Conversations on Engineering Challenges

William Grimson, Anders Buch, Charles Larkin, Natasha McCarthy, Diane Michelfelder

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


Conversations between engineers and non-engineers occur all the time. This chapter presents a structured conversation between one engineer and four non-engineers. It begins with the address of the then President of Engineers Ireland, the professional body for engineering in Ireland. The address was eclectic and wide-ranging, and its intended audience was mostly engineers. Subsequently, and for the purposes of this book on conversations between engineering, social sciences and the humanities, the address was shared with non-engineers with the requested purpose to respond to the address. The address and the responses are provided in full, together with a final reflection written by the now past President of Engineers Ireland. This chapter is a record of how an engineer frames what are considered to be some of the most significant challenges facing the engineering community, how these challenges can be addressed, and how agreement with society can be approached. The responses by non-engineers broaden the context and question some of the underlying assumptions. Taken as a whole, the chapter provides a balanced perspective to complex and challenging issues that engineers and non-engineers, and society as a whole, face in the 21st century.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Engineering, Social Sciences, and the Humanities
EditorsS. H. Christensen, A. Buch, E. Conlon, C. Didier, C. Mitcham, M. Murphy
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783031116018
ISBN (Print)9783031116001
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2023

Publication series

NamePhilosophy of Engineering and Technology
ISSN (Print)1879-7202


  • Engineering challenges
  • Engineering education
  • Engineering practice
  • Engineering profession
  • Formation
  • Grand challenges
  • Professional bodies
  • Society

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Development
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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