Sat | Nov 28, 2020

Great time to be a civil engineer!

Published:Thursday | September 7, 2017 | 12:00 AM


On Wednesday, I read the newspapers and saw advertisements for civil engineering vacancies.

The unnamed want persons with knowledge of metal structures, greenhouses and ISO familiarity. The other wanted a civil engineer for the European Union-funded Reduction of Mortality and Child Mortality Programme.

Hurricane Irma devastated St Martin and St Maarten, Barbuda, and the Virgin Islands, on its way to Puerto Rico. I had a conversation with a colleague about the dismal fees we collect for the great risk we undertake when designing structures and infrastructure to withstand flooding, limit pollution, and enable life to carry on after storms, earthquakes, fires and civil unrest.

A few weeks ago, the Government said it planned to increase the number of engineering graduates to fill the local need (how, I do not know), and last week, by chance, I met the sole Jamaican female civil engineering 2017 graduate of UWI, St Augustine!

I remember my father's comments after the commencement address 20-plus years ago when our department head indicated that civilisation could not exist without civil engineers.

We are needed for every aspect of society. Dad, being a chemical engineer, raised his eyebrows!

Saddened as I am for the plight of my Caribbean neighbours, I hope the engineers in the region will get the majority of the fees for redesigning infrastructure in their home countries.


Vested interest


After all, we have local knowledge, pay taxes to our governments, speak the native language and have vested interest in improvement of the quality of life of our fellow citizens.

September 17-23 is Engineers Week. The Jamaica Institution of Engineers puts on the annual conference for all disciplines.

If you are interested in engineering, come out and find out what we do! We make life worth living!