of guidance counsellors that just go….

  

Mel De Gioia 2:20

Here is a book, read it.

  

Dom 2:24

… it is really strong correlation to the fact that good guidance counsellor provides a very solid foundation.

  

Mel De Gioia 2:31

Worth their weight in gold, those people.

  

Dom 2:34

Although we were meant to be talking about engineering.

  

Mel De Gioia 2:35

So anyway, actually. And the episode that we’re talking about today is about UN SDG 9, which is called Industry Innovation and Infrastructure. Can you let us know Stacey a little bit about what that means?

 

Guest 2:50

Sure, especially when you use

 

words like infrastructure that sounds like a big word. But really, it’s about pulling together manufacturing and innovation.
 

 

There’s all kinds of data that says that the value add and the value that manufacturing brings back to the economy is significantly higher in Europe and North America versus developing countries. And

 

what we want to do with SDG goals is to bring that significant economic value per capita to the developing countries.
 

 

And I’m really passionate about the fact that manufacturing is not just an old boring job.

 

There’s some exciting and interesting things going on in manufacturing, like my work in 3D printing,
 

 

that’s all about innovation. You know,

 

innovation can happen and does happen every day in manufacturing.
 

 

And I think bringing those two together with the infrastructure industrialisation and innovation is where we get to with SDG 9.

  

Dom 3:44

Excellent and what was your inspiration in aligning your work to SDG 9?

  

Guest 3:51

I ran into SDG 9 nine and how my work in line with a quite frankly by accident. I have over 30 years in being an engineer and working on product development and manufacturing, that’s where I spent my whole career as an engineer. And it wasn’t until five or six years ago, that I got pulled in and asked to lead some efforts at the company I was working for on 3D printing. Now, I will tell you at the time, I did not see myself as an innovator.I was more of a, let’s get things done and what needs to happen. So I was a little bit intimidated to be with all these people that were thinking of all these crazy ideas about what we needed in new and where we should go. And it helped me to see the value I bring to that sort of group of people. So it really helps. If you have a bunch of really innovative people. If you have somebody who’s a little bit more organised and we’re working on “Hey, we need to get something done by the end of the year.” And so it really helped me to realise I can play a piece in this community. And then when I started getting involved with SDG goals, it really was like, wow, there’s something on there that applies to me that I can help contribute.

  

Dom 5:05

So how as you as an engineer contributing to UN SDG 9? Are there specific projects that you’re working on? Or is there something like that sort of ties in with that goal?

  

Guest 5:15

So my expertise, I would say, in 3D printing is about the business side of it, and the value added piece of it, and in a sector where there’s not as much work being done. So in 3D printing, a lot of the stories you hear about are on aerospace or medical, those are probably the two, you know, early adopters. There’s all kinds of amazing stories in that front. My background, I spent 30 years working at Caterpillar so like the big heavy duty mining equipment, and I was responsible for the implementing 3D printing at Caterpillar and everybody’s like, what’s Caterpillar doing?

  

Mel De Gioia 5:56

What are you printing?

  

Guest 5:57

Yeah, what are we printing? So there’s this so even though the equipment is absolutely huge. And if people are not familiar with equipment, a lot of times it could be as big as the size of a house. So very big, but when you have something that big, there’s a lot of little parts that are inside of that equipment. And so my expertise is on that kind of huge industrial heavy duty application. And it’s about bringing 3D printing to that world. And so those are the projects that I’ve been working on is helping other engineers see where does it make sense for 3D printing, it to be used and where does it make business case. It usually makes a good business case if you’re in a remote area, or if you only need one or two, because you have a part that’s very old and you can’t get it anymore. And as well as new product introduction where you’re thinking about making something that’s got some features, maybe advanced cooling or something like that, that you wouldn’t normally have. Now I have retired from Caterpillar and I’ve gone on to start my own consulting company that is focused on that exact same thing, but in that big industrial sort of sector. So not the medical, not the aerospace, it’s sort of the people that are now launching 3D printing in their product in helping them understand where the value is. So it’s all about that bringing innovation from a manufacturing point, to
 

help them see how they can move their manufacturing to something that’s more relevant and has some value added availability for the market.
 

 
In that case.

  

Mel De Gioia 7:28

That’s brilliant. That’s so inspiring to hear that the use of this 3D printing is having such a wide impact. So enhancing industry like that and yeah, it’s just it’s a fascinating space to be involved in.

  

Guest 7:43

Yes. Yes. It’s been very rewarding for me.

  

Mel De Gioia 7:46

Do you have a goal for 2020 regarding the advancement of this innovation into industry and infrastructure?

  

Guest 7:54

So a couple things that I want to do to help move this forward and get people thinking about, yes, 3D printing innovation, let’s bring this to manufacturing and keep things moving and exciting that field. So I’ve got a couple different things going on. One of them is that I’m involved with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. So, I’m in the United States. So this is the United States professional society. And I’ve been advising them on 3D printing. So we are working on different ways to get the message out about manufacturing and that manufacturing is not the manufacturing that you think of from the 1960s or 1970s. And so we’re doing some little snippet videos. Not necessarily podcasts at this point, but trying just to say, hey, here’s what we’re doing. Here’s what’s exciting about this technology. So I had that going on, which is is more like an ongoing sort of goal. But one of the things I’m excited about is I just launched the efforts to start a book to highlight some of the industry leaders and trailblazers that happened to be women in the 3D printing area. So it’s a book where each chapter will be about one of these trailblazers, and then they are all women, because that’s another one of my passions is to be sure that I’m advocating for women in the area. So I have to get everything to my publisher by the end of the year. So it’s very much a 2020 goal for me, otherwise, I won’t be meeting my goal at all.

  

Mel De Gioia 9:22

That is a great, what an audacious goal for. Is it your first book?

  

Guest 9:28

Yes, you know, and I’m an engineer. So typically engineers don’t like to write and I’m right there. I don’t like to write. So it’s a bit of a challenge for me. But I think it’s a nice sort of challenge at this phase in my life, and I really do like to highlight the work that other people are doing. So while I’m writing the book, really, it’s all about these other women who are telling their stories about 3D printing. You know, and I just found out there’s a woman doing 3D printing to print makeup. I’m like, what a great way to highlight a woman with 3D printing.

  

Dom 9:58

Yeah, it’s definitely. It’s the way of the future. So yeah, it was something that for a while there, it seemed like it was coming. But it was, it was so far in the future, whereas now it’s just seems to be technology that’s here today.

  

Mel De Gioia 10:13

And just the way it’s being used. And so what you’ve explained to us about how this innovation is being used within industry it’s really open my mind to seeing how your work can be tied into the UN SDG Goal number 9. So thank you so much for that.

  

Dom 10:30

It was wonderful. Thanks for joining us.

  

Guest 10:32

Absolutely.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

 

Stacey DelVecchio is a chemical engineer and is working in the very exciting and very new industry of 3d printing. She spent almost 30 years working for Catepillar where she was the Additive Manufacturing Product Manager. But has since branched out and now has her own consultancy.

 

While Stacey is speaking to us on UN SDG 9, she is also very passionate about gender diversity in engineering. Stacey’s the vice-chair of the Women in Engineering Committee for the World Federation of Engineering Organization where she also represents the American Association of Engineering Societies.

 

Speaking to us about Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure is Stacey DelVecchio.

Reduced Inequality with Valerie Agberagba

This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken in this episode

 

It is not 100% accurate.
The guest was Valerie Agberagba, Chair of the Committee on Women in Engineering (2016-2019).

 

Mel De Gioia 0:25

Welcome to Engineering Leaders Mini Series in the lead up to the very first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development 2020. This mini series is being supported by the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. My name is Melanie and my co host and our podcast’s resident engineer is Dominic. Today’s episode is on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number 10, Reducing Inequalities.

    

Dom 0:52

Our guest today is from Nigeria and leads the presidential project for providing solar home systems to rural communities. She has served on a number of boards including being vice president of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations and chair of the Women In Engineering Committee from 2016 to just last year. She currently heads the Renewable Energy Desk in the Niger Delta Power holding company, Nigeria. Our guest today is Valerie Agberagba.

    

Mel De Gioia 1:21

Valerie did not plan on being an engineer. In fact, she was studying towards being a medical doctor as she passionately wanted to be in a profession where she could help improve people’s lives. Then some people visited her school to talk about engineering. Valerie realised she could actually make the world a better place by being an engineer.

    

Guest 1:42

I think I’ve enjoyed every bit of it.

 

Being an engineer, you’re actually able to make the world a better place for people.
 

 

So it is really what took me to engineering.

   

 Dom

All right, excellent.

    

Mel De Gioia 1:53

Our podcast series is all about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal and today, we’re looking at the goal specifically number 10 reducing inequality. Can you tell us a little bit about that particular SDG?

    

Guest 2:06

Yeah, goal number 10 reducing inequality has about 10 targets. When we looked at it all its driving ideas which is reducing financial inequality is reducing infrastructure inequalities, assets to growth, assets to income, and assets to actually doing business even outside your own country. So either way of trying to bring all the nations of the world together to grow along the same parts with no nation being left behind.



 Dom 2:39

Was there a particular inspiration? Was there a key moment that sort of brought you to looking at SDG 10?

    

Guest 2:45

SDG 10 has 10 targets. And going through all the targets, we saw that 10.2 was more of a target that aligns with our own discipline, which is engineering. And this talks about empowering and promoting this social, economic and political inclusion of all irrespective of your age, your sex, whether you’re disabled, your disability, your ethnicity, your origin, your religion. It doesn’t matter your economic status, we just need to empower and promote this and looking at these results as engineers, we know that the socio-economic development of any nation is dependent on the policies and infrastructure development. And infrastructure development is a factor of engineering involvement in that nation.

 

Engineering plays a very key role in the infrastructure development, increasing the socio-economic growth of any nation.
 

