The Official E-Newsletter of the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka   |  Issue 52 - March 2021


Eng. Suran Fernando  

World Engineers Day reminds us OF the forgotten bitter reality

Dear Members & Readers,

We celebrated ‘World Engineers day’ on the 4th of March 2021. The existence of mankind in the 21st century is heavily relying on engineering than ever before. At the verge of the 4th industrial revolution that encompasses advancements in the areas like robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), genetic engineering, etc. the lives of humankind are driven by technology than in the past. Automation and internet-based technologies rule the world. We are on an unending rat race where we cannot stop for a moment and look back on our journey to date.

The buzz word in all discussions related to the World Engineers Day this year is nothing other than SUSTAINABILITY. It is good that engineers across the world are largely responsible for the creation of modern-day wonders by gambling with the lives of the future generations to come. No one understands this as our unborn posterity are not there in front of us to claim their belongings. Sustainability is one of the concepts that has been heavily misused by the engineering fraternity, might be intentionally or unintentionally. The commercial facet of the theme, sustainability has created theories and slogans that have no depth but can be used to deceive fellow mankind by camouflaging the danger underlying.

In such a circumstance, it is good to see at least modern-day engineers are prepared to pay their attention to the sustainability of the planet earth at least on the World Engineers Day this year. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic too reminds us that what matters most in life is the wellbeing of the people and planet we live on. The concept of ‘Earth Overshoot Day’ is a sharp reminder for rethinking the unclaimed human rights of the unborn generations. Earth Overshoot Day demarcates the date when present annual humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. In 2020, it fell on August 22. In simple it says that we have consumed resources of 1.6 worlds during 2020. If we continue ‘business as usual’ extracting the ecological resources at the same increasing rate as we did in the recent past it is estimated that we will need resources of two worlds in 2030 as resource demand is twice the earth biocapacity by that time.

According to the great Albert Einstein “We cannot solve problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”. Therefore, we must explore the real sustainability that which Lord Buddha taught us twenty-five centuries ago. We have to admit that we are not the owner of the planet, but we are only one of the species living there with the exception of possessing outstanding capabilities than most of the other living beings. Engineers being the group of humans with the highest IQ, the responsibility on our shoulders is immense. This is because engineers are a cluster in society who can either act to bring the end of humankind early or bring sustainability to the planet. Our creativity and inventiveness will come into play if we are ready to work for the betterment of ourselves as well as our future generations. The message of World Engineers Day 2021 is this. It’s our duty today.

Wish you all the best!

Eng. Suran Fernando
Editor, SLEN


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