Well-established Engineers have been advised to prioritise mentorship for young practitioners and collaborate for knowledge sharing in the profession.
The advice was given by Emeritus Professor of engineering at the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, United States of America, Augustine Esogbue.
He stated this during a virtual public lecture he delivered on, ‘The Engineering of Societal Systems: A Guided Tour of Decades of some Pioneering and Transformative Research Contributions’ organised by the Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE) in Lagos, recently.
He also urged the teaching of system and industrial engineering in order to find solutions to societal challenges.
Prof. Esogbue said such education would promote knowledge in developing multi-purpose machines and systems that will not only solve problems but also manage existing resources in the best possible way.
He stressed that optimum operation of machines and systems must be of interest to engender development in the country.
Esogbue, who was the Director of Intelligent Systems and Controls Laboratory at the institute said: “There should be teaching of system science in theory and application. At every point in time, you must monitor and maintain systems designed to solve problems. Irrespective of predictions, Nigeria is going to survive but we don’t just want it to survive, we want it to excel.
Engineering still has a lot to do to transform the country. Engineers in addition to building hardware must look for ways to complement them with the software aspect, which is more like policies and the use of machines to do things so that life can be better, more comfortable and the environment will be more beneficial.”
According to him, there is the need for practitioners to share experiences through public webinars and other means to engender transfer of knowledge and capacity development in the industry.
He said those who have become successive in the profession must embrace mentorship for the younger engineers, adding that emphasis should be on the pursuit of career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.
Esogbue who is a fellow of NAE further disclosed that to give back to the society, he plans to fund scholarships for selected doctoral engineering students across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria for the next five years.
“We need to train engineers who are culturally sensitive to their environment, able to build machines and elevate the quality of life. The field of work now feels like the field of play through mechanization of labour and engineering”, he said.
He also stated that there was a need for partnership among industry players in order to make a lasting mark in the profession and in the sands of time.
In his address at the forum which attracted fellows of the academy, the President, Nigerian Academy of Engineering, Alex Ogedegbe said the lecture was organised to project decades of excellence in engineering profession as well as serve as a worthy and memorable way to celebrate an engineer on what science and technology can contribute towards societal socio-economic development and growth.
Ogedegbe said to encourage knowledge sharing; the NAE has mandated all its new fellows to present a paper on a particular topic to the academy.
The forum also featured a presentation of appreciation plaque to Professor Esogbue for his landmark contributions to engineering development across the world.