What is Engineering

Engineers have contributed to some of the world’s greatest technological achievements including electrification, automobiles, health technologies, space craft and high performance materials.

Engineering is the application of maths and science to design, create, improve and maintain things such as buildings, computers, cars, roads and aeroplanes. Engineering shapes and changes the world we live in and, without engineering, there would be no improvements to our lifestyles.

Engineers solve problems and improve the way things work. They have management skills as well as lateral thinking and communication skills. Engineers are in constant demand across a wide range of industries both national and internationally. Engineering covers a vast array of fields including Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Environmental, Mechanical, Mechatronics, Mining, Software and Telecommunications.

When the founder of the IAES Program Jeff Dobell initially contacted Sydney University to recruit some Indigenous Engineers to work with him in 1996, the University told him that they had graduated only one Indigenous Engineer to their knowledge and, at the time, there were approximately five Indigenous Engineers in Australia.

Professor Tom Calma is Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia, an Aboriginal elder from the Kungarakan tribal group and a member of the Iwaidja tribal group in the NT. Currently the National Coordinator for Tackling Indigenous Smoking and Chancellor of the University of Canberra.

Professor Calma has a special interest in Indigenous education, employment and training programs.

Across Australia, and particularly in remote Indigenous communities, there is a need for engineers to design, develop and advise on drinking water, roads, hospitals, schools, radio, television and communication networks and all the fabric of modern society. Encouraging engineering graduates assists in our self-determination – giving us opportunities to be the drivers in our social and economic development.

Professor Tom Calma AO.