The TEDx conference is one of the largest gatherings of people in the country to discuss civil engineering, which is now the subject of an online symposium, “Civil Engineers: The Next Generation,” which kicked off on Monday.
The symposium is being hosted by the Institute of Civil Engineers, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, and is a showcase of emerging civil engineering technologies and ideas.
A wide range of participants have shared their civil engineer experience at TEDx, including engineers, researchers, designers, and students.
The symposium kicked off with a panel discussion by TED founder Daniel Dennett titled “The Power of Data: How Engineers Use Technology to Improve their Communities.”
The panel included civil engineer Dan Harris, who is the executive director of the Institute for Civil Engineers.
Harris told TEDx attendees that data analytics, crowdsourcing, and social media have enabled engineers to tap into a growing pool of data about the public, and to share that data with others in their communities.
In a talk titled “Why the Power of Science?”
Harris explained that engineers often have an incomplete picture of their communities because of the lack of tools and resources.
For example, the public often has no idea what the current water quality standards are in the communities they live in.
They often don’t know which cities have low water standards, or which communities have high water standards.
Harris pointed to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has more than 700 data points on water quality, but no data on water use in each individual city.
“What you need is a very complete picture of water use,” Harris said.
“That’s why data science is so critical for engineers and other civil engineers, because it allows you to look at the full picture of what is happening.”
Harris added that there are many ways to help improve the water quality of communities, including reducing the use of chemicals in water treatment systems, improving wastewater treatment plants, and improving the treatment of stormwater.
Harris said engineers should be “very cognizant” of the ways that they use their data, especially when they are collaborating with other engineers.
“They have to be aware of the people who are doing the work and what they are doing,” he said.
Harris also said that the best way to encourage other engineers to join in the conversation about civil engineering is to “use the power of data to inspire them and to get them thinking.”
This could be through the use or sharing of social media, Harris said, which encourages engineering professionals to share their expertise.
In an article in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Harris described the use and sharing of data by civil engineers as “critical” for their careers and careers in engineering.
In a talk called “Building a Better Future: Building an Engineering Revolution,” a professor from the University of Maryland described the importance of leveraging data in building the infrastructure for a sustainable future.
In addition to the TEDx symposium on civil engineering and engineering students, another event was held on Monday titled “Build a Better Planet.”
The event, hosted by Open Society Foundations, featured an interactive presentation on how to build a better planet for our planet and the planet for us.
The event was titled “How to Make Our Planet a Better Place.”
The talk was by David A. Steinberg, a professor at the University at Buffalo and a member of the Global Community of Earth Scientists, a group that promotes the use, analysis, and visualization of the human-induced climate change and its impacts.
Steinberger was the lead author of a paper published in the Journal of Climate last year that showed that the carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels were responsible for about two-thirds of all human-caused climate change.
Steinberg told the audience that there is a “huge opportunity” for engineers to leverage data to better understand how to better manage and protect our planet.
Steinmann said that data analysis and visualization can help engineers better understand and make sense of complex global climate issues, such as global warming.
Steenberg said that engineers need to take “a leadership role” in creating better data-driven decision-making processes.
In the same way that engineers can be proactive in taking action to reduce carbon emissions, engineers can also help to better analyze and make decisions based on the best available science, he said, adding that there should be more and more engineers joining in on the discussion of climate change, in order to improve the future of our planet, as well as the health of our species.