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ICE Past President Richard Coackley becomes UK national rep for WFEO

26 November 2019

The Institution had a strong representation at the WFEO General Assembly in Melbourne this month. 

ICE Past President Richard Coackley becomes UK national rep for WFEO

Richard Coackley, ICE Past President, has taken over as the new UK national representative for the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO).

He replaces Haro Bedelian, who stepped down after more than 11 years of senior leadership roles, including auditing and strengthening its governance.

Coackley was one of a number of ICE members representing the UK at the WFEO General Assembly, which was held in conjunction with the World Engineers Convention in Melbourne recently, both of which were focussed on delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

In addition, ICE has been confirmed as the host of the Committee on Engineering and the Environment (CEE) up to 2023.

Davide Stronati is the new CEE Chair, taking over from ICE Past President Jean Venables' first four-year term.

Climate change action

Since 2017, Venables has been focusing the CEE efforts on addressing SDG 13 on Climate Action.

Members of the CEE regularly and actively attended the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP) meetings to promote the engineering perspective on what is required in order to mitigate and adapt to climatic uncertainty.

This work will be continued by Stronati, who will advance awareness and seek action to combat the current climate emergency, raising the need for engineers to mitigate its causes and create solutions for adaptation.

It will also provide an opportunity to align and promote the legacy work that the ICE started in 2018 with the Global Engineering Congress.

The CEE developed the WFEO Declaration on Climate Emergency to be presented at the incoming COP25 in Madrid.

The Declaration is based on the ICE version which was launched a few months ago and with the intention of asking WFEO National Members Organisations to adopt the Climate Emergency Declaration in their own countries, promoting action to mitigate climate causes and to adapt to its effect that will leave no one behind.

Other updates

Women in engineering

The Women in Engineering (WiE) Committee was attended by Dawn Bonfield, continuing its commitment to gender diversity and inclusion in engineering through the identification of two major goals building on the global membership of the committee.

Firstly, a commitment to develop and promote a set of global strategic indicators for gender diversity in engineering, and secondly a focus on SDG number 5, Gender Equality, and how it interacts with the other SDGs in engineering.

Committee on Energy

The Committee on Energy national host was handed over to France. Jean Moncomble became the new chair.

UK member Philip Pascall corresponded updating the group on recent UK meeting outcomes on climate change and potential repair, a large proportion of carbon emissions being from energy, also informing that the UK government has ratified its law to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

Commonwealth Engineers Council

Professor Paul Jowitt, President of the Commonwealth Engineers Council (CEC), updated CEC members, also attending the WFEO General Assembly, with a review of the state of the profession across the Commonwealth, recent work with the Prince's Trust, and the release of a web app created to simplify Infrastructure reporting for CEC members.

The Committee on Young Engineers/Future leaders held a vibrant update on the achievements of young engineers on advancing the UN SDGs.

The World Engineers Convention taking place during the same period was attended by nearly 3,000 engineers from 75 nations, participating in the theme "Engineering a Sustainable World: The next 100 Years" with each presentation based on an SDG.

UN World Engineering Day

Coinciding with these two events, UNESCO officially confirmed that it had approved WFEO's proposal to create a UN World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development to be held on 4 March each year, to start in 2020.

  • Richard Coackley, past president at Institution of Civil Engineers