Engineers of the world unite: The World Engineers Convention comes to Australia

The annual World Engineers Convention comes to Melbourne this month with a packed program focused on sustainability, technology and the challenges of the future.

With the planet facing climate change, increased urbanisation and rising oceans, there has never been a greater need for innovative engineering solutions.

That is precisely the focus of the World Engineers Convention (WEC) being held in Melbourne later this month.

Over three action-packed days, the convention will tackle some of the most pressing issues facing professional engineers today – from new technology and innovation to global warming and how to engineer for humanity.

The convention’s six main themes, which also include diversity and inclusion within the profession, are aligned with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015.

Sometimes called the “Olympics of Engineering” the WEC, which is co-hosted by Engineers Australia and the World Federation of Engineering Organisations, will bring together delegates from 70 countries and more than 20 keynote speakers – from industry CEOs to global thought leaders.

“WEC is a platform to engage with engineering leaders who will shape how the sector evolves to address the sustainability agenda ahead of us,” says Alison Stoakley, a program leader from Engineers Without Borders Australia.

Speakers in Melbourne include some of the world’s most inspirational leaders, researchers and influencers, including Professor Carlo Ratti from MIT; Meredith Westafer, Senior Industrial Engineer at Tesla; Dr Alan Finkel, Australia’s Chief Scientist; and Dennis Cai, Chief Architect of Network Infrastructure at Alibaba.

“WEC, especially with the theme of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, provides a great opportunity for both industry and academic engineers to come together and share what we have learnt,” says Clayton McDowell, a doctoral student from the University of Wollongong.

In addition to the Technical Program, the convention will host specialist sessions covering topics such as Natural Disaster Risk Management; Energy and Sustainable Practices; Innovative Technology; and Sustainable Cities.

The program also includes a number of debates presented by Engineers Australia, which this year celebrates its centenary. Topics include Engineers Nail Climate Risk; Technology: The End of Civil Engineering; Future Energy World; and Great Debate (Women in Engineering).

Offering some 580-plus presentations, this year’s WEC is a unique opportunity to hear from some of the world’s smartest engineers and industry leaders who will help to chart the future of engineering over the next 100 years.

Delegates will also be able to inspect several innovative new building materials that are helping to make our cities healthier and more sustainable. Brickworks will be showcasing various new Austral products, including the easy-to-use MagnumStone system for retaining walls and its precast Austral Precast Double Wall formwork solution.

A highlight of WEC 2019 will be the display of the longest LEGO bridge in the world – part of the WEC STEM program which includes content for primary, high school and university students in Australia.

The World Federation of Engineering Organizations is the peak body for engineering institutions internationally, representing more than 100 countries and 30 million engineers around the world. This is the first convention co-hosted by Engineers Australia and WFEO in Australia.

World Engineers Convention Australia 2019, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, November 20-22.

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