Global Challenges: Engineering Solutions

Global Challenges: Engineering Solutions


As we collectively learn the lessons from our handling of a global pandemic, there is an increasing awareness of the need to be prepared for the big issues our planet faces through the 2020s. In particular, what can engineers do to combat some of the known challenges that we will face?

Here we look at 3 global and interconnected societal challenges and ask what engineers can do to help solve them.

1. Population growth and urban density: Smart Cities

The increase in global population will have a dramatic impact on the planet and how we live in it. The United Nations (UN) hasprojected2050年将有97亿居民,从目前的人口分别增加24%,不到30年。

另外,联合国估计that since 2007, more people have lived in urban areas compared to rural settings. This trend of migration from rural to urban will continue well into the future and these two impending and seemingly unstoppable projections will create many issues which peoples around the world will have to resolve. Among them are water shortages, food scarcity, environmental degradation, ageing infrastructure, lack of housing and transportation.

Global Challenges: Engineering SolutionsEngineers have a role to play when it comes to solving some of these big, global challenges. They will be involved in creating future cities which can accommodate increasing numbers and diversity of population. If you take urban infrastructure as an example, engineers are today planning for more interconnected future cities which work effectively, efficiently, and are more sustainable than ever before. The term “Smart Cities” has been around for many years and engineers are bringing to life future metropolises which combine smart technologies, physical infrastructure, and digital intelligence to improve the quality of life for residents in an ever more sustainable manner.

For example, in one of the most densely populated cities, Singapore, engineers have integrated smart technologies and sensors which analyse solar, wind and shade to optimise the urban planning space. Additionally, to ease traffic flow through the small island city state, they use smart speed cameras to adjust the timing of traffic lights to moderate the flow of vehicles.

技术和基础设施是再保险的合并plicated in other parts of the world. Dubai for example, is creating and embedding an advanced digital infrastructure across the city to connect buildings, energy sources, water supply and waste water disposal to produce more sustainable homes, leisure facilities and offices. Globally, engineers from the fields of民用必威体育网页登录mechanical而且其他学科正在合作地工作,以实现解决方案。对于未来的房屋和办公室,他们确保它们是使用可持续材料建造的,使用较少的能量光和加热房间,并尽可能多地回收使用的水。



随着越来越多的人住在城市地区,有关的挑战是他们如何移动,商品和产品如何运输,以及我们如何做到这一切,而不会增加空气污染并损害环境。欧盟的“Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy” sets out plans and targets to achieve some of this in Europe. From zero-emission vehicles and automated transportation, to seamless mobility, the tasks ahead are clear.

To bring about a transformative transportation system, engineers are preoccupied with cutting edge developments and ground-breaking projects. The technology behind Electric vehicles (EVs) have been with us for a while and engineers will continue to work on the power needs and capacity of cars, busses, trucks and lorries etc. As the growth in the uptake of EVs continue, there is a need for better power grid management to allow for all those car owners to charge up their vehicles in the evening, and also have more electric charging points across the urban and rural infrastructure – this increased energy demand will require more (renewable) power.




The impact of human behaviour and activity on the planet’s environment has been tracked for many years, and the issue of climate change is without doubt one of the biggest challenges we face. For societies to develop solutions that not only minimise the impact of climate change, but help reduce and reverse its effect, engineers will have to play a major role.


Engineers will be at the heart of achieving net zero - to reach a balance between the amount of global greenhouse gases produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. Examples also include material engineers developing new products to replace plastic bags or chemical engineers working with environmental engineers to grow palm oil without increasing deforestation of rainforests or destruction of homes. Power, electrical and mechanical engineers are at the forefront of developing clean, renewable energy with solar panels, wind turbines, heat pumps and biofuels.

The list goes on and on, as does the range of global challenges climate change poses. Engineering and engineers will definitely have a role to play in combating this most important of societal threat.

Future solution providers

很明显,我们未来的挑战将要求工程师开发和提供解决方案。还有明显的是,工程师的全球性缺乏缺乏这些角色,并且招募的管道是不吃的需要使用年轻人(未来的解决方案提供商)与工程,然后为他们提供履行careeris, in itself, a challenge that many countries face around the world. It is, however, a task that is a prerequisite,if we are to collectively meet the challenges of accelerated urbanisation, smart mobility and damaging climate change.