ICLEI joins future engineers in exploring sustainable solutions
Engineering majors from all over the Philippines gather at the 2016 De La Salle University Engineering Summit to explore sustainable solutions to a wide range of issues (Photo: Ang Pahayagang Plaridel). Below: ICLEI SEAS' Marvin Lagonera (right) is recognized for his talk, ‘Interlaced: Energy and Environment.’

Themed ‘Engineering Beyond Borders’, the 2016 De La Salle University (DLSU) Engineering Summit was held at the DLSU campus in Manila from July 14 to 16, through the leadership of the DLSU Engineering College Government. The event gathered young and aspiring engineers from different universities in the Philippines to explore sustainable solutions and innovations in the field of engineering.

The three-day summit highlighted the social relevance and impact of engineering through various speakers and experts from the public and private sector. It covered five broad issues of social and economic relevance: energy, food and water, information dissemination, infrastructure, and the environment.

Mr. Marvin Lagonera, Project Officer at ICLEI Southeast Asia Secretariat (ICLEI SEAS), shared his expertise on the intersection of energy and the environment in the global, national, and local context. He talked about the general trends, innovations, initiatives, and programs related to the energy sector, and the opportunities and challenges along two areas of action: global-local and national level. Among others, he discussed major technological developments on efficient and sustainable energies in various sectors, such as building, transportation, and industry, and shared some of the major initiatives of and tools being used by ICLEI.

Mr. Lagonera noted that aside from major national policies and programs, there is a wide range of measures being undertaken at the local level which require not only sustainable solutions, but also local knowledge and expertise. As such, developing local and localized solutions from an engineering perspective is very important. In closing, he stressed that there is a huge window of opportunity for local action in cities and communities, but this requires the cooperation among multiple fields and disciplines; hence, the participants as future engineers must learn to be interdisciplinary, collaborative, and dynamic.

During the summit, participants visited a partner rural community in the nearby town of Tanay, Rizal, and joined track sessions, which aimed at reinforcing the knowledge of students on feasible technologies in the engineering world today. The summit also featured a case study competition, where participants formed into groups and came up with proposals on the feasibility of applying a particular technology or engineering output in alleviating at least one of the five issues mentioned above, with respect to the partner community.

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