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Report outlines Aust's engineering challenges for 21st century

22 October, 2009

The Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering will soon launch a landmark report, which comprehensively reviews professional engineering performance, innovation and risk.

It sets out to define Australian engineering professionalism for the 21st century.

The Chair of the Professional Performance Innovation and Risk™ (PPIR™) project team, Ian Dart said:

“Given the dominant place engineering has in the Australian economy particularly in resolving our major challenges in infrastructure, energy and water, the report is not only timely but of interest to all.

“The central finding of the report is that in order to maximise the effectiveness of engineering, we need a way of defining and formally recognising how all those involved in an engineering endeavour interact with and respond to one another.

“This will help us to gain the best advantage of each engineer’s professional skills, knowledge and experience to maximise the benefits the whole profession can bring to the Australian economy.”

 “This is an internationally ground-breaking report.  The publication of a PPIR Protocol™ in the report is the first time performance in engineering has been defined anywhere in the world.”

Additionally, the report explores the role of the engineer; the expectations of community and clients; the contemporary and professional realities for engineers; the effects of complex laws on everyday engineering; engineering risk and responsible risk-taking; and the relationships between professional performance, innovation and risk.

Dart said: “In addition to the PPIR Protocol, which defines performance for individual professional engineers, the report proposes three further initiatives.  HARF™ (Hazard and Risk Framework™) calls for a new approach to risk assessment and management.

"AS.PPIR™ is a corporate equivalent of the PPIR Protocol, which will need to be produced into the form of an Australian Standard. Finally, an organised approach for the engineering industry and profession to make more effective use of the expert testimony system of our courts is also recommended.”

“Together these initiatives outline a program of change specifically designed to bring benefits to all those involved in buying, selling or using engineering products or services.”

Dart said: “The report was five years in development, involving many workshops with more than 200 practising professional engineers and detailed investigation of practices in other Australian professions and of engineers overseas. 

"It has been backed by 30 sponsors and supporting organisations representing both private and public sector stakeholders across all areas of the engineering industry and profession.”

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