The Jamaica Institution of Engineers (JIE) has moved to strengthen accreditation of local engineers to better equip them for large international contracts.
According to JIE President Omar Sweeney, "Jamaica continues to be assessed by bilateral agencies as not having engineers at the standard for international contracts" and this perpetuates the trend of engaging overseas firms or forcing local firms to partner with foreign firms to qualify for big contracts.
Sweeney, with JIE council members, updated Phillip Paulwell, minister of science, technology, energy & mining, on JIE programmes at the launch of JIE Engineer's Week on September 7.
Seminar among activities
Among the week's activities will be a seminar hosted in association with the Caribbean Accreditation Council for Engineering & Technology, which will focus on accreditation of academic programmes in engineering and technology.
Noting that "the JIE takes seriously the matter of self-regulation, professional development, integrity and ethics", Sweeney said the Engineer's Week Conference & Exhibition, which takes place September 16-22 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel under the theme 'Engineering Standards for Integrated Regional Development', would focus on a range of issues including natural hazard disaster risk management, the National Building Code and Standards, energy management systems and the latest trends in construction management, including concrete roads.
The JIE has also launched 'The Best Energy Project since Jamaica's Independence (Ja 50th) Award' in recognition of significant engineering design and construction projects that have helped to shape Jamaica's development over the past 50 years. Nominations for the award on an entry form available on the JIE website - www.jiejamaica.org - close on October 8. The winning project will be selected via online voting October 16 - November 16.
Congratulating the JIE on its continued "leadership in the engineering sector" and its "contributions to making Jamaica's new building code a reality", Paulwell said his ministry was working on a range of initiatives in the energy sector, including widespread use of solar technology in large projects for greater energy efficiency and special accommodations for the disabled.
He commended the JIE on its advocacy role and programmes designed to improve engineering practices in Jamaica and plans to recognise outstanding projects that have contributed to Jamaica's development over the past 50 years.