Alibaba and Royal Academy of Engineering to open day 2 of the GEC

After setting the scene with day one, the Global Engineering Congress (GEC) will look at the challenges and opportunities for the industry to address the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Royal Academy of Engineering President Dame Ann Dowling. Image credit: Royal Academy of Engineering
Royal Academy of Engineering President Dame Ann Dowling. Image credit: Royal Academy of Engineering

Day two (Tuesday 23 October 2018) of the GEC will be opened by keynote addresses from the Royal Academy of Engineering and Alibaba Group

Dame Ann Dowling, president of the Royal Academy, will talk about how the Africa catalyst is enhancing capacity building in the region. 

Meanwhile, a senior spokesperson from Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba Group will speak about the significant role artificial intelligence (AI) needs to play in sustainable development.  

Diversity in engineering 

One of the key challenges for the industry is the issue of diversity, and numerous speakers will be giving their views on how to change this.  


Dr Yvette E Pearson from the George R Brown School of Engineering at Rice University, Houston, will talk about how global engineering challenges can only be solved by a diverse group of problem solvers.  

As someone who’s dedicated many years to helping to boost the number of minority backgrounds into STEM education and careers, she’ll explain how increasing diversity in engineering education will help to advance the UN SDGs.  

Women in Engineering (WomEng) will look more specifically at why mid-career women are leaving the profession, and what things organisations can do to stop this brain drain.  

AI and robots 

Introduced by Alibaba, the theme of AI will be further explored by IBM’s Liming Chen, who’ll talk about using AI to improve human life.  

In addition, Qu Daokui, president of SIASUN Robot & Automation, will look at the evolution of robot technology in China, and their use in intelligent manufacturing.  

The day will close with a panel session that will sum up the day, and a statement released by Marlene Kanga, president of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO).

Click here for GEC day one highlights.