The word ‘engine’ derives from the Latin ingenium for ingenuity or cleverness. Engineers use scientific knowledge and mathematics to create technologies and infrastructure that address human, social and economic issues. They connect social needs with technological innovation and commercial applications. As such, engineering is a major driver for sustainable social and economic development. It is vital in addressing basic human needs, poverty reduction, promoting secure and sustainable development, emergency and disaster prevention, response and reconstruction, bridging the knowledge divide and promoting intercultural cooperation.
There is increasing concern, however, regarding declining enrolment in engineering and consequences for social and economic development. The UNESCO Engineering Initiative has a strong focus on engineering education —attracting more young minds to tackle current global challenges through engineering and on engineering as in important tool for sustainable development.