• This conference marked the launch of World Engineering Day on 4 March 2020, a global celebration of the contributions made by the engineering profession to sustainable development.
  • Showcasing the impact being made by our awardees, the conference highlighted the Academy’s ongoing efforts to build a base of young engineering talent, equipped to face the emerging global challenges.
  • The event brought together leading engineers from across the world who have largely been awarded grants and fellowships by the Academy with support from Newton Fund, Global Challenges Research Fund and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation.


Day 1


The first day of the conference focused on networking and collaborative lesson sharing and problem solving around how engineering innovation and education can tackle the SDGs.



Evening Lecture: Dr Guru Madhavan, Director of Programmes at the US National Academy of Engineering

Hosted at the IET, Dr Madhavan gave a thought provoking talk on the need to Transform Engineering Education for the 21st Century and how we equip engineers to tackle some of the multifaceted, ‘Wicked Problems’ the world currently faces such as the SDGs and Coronavirus.

The talk pressed the need for greater abstraction and interdisciplinary thinking in engineering and was followed by a fireside chat with Academy CEO, Dr Hayaatun Sillem.







Day 2

The conference’s second day consisted of a mixture of plenaries and break-out sessions, looking at each of the 17 SDGs and showcasing cases of how engineering can address them.               

  • Many of the awardees and alumni had the opportunity to present on how their work and Academy-funded projects tie in with the aims of the SDGs.
  • As part of the day’s activities, the Academy launched the Global Engineering Capability Review, commissioned by Engineering X.


Plenary sessions

From Participation to Ownership to meet the SDGs

Naadiya Moosaje (WomEng)

Empowerment of young women and girls through STEM education

Ian Mutamiri (the Purple Trust)

Slides: SDG 5 - Panel (1.03 MB)




Educating for the end-of-engineered life: waste, risk and circular economy

Edward Cook (University of Leeds)

Dr Costas Velis (University of Leeds)


Slides: SDG 12 - Edward Cook and Costas Velis (4.54 MB)



Climate Action - Next Generation Panel 

James McKevitt (Loughborough University)

Lottie Macnair (Bristol University )

Dmitry Leyko (University College London)



Kate Roll (University College London)

Slides: SDG17 - Kate Roll (4.88 MB)





Breakout sessions

Developing the skills and knowledge for designing solutions to poverty

Irshaad Vawda (Engineers Without Borders South Africa)

Slides: SDG 1 - Irshaad Vawda (616.26 KB)




An Enginpreneur’s Journey: From 2 Kevin at CERN to 2 degrees C in last

mile cold chain vaccine delivery (in low-resource settings)

Kitty Liao (Ideabatic Ltd)

Slides: SDG 3 - Kitty Liao (2.10 MB)



Global Engineering Capability Review

Antonia Kerle (The Economist)

Katherine Stuart (The Economist)

Slides: SDG 4 - Antonia Kerle



Low-cost water filtration for sustainable development

Askwar Hilonga (Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology)

Slides: SDG 6 - Askwar Hilonga (2.42 MB)




Energising poverty reduction in rural Sierra Leone

Kelleh Gbawuru-Mansaray (University of Sierra Leone)

The role of energy polices and residential batteries in the integration of solar PV across power distribution networks: Jordan perspective

Sabhan Alnaser (University of Jordan)

Slides: SDG 7 - Kelleh Mansaray and Sahban Alnaser (1,002.26 KB)



Creating Opportunity Pipelines to leave no one behind

Hermina Johnny (the Aspire Artemis Foundation)

Slides: SDG 8 - Hermina Johnny (1.18 MB)




Academic challenges and opportunities for rail transit projects in Thailand

Waressara Weerawat (Mahidol University)

Slides: SDG 9 - Waressara Weerawat (936.74 KB)




Underachievement in maths is affecting South Africa’s economy

Dr Petro Erasmus (North West University)

Slides: SDG 10 - Petro Erasmus (1.91 MB)




Leapfrogging sustainable urban mobility in Freetown (and Maputo): a T-SUM pilot project

Dr Festus Oba Jones (Sierra Leone Institution of Engineers)

Slides: SDG 11 - Festus Jones (1.14 MB)



Novel approaches to tackle the SDGs in the countries of blue economy

Paula Zapata-Ramirez (Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana)

Slides: SDG 14 - Paula Zapata-Ramirez (5.29 MB)




The role of Engineers in promoting peace, justice, and strong institutions

Building Peace Engineering

Wahidullah Azizi (The Royal Academy of Engineering)

Nathalie Guillaume (The United Nations)

Slides: SDG 16 - Wahidullah Azizi and Nathalie Guillaume (2.52 MB)