 

Why because like I said, engineering is all about improving the quality and the standard of living of its citizens. So you realise that the large disparity in access to infrastructure among nations is a big source of the inequality we are talking about. You have over 1.1 billion people who do not have access to electricity. You have over 2.4 billion people without adequate water and sanitation. And if you look at all these inequality characterised by discrimination and disparity in creating opportunities to people to watch programmes, the governments have put in place or even creating a potential to to assess the outcomes of programmes and activities the government have put in place. So, we can simply see that

 

when you have a low involvement of engineering in any nation, it leads to low infrastructure development in that nation.
 

 

And once you talk on low infrastructure development, you are talking of a low socio-economic development also of that nation. And if you look at all these, the leads to just one goal, high level of inequality. And so I’ve been looked at all these as engineers We’ve now looked at it comparing it to the global assets civil engineering index, which shows the benchmark of engineers to the people in the nation and the

 

standard global practices, one engineer to 40 people in the nation.
 

 

If you can have that

 

if you can attain that, then you show the high level of infrastructure development
 

 

a high level of engineering involvement in that nation. While we looked at most developing countries, we took our time to study this and realise that

 

most developing countries have a ratio of one engineer to about 14,000 people.
 

 

So if you compare that to what the global expectation is, you realise that the inequality in this nation is very, very high when it comes to infrastructure development. And so as engineers and as women, we realised that if you look at this level of inequality, then again, the women and children are the worst hit when it comes to this. Talk of low income, talk of access to water, talk of access to electricity, the women are the worst hit. They are the ones that had to travel distances to fetch firewood to make fire and get energy. They are the ones that have to travel miles to get water for the family. And so it became a very emotional thing for us as women engineers that we needed to get into this space to reduce inequality.

    

Mel De Gioia 6:23

So do you want to tell us a little bit more about those projects that you’re working on?

    

Guest 6:28

Data is very vital. If you look at what I say about low engineering, low infrastructure, low socio-economic development, and then you have high level of inequality. And if we want to be able to bring the developing nations to compete with other nations, then you must have adequate data. But if you look at most of the developed countries, I use my nation Nigeria as an example. We are very poor when it comes to data. I can’t even tell you categorically that the ratio of engineers to people in Nigeria is this. But during the course of our research, our research was in three countries, Malawi, in Southern Africa, Rwanda, in Eastern Africa and Nigeria, in Western Africa. And we realised that for Malawi, because of the data they had, were able to determine that it was a ratio of one engineer to 14,000 people. From my country, Nigeria, I couldn’t determine the number of people to one engineer. And so we really knew that we had to talk our work on data. And so we started with that. And we’ve been working on it. We’ve done the first phase of this project, which was to determine what is driving women engineers away from engineering, why are they not taking engineering? Why are they not in this space to help out in development and realise the reasons for this? And the second phase, which we hope to complete this year is what is the outcome of that projects? From our research, we realised that there are no role models in engineering for the women and so we’ve seen this as one major reason why we have very low level of women in engineering. We can’t even tell you what the percentage of women is right now. And that’s one major outcome. We have come at across Africa.

 

We must look out for the role models,
 

 

who we use interest in the younger ones to come out and take their space in the engineering. And so that is very vital. Another point we realised during the course of this reset was

 

the teaching methods for science and engineering… it’s so masculine, everything is masculine.
 

 

And one of our female organisations in South Africa actually came up with this one and now they use it – just the pink hats. You’ve seen those hats, engineering hats – the white, you see the blue. Now we have the pink hats all over the place. So when you see pink, what do you think of? You think of the female and so

 

if I can wear a pink hat, that means I can be an engineer.
 

 

You know, so that’s just one area some women have come out with, to bring engineering to the girl child. So we are coming up with so many ideas because

 

if we have to reduce the level of inequality in the world, then women engineers must be very vital.
 

 

And so we’re working on that. And we also realise that

 

we don’t have good counselling processes in Africa.
 

 

In the developed countries, students, they have one on one counselling with your lecturers, as they go from one course to another. Once they see that you are not doing well, they want to have a one on one with you. Why are you not doing well? They know what your capabilities are, and they’re able to help you to develop in that area. But in Africa, we also don’t have that good counselling processes. So we

 

need to develop a good counselling framework for students in the school so that at least they will be able to know what they can achieve if they did engineering.
 

 

So you see that engineering is all around us. And so we are very passionate about bringing engineering to the female children. And so this is where we are driving this course, in order to reduce inequality. And so for the second phase is one of the things we are going to do creating role models, identifying our role models in different countries, in different engineering perspectives. In the oil and gas, in the structures or the in electricity, in the water setup. Where do we find these women engineers? What are they doing? Are they being able to make a change in their different countries? And if they could do it, you also could in your own country. Who is developing can do it and reach out to your people. So this is the first project and the second one is water and sanitation. Because again, like I said, the women are the ones that travel to the river to fetch the water. They’re the ones that go looking for the streams. They are the ones that go to fetch the firewood. And so we thought the second one again, we have to look at because we had about 2.4 billion people without adequate sanitation, and water. So those are the two projects as women engineers we’ve been looking at in the past two years. And we hope to bring this to officials shows very soon, and they move to other areas.

    

Dom 11:12

But that sounds great. And are there any big things that you hope for for 2020? Any goals that you hope to achieve are part of this SDG 10?

   

Guest 11:21

Very main what we need to get now is to put the role models on the global scene. We were taking role models from every country. We’re trying to do a documentary on them. Once you’ve been able to achieve we’ve been able to analyse a few, identify a few of the women in different countries in the oil and gas, in the power sector. And we’re trying to look at some of those in mining we have women are getting into the mining space. So once we identify them and we had our talks with them and they are willing, we want to be able to do a documentary that will be played out locally in the countries and then on the global scene. We’ll be able to do a documentary on Africa right now. Because we are the ones that really need help. We will be able to showcase it globally so that even people who seen them outside the African continent will be willing to come into their country to help, because that’s what the

 

goal number 10 is all about identifying the areas of weakness in your country and be able to bring other nations who are doing well in those areas to build you up to a particular level that your citizens can have a better life.
 

 

So this is what we intend to achieve with the documentary. Projects women as engineers and then be able to let people know that these are our weaknesses in our country, and we need the help of others to come in to help us do it. That is our target for 2020. And we hope before the end of the year, we’ll be able to shout “hooray, we’ve been able to do it!” It’s a tall one, but we are looking forward to it. And secondly, for the community, where they are helping with the open defecation system. By March, we’ll be able to declare the first community ODF that’s Open Defecation Free. And once we’re able to do that with the involvement of UNESCO and then the UN we will be able to now know what the next level will be. But right now we are under monitoring and evaluation to see that within the end of the first quarter, they could be declared open defecation free. So we’re able to do that again, that would be a good one for us. And that really encouraged us to move to the next community. And so we’re looking forward to it, we are pushing really hard. We’re not leaving any stone unturned to be able to achieve these goals.

 

2020 is the year of success stories.
 

 

So that’s what I’m looking forward to.

    

Dom 13:42

That sounds great

    

Mel De Gioia 13:43

Yeah, it seems like all the past has been data gathering and now you can finally get to the actionable stuff with the documentary… Yeah. Yeah, it sounds wonderful. What a great year to have the First World Engineering Day and having these activities done. So thank you so much for joining us.

    

Dom 14:00

Thanks for speaking with us. It was great.

    

Guest 14:02

Thank you so very much. I love talking with you and you’re doing a great job. Thank you for supporting the world engineering. Thank you so very much.

    

Mel De Gioia

And thank you for tuning into Engineering Leaders as we prepare you for the first World Engineering Day on Sustainable Development, which is going to be held every fourth of March. We hope you’re enjoying our mini series which is brought to you with the support of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. The best way for you to show your support for our show, is to tell people, either in person or write a review. Just spread the word. Seriously, it is that easy. We look forward to you and your friends joining us next time when we bring you another episode with one of our engineering champions.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

 

Valerie Agberagba is from Nigeria and leads the Presidential project for providing Solar Home Systems to rural communities.

 

She has served on a number of boards, including being Vice President of the World Federation of Engineering Organization and Chair of the Women in Engineering Committee from 2016 to just last year.

 

Valerie currently heads the Renewable energy desk in the Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Nigeria

Sustainable cities and communities with Martin Van Veelen

This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken in this episode

 

It is not 100% accurate.

 

The guest was Martin Van Veelen, Chair of the Working Group on Infrastructure Report Card (WGIRC).

 

 Mel De Gioia 0:24

Welcome to Engineering Leaders mini series in the lead up to World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development 2020. This mini series is being supported by the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. My name is Melanie and my co host and our podcast’s resident engineer is Dominic. Today’s episode is on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 11 – sustainable cities and communities.

    

Dom 0:49

Our guest today received his degree in civil engineering with a master’s in water utilisation engineering and a PhD in aquatic health. He holds the position of adjunct professor at the Central University of Technology Free State. He has 40 years experience in engineering and has been very active in numerous engineering organisations. He’s currently a member of the WFEO UN relations committee and the STC support group. He’s also the chairperson for the WFEO global Infrastructure Report Working Group. Our guest today is Dr. Martin Van Veelen.

    

Mel De Gioia 1:20

Growing up Martin had intended to become a chemist. However, he could not find the money to achieve this dream. Luckily, the government of the time was offering to put students through university as engineers specifically for the Department of Water affairs. Martin was brave enough to take this opportunity.

    

Guest 1:38

And I am so happy. I’m so glad that happened in my life. Because in actual fact, the way my career is gone, I’ve been able to live out my scientific and chemistry interest as well.

    

Mel De Gioia 1:59

This mini series is all about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. And today we’re going to be speaking to you about specifically number 11, which is sustainable cities and communities. I just wanted to start it off with what do you want to tell us about that specific goal from your understanding of what it means?

    

Guest 2:18

 

The world is changing. That’s a very common statement, but in actual fact it is.
 

 

We are becoming more and more urbanised. It’s a good thing. Because we need rural areas for food production.

 

If we start living to spread out, then that will affect food security.
 

