The convention program will offer three full days of content featuring six themes aligning to the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This is a unique opportunity to take an integrated approach to solve many of the problems that the world is facing – all of them requiring engineering.

Theme 1: How new technology and innovations are reshaping engineering

Interconnectivity is here and the internet of things is planning, organising and anticipating our every need based on our behaviours. Data analytics is key to understanding human motivators and as artificial intelligence accelerates in development, the resulting solutions continue to surprise us as the gap between human and robot closes ever more (or diminishes). AI, nano-technology and advances in software engineering are assisting with medical advancements and delivering ways for all humans to participate in a rich and full life. The evolution of telecommunications and software engineering has facilitated our productivity and mobility, we are selecting our working environments and continuing to create a world where we choose the rules of engagement. How do new technologies shape the engineering landscape and what are the opportunities for the future? How will engineering continue to positively impact our society?

  • Internet of Things
  • Innovation and disruption
  • Data analytics
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Modelling and simulation
  • Telecommunications and cyber security
  • Bio-medical engineering and innovations for better health
  • Robotics
  • Quantum computing

Supported by  

Theme 1 Keywords:

• Augmented reality • Defence • Digital divide and transformation • Drones • Cyber security • Government • 3D printing • Mechatronics • Nano technology • Software engineering • Telecommunications • Tunnelling • Artificial intelligence • Intelligent machines  • Robotics • Innovation • Digital data

Theme 2: Engineering for humanity: responsive design for greater liveability

Our cities are the nuclei of social development, innovation, productivity, economic growth and culture. With the number of people living within cities projected to rise to 5 billion people by 2030, it is vital that resourceful urban planning and management practices are implemented to deal with the challenges brought by urban expansion. However, engineers have a role to play bridging the gap between those living in urban areas and those in rural areas; To find solutions for the shortage of resources, access to clean water and sanitations and equal opportunity for engagement regardless of geographic location, economic status or standard of living. Society is feeling the pressure in areas of energy, water supplies, the living environment and public health services. How do Engineers play a part in designing a future fit for humanity and embracing the sustainable ethos so we can live in a world where the standard of living is equitable for all?

  • Sustainable assets and utilities (water, energy, waste)
  • Transport systems (road, rail, air)
  • Smart cities
  • Smart farming
  • Engineering a sustainable future (population growth, biodiversity, ecosystems)
  • Sustainable water management practices
  • Sustainable energy resources
  • Green infrastructure
  • Environmental sustainability

Supported by  

Theme 2 Keywords:

• Agricultural production • Air quality • Biodiversity • Climate adaptation • Closure objectives • Energy efficiency and certification • Environmental sustainability • ESD engineering • Funding rehabilitation • Future proofing new cities • Global population capacity • Green infrastructure • Ground/Surface water management (Quality, Supply, Reform, Contamination) • Human centred design • Innovation • Land rehabilitation/decontamination • Managing droughts • Managing floods • Managing temporary closure • Pollution management • Reforestation • Remote communities • Renewable energy • Resource constraints • Sanitation • Smart infrastructure • Stakeholder consultation • Sustainable agriculture • Sustainable infrastructure • Urban environment • Urban planning and communities • Urban transportation

Theme 3: Fostering diversity and inclusion

The field of engineering has a diversity problem.  In this context, the term diversity signifies difference in terms of people and the identity categories widely used to represent them.  One of the most compelling reasons why the field of engineering suffers due to a lack of diversity is the deficit of talent and loss of potential innovation.  Increasing access to educational opportunities at all levels, fosters a culture of diversity and inclusion where society benefits from a diverse pool of thought. The lack of diversity signals a large absence of the potential for growth and innovation in engineering and leads to a countless number of missed opportunities. To increase our diverse talent pool of future engineers, we need to break down the barriers determined by socially constructed identity categories that does a disservice to the individuals who have the capacity to succeed as engineers but are unable to do so.  How can Engineers shape the future workforce by breaking down the barriers to diversity and through STEM initiatives pioneer progression and retention of our talent?

  • Capacity building through diversity and inclusiveness
  • Future workforce
  • Managing career progression and retention
  • Teams of the future (breaking old habits)

Supported by


Theme 3 Keywords:

• Career transitions • Diversity • Diversity politics • Indigenous engineering • Knowledge • Life balance • Mentoring • Technology support • Women in STEM • Work practices • Multi-stage careers

Theme 4: Preparing the next generation of engineers

Engineers Australia is working with the Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools (SMiS) program to encourage more engineers in schools to inspire the next generation of engineers! Our national education programs are seeing shifts that facilitate ongoing partnerships between science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) professionals and teachers to enhance STEM education in schools to prepare for the future. How do engineers meet the gaps now and in to the future for a changing world and how can they participate in shaping an education framework that answers the needs of an ever-evolving society?

  • Education system/framework of tomorrow
  • Future workforce
  • Borderless qualifications
  • Industry-education collaboration
  • Blended learning
  • Interdisciplinarity

Supported by  

Theme 4 Keywords:

• Blended diversity • Breadth/depth • Collaboration • Design thinking • Disruption • Emerging professionals • Flexible pathways • Human-centred creativity • Interdisciplinarity • Networked world • Online • Quality • Stakeholders • Teamwork

Theme 5: Engineering leadership, governance and influence

The engineering profession is ever-changing to meet the needs of a global environmental change and societal demands. While the profession evolves, so too do the requisite skills to deliver and position ‘Engineering’ as a relevant and influential career with impactful outcomes. How is the global engineering profession meeting the needs of role models, career pathways and entrepreneurial skills to ensure that the changing profession responds to market disruption and demands?

  • Governance (market/employer disruption, communication within and outside the profession, mergers)
  • Ethical behaviour and obligations
  • A changing profession (global environment, lifelong learning, entrepreneurial skills)
  • Technical or leadership careers (role models, career pathways)
  • Nature of leadership (influence on wider society)
  • Transformative models

Supported by  

Theme 5 Keywords:

• Educating engineers on ethics • Engineers in society • Engineers volunteering • Ethical obligations • Public service • Sustainable future • Transformative models

Theme 6: Our changing climate: mitigation, resilience and adaptation

Our world is a changing landscape predicated by society’s evolution. We require innovative leadership in harnessing technology to assist in planning for the pressures on resources, disaster monitoring, protecting our oceans, and developing solutions that answer these problems. How do we adapt, mitigate against climate change and build resilience into our profession? What impact can engineers have in sustainability for the next 100 years?

  • Preparedness for major natural and other occurrences (vulnerability assessment)
  • Technology for natural disaster monitoring, mitigation and management
  • Resilient infrastructure for climate change
  • Managing our resources (land, water, mining, energy)
  • Protecting our oceans
  • Building resilience into our engineered society (mitigation).
  • Risk leadership, governance and innovation
  • Leadership in response to natural and other major occurrences (adaptation)

Supported by  

Theme 6 Keywords:

• Adapting and mitigating climate change • Build back better • Changing culture • Changing landscape • Disaster planning and design • Disaster preparedness • Disaster risk reduction in development • Emergency management • Engineering for response • Politics of mitigation versus adaptation • Reconstruction • Recovery • Regulatory change • Rehabilitation • Risk mitigation • Standards and controls

Engineers Australia

600 Bourke Street,
Level 31, Melbourne 3000

Ph: 1300 653 113
E: [email protected]