The Federation of Engineering Institutions of Asia and the Pacific (FEIAP) held their Third Convention in Taipei from July 5-7. As an organization whose founding was supported by UNESCO, FEIAP’s main goals are to make more and stronger connections between engineers and engineering societies in Asia, as well as promote the advancement of the practice and study of engineering throughout the region. This year’s event was coordinated jointly by the Chinese Institute of Engineers (CIE) and the Institute of Engineering Education Taiwan (IEET), and hosted by the President of the CIE Dr. John Li. Participants at this year’s big event included FEIAP President Dr. Hean-Teik Chuah, World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) President Marwan Abdelhamid, former CIE President Dr. Jenn-Chuan Chern, and 200 attendees from 25 countries.
With a central theme of “Contribution of Engineering Profession to the Society and Civilization,” the convention incorporated four subtopics, including “Contributions of the Engineering Profession to Society and Civilization,” “Engineering Education,” Environmental Engineering,” and “Natural Disaster Support Engineering.” All four subtopics and main theme dealt with problems and issues related to the Sustainable Development field of the Tang Prize.
Centering on those topics, the keynote speeches for the event included a talk from Prof. Chuah on “Science, Engineering, Technology & Innovation (SETI) Education for Economy Transformation”, professor at Shanghai’s JiaoTong University Dr. Xila Liu on “Bridging the Gap between Developed Countries and Developing Countries,” former President of the Indian Institute of Engineers Mr. Ashoka Basa on “Disaster Management—India’s Approach,” and Engineers Australia representative Mr. Paul Mitchell on “The Multidimensional Aspects of Utilizing Water Sensitive Urban Design for Creating Water Sensitive Cities.” Tang Prize Foundation CEO Dr. Jenn-Chuan Chern introduced participants to the Tang Prize and its field of Sustainable Development, including an invitation to Paul Mitchell, Prof. Liu, and Centre for Pavement Excellence Asia – Pacific CEO Brian O’Donnell to come to the Tang Prize offices for a guided tour and discussion.
Mitchell praised the values of the prize and its laureates for their outstanding contributions to their fields, and was especially interested in how such individuals are selected. Liu expressed his approval of the “Tang” of the prize name, mentioning to his colleagues that that dynasty was an era of multiculturalism, high culture, and healthy economic exchange between cultures East and West along the Silk Road. Calling back to that culture rather than other dynasties, Liu said, gave the prize a special significance.