 

But what allows us to live close together in cities is efficient transportation to get from where you live to where you work, water supply and quality water at the right time at the acceptable level of service. You know in Africa, it is people are deemed to have access to water. But there are so many interruptions in the supply and they have to fetch the water carry it. So in the cities you need water when you when you need it. You need electricity or energy. In many cities in Africa, energy is so unreliable or so expensive that people still cook using charcoal. And then of course, you have to remove waste and you have to remove it correctly and dispose of it correctly. So this is safely put away. And the biggest issue for that respect is sewage. Lagos is a city of 10 million people and there’s not a formal sewage system. But well at the coast, it’s flat, sandy soil, and a lot of people are dependent on groundwater.

    

Mel De Gioia 4:15

I don’t know if I like where this is going.

    

Guest 4:17

You get the picture.

    

Mel De Gioia 4:20

So the Sustainable Development Goal about sustainable cities and communities is about a whole range of things. It’s how your food gets your table. It’s how you get from home to work. It’s it’s how your water comes in and how your waste goes out, your waste as in excrement, as well as rubbish and things. So it’s about all those things combined into one neat little package. How are you as an engineer working on that actual goal?

    

Guest 4:52

I’m not a design engineer. I’m a the planning engineer. So I look into the future. See what is going to happen and what will be needed. But in terms of the work that I do for the World Federation of Engineering Organisations is to prepare, let’s call it

 

the Global Infrastructure Report, which cross cuts across most of the SDGs.
 

 

It considers water, it considers transportation, sanitation, energy, the whole lot that has to do with infrastructure. For having to be assigned somewhere, I was assigned to SDG living but it goes a bit wider. Although SDG live in sustainable cities is all about transportation. It’s all about energy and water and sanitation, waste removal, health, safety, the whole lot, then you need to know the available infrastructure. Is it in a good condition?

 

And are you spending enough money on maintenance and operations? Which is a huge, big problem.
 

 

    Mel De Gioia 6:10

How long would this report actually take to bring together, come together?

    

Guest 6:15

I have a year and a half to do it. It has to be finished early in 2021. It’s going to be a challenge.

    

Mel De Gioia 6:25

Yes. Is that what you’ll be working on full time? All throughout 2020 and 2021?



    

Guest 6:32

Yes and no. The work that I’m doing on that report is volunteer work. I still have my professional work.

    

Dom 6:43

What was your inspiration in aligning your work to UN SDG 11?

    

Guest 6:48

When the Millennium Development Goals started to come to an end in 2015, then we sat around the table as group of engineers and we started to talk. How can we as engineers, contribute to what are now the Sustainable Development Goals to help to achieve those goals. Our work, obviously building boats, water supply, sanitation, that all supports those goals. But as an engineering organisation, how can we focus the attention of the governments in the world on infrastructure, not only development, but also operation and maintenance, because that forms the basis of achieving all the goals. If you want to have a good education, you need schools. It’s as simple as that. And the school is a building, that’s infrastructure. So all of that is in infrastructure, and all of that engineers are involved. One way or another. The school needs electricity. The school needs water. It needs sanitation. So all of that has to be included and the school hopefully, is of a good enough quality that it doesn’t fall down.

    

Mel De Gioia 8:28

Yeah. And so you’re all sitting around going, how can we align with the goals and you kind of saw the connections between all of it to sustainable cities?

    

Guest 8:43

Yes, but not I mean, how can we align but also, how can we as an engineering profession, become more visible. And by doing that, advertise the positions so that we can attract more people to become engineers. We need engineers.

    

Mel De Gioia 9:05

Yeah. So you’re using the goals as a way to promote to society that we are working towards the global good here. And that’s what engineers are doing. I like that.

    

Guest 9:18

Sort of make people aware that when they open the tap and water comes out, and it’s clean water, that simple act of opening the tap is supported by a whole range of infrastructure provided by engineers.

    

Dom 9:35

Sounds good to me. Are there any particular goals that you hope to achieve in 2020 for UN SDG 11?

    

Mel De Gioia 9:42

Besides the report.

    

Guest 9:43

That becomes a bit difficult.

 

I hope to involve more organisations, in what we are doing.
 

 

Here in South Africa I’ve been talking to the farming community, and they are well aware that they need roads to get a produce to the market. So they are also very interested in seeing that someone is held accountable for not only providing but also maintaining infrastructure.

 

Because infrastructure in the end is what the nation or a community owns.
 

 

That’s the assets. And the government is supposed to look after those assets and keep them in good working order. We fight for it with our tax money.

   

 Mel De Gioia 10:41

Yeah. I just wanna say thank you so much for joining us today.

    

Dom 10:46

Great speaking with you.

    

Guest 10:48

I enjoyed this.

    

Mel De Gioia 10:50

And thank you for tuning into Engineering Leaders as we prepare you for the 2020 World Engineering Day on Sustainable Development. We hope you’re enjoying our mini series which is brought to you with the support of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. The best way for you to show your support for our show is to tell people either in person or write a review. Just spread the word. Seriously, it is that easy. We look forward to you and your friends joining us next time when we bring you another episode with one of our engineering champions.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

 

Martin Van Veelen received his degree in civil engineering with a Masters in Water Utilisation Engineering and a PhD in Aquatic Health.

 

He holds the position of adjunct professor at the Central University of Technology, Free State

 

Dr Van Veelen has 40 years experience in engineering and has been very active in numerous engineering organisations. He is currently a member of the WFEO/UN Relations Committee and the STC Support Group. He is also the Chairperson for the WFEO Global Infrastructure Report Working Group.

Responsible consumption and production with Annette Bergeron and Jeff Card

This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken in this episode

 

It is not 100% accurate.
Our guests were Annette Bergeron and Jeff Card

 

    Mel De Gioia 0:25

Welcome to Engineering Leaders Mini Series in the lead up to the very first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development 2020. This mini series is being supported by the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. My name is Melanie and my co host and our podcast’s resident engineer is Dominic. Today’s episode we are going to be talking about Responsible Consumption and Production which is United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number 12.

 

    Dom 0:53

Today’s a bit different to all our podcasts to date. For our episode on responsible consumption and production, one engineer is not enough. We’ve got two engineers joining us. Both engineers are from Canada. Annette Bergeron is a metallurgical engineer with an MBA and extensive public and private sector experience. She has held presidential positions in a number of organisations, including Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, and was recognised as being one of the top 25 women of influence across Canada. And he’s currently consulting on STEM project with the Federal Ministry of Women and Gender Equality. Also joining us is Jeff Card. Jeff’s an electrical engineer who works in building and engineering department at Bell Canada, where he’s had multiple roles throughout the organisation. He served a term on the board of the Newfoundland and Labrador construction Safety Association and has been elected to sit on the Engineer’s Canada Board.



    

Mel De Gioia 1:43

So in high school, both Jeff and Annette were really drawn to maths However, Annette was conflicted because she also was really into drama. Annette and Jeff both had engineering fathers and were quite influenced by their dad’s careers. Next was an engineering technologist. And so was Jeff’s actually. Jeff’s dad worked on micorwave technology. And he remembers while growing up helping his dad work on the family cabin, and hearing the stories his dad would tell him about his work. And Jeff recalls being really impressed by how his father’s work was helping the community, the pride that he’s dead took, but also the actual work his dad was doing was really interesting.

   

 Jeff 2:25

You know, the innovative ways that his team and he would solve problems and the pioneering spirit that kind of went along with that as he built up a network. And I didn’t really know it at the time, but I think looking back at that now that probably played a pretty significant role.

    

Dom 2:38

And so this mini series is all about UN Sustainable Development Goals, and particularly, this one today is in regards to UN SDG Number 12, responsible production and consumption. Can you tell our listeners what that involves, and what that’s about?

    

Annette 2:55

Sustainable Development Goal 12 is about ensuring sustainable consumption and sustainable production patterns.
 

So what it means is

the world needs to really decouple economic growth from natural resource use.
 

And here in Canada, historically, we’re a large natural resource country. So what we need for SDG 12 is policies that improve resource efficiency that reduce waste and consumption and integrate into the mainstream, sustainable practices across all sectors of the economy and not just natural resources

    

Jeff 3:27

When I think about SDG. And what it means, you know, when I, when I read through it, there’s really three points. One is policy development and infrastructure requirements, we think about things like you know, diesel emissions, and so on that to me really strikes home. Another is

education of the public and sustainable consumption.
 

So even things we do as individuals, you know, I’ve got two young kids that go to school now and things like the use of plastics, for example, and baggies versus things that you can repeatly use and how we better make use of that and then finally, you know, resource efficiencies and various energy reduction techniques. In my own line of work trying to reduce fuel consumption and energy through building projects. So those are the things when I look at SDG 12.

    

Mel De Gioia 4:08

Yeah, thanks for that. Actually, I find out of all the goals this one I’m the most clueless about. So that actually did help a little bit to clarify for me. So, Jeff, what was your inspiration for aligning your work with this goal?

    

Jeff 4:23

As I mentioned, I’m building engineer with a telecommunications company here in Canada. And for me, there’s a lot of ways in which these projects really do align very well with multiple objectives we have so not only is it good for energy, but green is green, we say you know, it’s good for cost reduction. It’s also good for reliability. Oftentimes, you know, when we do these projects, my goal is to make buildings more reliable. Normally green solutions, we talk about LED lights, lighting retrofits that last longer than typical bulbs, but also save energy. We talk about HVAC economisation where you’re not only reducing your footprint, energy wise, but you’re also reducing the number of parts in the system required to make it work properly. Because you don’t need things like compressors, you just need fans. We think about UPS battery footprints and needing less batteries on uninterruptible power supplies. All these different things that we do on the building sites. Solar systems that reduce diesel run, so less maintenance. It was a really a no brainer for us in terms of trying to do things that are in line with SDG 12. Because it just makes good business sense.

    

Mel De Gioia 5:22

Yeah, it sounds like a real win win in your situation. What about you Annette? How did your inspiration to follow this goal come in?

    

Annette 5:30

Well as an engineer, sometimes it’s hard to do things by yourself.

But if we joined forces and joined voices, it can be more effective.
 

