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Afshan S. Khan
Thursday, September 26, 2013
From Print Edition
 
 

 

Islamabad

 

In developing countries, the major problems being faced by the people are accessibility of clean water, right to education, right to basic education, shelter and jobs. Almost 0.8 billion people globally do not have the access to clean water, which is their basic need. The engineers must help these people to make their lives easier and better. The engineers can become the agents of change for any country and especially for Pakistan, since it is already facing severe energy crisis.

 

These views were shared by Professor Bernard Amadei while talking exclusively to ‘The News.’

 

This was his second trip to Pakistan. Armadei earlier visited Islamabad and Lahore in March.

 

He was of the view that some of the engineering education programmes in Pakistan were excellent and students were quite eager to learn and implement them.

 

Dr. Barnard said that technical persons are essential to provide the infrastructure to the country and facilitate its people.

 

Talking about the challenges faced by the global engineers, he said that the fundamentals of engineering are the same. “Communities have less resources, affordability, expensive equipment, or the scarcity of technical manpower adds up to the challenges of technical experts. Simple mechanics can work and operate there, whereas social and financial capacity should also be looked into. The gender, caste systems, language barrier, or religious differences can also add to the problems faced by them. Unfortunately we do not train our engineers to deal with social issues and people, which is a big challenge for us,” he added.

 

He said that with 67% of Pakistani people making only $2 a day, one can only imagine that with the increasing population how we could come up with an accessible, affordable and sustainable solution for their living. “The local engineers should spread out in the length and breadth of Pakistan to provide easy and affordable solutions to the basic necessities of the people. Though illnesses are different in urban and rural areas one could use collaborative means to counter challenges,” he said.

 

Dr. Amadei said that he’s looking forward to work, train and give assistance to Pakistani engineers to carry forward his mission that is he wants the engineers to think out of the box and start from smaller infrastructure which is in line with the specific community. Since the population of Pakistan is going up, the government and the technicians have to work together and need to channelise the sources. The government should be taken on board to help improve the life of a man starting from grassroots level.

 

He was of the view that ‘Engineers Without Borders’ focuses on bringing people together, breaking the barriers of the boundary and working together to facilitate the lives of the region. They should have collaborative efforts to address the issues and work on joint projects.

 

While giving an advice to Pakistani engineers, he said that creative, innovative and cheaper projects can make lives of Pakistani people much easier. “You have millions of people as your customers, and a very big market for your entrepreneurship. You should be fully aware of the community needs, only then you can make the life easier for them” he said.

 

Dr. Amadei is Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He received his PhD in 1982 from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Amadei is the Director of the Mortenson Centre in Engineering for Developing Communities at CU Boulder and holds the Mortenson Endowed Chair in Global Engineering. He is also the Founding President of Engineers Without Borders-USA and the co-founder of the Engineers Without Borders-International network.

 

Among other distinctions, Dr. Amadei is a 2007 co-recipient of the Heinz Award for the Environment, the recipient of the 2008 ENR Award of Excellence, and an elected member of the US National Academy of Engineering.

 

His main research and teaching interests have initially been in rock mechanics and engineering geology. He obtained his MSc degree in Civil Engineering in 1979 from the University of Toronto and his PhD degree in Civil Engineering in 1982 from the University of California, Berkeley. He was recently elected a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.

 

Professor Amadei has been extremely active in publishing papers in both scientific journals and professional meetings. He has co-authored two books and approximately 160 technical papers. His research at the University of Colorado has been multidisciplinary. He has also provided consulting services to various engineering companies and organizations around the world.