AFEO 2014 - Engineers to address energy supply

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

MEMBERS of the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organisations (AFEO) met for their 13th mid-term meeting in Brunei yesterday to discuss issues that can affect economic growth, including topics on energy, environment, transportation and education of engineers.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, AFEO Secretary-General Dato’ Ir Lim Chow Hock said that the meeting was held to review progress made by their members.

Lim, who also serves as president of the Institution of Engineers Malaysia, said issues on energy, environment, transportation and education are important areas that they feel need to be addressed.

"Energy is very vital. It ‘s an impetus for growth. In many industrialised countries there’s huge consumption apart from the normal domestic demand," he said.

He said that due to differing circumstances, there’s disparity among various ASEAN nations when it comes to energy supply. He believed the engineering community in ASEAN can work together to keep energy supply sufficient.

Lim said they will also discuss environmental issues including air pollution, water-management to disaster mitigation.

According to a press statement issued by Brunei’s Association of Surveyors, Engineers and Architects (PUJA), this topic fell under the Working Committee on Energy and Environment. The committee met to push the agenda on environmental protection through renewable energy power supply, improved policies, controlled development and striking a balance between preserving the environment and impactful economic growth.

Another working group which looked at disaster management also discussed ways to improve disaster preparedness through sharing case studies, coordinating preparations and increasing public awareness.

On transport, Lim said that transport infrastructure is critical to economic development.

"Once we have our transport (system) in place, in good condition, it can spur economic growth," he said.

This topic fell under the Transportation and Logistics Working Group, which according to PUJA is the platform for the engineers to share experiences in planning and development of transportation infrastructures and safety.

On education, he said ASEAN countries have different education systems.

"Some are aligned to British system, while others are more towards the American systems and some may even follow other European systems, both in terms of curriculum as well as qualification," he said.

The Education and Capacity Building Working Group met to discuss matters on engineering education and adaptation of common guidelines, standardised professional training and promotion of the engineering career to the secondary education level.

He said it’s necessary to coordinate the different standards among various countries. The working group is discussing benchmarks on certain criteria to ensure that all engineers in the region is up to world standards in terms of quality and education.

Yesterday’s meeting was hosted by the Engineers Division of PUJA and was held at the Ba’diah Hotel in Batu Satu. Through their Engineers Division, PUJA is a member of AFEO.

A business matching session was also held yesterday as an opportunity for members to network with local businesses.

Board members of AFEO also met to assess and finalise recommendation for awards of ASEAN Outstanding Engineering Achievement and ASEAN Distinguished Honorary Member, AFEO Honorary Fellows Members and AFEO Honorary Members. These awards will later be presented at their year-end conference in Myanmar.

Courtesy from The Brunei Times

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