Principal Engineer, Steve Williams attended the 2016 Australian Engineering Conference in Brisbane recently. With the theme of “Shape the Conversation”, the conference certainly provided some stimulating and thought-provoking subject matter. Technology was certainly high on the agenda, and this was reflected in the opening address with Federal Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science delivering his address by live video feed from his Canberra office.
The two keynote speakers – Dr Alan Finkel, Chief Scientist of Australia (actually, he is an engineer!), and retired Lt. General David Morrison (2016 Australian of the year) provided strong deliveries in the areas of Science & Innovation, and then Leadership in Australia.
Four technical streams then followed for the three days, covering Defence, Leadership, Energy and Infrastructure. There are many exciting innovations happening in all industries, both in Australia and overseas, however it appears that our Energy Networks need some serious attention, from both a strategic and policy perspective. Younger engineers entering the workforce now will have very different careers, requiring new skills, especially in project management and community involvement. The challenge for Consulting Engineers will be to seek out innovative technologies and delivery methods, and recruit talented engineers to match.