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Roles of engineering in a changing world

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posted on 11.11.2008, 16:38 authored by M. Sohail (Khan)
We live in a changing world. The pace of changes and the scope of changes have created new challenges for professionals including Engineers. On one hand technology has made it possible to send information to any corner of the in few seconds on the other hand most people in the world lack basic services to live decent and quality life. The world has urbanised with implication for planning, design and implementation of development projects. Infrastructure engineering can contribute better by designing interventions both at policy and practice level. A conceptual challenge for Engineers is to see engineering in the existing and changing social and economic context for which conventionally they are not trained. Engineers are required to have a broad based understanding of basic principle of subjects which were historically not the reemit of Engineering Innovative approaches are required to not only address the existing problems but also to address the future problems. This requires professionals to be brave enough to challenge the existing paradigms. Lack of capacity to create and manage capital is a key constraint in many developing countries. Poverty alleviation is the key policy objective in the context of which professional are required to perform. Frameworks are required to conceptualise the role and challenges of engineers in the changing world. One such framework is sustainable livelihood approach, which is very briefly described. The key challenges for engineers at policy and practice levels were identified with the conclusion that infrastructure engineering has to play proactive role to improve the quality of life in the society where they live.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Research Unit

  • Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC)


SOHAIL, M., 2001. Roles of engineering in a changing world. [Paper presented at:] First International Symposium on Infrastructural Engineering in Developing Countries, Karachi, Pakistan, September

Publication date



This is a conference paper.



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