Jamaica News: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has lauded the country’s engineers, noting that they play a vital role in nation-building.
He noted that key developments over the years, including the railway system, sugar refineries, reservoirs and water systems, and power plants are, to a great extent, attributable to the skills of engineers.
“It is, therefore, imperative that we recognise and acknowledge the role and efforts of past [and present] engineers who, through their dedication, skill and discipline, have made our lives easier, more connected and more productive. It is by celebrating this rich heritage that we can engineer and shape our future,” Mr. Holness said.
His remarks were delivered by Urban Development Corporation (UDC) Chairman, Senator Ransford Braham, at the opening ceremony for activities to mark Engineers’ Week 2018, at The Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston, on Monday (September 17).
The Jamaica Institution of Engineers (JIE) is observing the week from September 16 to 22 under the theme ‘Engineering our Future through Celebrating our Heritage’.
Mr. Holness said Jamaica’s growth trajectory requires, among other things, a strong cadre of engineers, who are equipped with the requisite understanding, attitude and abilities to apply their skills in ensuring a vibrant economy.
In this regard, he welcomed the recent opening of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona campus in response to this growing demand for local engineers.
The Prime Minister, in his speech, noted that in today’s world it is even more imperative that the implementation of innovative engineering solutions help to ensure economic growth and secure development for Jamaicans.
Engineering, he argued, targets systematic approaches to problem-solving, “whether those have to do with building a bridge or informing public policy”.
“I call upon all of us to commit to finding common solutions, through synergies, to continue to advance the pace of our development,” he urged.
Mr. Holness praised the JIE for its annual celebration of Engineers’ Week and for being the voice of the local engineering profession.
He noted that the observance serves to “successfully promote the exchange of technical, scientific and professional knowledge and engineering innovation, to better serve the interests and welfare of members of the engineering profession, the public in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean”.
For his part, JIE President, Dwight Ricketts, said Engineers’ Week is the entity’s flagship event to highlight and promote the profession.
He gave “unwavering commitment” on behalf of the JIE members to deliver the highest possible standards of engineering in Jamaica, adding that “it’s something which we take very seriously”.
Chairman of the Professional Engineers Registration Board, Omar Sweeney, emphasised the need for all practising engineers to ensure that “we retain the highest standards” as they contribute to the country’s growth agenda.
Engineers’ Week kicked off with a thanksgiving service at St. Jude’s Anglican Church, Stony Hill, and will feature a series of workshops focusing on energy and technology; infrastructure and climate change; maintenance engineering and management; and contract administration and procurement, and a student bridge building competition.
The week culminates on September 22 with a site visit to the South Jamaica Power Company’s 190-megawatt plant, being built in Old Harbour Bay, St. Catherine.
Source: JIS News