So for me that was becoming a leader of an organisation like Engineers Canada, where Jeff and I are on the board of directors. So I think

engineers have a role to play in all of the goals.
 

But we need to advocate to our government here in Canada anyways, and let them know that we as engineers are ready and willing to help on a wide range of these policy areas. So we developed a policy for our government to help them, establish goals and targets and identify actions to help them include sustainable consumption. So the reduction of greenhouse gases and energy efficiency and conservation, and also sustainable production.

So we need more climate resilient buildings and infrastructure that extends their service life.
 

So we don’t need to replace infrastructure and buildings, and therefore the consumption of resources is less frequent. So that’s where I really am passionate about this work.

    

Dom 6:27

So Annette, are there any projects that you can tell us about the you as an engineer working on to contribute to this UN SDG?

    

Annette 6:35

My focus really is in the public policy area and in advocacy. So if we talk about things like infrastructure as an example, we need to address future climate impacts that addresses vulnerability gaps. We don’t want to cause later service disruptions and failures of infrastructure and buildings. This increases cost to the government, increases costs of the private sector, and mostly it increases cost to us, we’re the public. It also increases the consumption. So for example, here in Canada in June 2018, whenever the federal government sees a project that wants funding, they asked the people to undertake an assessment of how their projects will contribute to, or reduce carbon pollution. And to consider climate change risks. So they used a protocol that was developed by us at Engineers Canada, as one of the methodologies for change, climate change, resilience could be used.

    

Mel De Gioia 7:23

What a great result.

    

Annette 7:25

Yeah, we’re very proud of it.

    

Mel De Gioia 7:26

And, Jeff, do you have a project that you wanted to mention that contributes to this goal?

    

Jeff 7:30

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we have a few different initiatives are doing but one that I’m particularly proud of, within my own province of Newfoundland and Labrador. A lot of the telecommunications in Labrador is typically been done by microwave. So if you were to pick up the phone and call from one area to the next it hops on a bunch of microwave towers to make that connection. And a few years ago, we put in fibre and we still had microwave backup, but we’ve since found some unique telecommunications ways to provide that redundant route through other means, which is allowing us to shut down seven of those sites. What that means for us, these are all non grid sites that have about 4,000 gallons of fuel supply at sites because they’re helicopter access, and now we’re able to shut those down. So between you know the last couple of years, we’re shutting down seven sites and 28,000 gallons of store diesel, which is a significant reduction for us. And then additionally, the remaining site, we have a solar renewal plan that we’re doing where we’re installing solar power on these sites that is reducing our diesel footprint by about 80%. And again, back to the comment I made early not only is that beneficial from the fuel reduction perspective, and the environment, but all this fuel is flown the site so it’s the JA1 fuel for the helicopters that bring it in as well. And the maintenance on machines because they run less, then the maintenance is extended on those things. We get longer life out of rebuilding system. So just a great initiative. Really looking forward to finishing that one this year.

    

Dom 8:47

Yeah, this is great.

    

Mel De Gioia 8:48

Yeah, really great use of innovation and moving forward but in a responsible manner. What’s 2020 look for the both of you. What’s a goal that you hope to achieve that will improve or work towards this Sustainable Development Goal number 12?

    

Annette 9:03

Well, one thing I’m really excited about is for Engineers Canada, we developed a free online course that anybody in the world can use. It’s called sustainable development and environmental stewardship. It’s been offered three times already. And registration is currently open right now for anybody to join. It’s been taken by close to 4600 people around the world. They’ve given it great reviews. And it uses engineering case studies from across Canada to demonstrate the application of these principles. So we’d encourage engineers around the world to register for the course in 2020. And they can find it on our website engineerscanada.ca.

    

Mel De Gioia 9:38

And that sounds amazing as well to make something like that so open and available. You’re ticking a lot of United Nation Sustainable Development Goals boxes there.

    

Annette 9:48

Yeah. Thank you.

    

Dom 9:49

And Jeff, is there something that you hope to achieve in 2020 is part of this year in SDG?

    

Jeff 9:54

Yeah, well, I mean, beyond my corporate goals and objectives,

I try to be a good steward
 

here, but personally you know at home we’ve been trying to make some changes so I want to speak to that for some of the listeners as well. So we’ve done a lot around at the house you know towards recycling and now at the plastics reduction, the you know trying to use things over again there. But one thing I’m still terrible at I’m a vicious paper towel user. I’ve got a two year old son.

    

Mel De Gioia 10:18

You and Dom can bond over your use of paper towels. I would love to you how you were working on that one.

    

Jeff 10:26

So dish towels and dish cloths and face cloths, that’s a personal goal for me. Maybe more relatable to most listeners, but something I’m trying to work on here.

    

Mel De Gioia 10:36

I think you and Dom need to form a support group on paper towels. He has like the biggest meltdown whenever we’re running low as I go to go to the shop, we need paper towels.

    

Dom 10:48

Now that you’ve said that, it is something that I think that I might need to put on my list as well this year in regards to my goal to sort of cut out paper towels and start using the teatowels and dishcloths.

    

Mel De Gioia 11:00

There you go Jeff, you’ve inspired him so well done.

That’s great. Well, thank you so much guys that’s been really wonderful. I’ve really picked up a lot about what’s going on.

    

Jeff 11:14

Thank you

    

Annette 11:14

Thank you very much.

    

Mel De Gioia 11:15

And thank you for tuning into Engineering Leaders as we prepare you for the first World Engineering Day on Sustainable Development, which is going to be held every fourth of March. We hope you’re enjoying our mini series which is brought to you with the support of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. The best way for you to show your support for our show, is to tell people, either in person or write a review. Just spread the word. Seriously, it is that easy. We look forward to you and your friends joining us next time when we bring you another episode with one of our engineering champions.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

 

Today is a bit different to all our podcasts to date. For our episode on responsible consumption and production, one engineer is not enough… we’ve got 2 engineers joining us.

 

Both engineers are from Canada.

 

Annette Bergeron is a Metallurgical engineer with an MBA and has extensive public and private sector experience. She has held presidental positions in a number of organisations, including Ontario Society of Professional Engineers. Annette was recognised as being one of the Top 25 Women of Influence across Canada and is currently consulting on a STEM project with the federal Ministry of Women and Gender Equity.

 

Also joining us is Jeff Card, an electrical engineer. Jeff works in the Buildings Engineering Department of Bell Canada where he has held multiple roles throughout the organisation. He served a term on the Board of the Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Safety Association and has been elected to sit on the Engineers Canada Board.

Climate Action with Davide Stronati

This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken in this episode

 

It is not 100% accurate.

 

The guest was Davide Stronati, Chair of the Committee on Engineering and the Environment (CEE).

 

    Mel De Gioia 0:25

Welcome to Engineering Leaders Mini Series in the lead up to the very first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development in 2020. This mini series is being supported by the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. My name is Melanie and my co host and our podcast’s resident engineer is Dominic. Today’s episode is on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 13 Climate Action.

    

Dom 0:50

Our guest today graduated summa cum laude and from his environmental engineering degree and went on to receive a Master in Philosophy and Engineering for Sustainable Development from the Cambridge MIT Institute. Since 2012, our guest has been the global sustainability leader for Mott McDonald and is currently working on a number of boards. He is chair of the committee on engineering and the environment for WFEO, and the sustainability leadership team at the Institute of Civil Engineers. Joining us today is Davide Stronati.

    

Mel De Gioia 1:23

Davide started out as a mountaineer and that led to his engineering career. Growing up in Italy with the Alps right on your doorstep, it’s probably not that surprising actually. Being a mountaineer Davide had an appreciation and a love for nature and being active. He enjoyed the engineering aspect of things and had an opportunity to get involved in environmental engineering specifically.

    

Guest 1:47

Marrying my passion with my intellectual curiosity to know more how I can solve problems.

    

Dom 1:53

This mini series that we’re doing, as part of World Engineer’s Day is specifically around the Sustainable Development Goals. So, today we’re actually talking about SDG goal 13 climate action. Can you give us a bit of a rundown of what that involves?

   

 Guest 2:08

As you said, the SDG and number 13 is all about climate action. We need to bear in mind that each of the SDGs has specific targets and indicators as well as set by the United Nations. But I think that that very same goal, climate action is a great one because effectively,

 

anything that has to do with mitigating adapting to climate change is under climate action.
 

 

This is precisely what the SDG means, in my opinion, and it is fully applicable to each of us engineers in particular.

    

Dom 2:44

I think it’s such a critical goal. Whilst we’ve been talking to, to obviously a lot of engineers in regards to it. All the SDGs are very important. I think climate action is, is proving to be something that’s extremely critical at this present moment in time.



    

Guest 3:00

Yeah, indeed, as you said effectively the reasons why basically we have climate change right now is precisely because our economy has been based for the last year as entirely on fossil fuels and these was used for energy and materials as well as being so, granular the use of fossil fuels in everything we do. This quite difficult to replace the fossil fuels in our economies in our daily life. And therefore, this is proving that a

 

transformation to move away from a fossil fuel economy will involve lots of engineering, will involve lots of innovation on how to produce energy that is not fossil fuel based
 

 

but equally on the material aspects. Because effectively it is present in plastics and so on and not last, the behavioural aspects because we are used to living our lives as we do.

 

There’s going to be a lot of behavioural change and social change that would be needed on the top of the technological innovation that engineers would bring.
 

Mel De Gioia 4:12

It does filter through so much of society this one. What was your inspiration for aligning yourself with climate action and UN SDG 13

    

Guest 4:24

Engineers and then engineering, I think it is particularly adapted and clearly aligned to individuals that want to solve problems. Even better if these problems are, maybe there’s more on the environmental and civil engineering, if they are social problems. And as I said, climate change is indeed a social problem. It is a problem that is affecting all of us, wherever we are based in developed countries, developing countries living along the coast or you know, living in a flooding area or in the risk of droughts. And therefore, we see, I see and climate change as the topic where we will need lots of creativity from engineers because so far we’ve been using our time and investing on creating awareness and acceptance of the problem, but I think now is the moment of taking action. We’ve been seeing these taking action at COP 25 (Committee of Parties) in Madrid. It was very present, the hashtag everywhere, time for action. And if I may say engineers are ideally placed in taking action and in finding solutions to problems.

