Policy partner SOE among Professional Engineering Institutions named in the report.

Brain ideas

The Royal Academy of Engineering has released a detailed paper to explain how engineers must be at the heart of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Engineers can play an integral leadership role in the recovery process to build on the support and advice they have provided throughout the pandemic. The paper uses case studies to explain how engineers have supported vital services as part of the crisis response network.

Broken down into three stages − lessening the impact, easing the lockdown, and building a resilient future − the paper considers how engineering can minimise the damage to parts of the economy that have been severely affected, such as the supply chains and the dependence on national infrastructure.

The paper proposes how, as the UK eases out of lockdown, engineers can advise on socially-distanced working practices and the requirements for the safe use of lifts and mobile walk-ways, for example, while contact tracing technology will need the knowledge engineers can provide to accurately track the virus.

The pandemic has shown how engineering solutions are essential when formulating a response to external shocks, but it has also uncovered areas that are vulnerable to such events. Again, engineers will play a vital role in ensuring that any future crisis is met with effective response. Digitisation and rapid innovation will be needed, as will commitment to STEM education and investment in new engineering talent.

The Society, as a policy partner, is playing a central role in the recovery. It is listed in the paper as having specific areas of expertise from its three professional sectors that will be needed to drive innovation, develop skills for the future and influence policy in the years ahead.

To read the full document, go to: bit.ly/2Zxo1n1