World Engineering Day

ESC blog world engineering day

Today is World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development, a UNESCO international day to celebrate and highlight the engineering achievements for a better planet.

World Engineering Day

Usually, when we talk about engineering our focus typically shifts to the amazing new engineering achievements like spaceships which deliver robots to Mars allowing us for the first time see the Red Planet in all but real time. Or past titans like the Boeing 747, 757 and 767 which have been retired from service in 2020 by a number of airlines after decades of service to the aviation industry.

However, 2020 and 2021 delivered significant challenges to all (including engineering) and despite those challenges, engineers around the world are delivering a change in perspective and approach which day after day gain momentum and drive us towards a change, a change on our view about our relationship with the world around us… a shift towards a more sustainable future.

The role played by engineering is primal and intrinsic to this change, as it is borne of the minds of the people who everyday look a bit deeper and find new ways to evolve towards a better future.

From the days of coal powered generation plants and other carbon intensive industries like oil and gas, steel manufacturing, cement works (not exclusive) we are moving toward a future where carbon is not a waste product but an important and useful by-product to be utilised in many industry sectors which depend on it (e.g., food and drink sector).

The decarbonisation projects with many clusters in UK including Humber, and the forthcoming hydrogen revolution bring hopes of a sustainable and circular economy which would not be possible without observing well known, and time-tested engineering principles.

The use of substances which albeit may be a solution to many of our current sustainability challenges (e.g., hydrogen) does not come without risk, due many factors like for example the nature of the substance itself including its flammability/volatility or its response to being used in certain ways (e.g. heat)  to quote but a few points… (did you know that hydrogen “burns” with an almost invisible flame?)

This is where safety engineering plays its part, and this is where ESC (an ERM company) is “at home” the most. The safety related systems that keep us safe are integral part of  how we move towards a more sustainable world.

So today we are celebrating all the incredible achievements of our colleagues around the world and invite everyone to reflect on the importance on building a sustainable planet and with engineering (and safety engineering) as key part of this journey.

By Paulo Oliveira