    

Dom 5:38

So just on that, what do you as an engineer contributing to you UN SDG 13?

    

Guest 5:43

So, at the end of November last year, I became the chair of the Committee of Engineering Environment and the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. And one important thing that I learnt is that climate change has different meanings in different countries. It can be remarkably political in some countries, while in others, it is widely accepted as an event phenomena. And therefore, in these countries where climate change is accepted, there our climate emergency declarations, from engineering bodies. So the idea came to have a World Federation of Engineering Organisations and declaration of climate emergency that can be implemented across the board, across all the different members of WFEO. As simple as that. So the idea was a good idea. And it flew immediately because it took literally four days to write it and sign it by the executive board OF WFEO. And since then it’s been a fantastic success. Because as I was trying to say, it’s been translated into Mandarin and the Chinese colleagues, they adopted. So it is now, it is great. So China adopted on, I think almost Christmas Day on the 24th of December. So that was a fantastic present. It has been, it’s been translated into Spanish in French, in Arabic. So I think there’s a big push now in getting as many members of WFEO as possible to sign to the Declaration on time for the fourth of March, the World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development, but for sure for COP 26 in Glasgow.

    

Mel De Gioia 7:44

So what sort of things were you doing at the COP 25 at Madrid recently?

    

Guest 7:50

I was learning. It was my first COP. And there was such a steep learning curve. It was learning by doing – that I think is is really the best way. I attended events, I talked at events as well. And that was an eye opening experience, because there’s so much expectation from COP. And there’s so much social pressure as well and there are lots of demands from the different corners of this planet. And therefore, I understood even more that we need to deliver the change that has been asked by the civil society by society increasingly by the financial sector, but

 

I have a strong feeling that from next COP onwards, engineers will take a much more leading role in the discussions because effectively, we will be talking much more about solutions, than the problem.
 

 

    

Mel De Gioia 8:44

That was an amazing ending to 2019 having that declaration of climate change, emergency signed and enacted so what’s the goal for 2020 around this climate action UN SDG?

    

Guest 8:58

The very basic of course, is to have all 95 National members of WFEO (correction: there are more than 100 national members), signing up to the declaration and also the 10 supernatural members as well. But actually moving forward, because if it is great they to the declaration, I think we will need to take action on the declaration itself because it has 11 very clear points, the declaration and we need to make progress on each of them in each member organisation. So I think that, you know, we want to be ambitious, but equally we want to give us time. Next year 2021 is going to be the all across the world implementation on the declaration. For this year, we focus on as many countries as possible to sign it but of course already started working with the ones that signed at the end of last year to make progress during this year.

    

Mel De Gioia 9:55

That’s a great goal.

    

Dom 9:56

Sounds great.

    

Mel De Gioia 9:57

We will have the link to that document on our show notes page for this UN SDG. So, thank you so much and best of luck with getting everyone to sign this declaration because I think it sounds like a great step forward.

    

Dom 10:10

Yeah. Thanks for joining us. It was wonderful.

    

Guest 10:11

Thank you, Mel. Thank you Dom. I hope I transferred the passion and the plans for WFEO for myself relating to the climate action.

    

Mel De Gioia 10:22

Absolutely, definitely. And thank you for tuning into Engineering Leaders as we prepare you for the first World Engineering Day on Sustainable Development, which is going to be held every fourth of March. We hope you’re enjoying our mini series which is brought to you with the support of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. The best way for you to show your support for our show, is to tell people, either in person or write a review. Just spread the word. Seriously, it is that easy. We look forward to you and your friends joining us next time when we bring you another episode with one of our engineering champions.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

 

Davide Stronati graduated summa cum laude from his Environmental Engineering degree and went on to receive a Master in Philosphy in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the Cambridge –MIT Institute

 

Since 2012 Davide has been the Global Sustainability Leader of Mott MacDonald and is currently working on a number of boards. He is Chair of the Committee on Engineering and the Environment, for WFEO and the Sustainability Leadership Team at the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Life below water with Raj Prayag

This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken in this episode

 

It is not 100% accurate.

 

The guest was Raj Prayag

 

    Mel De Gioia 0:25

Welcome to Engineering Leaders Mini Series in the lead up to the very first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development 2020. This mini series is being supported by the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. My name is Melanie and my co host and our podcast’s resident engineer is Dominic. Today’s episode is on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number 14 – Life Under Water.

    

Dom 0:55

Our guest today is a chartered civil and environmental engineer with over 50 years experience. In 1990 he was appointed as the Director of Environment of Mauritius. He has been an active member of the Institution of Engineers Mauritius since 1976, and is currently the president of that institution. When he was the chairman of the Mauritius Oceanography Institute between 2015 and 2018, he initiated many research studies into the maritime zone in the area. Joining us today is Raj Prayag.

    Mel De Gioia 1:34

Raj was born in a small village which had no water, no electricity, there wasn’t even a dirt road. He remembers his mum having to fetch water every day from the river. He would say he grew up in difficult circumstances. While he was in secondary school, Raj made the connection that all these difficulties he’s experienced as a child growing up, all pertain to engineering.

    Guest 1:57

 

If you have engineers who can provide you with all these services, you can improve your quality of life.
 

 

And I have never regretted becoming an engineer because through this particular profession I’ve been able to serve not only my countrymen, we are serving mankind because we saving the world, by all the actions we’re taking by the protection of the oceans and the seas, and the land, and the interaction between the land and the sea. Which is very, very important. And that has inspired me and it has always driven me and I’m today 75 years old, and this is my life. This is what I do. This is what I promote. This is what I’m working and living for.

    Dom 2:34

This series is around the UN Sustainable Development Goals. And today, in particular, we’re talking about goal number 14, which is life underwater. Would you be able to give us a bit of a rundown of what that entails?

    Guest 2:45

This is the protection of the seas, the coastal areas, deep seas. You know the waters in our in our region in the Indian Ocean are prone to various changes. Wen have had our minerals and all sorts of temperature changes. We also prone to all these spills in our water, and accidents. We have a lot of cyclones and lots of risk. And there are some islands also. The islands, and the ecosystems of the islands is well learned now, is well documented. Very fragile, interrelated. There’s no difference between land based activities and coastal water activities.

 

So SDG 14 is very relevant to small island developing states and the protection of the coastal areas and the seas are paramount importance for our survival.
 

 

So this is why in implementing SDGs, established matter of marine protected areas, for example, a very important regulating illegal practices in fishings is very important. And we’ve been working on this. But for me, personally, is not something new.

 

I have been working on the protection of the marine environment well before the SDGs.
 

 

    Mel De Gioia 3:48

What inspired you to start your work on SDGs number 14?

    Guest 3:53

When I came back to Mauritius in 1976, I was appointed as a water engineer but with a portfolio responsible for water resources And one afternoon I got a call from somebody in the north of the island saying the sea has gone green. And I said what, what is why has it gone green? So we went and did an inspection and there was a lot of algae bloom just across the newly built hotel. So we took the water we did sampling, it was 1976 I’m talking about. So we did the sampling and we established that there was lots of nutrients, that the nitrates and phosphate leaching into the water. And further investigations also showed that we have a lot of sugarcane plantations in Mauritius, excess fertisilisers, chemical fertilisers being used, which are not fixed by the by the plants also leaching into. So we came to know about it.

 

We established the facts and the figures, but there was no law, there were no environmental laws as such.
 

 

Why protect these people to court and take legal statutory measures against them. I was inspired by this and I got the idea that let me go and talk to these people. So I want to talk to the first hotel owner. And he said to me, Mr. Prayag, you can’t do anything. There is no law, you know, you can’t do anything to me. And I said to him, look, I’ve come to see you as a friend. If you’re not going to stop letting your stuff into the sea, your loved one is going to be polluted. Your hotel, it will be full of algae, it will be, nobody will be able to bathe and you will have to close the shop, you will have to close your hotel. So this little message we spent about three months going around the island, talking to all the hotel owners, and we tried to convince them and then we had a campaign also with a prompt is saying, if you use more chemical fertiliser than your plant can fix, you’re wasting your money because it’s all leaching into the sea doing a lot of damage. So people will be trying to convince people and eventually in 1990, I was recognised for this work. And then the government of Mauritius decided to set up the Minister of Environment and the Department of Environment with the help of the World Bank. And funding of the World Bank, and I was invited to be the first director. So we work on the Environment Protection Act. We work with the World Bank, we set up this institution.

    Dom 6:09

I think a lot of people don’t realise just how fragile it is in regards to just changes in temperatures, just slight variances in temperatures can have a massive impact. How are you as an engineer contributing to the UN SDG 14 goals? Is there specific projects that you’re working on at the moment that focus on these?

    Guest 6:29

As an engineer, I am trying to put projects together. Since 1990 of the Environment Protection Act requires that all projects that we do along the coastline and also industrial buildings are subject of Environment Impact Assessment. And it’s not for the show. It is something which is very thoroughly done in Mauritius with the participation of the public. Because every EIA has got to have this obligatory participation. Notices that even in the public, we have public debates. So this is one of the main instruments we use. The other is Education. And

 

the project that we have now to be able to integrate the concerns of the SDG 14, is to formalise it and to make it formal into integrated into the education system.
 

 

We have a very good education system, education is free in Mauritius, as you know, from birth to university. And we want to integrate that. They are doing a lot of environmental education, but we want to do something very specific to climate change in the light of what is happening at the moment. And with the assistance and collaboration, so the WFEO World Federation of Engineering Organisation, the UNESCO, we have other partners also, from Asia, from Malaysia, we have Singaporeans helping us, also, the original Office of UNESCO in Nairobi, we all working together towards the project right now in 2020. Which is going to be held between starting the 13th of April. We want to integrate that in our curricula with studies. So we’re going to train in the first instance, some 50 teacher trainers so that we can get them up on board and convincing them by

 

educating them so that these people can work on the curricula and integrate all these issues to deal with climate change.
 

