Inspiring Community Leaders, our webinar series that ran throughout April, intended to engage, inspire and influence Chapter committee members and the academic’s who run our Design Challenges. During the series we facilitated opportunities to celebrate achievements from the last academic year as well as feedback, reflect and plan for a purpose driven year ahead.

Our Chapter sessions launched by celebrating our member’s achievements, of which there are plenty. Since September, the Chapters have run over 160 activities, including numerous youth outreach sessions hoping to inspire the next generation of globally responsible engineers and interdisciplinary Designathons, which engaged students from across universities, highlighting the importance of collaboration and gaining insight from varied perspectives.

For the sessions aimed at our new committee members, we prepared them by providing vital insights into our movement, covering fundamental concepts such as globally responsible engineering, in addition to helping them plan for their year ahead and assigning roles and responsibilities.

We didn’t just use this opportunity to train committee members ourselves, we also invited industry professionals from various areas in the sector to share their career pathways, providing students with an insight into the varied nature of the engineering industry. As well as providing a career overview, the panel discussed questions from the audience, during which they delved into the reality of trying to embed globally responsible engineering practice in the workplace.

“As an […] engineer within an organisation, you have very little say on what the organisation does and how it does it, that decision is down to the Board of Directors, effectively. So to overcome it, I think engineers need more representation at the tops of these companies and if that can be achieved, then there is more hope of overcoming these barriers.”

Alex Wise, Head of Strategy at FT Technologies

We also took the opportunity to similarly celebrate the academics who run both the Engineering for People Design Challenge and the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge. We are heartened to see the growing network of 75 UK based academics, who are embedding globally responsible engineering into their teaching and whose feedback helps us to evolve the Design Challenges for years to come.

Despite the unforeseen circumstances, both Design Challenges are continuing this year, and are now in the reviewer phases with around 250 individuals volunteering their time to provide students with constructive feedback on their submissions, helping to shape the next generation of globally responsible engineers. We look forward to celebrating the student’s hard work in the coming months. 

As one Design Challenge draws to a close, the research for the next begins. Be sure not to miss the opportunity to be involved in our award winning Engineering for People Design Challenge next academic year, and find out more.