Earlier this week I became President of the Commonwealth Engineers’ Council, taking over from Professor Paul Jowitt who has capably held the Presidency since 2011, representing the organisation in all manner of ways, including as the Representative and Executive Council member of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations, a position which I will take over too. It is a real honour to do this. The Commonwealth is a very special institution. It was formed (in London) back in 1946 by engineering organisations from Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK, and continued to add members over the subsequent years, holding regular meetings around the world. It is worth reading some more about the history of the organisation, if you are interested, on the website here https://lnkd.in/eWuWi-42.
Today the engineers of the Commonwealth have a vital role to play, principally because many of the member countries of the Commonwealth are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change; in the case of many of the Small Island Developing States, they are in real danger of extinction as the oceans’ sea levels rise. The Presidency I take over is a two year appointment, and in that time my aim is to concentrate on ways that we can make full use of our network of members to the benefit of all of us, as we share our challenges and solutions, our expertise, our knowledge, our resources, and our voice to amplify the concerns of the many members whose voice is not heard – or heeded. One of the distinguishing factors of the Commonwealth is the number of young people – 60% of the Commonwealth population being under the age of 30, and it is this group of young engineers who will be the engine of the CEC, literally driving our agenda for change forwards. These are the leaders – not of tomorrow – but of today. They have vision, they have ambition, they have passion.
I am very much looking forward to this journey, and will keep you posted as it progresses.
Dawn Bonfield MBE FREng https://www.linkedin.com/in/dawnbonfield/