 

And specifically with SDG 14, regarding the seas and the coastal areas. With the formal education to them, they are

 

the next generation of people coming through will be fully educated and fully apprised of the dangers lurking ahead of us.
 

 

    Mel De Gioia 8:28

That education programme does sound amazing. So it’s going to be going out and you teaching the teachers and train the trainers?

    Guest 8:35

And curricula people to write curriculums. Yeah.

    Mel De Gioia 8:37

Yeah. That should be amazing. You’re launching on the 13th of April for this project, is there a big goal with that project for 2020?

    Guest 8:47

This is going to build over long term, obviously, it’s going to take a few years to be able to be implemented. But just getting it on board through the Minister of Education onto their books, and

 

changing the curriculum, I think is the most important thing that we are going to be able to do because it’s going to pay off over years to come in the future.
 

 

You’re going to have

 

a new generation of students and professors and teachers, are going to be well versed, understand, and take on board and the environment and SDG 14.
 

 

    Dom 9:16

The education side of it is so important, because as you said, when yo went and spoke to the hotel owners and said, Yeah, you know, if you don’t act, forget all the the economic side of it, it’s going to ruin the beach front in front of you. It’s always going to have a major impact. And people don’t think about those things. I suppose it’s not until you actually pointed out Yeah, make sense. So it’s extremely important to have the education right.

    Mel De Gioia 9:42

Well, thank you so much. We wish you the best of luck with the launch of your project in April.

    Guest 9:47

Thank you very much indeed.

    Mel De Gioia 9:48

And thank you for tuning into Engineering Leaders as we prepare you for the first World Engineering Day on Sustainable Development, which is going to be held every fourth of March. We hope you’re enjoying our mini series which is brought to you with the support of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. The best way for you to show your support for our show, is to tell people, either in person or write a review. Just spread the word. Seriously, it is that easy. We look forward to you and your friends joining us next time when we bring you another episode with one of our engineering champions.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Raj Prayag is a chartered Civil and Environmental engineer with over 50 years of experience.

In 1990 he was appointed as the Director of Environment of Mauritius.

Raj has been an active member of the Institution of Engineers Mauritius since 1976 and is currently the President of this institution.

When he was Chairman of the Mauritius Oceanography Institute between 2015 & 2018, he initiated many research studies in his area.

Life on land with Dr Jing Peng

The guest was Dr Jing Peng, Chair of the Committee on Engineering for Innovative Technologies (CEIT).

 

Mel De Gioia 0:24

Welcome to Engineering Leaders Mini Series in the lead up to the very first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development in 2020. This mini series is being supported by the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. My name is Melanie and my co host and our podcast’s resident engineer is Dominic. Today’s episode is on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number 15, Life on land.

    

Dom 0:52

 

Our guest today is a hydraulic engineer like me. She’s the vice president of the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydro Power Resource, China’s largest and National Research Institute on water and hydro power. She’s also the chair of the standing Technical Committee on engineering for innovation technologies for the World Federation of Engineering Organisations, and is the Secretary General for the connecnational Association for Hydro Environment, Engineering and Research. Joining us today to speak on UN SDG 15, Life on Land is Dr. Jing Peng.

    

Mel De Gioia 1:29

Peng decided to become an engineer in high school, because she greatly admired the engineers who created the solid world around her. And she felt that this career would give her a real sense of accomplishment.

    

Guest 1:41

So I admired from that time, the engineers.

   

 Mel De Gioia 1:46

Now, our episode today is about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number 15, which is Life on Land. What can you tell our listeners about this SDG in particular?

    

Guest 1:57

In my view, I think SDG 15 has two key words. The first one is protect, it’s

 

protect the life on earth.
 

 

The second one is restore, to

 

restore those that are under serious threat.
 

 

Here I think the life refers to a complete and inter related life system on land. For example in freshwater, including forest, rivers likes where land, mountains and grasslands is essential. They are all factors of ecosystems of life on earth. And

 

life on earth is an integral part of the biosphere of our planet.
 

 

It’s this part that has made our globals so colourful and lively. And it’s this life system that has given birth to us, the human beings in the world, and has provided the resources that sustain our life.

 

So to protect a life on earth is to protect a home and a future.
 

 

That’s my understanding for this SDG.

    

Mel De Gioia 3:28

It’s all very connected life on earth and humanity and just you know, we take the resources from the earth, but we are also part of the earth and it’s it’s a really big synergy there.

    

Dom 3:40

Was there a particular inspiration that brought you to align yourself to this UN SDG?

    

Guest 3:45

I think to do anything, the most important point or crucial aspect is to explore the principle behind or in simple words, the way things go naturally. This is a knowledge level. The practical level, you should follow the principle to go forward. If you do so, you’ll get success, especially in a long term sense. If not, you failed. This is what we call finding the right way to do the right thing. So back to the theme of SDG 15. To protect the life on land, comes out in the same logic, I think. The

 

understanding about the nature and the relationship between human things and other life,
 

 

on land is a process that is constantly developing. Now we have recognised that the importance of co-existence of life on land, so we get asked to align our work to do it. I think is exactly how the sustainable development goes from concept from idea to real actions. Once you identify with or

 

believe in the right goal of sustainability, you will translate into each into every aspect of your work and life.
 

 

Mel De Gioia 5:32

Yeah. Is there an example of something that you’re working on as an engineer that’s contributing towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 15?

    

Guest 5:42

Yes, I would like to give you examples. Actually, in terms of professional work, or from the point of view of scientific research and engineering project. We once carried out a study on the operation or the routine flooding plan for Three Gorges project. Which is I suppose, you know, one of the largest reservoir in the world.

    

Mel De Gioia 6:15

Dom’s nodding his head.

    

Guest

So that’s why I would like to talk about that one. Once we have the task to study on its operation plan, so with a protection and restoration of aquatic ecosystem in mind, what we reached out finally, is very much a multi purpose operation plan. That means in addition to the purpose of flood control water supply, and hydropower generation, etc., which are mainly from the consideration of the needs of people, we also consider the needs from the fishery in the river. So consideration is also be given to providing, for example, seasonal flood flow, or we call it “flood pulse”, which is needed exactly for the local fish spawning. So this is, I think, a very concrete example of how we protect fish and biodiversity in the Yangtze River, a large river, from the engineering point of view.

    

Dom 7:49

It’s a great example I oddly enough, I was reading about the Three Gorges Dam last night so it’s always very interesting to speak with people who’ve been involved in those projects. Is there something that you hope to achieve in regards to UN SDG 15 in 2020?

    

Guest 8:07

My expectation for the year 2020 of course, above all, I wish the UN SDG 15 make new progress in all dimensions. Since we have all dimensions for example, a forest the biodiversity, but especially for the protection of biodiversity. And all the lives on earth could be living in harmony. Because, say

 

life on earth, we are very interconnected to each other.
 

 

We share all the resources together, and we actually affect each other personally this year. I have a very specific wish for 2020. Actually this year in May, I will be working on competition for the innovative ideas and solutions on sustainable transportation. It is organised by the UN and the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. I wish more girls could be interested and stuff made to their ideas and solutions. Personally, I think it’s not only a competition or event, it is so tough campaign to raise awareness, especially the young to have the realisation of how the SDGs is there and what the actions from across the world be taking for the SDG achievement.

    

Mel De Gioia 10:00

What was the name of the competition?

    

Guest 10:02

For the innovative ideas and solutions on sustainable transportation.

    

Dom 10:09

That sounds like a wonderful challenge for the year

    

Mel De Gioia 10:12

About transportation as well.

   

 Guest 10:15

Yes, I think transportation is one of the main activities for human beings on Earth. It has an impact to the life around us.
 

But we can also do very good creative activities to protect the life on earth
 

 

in terms of transportation. It’s all connected to each other.

    

Mel De Gioia 10:43

It’s almost like you can do any project and as long as you consider the whole ecosystem and the position of human life in the grand scheme of things, you’re almost covering off this UN SDG.

    

Guest 10:55

Yes, and actually, I add my understanding. For example, when you build the road in the rural areas, sometimes you have very much impacted to say wildlife. So you have to consider how you protect the life on earth in that area. So that’s exactly what the SDG 15 mentioned, we should protect the life on earth and we should really restore what is under threat.

    

Mel De Gioia 11:32

I hope some interesting solutions come out from that competition because it sounds like a great one to be holding this year.

   

 Guest 11:38

Yes, that’s my specific wish for this year.

    

Dom 11:42

Thank you so much for joining us today.

    

Mel De Gioia 11:44

Thank you for joining us.

    

Guest 11:45

Thank you very much for taking your time.

    

Mel De Gioia 11:48

And thank you for tuning into Engineering Leaders as we prepare us for the first World Engineering Day on Sustainable Development, which is going to be held every fourth of March. We hope you’re enjoying our mini series which is brought to you with the support of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. The best way for you to show your support for our show, is to tell people, either in person or write a review. Just spread the word. Seriously, it is that easy. We look forward to you and your friends joining us next time when we bring you another episode with one of our engineering champions.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

 

Dr Jing Peng is a hydraulic engineer. She’s the vice president of the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research – China’s largest and national research institute on water and hydropower.

 

Jing is also the chair of the Standing Technical Committee on Engineering for Innovative Technologies FOR the World Federation of Engineering Organization. She is also the secretary general for the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research.

Peace, justice and strong institutions with Marlene Kanga

This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken in this episode

 

It is not 100% accurate.


The guest was Marlene Kanga, WFEO President 2017 – 2019.

 

Mel De Gioia 0:24

Welcome to Engineering Leaders Mini Series in the lead up to the very first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development 2020. This mini series is being supported by the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. My name is Melanie and my co host and our podcast resident engineer is Dominic. Today’s episode is on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Number 16… that is Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

  

Dom 0:51

Today’s guest almost needs no introduction because she’s already been on that podcast. Until very recently, our guest was the president of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. It is thanks to her campaigning efforts that we are about to celebrate our very first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development. She’s on the board for the Sydney Water Corporation and Airservices Australia, as well as a few other boards. Our guest has been listed as the top 10 most Influential Women Engineers in Australia, the top 100 Women of Influence and the top hundred engineers in Australia, and she has been awarded a Member of the Order of Australia. Today our guest is Dr. Marlene Kanga.

