Engineering for Change welcomed 65 talented engineers and technically trained individuals from 18 countries into our first Fellowship Program of 2023. They will work with us and 34 collaborating organizations to develop 44 Impact Projects. Those projects support private industries, government agencies, non-profits and academia in their work to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
If ever engineers have despaired of the tedium of their field and the relevance of their work, they can take inspiration in the points where these technical fields intersect sustainable development.
“Engineering is truly a global discipline,” Anand Varghese, Senior Director at DAI, the center for digital acceleration, who offered an inspiring keynote address. “It’s a discipline that allows you entry points into some of the most creative problem solving and some of the most important change making that I think you can imagine, as I just want to congratulate you all and sort of from my own experience, welcome you all into this intersection between technology and international development.”
Reflecting the global nature of the discipline, 34 collaborating organizations from around the world are working with E4C Fellows. They include Autodesk Foundation, VDI the German engineering association, and the UN Council on Engineers on the Energy Transition, among others.
From May through September, the fellows will conduct research into issues of sustainable development working in tandem with these Impact Partner organizations. The fellows’ work builds on prior research that E4C Fellows publish annually, free for everyone to use.
The work of our fellowship aligns with the sustainability goals of our parent organization, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. At the fellowship kickoff, Tom Costabile, ASME’s Executive Director, underlined ASME’s position on climate change and the role engineers are taking in its solutions.
“Today, humanity is facing its largest challenges ever, climate change the scale and complexity of this challenge? is unprecedented. The changing climate threatens the stability and sustainability of economies, ecosystems and communities globally. In the coming decades, climate change will claim a role in nearly every problem that engineers face. And we as engineers must be prepared to play a part in every solution,” Mr. Costabile says.
Following the inspiring speeches, one of the most interesting features of the kickoff session was meeting each of the fellows. The fellows took a moment, one by one, to share a word about their favorite places on the planet. Many uploaded photos of the beaches, mountains, deserts and other beautiful spots that resonate with them in some way. The experience was a virtual world tour of unusual destinations, many of which were in the backyards of the people who will be working with E4C for the next five months.
Want more of this mix of engineering with travel tips? See The Best Vacation Spots in the World According to E4C.
Finally, please enjoy this brief video that encapsulates the work our fellows have undertaken, the justification for their effort, and our partners who make it possible.