ICE president Jean Venables recently took part in a debate with Leeds University students about the impact of climate change on civil engineering, one of the key themes of her presidency.
Venables watched as three students took to the stage in front of an audience of local engineers and students from Leeds, Bradford, and Leeds Metropolitan universities to present their work.
She was attending the symposium at Leeds’ school of civil engineering as part of her visit to Yorkshire & Humberside region.
First up was third year architectural engineering student Philip Wainwright, who summarised the likely effects of climate change over the next 50 years, including the possibly of the ICE’s One Great George Street headquarters in London flooding.
Next, civil and structural engineering student Giles Mortimer described how energy policy must change to create a balanced, secure energy supply that does not contribute to climate change.
The final presentation came from Beena Mistry, another architectural engineering student, who showed why it was highly unlikely that our current transport systems would survive the next 50 years unless alternative green solutions are found.
Venables said: “It’s great to see young minds grappling so effectively with these important issues.
“The challenges of climate change are set to grow over the years and engineers of the future will need to rise to meet them.”
A lively debate was held after the presentations.
Venables invited the audience to challenge an invited panel of local industry leaders and members of the York shire Forward Regional Development Agency on how engineers must engage in the ongoing discussions about the impact of climate change if they are to develop the solutions society needs.