From Australia’s bushfire crisis to the COVID-19 pandemic, the engineering profession has worked through a number of challenges since Melbourne hosted the World Engineers Convention (WEC) last November. 

Now, selected experts are back to discuss how the engineering landscape has altered, and what the future might have in store. 

Aptly themed ‘A changing landscape in 2020’,the World Engineers Symposium, held from18 to 20 November, will see WEC 2019 speakers turn to share their knowledge and new experiences gained over the past 12 months. 

There will be six plenary sessions across the event, with experts discussing everything from climate smart engineering to the future of the office. 

It’s a forward-thinking line-up packed with great engineeringminds fromAustralia and overseas,who will explore several big ideas. 

This includes Professor Carlo Ratti, Director of the Senseable City Lab at MIT and Founding Partner of Carlo Ratti Associati. He’ll be back to discuss the evolution of the traditional workspace, offering a glimpse into new ways of working in the office of the future. 

Make sure you check out Ratti’s plenary session on 18 November to learn how Carlo Ratti Associati transformed the Agnelli Foundation’s 20th-century building in Turin, Italy into an innovative office modelled after the Internet of Things. 

Also making a return appearance is Matt Gough, Director of Innovation at MACE, the construction company behind structures such as The Shard and the London Eye. 

After delivering a keynote address at WEC about why the construction industry should be more sustainable, Gough is back to explore the future of the built environment in a post-pandemic era. 

The symposium also promises some informative panel discussions that are sure to spark conversations. 

This includes ‘Build Back Better’ on 18November, where CEO of the Green Building Council of Australia, Davina Rooney, will join CEO of Solar Victoria and co-Chair of Victoria’s Building Recovery Taskforce Stan Krpan, and Peter Colacino, Chief of Policy and Research at Infrastructure Australia, to talk about the role of engineers in Australia’s economic recovery following bushfires, floods and the pandemic. 

Then there’s another topical discussion on 19 November, with three panellists examining how COVID-19has disrupted the future of engineering— from individual education pathways and careers to organisational working patterns and national economies. 

Speakers including Tesla Industrial Engineer Meredith Westafer, Minderoo Foundation Data Ecosystem Lead John Sukkar, Swinburne University Director of Industry Partnerships Felicity Furey MIE Aust and moderator Fifth Frame Partner Jon Williams will explore how engineers more can continue to work together to contribute most effectively. 
As with most events this year, the World Engineers Symposium has gone virtual. 
The event will consist of six two-hour sessions spread across three days, with each session including a plenary presentation and two technical speakers— one from the World Federation of Engineering Organizations, and one of the highest scoring abstract authors from WEC 2019.