Preparing the Future Engineering Workforce to Achieve the SDGs Through Multi-Stakeholder Engagement

Virtual Event of the 7th Annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals

To prepare young engineers for careers in sustainable development we must first bridge gaps that have opened between the private sector, academia and civil society. In this virtual event alongside the 7th Annual Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation, a range of stakeholders showcase educational opportunities or workforce development programs that help early career engineers align their work with the Sustainable Development Goals. We explore how to create a multi-stakeholder ecosystem that shifts away from technocratic approaches and toward designing ethical, socially responsible, and context-appropriate solutions.

This event is split into two sections. The first section allows organizations such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) Young Engineers Committee, Engineering for Change (E4C), and academic and industry partners, to share outcomes of programs that prepare rising engineers to apply their skills for sustainable development. The second half is an interactive discussion of best practices, opportunities for growth, and barriers that prevent young engineers from aligning their work with the SDGs. Outcomes of this side event will include the identification of opportunities for greater collaboration between stakeholders and a written brief of lessons learned and areas for future growth.

Organizers: Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY) Youth Science Policy Interface Platform, Engineering for Change


Karen Ohland has been selected to become the 141st president of ASME and will serve during the 2022-2023 term of office. She is a Fellow of ASME and has been an active member of the Society since 1983. Karen is the Associate Director for Finance and Operations at the Princeton University Art Museum where she provides strategic leadership, strengthening and sustaining the process for planning and management. Prior to her career in museum administration, Karen worked as a biomedical engineer in industry, academia, and government; most recently as research manager for Howmedica Inc., an orthopedic implant manufacturer. She has held several positions at ASME including service on the ASME Board of Governors. Karen is a recipient of the ASME Dedicated Service Award. She is a member of the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi, the American Society of Engineering Education, the Orthopedic Research Society, and the American Society of Biomechanics. She received a bachelor’s degree in engineering and biology from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in anatomy from the University of Chicago.

Erin Peiffer is Research Manager with Engineering for Change (E4C) where she supports an international cohort of Fellows completing research and design projects at the intersection of engineering, sustainability, and global development with partners across academic institutions, non-profits, multilateral organizations, private sector businesses, and government agencies. Erin graduated from the University of Dayton with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2017 and a M.S. in Renewable and Clean Energy in 2018.

Micheala Chan is a civil engineer at Arcadis working in the water sector. She is the UK Youth Delegate for Sustainable and Liveable Planet at the Y20 2022 Summit in Indonesia.

Michaela serves as a Trustee on the Boards of Cambridge Development Initiative and Equal Aqua Uganda – UK-based NGOs tackling poverty in East Africa by engaging young people and local actors in the development and implementation of sustainable, community-driven projects. She previously served as an Institution of Civil Engineers President’s Future Leader, promoting the Shaping Zero agenda to stimulate action for carbon net-zero. In this role, Micheala led in the establishment of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations’ Global Young Engineers Working Group on SDG13. As a member of the core team, she also aided the production of the COP26 Joint Statement of International Youth Organizations which showcased the unified voice of international youth organizations and provided 12 overarching climate policy recommendations for the COP26 parties.

Preetam Maloor is the Head of the Emerging Technologies Division at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the specialized United Nations Agency for Information and Communication Technologies. An accomplished international civil servant with more than two decades of experience in Technology matters, he is an expert on Artificial Intelligence and international cyber-related public policy matters. A UN Staff member since 2008, he has been a key member of the ITU Secretariat at several major conferences including the 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022 ITU Plenipotentiary conferences, the 2009, 2013, and 2021 World Telecommunication/ICT Policy Forums (WTPF), and the annual AI for Global Good Summit. He also leads the Secretariat of the ITU Council Working Group on international Internet-related public policy issues and the Expert Group on the International Telecommunication Regulations.

Prior to joining ITU, Preetam spent nearly 10 years in the private sector, working primarily at Artificial Intelligence research organizations such as Intelligent Automation Inc, a Rockville, Maryland-based research think-tank focusing on AI-based applications, and at AT&T Research Labs, Florham Park, New Jersey in its Speech & Natural Language Research Group. He holds Master’s degrees in Computer Science from Texas A&M University, College Station, and in Engineering and Public Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Mumbai.

Pulkit Kanotra is a licensed Professional Civil Engineer based out of New York City, NY. Pulkit received his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and has since worked in water resource management and airport design. Currently Pulkit is a Senior Civil Engineer at Parsons Corporation working on airport equipment design and implementation. Pulkit has volunteer experience with Engineers Without Borders and is also a member of the Commonwealth Youth for Sustainable Urbanisation Steering Committee along with WFEO Global Yong Engineers Working Group on SDG13. Pulkit is a young engineer driven to leave behind the world in a better place for future generations.

Emma Stine is pursuing a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she is researching student experiences before, during, and after attending a graduate program in development engineering, focusing on how these experiences influence career goals and outcome expectations. She is interested in how these goals align with social justice movements, including if and how students and practitioners are addressing global inequality and the SDGs in career pathways, especially now, when activists are calling for the development sector to implement decolonized and anti-racist structures. Emma graduated from the California Polytechnic with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2019 and an M.S. in Irrigation Engineering in 2020.

