UNI World Engineers’ Conference Opens in Philadelphia
Leading voices from the field of engineering are joining together at the UNI Global Union World Engineers’ Conference at Temple University to address the action needed to secure a thriving global economy, based on innovative high-value businesses, staffed by high skilled professional engineers, to build on national strengths that meet the 21st century’s global challenges.
The three-day event for engineering thought leaders from 19 countries will set out the contributions engineers make to the global economy and society, and the need to increase the role of engineering in development and delivery of national policies. They will examine how invest more in a high skilled professional workforce can equip it with the skills business needs to create a climate of innovation.
“This conference comes at a time where lots of people are debating emerging technologies and how we secure good jobs that are sustainable. Engineers sit in the driving seat of the technological change so have a clear role and responsibility to contribute to informed decisions being taken on the policies of the future world of work,” said conference organiser and UNI's Director for Professionals and Managers, Pav Akhtar. “The challenge today is how can we do create a data-enabled economy that is ethical and responsible, that develops the necessary multi-disciplinary skills of people to succeed.”
Participants will also look at innovate ways to upskill and reskill engineers, how to strengthen use of professional standards and accreditation processes, and how to increase participation rates from diverse groups. The conference’s plenary discussions, workshops, and site visits to Philadelphia’s innovation centers will tackle three overarching themes:
- Engineers are the frontrunners of the innovation and technological development – what are the opportunities for the engineers in the future world of work?
- In a world of algorithms and robots, how to ensure that engineers also address ethical, social and other fundamental questions in shaping a sustainable future society?
- What are the challenges for engineers and engineering trade unions to be as adaptable and agile to the new demands as be more creative and innovative in their daily work routines?
Experts from countries including Brazil, Chile, France, India, Nepal, Nigeria, Senegal, Sweden, and the US will tackle these topics—including Temple University’s, Dr. Jamie Bracey; L’Oreal’s Women in Tech winner and developer, Sian Morson; French NASA space engineer and DJ, Silvia Casalino; and the Communication Workers of America Vice President Ed Mooney. (A featured speaker list is below.)
The conference will also recognize the work of engineer trade unions in four categories at the UNI World Engineers’ Awards 2017, held tonight at 7pm EDT. Winners include the Danish Society of Engineers, IDA, for its refugees into engineering program, and the FISENGE union in Brazil for raising participation rates of women and youth in engineering.
The conference’s focus on the future of engineering make Philadelphia an ideal location, given the city’s booming tech sector. Philly’s share of the tech and start up market has grown rapidly, and it is already ranked 3rd biggest center in the U.S. tech industry.
“We are excited to address some of the most pressing issues in engineering and technology in a city that looks set to remain an influencer on these issues in the future,” said UNI’s Akhtar.