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Engineers reminded to uphold high professional standards

Engineers reminded to uphold high professional standards

The Vice-Chancellor of Sunyani Technical University Ing. Prof. Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah has expressed grave concern about the shoddy work executed on some public projects despite the active involvement of engineers.

According to him, some of these projects do not meet the minimum safety standards and do not also have the necessary robustness to withstand the exposure factors over time. He added that these facilities end up failing the Safety and Structural Integrity tests.

On countless occasions, most of us have had cause to complain about newly constructed roads which have developed potholes in less than six months upon completion. There are public buildings for schools, hospitals and other institutions which develop cracks a few weeks or months after they have been inaugurated and handed over,” he stated.

Ing. Prof. Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah was addressing this year’s celebration of the World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development held in Sunyani.

It was organised by the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE) under the theme: “Engineering Solutions for a Sustainable World.”

World Engineering Day

The World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development is celebrated on the 4th of March every year under the auspices of the UNESCO International Day to celebrate engineers and engineering.

The day is an opportunity to engage with governments and key stakeholders to enhance the capacity and the quality of engineers around the world as well as fashioning out frameworks and international best practices that could accelerate sustainable development.

Ing. Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah said society is inundated with countless challenges ranging from climate crises, water pollution, environmental degradation, cyber-crime and poorly designed and executed infrastructural projects, among several others, saying: “These problems negatively impact humans and if not properly managed can lead to diseases, deaths and even total annihilation of humans.

“I sincerely believe that engineers hold the key to most of the challenges confronting the world today and so one of the questions we, as engineers, should be asking ourselves is how well we are focusing on applying our knowledge and skills to solving the very challenges militating against society to ensure a sustainable world."

He noted that the role of engineers in national development, which is to create solutions for sustainable development, cannot be over-emphasized as engineers create wealth by putting in place the infrastructure for economic development, and they also produce and facilitate the distribution of several products that make the world a better place to live.

He said sustainable engineering focuses on minimizing waste, using renewable energy sources, reducing pollution and creating long-lasting and efficient systems that can be enjoyed by current and future generations. The importance of sustainable engineering comes from the industry's aim to create a better world.

SDG 17

In his view, the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 17 which talks about “No poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, among others, can best be realised through engineering.

“To reduce poverty, which is the first SDG, requires the laying of infrastructure such as electricity and communication systems, good transportation systems, provision of potable water supply systems etc. to accelerate economic activities to create wealth, and all these require the services of engineers as a critical input”, he explained.

He further said: “To achieve a state of zero hunger for the masses requires proper engineering interventions such as irrigation and mechanization systems for large scale cultivation of agricultural fields for sustained crop yields. Food storage over long periods of time to sustainably feed the world’s population also requires engineering equipment of various forms in post-harvest technologies."

According to the STU Vice-Chancellor, all the other 15 SDGs can only thrive with critical inputs from engineers because one would wonder how any of the SDGs could be realized without engineering.

He stated that civil and environmental engineers are in demand to meet the needs of the nation's ageing infrastructure: crumbling roads and bridges; inadequate transportation, garbage and sewer systems; and vulnerable dams, ports and airports.

Sustainable projects

Ing. Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah admonished engineers to be more concerned about the sustainability of projects they work on because they play a key role in ensuring that construction projects are sustainable while minimizing their impact on the environment.

“This includes using eco-friendly materials, designing energy-efficient buildings, incorporating renewable energy systems, building agricultural systems to provide food security and cutting down waste. As experienced engineers, we should make ourselves available to help train the youth in the various Universities across the country. If you come to STU, we will provide opportunity for you to share your rich experiences with the students to enrich their training.”

He called for more resources into Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) as well as the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) right from the basic level of our educational architecture to ensure that more students develop interest in engineering in the future.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako presided over the ceremony.

(From the PR Office)

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