Dear Fellow Engineers and Friends from the ASEAN Engineering Community,
On behalf of The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES), I would like to thank the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA) for hosting the first virtual CAFEO.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made 2020 an extraordinary year for all of us, disrupting our industries, our economies and our lives. For engineers, it has certainly not been an easy year – many of our projects have been delayed or even cancelled.
However, the crisis has also demonstrated the strong resolve of engineers to rise above tough situations and our commitment to make the world better. We have seen engineers around the world swiftly responding to the colossal challenges arising from COVID, by developing innovative solutions to keep people safe and healthy, to keep businesses going and to keep our countries running.
In Singapore, for example, engineers have played a key role in the fight against the coronavirus, from supporting the domestic production of medical-grade surgical masks to developing self-cleaning disinfecting robots.
As the national society of engineers in Singapore, IES has also risen to the challenge in different ways. We have waived 50 per cent of our membership fees for this year and directed graduating engineering students to the SGUnited traineeship programme. We have also quickly adapted our meetings, including AFEO, FEIAP, WFEO meetings, to virtual formats; migrated our key events such as our annual general meeting and the National Engineers Day online; and provided e-learning for our members through the IES Academy.
And as the pandemic continues to take its course, IES is not standing still. Amongst other initiatives, we will be embarking on a repositioning exercise to enliven engineering to attract a new generation of engineers; launching the certification scheme for the first batch of Chartered Technologists and Technicians; and hosting the biennial World Engineers Summit to bring together engineers to exchange knowledge, expertise and ideas to build greater sustainability, liveability, economic security and climate resilience for cities.
The theme for this year’s CAFEO, ‘Fostering Initiatives and Actions by AFEO to Build a Sustainable and Prosperous ASEAN Community’ is aptly chosen. Different problems will continue to unravel in the future. But if we stay strong and positive; and continue to work together, we will be able weather all storms and create a better future for our people and economy.
I wish VUSTA every success in CAFEO 38 and all delegates a rewarding experience at the conference.
Dr. Richard Kwok
President of The Institution of Engineers, Singapore