Chamber of Engineers highlights success of Annual Engineering Conference on Industry 4.0

The Chamber of Engineers’ 28th Annual Engineering Conference, themed Industry 4.0 | Engineering A Smarter Industry, was successfully held on the 05th November 2021 at The Chaplain’s Hall of Villa Bighi in Kalkara, with the participation of 15 keynote speakers.

Following last year’s one-off move to a fully virtual conference, the 2021 edition returned to its original format, together with some adaptations. This year’s annual conference was carried out in a hybrid format; the event was held physically with limited attendance while following Covid-19 mandatory standards for events, and, an online streaming option was made available for participants attending remotely.

The return to a physical conference proved to be quite successful in terms of attendance and general reception. The need for networking was being felt throughout the professional community, industry, and academia for a long while and this conference sought to address such a need. The theme of the fourth industrial revolution, was specifically chosen to engage multiple disciplines in the world of technology and provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge and best practices from industry.

During the opening address, CoE President Inġ. Malcolm Zammit remarked that “Industry 4.0 does not only describe the opportunities found at present, but it paves the way for the future of industry. In this space, engineers, have a key role to adapt to the developing landscape, absorb the knowledge on new technologies and be the agents of change within organisations and industry in general.”

The interesting line-up of speakers kicked off with a presentation from Inġ. Ruben Curmi and Inġ. Simone Muscat of Harbour Solutions Ltd., who spoke about the improvements to building management systems and building efficiency through Industry 4.0 and the analagous concept of Electricity 4.0. Prof. Alexiei Dingli from the Faculty of ICT explained to the audience the virtual representation systems known as Digital Twins, their implementation in industry, and the evolution towards the concept of Digital Triplets which encapsulates AI and the associated breadth of capabilities. BOV’s Mr Glen Mifsud then made a brief presentation which portrayed the access path towards financing opportunities to sustain the investements required for the implementation of technological innovations.

Following a brief pause, the Site General Manager of STMicroelectonics Malta, Dr Laurent Filipozzi, shared with the audience the current and future Industry 4.0 developments in the manufacturing processes implemented by the same company. In a brief presentation, Dr Melchior Cini from MCST described the FUSION Funding opportunities for Research & Innnovation backed by a successful case study of a funded-project leading to an innovation by Carlo Gavazzi Ltd. as presented by their Switches Product Line R&D Manager, Inġ. Roger Galea. Melita was up next, with a presentation of the vision for an industry powered by Internet of Things (IoT) which was delivered by Mr Kenneth Spiteri and Ms Mireille Muscat, where they provided case examples of the ability IoT networks to power new applications and processes to drive efficiecy and productivity. The next topic was the integration of automation solutions together with agriculture, what is known as AgriTech; where Dr Joshua Ellul from the Faculty of ICT explained that innovative technology can improv agricultural processes. The second session of the conference came to a close with a speech from Ms Dana Farrugia, CEO of, focused on the impact of engineers on the circular economy.

Following lunch, the conference floor was virtually connected with Dr Umberto Cattaneo from Schneider Electric who delved into the topical subject of cybersecurity and how to protect an organisation’s infrastructure from the very real posssibility of cyberattacks. Dr Inġ. Paul Refalo from the Faculty of Engineering, shared research project AIR SAVE with the audience, a project motivated with reducing compressed air losses and developing a sustainable solution with the use of Industry 4.0 techologies. A visiting speaker from IBM Systems, Mr Juan Carlos Sanchez Alvarez, went into some detail on the infrastructure required to support a system to reach the techological level as required by Industry 4.0. The conference closed with Dr Inġ. Emmanuel Francalanza from the Faculty of Engineering, who described an ongoing pedagological project entitled ICARUS which is a cross-collaboration between educational institutions to create extensive training material focused on Industry 4.0 and the adaptation required in education.

Industry 4.0 | Engineering A Smarter Industry brought together several key players in industry, renowned figures in the relevant research fields and contributors from many supporting organisations. The conference was supported by Harbour Solutions Ltd, ST Microelectronics Malta,, Melita and T4B Services Ltd.

The CoE thanks the organisers, the sponsors, the speakers, and the participants for making this 28th Annual Engineering Conference a successful and rewarding one.

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