Mobile engineers help to build a more innovative Europe
08 December 2014
On 20 November, the major European Engineers Federations gathered in Brussels for European Engineers’ Day (the European Council of Engineering Chambers, European Federation of National Engineering Associations and European Council of Civil Engineers with the support of the European Federation of Engineering Consultancy Associations, European Network for the Accreditation of the Engineering Education, Council of European Geodetic Surveyors and Comité de Liaison des Associations d’Ingénieurs Universitaires).
The major subject of the event was attended by 150 participants from industry, academia and professional organisations, including Damien Owens, membership director and registrar of Engineers Ireland. The event focused on the idea that ‘Mobile Engineers Build an Innovative Europe’ and examined the challenge of how the engineering profession can meet the expectations of society and how EU policies can help the engineering profession to meet these expectations.
The EU Institutions were herewith invited to acknowledge that:
- Engineering solutions are always designed with economic, safety and functionality considerations in mind. Many of today’s societal challenges such as sustainability of the environment, ageing infrastructures, deployment of innovative renewable sources of energy and economic growth are of an international nature. Therefore, internationalisation and cross-border recognition of engineering qualifications are important and vital to forge a better future for society. International mobility is now a normal part of an engineer’s career: the global engineering profession has developed tools to facilitate this and will continue to work across borders to promote excellence in engineering education and practice for the benefit of society.
- By the very nature of their professional and ethical commitment, professional engineers ensure that the public is protected from harm. To do so, professional engineers must possess the relevant underpinning knowledge and maintain their technical and managerial competence so that they can deliver value to their clients in their chosen field of endeavour. The rhythm of new developments in science and technology implies for engineers, the need for updated life-long-learning in order to acquire new technologic knowledge and skills, and to maintain high professional standards. The importance of quality assessment of their initial and continuing education needs to be recognised.
- Engineers, through a combination of intellect, skill and ingenuity, deliver the appropriate and sustainable solutions to some of the world’s grandest challenges. Society today is surrounded by engineering products and inventions that allow both current and future generations to prosper and flourish. Professional regulation, in its varying forms [whether voluntary or statutory], is the mechanism by which the public can be independently assured of an individual engineer’s professional competence and personal commitment to be bound by professional codes of practice.
- The evolution of engineering has always been associated with ‘investment, innovation and internationalisation’. Public and private investments are necessary for developing infrastructures and buildings. Innovation associated to new materials and technologies is paramount to the success of the construction companies. Due to the high complexity of engineering services and their technologies, it can be difficult for procuring authorities to compare the content of offers, which can lead to decisions based on the lowest price only. This may run contrary to the interests and intentions of the consumer/client and may lead to a lack of quality in the project, unfulfilled expectations in design and exaggerated unforeseen costs. Therefore, a quality based contract award for engineering services is essential (most economically advantageous tender).
- Micro-, small- and medium sized enterprises, which employ the majority of European engineers, including civil engineers, are at the core of the European economy. The success of the European economy will depend upon our ability to unlock the potential of the SME-sector and our endeavours to support engineering entrepreneurship in our countries. Only high-quality engineering services can guarantee that the costs of a project do not explode due to weak design. This is in the interest of each consumer/client and in the case of public procurement in the public interest.