Edinburgh conference to examine how engineering can influence our global climate

Scotland's first annual engineering climate conference provides an opportunity to share best practice in reducing carbon and our impact on the environment. 

Climate change is our biggest challenge but engineers are at the forefront to address. Image credit: Shutterstock.
Climate change is our biggest challenge but engineers are at the forefront to address. Image credit: Shutterstock.

Scotland’s first annual Engineering Climate Conference, organised by ICE Scotland, Engineering Scotland and the Institution of Engineering and Technology Scotland, takes place in June 2021.

The conference will seek to answer a central question, "Do engineers have an obligation to adopt and develop practices to influence the direction of climate change where possible?"

ICE President Rachel Skinner will speak on initiatives for personal responsibility on the first day of the conference, which has the theme ‘Transport’. Other speakers include former ICE Scotland chair, Graham Edmond, who recently retired from Transport Scotland, and Scott Hammond from Shetland Space Centre on the future of the UK space industry.

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ICE Engineering Climate Conference, online | 15 and 16 June 2021
 

The second day will highlight progress within the energy sector, with speakers including Professor Gareth Harrison from the Institute for Energy Systems at the University of Edinburgh and Professor Mercedes Maroto Valer from the UK Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre.

Carbon reduction - sharing best practice

Chair of the ICE Scotland Edinburgh branch, Ellen Halkon, said each design and construction decision carried out by an engineer has a consequential environmental impact.

“From the fundamental considerations of construction materials, down to the method in which construction works are carried out. There is simply no avoiding our unintentional influences and subsequent responsibilities we have," she said.

“This conference was organised because we are keen to showcase the great work already being done in the engineering community for carbon reduction.

“We are hoping to capture the lessons learnt from our fantastic speakers and use these to promote further carbon reduction throughout the engineering industry.”

Dr Carol Marsh OBE, a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Council said that with the UN Climate Change Conference COP26) on the horizon, this was a timely event.

“Our aim is to establish objectives to influence thinking at November’s COP26 in Glasgow and beyond.

“We hope it will be an annual event because climate change is our biggest challenge and we know engineers are at the forefront to address," she said.

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