Tomorrow’s Engineers Live is just around the corner and takes place on Monday 11 July. Mike Hardisty, Head of Environmental Sustainability at EngineeringUK, looks at modern engineering and how focusing on this can inspire young people to create a net zero world.
“I watched the Institution of Civil Engineers’ (ICE) excellent video ‘Shaping Zero’ recently. It estimates that 70% of global carbon emissions are produced by ‘infrastructure’, for example, the operation of buildings, transport systems, water supplies, and IT networks as well as the materials (cement, steel, aluminium and others) that are used to create them.
“In line with COP26’s ambitions, the UK is aiming to half its carbon emissions between 2020 and 2030. In support of this, the ICE says “It’s time to do things differently” and urges its members to “rethink everything we do through a carbon lens”.
Engineering a net zero world
“I can think of no other time when such a rapid (10 years) revolution in engineering has been called for, or a more genuinely exciting time to be an engineer. Future engineers will be at the heart of transforming our current, carbon-emitting ways of life (at least in the UK and other “developed” economies) to sustainable ones. From the obvious areas of transportation, power and energy to the, perhaps, less obvious areas of low-carbon steel and cement, carbon capture and storage, buildings retrofit, meat alternatives, using more timber in structures, energy-efficient product design and direct air capture of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – the opportunities for an interesting and stimulating career are endless.
“The Tomorrow’s Engineers Code asks its signatories (over 200 to date) to commit to ‘engage young people with modern engineering’ through ‘engineering-inspiration activities’. Signing up to The Code is a perfect way to gain insight into how you can improve your engineering outreach and inspire more young people into the field, and events like Tomorrow’s Engineers Live are excellent opportunities for the community to come together and find new ways to spotlight engineering.”
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