Brighton Kaoma is the Global Director of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network(UN SDSN Youth) in New York City. In this role, he leads global efforts involving 4000+ young entrepreneurs, scientists, artists, and activists working on solutions for the UN Sustainable Development Goals across 127 countries.  Named by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as one of the ‘‘Queens’ Young Leaders” at a ceremony hosted at the Buckingham Palace in 2015, Brighton previously worked on Technical Strategy and Communications at the World Wide Fund for Nature’s Regional Office for Africa (WWF International). He spent four years as Country manager for the Children’s Radio Foundation, a US/South African charity that equips 2000+ African youth with journalism and leadership skills for increased youth participation in governance, climate action, and social justice. Brighton graduated from the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia University SIPA. His first memoir is set to come out in November 2022.

A Mandela Washington Fellow for African Leaders and an ex UNICEF Climate Ambassador, Brighton believes in the power  and potential of an empowered skilled youth. In 2017, the former US President Barack Obama recognised Brighton’s work through an invitation to an exclusive meeting in Washington DC. His work over the years has also been recognized by former Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres, and other world leaders. In 2016, he became the first African to be awarded both the Global WWF International President’s Award and the Africa Youth Conservation award  for his work in designing scalable solutions for climate action and youth empowerment.  In 2019, Brighton was named among The Outstanding Young Persons of the World by the Emperor of Japan and Junior Chamber International(JCI), and his work has been featured on the BBC World News, The Guardian Magazine, and Vanity Fair, among others.  An acclaimed public speaker and story-teller, Brighton was the 2012 commencement  speaker at Maastricht Business School(Netherlands), and has addressed Heads of state and business leaders in over 20 countries;  at Number 10 Downing Street in the UK, Germany Cabinet Ministers, and the UN General Assembly in New York.


Iana Aranda is the Director of the Engineering for Global Development at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). At ASME, Iana sets the business strategy of a portfolio of programs and platforms that advance knowledge, workforce and hardware-led social innovation to improve the quality of life of underserved communities. Iana also serves as the President of Engineering for Change – a knowledge organization and global community of over 1 million individuals dedicated to design and delivery of essential technologies advancing sustainable development.

Jonathan Kemp is a Technology Focal Point for the MGCY Youth Science Policy Interface Platform and Program Specialist with Engineering for Change (E4C) and with the Engineering Global Development department at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). In this role, he works on various programs advancing engineering for social impact and global development, including the E4C Fellowship and ASME Innovation Showcase for (ISHOW). Aside from his role with E4C and ASME, Jonathan is also the Technical Manager for Malawian NGO Eagles Relief and Development Programme, where he works on projects involving solar energy, irrigation and water supply for community development. He is passionate about community ownership of technology and the application of human- and user-centered design processes in the development of new technologies and implementation of technology-based projects by NGOs. Jonathan graduated with an MSc in Engineering for International Development from University College London in 2018 after receiving a BA (Hons) degree in Physics from the University of Oxford in 2017.

This webinar is an officially recognized side event to the STI Forum, and the forum’s organizers recommend registering for their overall program as well. We kindly request that you register for the STI Forum using this Whova Registration Link.

Comments from the Community


  1. naibeidennis2 says:

    This will be a great webinar. I’ve purposed to attend.

  2. dpitinyane says:


  3. henkholtslag49 says:

    Dear all
    There indeed is a huge need to train engineers entrepreneurs especially in Subsaharan Africa.
    To reach SDGs a very effective topic is….. WATER.
    Increase access to safe drinking water but even more, water for small scale irrigation, livestock etc. This will help to reach SDG6.1 but also related SDGs 1, 2, 3, and 8 so income, food health and employment.
    A key is REDUCE COST OF WATER and focus on water systems for households, rural families, small farmers.
    More than before this is possible with improved and new locally produced technologies for rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge, manual well drilling, hand and solar pumps, household water filters, Smell free latrines.

    Organisations like EMAS and SMART Centres train engineers, metal workers, drillers in both technical and business skills of these SMARTechs.
    After hands on training over 200.000 EMAS and Rope pumps have been produced in some 20 developing countries.

    An example of impact of training of pump producers
    Around 1995 engineers of some 10 local companies in Nicaragua were trained in production of Rope pumps. By 2005 some 50.000 rope pumps were installed at families and farmers. The total increased incomes generated with these 50.000 pumps in the past 20 years was over 100 million USD.
    The investment in training was around 2 Million USD.
    So an example that investing in training technicians and building local capacity in low cost water technologies can be very cost-effective and have much impact on water related SDGs!
    Is it interesting to mention this example in your webinar?
    If so I can send more information. Success with the webinar
    Henk Holtslag
    Advisor SMART Centre Group

  4. oyelakin13 says:

    Hi Henk,

    Please, how can one access this of training you mentioned?

    A lot of youths and graduates are jobless here in Nigeria and this training would be empowerment and make water accessible to rural communities.

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