For the second year in a row, Beca worked alongside Engineers Without Borders NZ (EWBNZ) as Platinum sponsor for their Humanitarian Engineering Conference. An event where leaders including, four Beca speakers, discussed how best to connect the dots between engineering and humanitarianism for a more sustainable future.
Held on 27 July – a glorious Saturday at Auckland University’s Engineering Building – the conference brought together a record number of like-minded people who were welcomed by EWBNZ’s partners: Beca, McConnell Dowell, Schneider Electric and the University of Auckland. Matt Wheeler, Beca Business Director – Asset Advisory, set the scene by sharing his experience of making everyday better for orangutans in Indonesia, and emphasised the importance of ‘finding the why’ behind everything we do. What followed was an exciting day of presentations and workshops.
Imparting her knowledge during the first session was Beca urban design expert, Annette Jones. She spoke about her work in Vanuatu, specifically post Cyclone Pam, and how keeping the Vanuatuan community engaged sat at the core of the team’s efforts to rejuvenate the local community. Annette also mentioned how helpful it was to have a diverse team (and their diverse thinking) working on the project.
Sue Bradley, Beca Industrial Group Delivery Manager, and Caroline Hope, Beca Water Engineer, hosted an interactive workshop in the afternoon. Following a brief introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Industry 4.0 and digital tools that arose as a result of Industry 4.0, workshop attendees split into groups to focus on a SDG. Each group was encouraged to create a problem statement that related to their SDG, and identify the digital tools they would use to solve the problem.
“This year's Humanitarian Engineering Conference has really resonated with me,” says Caroline.“I left feeling elevated about the momentum in the humanitarian space. It is clear that professionals in the engineering industry are bringing humanitarian principles into the work they are doing in the traditional sector, which is fantastic, as this is how we can all continue to make everyday even better.”