Some of you may have wondered why there has been a little gap in my blog posts. I have been pre-occupied with visits to several countries.
My other major project, Close Comfort has developed very quickly with keen anticipation particularly in Pakistan where electricity supplies are subject to frequent interruptions due to load shedding. Pakistan’s electricity grid is struggling to keep up with demand for air conditioning, and I hope to be able to offer a sustainable solution, as explained in Chapter 13 of the book.
In UAE I was able to launch the book at Abu Dhabi University in the engineering faculty. UAE has vibrant universities catering students from across the Middle East, Africa and further afield.
I spent 3 days in Tehran where I presented a talk to the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Tehran on recent advances in engineering education and engineering practice research. They have achieved something remarkable: in leading government universities, women now represent 50% – 90% of engineering students, with up to 90% in computer science courses. Why? Engineering and science is seen as a prestigious and well-rewarded profession in Iran, alongside medicine. For countries like Australia where we struggle to attract more than 20% female students into engineering programmes, there is much to learn from Iran’s success.
Finally I visited New Zealand where I spoke at the Annual Engineering Professions Forum in Wellington hosted by IPENZ on how we can learn from expert engineers to improve the reputation of all engineers. I also spoke at Engineers Australia Victoria Division in Melbourne on a similar theme.
Now back in Perth with a busy teaching schedule.