Don urges sound policy to boost engineers’ creativity

Desirous of improving the fortune for Nigerian engineers, a United States-based Professor of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, Michael Adewunmi has challenged Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE) to push for policies that would make government create engineers that will change the country for better.

Adewunmi who teaches at the Pennsylvania State University, lamented that lack of critical thinking that could bring forth innovative ideas amongst Nigerian engineers advocated for multi-dimensional training that encompasses; technical competency, local contextualization and environmental dimension in order to keep up with the ever- increasing global development in all fields of human endeavour.

In a lecture titled, “Training Engineers for the Global Century” at the 2017 Annual Lecture, life achievement awards and induction of new fellows organized by NAE in Lagos, he stated that while government needs to invest in infrastructure development and training of its citizens, practitioners must not just be trained to do book work and produces gadgets, but to solve human problems.

He added that engineering education curricula must be routinely reviewed, integrated with communications skills and team building skills while NAE should lead in improving skill competency among young engineers.

On issues of incessant building collapses, he warned that those in the built environment should understand that integrity is the most important aspect of any human being and so must work hard not to lose it.

Earlier, NAE President, Mrs. Joanna Maduka said the occasion is an opportunity to advance engineering education and practice in the country.

This, she said would be achieved through continuous learning, advocacy and strategic collaboration with relevant professional association and industry.
While inducting 12 new fellows into the academy, she charged them to ensure repositioning of engineering practice in the country.

She said the presentation of life achievement awards was in-line with their landmark contributions to development of the profession in Nigeria.

She noted that the decline in participation of engineering practitioners in major projects and poor quality results from local graduates suggest a fundamental flaw in the quality of engineering education.

Besides, she observed that technological changes in practice have become so rapid that there may be wide gap between practice among local practitioners and global engineers, if care is not taken.

To change the situation, Maduka disclosed that the academy has finally initiated industry linkage with ARCO Petrochemical Group of companies with relevant terms of reference and offering of financial support to empower Nigerian engineers.

In his remarks, the Minister for Communication, Barrister Abdulraheem Shittu charged fellows of the academy not to be satisfied with their imminent professional position alone but also venture into politics to contribute to policy that would advance engineering. He pledged to serve as their ambassador and intermediary in government.

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