  

Mel De Gioia 1:34

Marlene was naturally talented in chemistry and mathematics, and she knew she wanted to do something practical with her skills. Growing up, no one ever told her that girls couldn’t be engineers. On top of all that her dad was one of India’s very first engineers who worked on some amazing projects

  

Guest 1:53

and I saw firsthand the impact that engineering has on people and how it changes lives and empower them and encourages economic development. I think engineers don’t think about this enough.



  

Dom 2:06

Couldn’t agree more. This podcast series were specifically looking at the UN Sustainable Development Goals. And today we’re looking at Sustainable Development Goal number 16, which is Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. Can you tell us a little bit about what SDG16 sort of encompasses?

  

Guest 2:23

So SDG16 is about the institutional framework under which individuals can work to advance the Sustainable Development Goals, these institutions can be government organisations, can be not for profit organisations, can be professional institutions, and can be companies. And it’s all about governance and sound frameworks. And it’s really a foundation for the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals. Without strong institutions, we can’t progress these and in the developed world, we often take this for granted. We operate seamlessly under strong institutions. But in many other in many countries around the world, these institutions don’t exist in the first place. Leave alone has strong governance, in particular, in the engineering sector, this is particularly important. And I think it’s very important for the World Federation of Engineering Organisations, of which I was President until November 2019, to work to support from institutions and governance for the engineering profession.

  

Dom 3:42

Do you find that most of the institutions are willing to take on the guideline they’re actually willing to help or it’s very hard to sort of cross that boundary between engineering and politics.

  

Guest 3:53

In some instances, there is a crying need for strong institutions, people know that they want it, but they don’t know how to get there. And I’ve had experience of getting people across the line, if you like, for international standard in a relatively small space of time and in a relatively small amount of effort, if you like. Because what’s key is communicating what’s required for good governance, what’s the structure that’s required, what are the elements of good governance, and these information is critical for many, many institutions, and many individuals who desire to have strong institutions to help them to understand what is needed to get them to an international standard.

  

Mel De Gioia 4:42

So what inspired you to work within this UNSDG?

  

Guest 4:46
 

This SDG 16 on the governance of organisations is a foundation SDG, because this then enables individuals to work within a framework of an organisation that is well run, has good systems and processes, is not corrupt, is an ethical organisation, and provides equal opportunities for all.

 

So it’s absolutely essential,

 

I think to have strong institutions with good systems and processes in place to enable individuals to flourish and to progress their goals.
 

 
Dom 5:24

So how are you as an engineer contributing to the UNSDG? Are there specific projects that you’re undertaking at the moment?

  

Guest 5:32

Yeah, I can talk to you about three specific areas. So the first is on the global scale in partnership with the International Standards Organisation, ISO. So I’m a member of the committee that is developing a standard on the governance of organisations. This will be the ISO 37,000 standard, and the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. It’s a partner member of this committee. This committee is made up of the standards organisations from around the world, who are working together to develop this particular standard. And what this does is it provides the structure and framework of what a well governed organisation should consist of. It may sound very basic, but it’s actually an essential framework.

We’ve been working on this for the last 18 months and I’m happy to say it’s progressing very fast very well. We hope to release the standard along with some guidance later this year. So this will be a critical element for the governance of organisations and it compliments the ISO 37,001 Anti-Bribery Standard, which the World Federation of Engineering Organisations also worked on with ISO, which is to prevent corruption and organisations. And the World Federation runs training on the implementation of ISO 37,001 and we will similarly develop training programmes on the governance of organisations through ISO 37,000 grants that is released. So that’s the first project and it’s a clear objective and something that will definitely have an impact.

  

Dom 7:24

Yeah definitely.

  

Guest 7:25

Yeah, the second one is specifically in the engineering sector and this is to

 

develop strong organisations in the field of engineering education.
 

 

So we have an organisation called the International Engineering Alliance, which is a partner of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. And this alliance, IEA, is the acronym, provides

 

governance over multilateral agreements between countries to recognise engineering qualifications and professional credentials.

 

This is absolutely critical for engineers to be able to work seamlessly around the world.
 

 

So for example, Australia, Canada, United States, UK, and South Africa, for example, signatories to these agreements, there are seven in all, which deal with engineers, technicians, technologists, and their professional credentials to match. But you can see from the list that I’ve mentioned, they’re all countries from the developed world. And

 

it has progressed very slowly in the developing world.
 

 

At the same time, there’s a huge shortage of engineers in the developing world. And in some countries, which have a huge demand, there’s a few thousand engineers. The engineers that are produced also aren’t of international standards. So you, you have some countries like India, for example, produce about a million engineers a year, but the standard varies enormously. At the top tier there are international class. But, you know, it ranges right down the bottom where those engineers really don’t have qualifications that would make them employable at an international standard. So what’s needed is a process to accredit, or verify the graduate outcomes for these engineers and to have a process that brings them up to international standards. So for this, you need two types of institutions, you need independent bodies or organisations that accredits the universities and secondly, you need to bring the universities themselves, the teaching programmes, up to standards. So the World Federation of Engineering Organisations is working with IEA on the second part on the accreditation of organisations.

Firstly, to establish accreditation organisations in countries where there are none, and secondly, where there are accreditation bodies, to bring them up to international standard. The absolute crying need for this and I personally worked to bring, for example, Sri Lanka to the international standard. And they achieved the international standard in 2014 and it’s had an enormous economic impact. They now have Engineers Act and all engineers are required to be registered. They’ve expanded the number of engineering students that now graduate and there are now more universities and engineering courses for engineers. But most importantly, those engineers are employed with confidence within Sri Lanka on infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka without importing foreign engineers.

 

This is absolutely critical for economic development.
 

 

So we’re working at the World Federation, with a few small number of countries. Because this, of course, always requires money, and we don’t have a lot. But what we’re doing in this seeding, we’ve got our hub-and-spoke model. So we are seeding this project, so that in certain regions of Africa, we’re supporting the those that are most advanced, for example, in East Africa, Kenya is most advanced and Ghana in the West. At the moment in Africa, we have only one country, South Africa, that is at international standards. And our goal is to get three more, at least, after standards in the next four years. And once we get those three, we hoping that they will then support other African nations in the region. And we are working out a process, a flow chart if you like, to develop the pipeline of institutions that we can support. We’re also doing this in Asia and also in South America. In South America, we don’t have any. So we’re going to bring, hopefully bring Peru and Brazil up to that standard, and also, hopefully Mexico. So it’s a big, big plan.

  

Dom 12:16

Yeah, big job.

  

Guest 12:17

But you can see it’s going to have enormous impact on engineering. And of course,

 

engineers are critical to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals.
 

 

So we’re hoping this SDG 16 and the work that we’re doing will then help to progress further work on the other SDGs by engineers.

  

Mel De Gioia 12:35

So you’ve had your first project was a very global and I’m assuming it was more than just engineers dealing with that ISO, so that was a quite a wide net. And then your second project that you just mentioned, was about putting strong institutions in to allow the education of engineers to be more globally aligned to each other so we can get more engineers in on a really good quality because as you said that we need the engineers to progress society. So what was your third project?

  

Guest 13:08

So the third project is really in terms of diversity and women in engineering. It may surprise you, or it may not, that there’s very few institutions, engineering institutions around the world that have chapters for the women engineers. And some countries have networks of women engineers, which aren’t aligned with the professional engineering institutions. But within the professional engineering institutions, less than 10 members of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations have Women in Engineering groups. And adding these groups is quite important for diversity because it does a number of things. Firstly, it’s a network and a support mechanism for women who are often isolated in workplaces where they are a minority. So it

 

always helps for women to get together and talk about the problems and realise that many of the problems and issues they face are systemic.
 

 

It’s not about them personally, it’s a systemic issue. Secondly, having these networks helps to do other things like raise the profile of women engineers who are achievers, encourage them into leadership, mentor and support them, and also to encourage more girls to become engineers. So, these women in engineering networks are extremely important. So I am encouraging the World Federation of Engineering Organisation’s Committee for Women in Engineering to sponsor the foundation of Women in Engineering groups among the members of the Federation. This is a project that is still in its infancy, but has a long way to go. But again, it’s about developing institutions in a particular sector of engineering to address in fact, Goal 5, which is Greater Diversity and Inclusion, which is again vital for innovation and for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

  

Mel De Gioia 15:08

So some of these projects that you brought to our attention, like, they have a long lead-in so they’ve been running for a number of years now, what specifically are you hoping to achieve on any of those projects in 2020?

  

Guest 15:23

So in 2020, I’m hoping that we will have the ISO 37,000 standards completed and released. I think that will be a very big project to have in place and it’s a global project. It covers all types of organisations, corporate, private sector, not for profit, and professiona,l and government and we can continue to build on that. That’s a foundation for which we can take off and go further. Similarly, with the engineering accreditation bodies, we’re not going to get there this year, but we’ve made a step bringing together all the parties has been an enormous amount of work. It’s taken a lot of goodwill, but it’s a lot of talking as well. We’ve now brought them together under the auspices of UNESCO. And it’s just a work in progress.

  

Mel De Gioia 16:14

Thank you.

  

Dom 16:14

Thank you so much for joining us.

  

Mel De Gioia 16:16

I feel like I’ve really learned a lot about the scale and the magnitude of what is being done by engineers towards SDG 16. And I’m a little bit daunted by the amount of work that needs to be done.

  

Dom 16:30

It’s an amazing amount of work. But it’s, it’s also it’s so encouraging that these things go by and just to hear about those particular projects as well. The things that we don’t know about, the we don’t know about, even in the engineering fraternity unless we sort of talk about those things. And it’s so wonderful to think that there’s these frameworks that are being set up, but actually is really encouraging for the future.

  

Dom

Yeah. So thank you. And thank you for joining us today on our special mini series.

