Happy New Year! Indeed, Year 2010 was quite a year for engineers. Almost all major incidences that occurred in 2010 were related to engineering works one way or the other, except of course those caused by natural disasters. The Deepwater Horizon incident was one of the worst engineering disasters in history of mankind. The jury is still out on the final cost of the failure. Could this kind of disaster have been prevented?
Another significant event, which might be considered as the pinnacle of engineering work during a disaster was the Chile mine incident. As it turned out all the miners survived and were brought up to the surface by a specially designed capsule, which was a result of an engineering innovation and well coordinated and managed rescue operation.
So, what is in store for 2011? Perhaps, a closer look would bring forth the fact that 1st January 2011 is not only a start to a new year but also a start to the third decade of the Vision 2020, which was launched in 1990. It is like on the home stretch or the last lap, whichever way one looks at it. As one of the essential components of nation builders, there are plenty of opportunities and challenges for engineers and the engineering society. The New Economic Model (NEM), the Economic Transformation Programs (ETP) and the Tenth Malaysia Plan (10MP) are some of the key Headlines. While the economist may have completed their number crunching for these programs, the real work for the engineers is just starting. Planning, designing, implementing and commissioning are probably the most obvious tasks. The issue of sustainability and environmental friendly engineering will become more prominent. The question is, can we engineers face up to the challenge to ensure all the ideas and concepts on the drawing boards are translated fully into reality? Our expertise on Value Engineering and Project Management will certainly be needed.
Those Malaysians who were born in 1990 and chose to be engineers are now in their second year of an engineering course. In two years time they will be actively involved in some kind of engineering works. Are we ready to lead and guide them to carry on the good name of the engineering profession towards 2020? With the ever and fast changing way of life, can the engineers remain merely in the traditional domain of engineering or ready to impart and infuse the engineering practices in other areas of life professions?