On Monday 2nd December RMIT kindly hosted our annual Link Research Symposium. The Symposium is the closing event of the year where students engaged in the research program present their findings to staff, peers and members of the engineering education community.
It was a great day with excellent presentations demonstrating the quality and potential impact of the research undertaken by students this year. Topics ranged from water access in Cambodia to the implementation of values-based decision-making tools to support the uptake of biodigester technology. It was hugely impressive to see the willingness of students to embrace a full exploration of the social aspects of technology and engage communities to come up with genuinely impactful and appropriate solutions.
We were also lucky enough to have guest speakers Dr Nick Brown of RMIT and Wenqian Gan, an alumni of the program currently undertaking a PhD at UTS. Both shared their experiences in research and education, complementing a series of staff presentations exploring how we create a diverse and human-centred engineering profession. Both reflected on how we can ensure that university equips engineers with the skill and qualities needed to apply a human-lens in all their work, while creating and retaining the diversity the sector needs to play a meaningful role in sustainable development.
The students who presented demonstrated the best of these qualities, an ability to embrace complexity and ambiguity, use systems approaches; recognise and respect culture, empathise, adapt and communicate in a clear and compelling way. This is a credit to them and the power of partnerships between Engineers Without Borders and the Universities we work with to create well round, human-centred engineers with skills that will empower them to be effective in any field.
Huge thanks to all of our partners and especially to RMIT for hosting the event. It was a testament to what we can achieve together and holds great promise for the impact we can create together through the Research Challenge and the pilot Influencer Fellowship in 2020!