  

Mel

Yeah, thank you so much.

  

Guest 16:58

Thank you. Thank you very much.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

 

Until very recently Dr Marlene Kanga was the President of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. It is thanks to her campaigning efforts that the we are all about to celebrate our very first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development.

 

She is on the board for the Sydney Water Corporation and Air Services Australia, as well as numerous other boards.

 

Marlene has been listed among the Top 10 most influential women engineers in Australia, the Top 100 Women of Influence and the Top 100 Engineers in Australia. And she was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia.

Partnerships for the goals with Gong Ke

This is a “close” copy of the words that were spoken in this episode

 

It is not 100% accurate.
The guest was Gong Ke, WFEO President.

 

Mel De Gioia 0:25

Welcome to Engineering Leaders. This is our very last official episode in our mini series in the lead up to the very first World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development in 2020. It’s been a mini series supported by the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. My name is Melanie and my co host and our podcast’s resident engineer is Dominic. This very last episode is going to be on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal that is holding everything together. We’re going to be talking about the UN SDG Number 17 Partnership for the Goals.

  

Dom

Our guest trained as an electrical engineer and is the current standing president of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations. He also holds the positions of executive director of the Chinese Institute for the New Generation Artificial Intelligent Development Strategies. And the chairman of the Academic Committee of Nankai University. Our guest has held many academic positions in various universities and earned many awards for his research in areas such as wireless communication and microsatellites. Speaking to us today about partnerships for the UN Sustainable Development Goals is Gong Ke.

  

Mel

Ke’s future was greatly affected during the decade in China called the Cultural Revolution, which went from between 1966 and 1976. Because of this revolution, Ke lost his chance to study further in high school and was sent to a factory as a 15 year old to work. In his work at the factory he says he ran into a lot of problems. And it was the trained engineers at this factory that helped him to better understand why the work had to be done in a specific way. And these engineers that helped him out along the way, changed his life.



  

Dom 2:13

They did give me a lot of help. And they really became a model of my life. And I really want to became a problem solver, like they are. And I think that’s the motivation for me at the very beginning to study engineering and keep the engineering area.

  

Mel De Gioia 2:35

That’s wonderful.

  

Dom 2:35

Excellent. So the podcasts that we’re doing at the moment, we’ve been going through the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and this podcast in particular is in regards to UN SDG number 17. So partnerships for the goals. Can you tell the listeners out there just exactly what that is so that I can have a better understanding of what UN SDG 17 is about?

  

Guest

We have totally 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
 

The partnership is the last of them, but it’s never the least.
 

 

The importance of this goal is clearly stated in the text of the UN agenda. It reads,
 

we recognise that we will not be able to achieve our ambitious goals and targets without a revitalised and enhanced Global Partnership.
 

 

The revitalised global partnership will facilitate intensive global engagement in support of implementation of all the goals and targets. Bringing together governments civil societies, the private sector, the United Nations system and other actors and mobilising all available resources to share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources in all countries in particular developing countries. There is clear statement of the Global Partnership. And you know,
 

the World Federation of Engineering Organisations, to which I’m serving as president, is a platform of Global Partnership in engineering.
 

 

These Federation consists of more than 100 National engineering organisations and regional continental engineering organisations.

  

Mel De Gioia 4:34

The World Federation of Engineering Organisations is a perfect example as your were saying of partnerships coming together under one umbrella with the goal of the sustainable development that is an actual example of partnerships in action.

  

Dom 4:52

Yes. I think the Federation itself is a good example. And itself is a partnership a global partnership. And our mission of this partnership is to promote sustainability of the world. And I think
 

only with revitalised partnership, we could fulfil our mission, I mean the mission of WFEO, to engineering a sustainable world.
 

 

  

Mel De Gioia 5:22

We’re keen to understand why it’s important for you or why you’re inspired to actually align your engineering work with this United Nations Sustainable Goals. So, your why.

  

Dom 5:36

Talking about inspiration, I seek my inspiration to align my work to these UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 17 for partnership is rooted in my understanding of the responsibility of engineers and engineering for sustainable development. And my understanding to my role as a president of WFEO, I understand
 

engineering is the process of solving problems by using scientific technological knowledges.
 

 

Our engineers are problem solvers.
 

However, complicated problem could not be solved by individual engineer. Well, global problem could not be solved by a nation alone.
 

 

That is why the goal of global partnership is set in the UN agenda. And that is also why the engineering organisations worldwide came together 51 years ago to establish the World Federation of Engineering Organisations, I believe
 

to solve the problem of sustainable development, engineering is the key.
 

 

And the global partnership of engineers is also the key. As the president of the WFEO I do have the thought that
 

WFEO has the responsibility to promote the revitalised partnership of engineering organisations and the engineers worldwide to engage into the practice of sustainable development.
 

 

That’s the thought, deeply in my mind, I think that is the inspiration for me to align in my work in these Sustainable Development Goals, especially the global partnership.

  

Mel De Gioia 7:36

That was so well said and the way you said that an individual will need to work as a team to achieve something. And then to relate that back to a single country needs other countries to help solve problems. That was I really liked that that was very eloquent.

  

Guest 7:53

Thank you.

  

Dom 7:54

How are you as an engineer of the WFEO, contributing to you UNSDG 17. Like, are there specific projects that you have, that you’re working on?

  

Guest

So you know as an engineer, my background is Electronic Engineering, which is a fast changing field, especially in the past decades. And in recent years, my research focus is mainly on artificial intelligence as a head of the Chinese Institute for the New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Strategy. We put our emphasis on the development strategy of AI and the governance of AI to ensure that is for the good of human and the sustainability for which a global partnership is not only necessary but imperative. We are working with WFEO Standing Technical Committee of Engineering for Innovative Technology on drafting the proposal of the principles for the responsible conduct of artificial intelligence in engineering, which is planned to release on the first World Engineering Day. In last year, I have attended several UN and other international meetings related to AI. For example, in Paris at the UNESCO mobile learning week in New York, at the United Nations Scientific Technological Innovation forum, in Beijing as a UNESCO AI education conference in Luton, at the World Internet forum, and in Korea at the Digital Peace forum and others. I constantly stressed that people should recognise the dual attributes, that is the technical and social attributes of AI and
 

I strongly, repeatedly call for the global dialogue,
 

 

to reach a international consensus on the principles as a first step, and then to turn these principle consensus into laws, rules, regulations, and technical standards, to establish effective technical tools for engineers to test and verify the principles are embedded really, in the AI system, and to educate people to respond to research, develop, design, implement, use and manage the AI system. So we really work hard, try to build an international open platform for the further development of the AI system and the governance of AI system to ensure it is good for all the people.

  

Mel De Gioia 10:59

That’s a huge goal. That’s a huge endeavour to bring the entire world together to all agree on such protocols. So no wonder you’re travelling a lot.

  

Dom 11:14

Yes. And you know that
 

because of the geopolitical conflicts, it is still a lot of difficulties to set up a real international collaboration
 

 

on artificial intelligence and its applications. So we are working hard to promote the international collaboration and to have a closer link with partners.

  

Mel De Gioia 11:41

That’s a big thing, isn’t it?

  

Dom 11:42

That’s a huge project.

  

Mel De Gioia 11:45

You’re releasing something on the on World Engineering Day on the fourth of March. Have you got another goal in mind for 2020? Or is that is that big enough?

  

Dom 11:56

Yes, for this specific or year, the year 2020 we are working together with IEA a that stands for International Engineering Education Alliance, and ICEE that’s the International Centre of Engineering Education, which is the UNESCO secondary centre, to review the current engineering education specifications of the graduate attributes and professional competencies in order to find out the gaps to the requirements of SDGs and to complete the proposal to amend the current standards for further discussion worldwide. The ultimate objective of these projects is to reach a global benchmark standard, to ensure the quality engineering education for sustainability and to better facilitate the international cooperation and engineers mobilisation across the border. In this year, we’re going to complete a very important proposal to the amendment of the current world standards of engineering education. That’s a very definite objective of this year with global partnership.

  

Mel

It’s a very bright future for engineers. That’s for sure.

  

Guest 13:26

This will be a busy year.

  

Dom 13:27

It will thank you so much for joining us.

  

Mel De Gioia 13:29

Thank you. It’s been very, it’s been wonderful hearing you talk about all the partnerships that WFEO have and how they are all working together.

  

Guest 13:38

Thank you. Thank you so much.

 

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

 

Gong Ke trained as an electrical engineer and is the current standing president of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations.

 

He also holds the positions of Executive Director of the Chinese Institute for the New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Strategies, and the Chairman of the Academic Committee of Nankai University

 

Gong Ke has held many academic positions in various universities and earned many awards for his research in areas such as wireless communications and micro-satellites.

 

Speaking to us to day about Partnerships for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is Gong Ke.

World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development 2020

This is the FINAL episode in our Engineering Leaders mini-series.
Today, 4th March 2020 is World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development.

 

This episode marks the end of the mini-series that was supported by the World Federation for Engineering Organisations. 17 episodes from 18 engineers from around the globe speaking to us about their world with a single Sustainable Development Goal.

 

When Dr Marlene Kanga stepped into the president role of WFEO she set some audacious goals. These goals were not going to be easy to achieve, she knew it would be difficult. But if she managed to reach these goals…. well, the world would be a changed place.

 

We spoke to Marlene back in late October 2019, before the day had been officially confirmed.

 

Have a listen to Marlene explaining her journey of getting as many nations as possible to support her dream of a World Engineering Day.

 

If you want to know more about the World Engineering Day, check out their website at https://worldengineeringday.net/.

 

We hope that everyone everywhere can reflect upon how on this one day, the world is coming together to celebrate and appreciate and encourage all engineers across the world to make this planet the best possible place for humans to live.
 

 

Thank You.

Mel & Dom couldn’t have created this incredible body of work without the unwavering support of Dr Marlene Kanga and all the people at the World Federation of Engineering Organisations.

 

We love that this podcast can now be forever and freely be connected to the inaugural World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development.

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