2011 Year of Humanitarian Engineering Update

In 2011 Engineers Australia is celebrating the Year of Humanitarian Engineering. This provides an opportunity to recognise the role of engineering in improving quality of life and disaster recovery.

Humanitarian engineering makes a significant contribution to the engineering profession and wider community but it can only continue to make a difference with the support of passionate engineers. The 2011 Year of Humanitarian Engineering website features the profiles of some of these passionate Australian engineers as well as some of the projects they have helped to deliver.

In November, Engineers Australia is organising a Humanitarian Engineering Conference in Melbourne. The conference will showcase the role members of the engineering team and key stakeholders play in the humanitarian effort and cover roles such as disaster relief, alleviating human suffering, community building and use of appropriate technology. A particular emphasis will be on the holistic approach taken to ensure the social, environmental and economic needs of both individuals and communities are considered. The conference will give insight into how the engineering team, consulting firms, government, defence and not-for-profit organisations work together to bring hope to the seriously disadvantaged.

A series of information sharing seminars will occur within Engineers Australia Divisions throughout Australia. The seminars will offer opportunities to share with the engineering community the humanitarian work being undertaken by key stakeholders. The seminars will give many deserving individuals an opportunity to inspire future generations of engineers to undertake challenging humanitarian engineering roles.

Issues-based workshops will be a more interactive forum between audiences and panels of experts. A specific issue will be the topic for discussion and will encourage engineers to be innovative and aim to influence future humanitarian engineering endeavours.

Together these forums will enable different voices in the community to share thoughts on improved approaches to humanitarian engineering. If you would like further information on these events please contact Catriona McAuliffe (02) 6270 6547 or CMcAuliffe@engineersaustralia.org.au

Recognising the efforts of current engineers is only half the challenge, we also need to inspire future engineers who will make their contribution to humanitarian efforts and provide the engineering capability needed to sustain and grow a strong industry sector in Australia.

EngQuest provides an exciting way for students to participate in free, fun, educational engineering activities involving mathematics, science and technology. EngQuest is non-competitive, with every student recognised for their participation and hard work with a certificate and a gift.

Curriculum-appropriate classroom engineering projects are provided via the EngQuest website, along with easy-to-use instructions, background information, lesson and activity ideas and student activity sheets for lower primary, primary and middle years students for each project.

The Discover Engineering: Engineers in Schools Program was established by Engineers Australia, to help students and teachers discover what a career in engineering can offer by bringing professional engineers together with students in the classroom.

To ensure students and teachers get the maximum benefit from this program, VSSEC and Engineers Australia, have joined forces to combine passionate engineers and best practice in science education. VSSEC trains the engineers in strategies for effective science teaching and how to demonstrate the principles of engineering using the pre-mission activities from VSSEC’s Mission to Mars, Mission to the Orbiting Space Laboratory, and Robotic Mission to Mars programs.

We encourage you to take advantage of this program and book a FREE engineer. Contact Sandra Perrett at Engineers Australia to request an engineer or to join the team of engineers visiting schools 9321 1725 or SPerrett@engineersaustralia.org.au. Contact VSSEC 9379 3456 or bookings@vssec.vic.edu.au to book a mission program.