Engineers Making A Difference in Challenging Times: A Successful Online Conference

The Chamber of Engineers (CoE), 27th Annual Engineering Conference, themed Engineers Making A Difference in Challenging Times, was successfully held on the 14th November 2020 with the participation of a total 15 local and international speakers.

This 2020 annual conference was carried out exclusively online for the very first time due to the measures concerning COVID-19. Nevertheless, the online conference was gauged as the typical opportunity to connect, learn and develop as evidenced by the numerous conference attendees.

The carefully selected theme was designed to provide a platform for case studies and experiences where engineers played a crucial dual role – a role required to play in these current and difficult circumstances and the role they are meant to play in general that goes beyond the pandemic.

Following a welcome adress by CoE President Dr Inġ. Daniel Micalled, the Minister for Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, the Hon. Dr Ian Borg delivered the opening speech. He was followed by the following speakers:

  • Inġ. Joseph Sammut, past CoE president, shared a deep understanding on the role of engineers in society and the increasing impact of the profession.
  • The Director-Engineering at Mater Dei Hospital Inġ. Noel Psaila provided an eye-opening insght into how the engineering team proved essential in the continuous upgrade of hospital infrastructure due to the evolving pandemic-response demands.
  • The Managing Director of the Central Supplies and Procurement Unit (CPSU), Inġ. Karl Farrugia explained massive logistical and technical efforts in the procurement of medical goods which demand was and continues to be highly elevated due the COVID-19 situation.
  • Mr. Hannes Treier of FEANI discussed the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how engineers are influential on policies affecting the environment and sustainability.
  • Inġ. Saviour Zammit from Multigas Ltd and Inġ Joseph Axiak from Tektraco Ltd described the challenges overcome for the provision of medical gases to the Gozo General Hospital during the pandemic.
  • Dr Frederik Schulze Spüntrup, the President of European Young Engineers (EYE) presented a detailed outline of the young engineers’ contribution in future communities where the need for young engineers to involve themselves in public policy, especially in a post-Covid world was emphasised and promoted.

The Chamber of Engineers expressed it gratitude to its Corporate and Conference sponsors, namely Bank of Valletta, ESS & Elektra, Jesmond Mizzi Financial Services, Tuning Fork and Valsir. The latter had an active role in the conference whereby dedicated presentations in their respective field were presented as part of the conference programme.

Online facilities allowed the event to be live-streamed on the CoE’s Facebook page. This medium allowed the conference to extend its reach to engineers in a considerable way. The conference may be streamed here.

The CoE thanks the organisers, the speakers and the attendees for making this conference a rewarding event. Attendees of the conference are highly encouraged to fill a brief feedback form to help the CoE improve the nature and delivery of its events.

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