First ‘Olympics for Engineers’ launches series of world reports

5 February 2001 - The outcome of the first World Engineers’ Convention in 2000 is being published under the title of Memorandum of Engineers by UNESCO, in collaboration with the Association of German Engineers (VDI) and the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO).

As UNESCO’s Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura, explains in his introduction to the report, ‘The Memorandum represents the first issue of a continuing World Engineering and Technology Report series’. The need for a regular report on engineering and technology worldwide was recognized by the World Conference on Science, which recommended that ‘a World Technology Report ... be considered in order to provide a balanced world opinion on the impact of technology on social systems and culture’ (para. 57, Science Agenda).

Organized jointly by the VDI and EXPO 2000 GmbH from 19 to 21 June 2000 in Hannover (Germany), under the theme of ‘Humankind – Nature – Technology’, the World Engineers’ Convention attracted some 3,500 engineers from 44 countries. The goal was to define an ‘engineer’s vision’ of key future issues concerning humankind and to put these up for public debate. For VDI, the Convention ‘built many bridges and crossed many barriers – for example between industrial and developing countries, between the generations and between the different specialist fields. The networking that took place there was especially evident in the five parallel Professional Congresses on Mobility, Energy, Information and Communication, Environment – Climate – Health and The Future of Work.’

WFEO has decided to hold a World Engineers’ Convention every four years, a timetable which has given rise to the nickname of ‘Olympics for Engineers’. During the ‘final’ of the World Engineers’ Convention 2000 in Hannover, the ‘relay baton’ was passed by VDI President Professor Dr.-Ing. Hubertus Christ to a high-calibre Chinese delegation in preparation for the next World Engineers’ Convention in 2004 in Shanghai (China).


Souce: VDI Press Office (Düsseldorf, Germany): Ralf Kistermann, Günter Einhaus:; for further information, go also to or contact