Engineers play an important role in society as the planners, designers and builders of infrastructure services. This role involves important decisions related to sustainability, financing and aftercare. As the global need for infrastructure services is still unmet and standards are changing with time, engineers‘ role will remain important in future. They will be expected to contribute to the robust, safe and appropriate infrastructure and reliable services. There is also an increasing demand on engineering practice to understand and integrate the social dimension into the planning, design and use of infrastructure. As members of multidisciplinary teams they are expected to work more closely with users and communities and in some cases learn from them, not only about their needs but also about the possible ways of facilitating what they want to achieve. In this context, engineers are expected to contribute to the social outcomes of their provisions i.e. the developments which people would like to see from the provision.
EWB Research Conference 2009 ‘The Social Dimensions of Engineering Research’, 20th February 2009, pp. 17-23