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Global sustainable development calls for new achievements in engineering — WFEO president

Gong Ke, president of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO)

Beijing, China | THE INDEPENDENT |  New achievements in the world engineering field and cooperation among engineers in different countries are needed to accelerate the global sustainable development, Gong Ke, president of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO), has said recently.

He made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Xinhua before the upcoming second World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development, which will be celebrated on March 4.

Themed with “Engineering for a Healthy Planet,” this day highlights the achievements of engineers and engineering in the modern world and aims to improve public understanding of how engineering and technology is central to modern life and sustainable development.

Noting that only through engineering practice can human beings turn science and technology into products and services, he said that there is a big gap between the current engineering talents cultivation and the goal of global sustainable development.

“For a long time, engineering was only to pursue the efficiency and benefit, but now, a good engineering project should meet the needs of human life and development and not to harm the well-being and interests of future generations,” Gong said.

To achieve that goal, he said, it is necessary for worldwide engineers to comprehend more concepts, knowledge and abilities in the field of climate change and biodiversity, among others.

He said engineers should master such leading technologies as artificial intelligence and big data, and should also know and abide by the science and engineering ethics while taking more cross-border and trans-disciplinary cooperation in tackling complex problems.

In Gong’s view, it should be taken into account that whether an engineering project is good or bad for sustainable development when assessing the project.

To take the Mombasa-Nairobi railway project as an example, Gong said, many bridge-like channels along the railway were designed to give more space for local large animals.

“Giraffes can pass through the railway easily. The railway construction has become a classic case of implementing the sustainable development requirements,” he said.

In recent years, many major projects like the Mombasa-Nairobi railway, which were built together by China and other countries, highlighted the concept of sustainable development featuring the harmonious coexistence of man and nature.

Thus, the worldwide engineering field has set higher expectations for China and the country has responded to such expectations with its own concrete actions, Gong said.

China has announced that it will strive to bring carbon dioxide emissions to a peak before 2030 and become carbon neutral before 2060.

Calling the commitment as “amazing,” Gong said, “it means China will implement a green development way thoroughly.”

“China is trying to explore a model for sustainable development for the world in the green transformation, and engineering is a key part of it,” he said.

According to official data, more than 1.4 million bachelors on engineering graduate in China every year. Such intelligence power is viewed as an important driving force enabling China to boost the world engineering development.

“As the first Chinese to be elected as the WFEO president, I hope to encourage Chinese engineers to further practice the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind during my term of office and to work with engineers worldwide to promote sustainable development of engineering and build a sustainable future for mankind,” Gong said.

The WFEO, based in Paris, France, is an international organization for the engineering profession. Founded in 1968 under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the WFEO brings together national engineering institutions from some 100 nations and regions.

In 1981, the China Association for Science and Technology joined the organization on behalf of China.



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