World Engineering Day promotes sustainable development

Engineering institutions, universities and businesses are celebrating the inaugural World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development today.

The event will be marked on 4 March every year as a UNESCO international day of recognition for engineers and the contributions of engineering to sustainable development and modern life.

This comes after a resolution was backed by member states of UNESCO at its 40th General Conference in November 2019, gaining support from more than 40 nations including the UK.

The international day is expected to serve as a springboard for awareness raising actions and help to promote engineering to young people as a career opportunity that can change the world for the better, including through tackling climate change.

“Engineers aren’t very good at articulating the value of engineering and the impact that engineers and engineering have on society,” said past president of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations Dr Marlene Kanga, who led the proposal for the day. “This is a wonderful opportunity to talk about these aspects and engage the community in the work of engineers.”

The World Engineering Day logo includes the 17 colours of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which the profession is expected to play a key role in achieving.

One UK engineering body that is recognising the day is the Institution of Engineering & Technology. IET sustainable planet lead James Robottom said: “The responsibility to drastically reduce our impact on the climate, while continuing to develop and prosper in a sustainable way falls on all areas, industries and sections of society. It is without doubt, one of the largest engineering challenges of our time.

“Engineers have the skills, insights and ingenuity to help tackle these challenges in ways that optimise efficiency, economy, safety and reliability. As engineers, we are problem solvers and innovators, with a unique perspective on the world. Most of these challenges are significant, long term and require co-operation, collaboration and action from all over the world. Engineering is central to delivering them.”

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