According to Engineers Australia, almost every good and service in a modern society embodies some form of engineering.
Engineering encompasses a range of specialised fields and has existed for thousands of years - think of the construction of the pyramids of Egypt, or the Parthenon in Greece.
An engineer brings innovation and design to the construction, operation and maintenance of structures, machines, materials, devices, systems, processes and organisations.
Generally speaking, engineers have the ability to turn ideas into realities that can have a positive effect on people's everyday lives.
New and innovative ideas may be the beginnings of technological advance, but it is engineers that translate those new ideas into practical and commercially valuable new products and services.
Engineers contribute valuable services to the Australian economy at all stages of the innovation supply chain by:
- Researching, designing and engineering prototypes into new commercial products and services.
- Manufacturing new and improving existing products.
- Developing and operating digital systems.
- Design, constructing, operating and improving infrastructure that provides a framework in which an innovative economy can thrive.
Engineers Australia sets standards for education and practice of engineering, in line with international benchmarks.
This professional body is encouraging the federal government to act, in the wake of the downturn in the resources boom, to move the Australian economy from resource-based to an innovative high tech, knowledge-based economy.
Recommendations are based on policy priorities set by the Engineers Australia board and focus on creating a:
- Skilled workforce that is ready to meet contemporary and future challenges.
- Strong defence industry policy that leverages defence capability needs.
- Considered energy policy that can sustain long-term climate targets and energy security.
- Improved infrastructure that works efficiently and does not impede productivity.