Over 160 participants from 24 countries gathered at Robinson College for the 6th International Conference in Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (EESD).
"The EESD Conference series is a great way of sharing best practice and ideas with colleagues from around the world who are devising exciting ways of engaging engineering students with how sustainability issues from climate change to meeting social needs will affect their professional lives, and how Universities can provide the new skills they will need."
—Dr Dick Fenner, Conference Organiser
The conference was hosted and organised by the Department's Centre for Sustainable Development and was opened with addresses from both Professor Dame Ann Dowling and Professor Robert Mair. The theme for the 4 days was "Rethinking the Engineer".
In total 84 papers were presented on all aspects of teaching engineering students about issues relating to sustainable development, and current best practice and ideas for novel teaching strategies were shared. The Conference hosted plenary sessions from Professor Paul Jowitt (former President of the Institution of Civil Engineers and Heriot Watt University) who gave the conference Key Note address, Lord Browne of Madingley, Professor Ellen Williams (Chief Scientist for BP), Professor John Robinson from the University of British Colombia, Professor Nick Ashford from MIT and Professor Zaini Bin Ujang (Secretary of Education in Malaysia). In addition a panel discussion with engineers from industry provided a useful insight into the skills required by employers in graduate engineers.
In the closing session there was a moving reflection on the life of Professor Leo Jansen from the Netherlands, who sadly died last year and who was the originator of the conference series in 2002 and a strong supporter of all the previous events in the series, from his son Leon. The Leo Jansen Prize for the best paper and conference presentation was awarded to Rikke Premer Petersen from Aalborg University in Denmark for her paper on: "The potential role of design in a sustainable engineering profile". The conference dinner was held in Pembroke College where even a poem to the pros and cons of the High Speed 2 rail link from London to Birmingham was given in response to a challenge thrown out by Professor Jowitt earlier in the week.
For further details and access to the Conference Proceedings see the Conference website at www-eesd13.eng.cam.ac.uk