Engineering should be the language of decision-makers in Australia, says Australia’s Chief Scientist Alan Finkel.
The first engineer whose name is known to history is said to be Imhotep, who oversaw the construction of the Step Pyramid in the Ancient Egyptian city of Memphis. At the time, it was the largest building ever constructed, at more than 60 m high.
So great was Imhotep’s creation that he was worshipped as a god for the next 3200 years.
We could say that the engineering profession doesn’t stand on a pedestal quite that high today. It is very easy to take the people who put the planes in the sky and the electricity in the grid for granted.
And yet I would be very surprised if Imhotep wouldn’t trade his pedestal for the power he might enjoy today, if he could have his time again.
So many of the Pharaohs of the third millennium are engineers: from Jeff Bezos at the helm of Amazon, to Sundar Pichai at the helm of Google, to Xi Jinping, President of China.
In my vision for 2025, the Master of Engineering is the equal of the MBA, if not the premier qualification that head-hunters for corporate boards want. Engineering concepts are applied with the same fluency in Parliament and the media as economic jargon is today.
And engineers are encouraged and supported to step up as thought leaders in business and government alike: knowing how to make their knowledge useful at the decision-making tables.
After all, we’re Imhotep’s descendants. We’ve got monuments of our own to leave behind.