8 November 2022

Professor Zi-Qiang Zhu from Electronic and Electrical Engineering Department attends parliament on National Engineering Day

Joined by Professor Joan Cordiner, Head of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Sheffield, Professor Zhu attended a parliamentary breakfast reception and panel discussion to mark National Engineering Day.

Professor Zhu, EEE Professor and Research Chair at the Royal Academy, is pictured with Professor Joan Cordiner, Head of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Sheffield.
Professor Zhu, EEE Professor and Research Chair at the Royal Academy, is pictured with Professor Joan Cordiner, Head of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Sheffield.

Note: this piece is adapted with permission from the following post on the website for the New Partnership in Offshore wind

Last week, Professor Zi-Qiang Zhu attended an esteemed event at the Houses of Parliament to mark National Engineering Day.  Professor Zhu received a personal invitation from the Royal Academy of Engineering to attend the parliamentary breakfast reception and panel discussion about the role of engineering in addressing the short- and longer-term challenges of securing a sustainable energy future. The reception, organised by the Royal Academy of Engineering, took place on November 2 in The Cholmondeley Room & Terrace in the Houses of Parliament.

Professor Zhu, a Professor in the Department of the Electronic and Electrical Engineering and a renowned expert in the field of electrical machines and control systems research, is also Research Chair for (and Fellow of) the Royal Academy of Engineering. He attended the event with fellow invitee Professor Joan Cordiner, the Head of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Sheffield and Professor of Process Engineering, also a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

National Engineering Day aims to make the UK’s engineers and engineering more visible in order to broaden public perceptions of the relevance of engineering and encourage more young people to join the profession. Engineers play a vital role in addressing one of the biggest challenges facing the UK right now – the energy crisis – as well as the longer-term challenge of achieving a net zero economy. With demand already outstripping supply, and set to increase in the future, the discussions looked to examine how the profession can win the race to recruit greater numbers, and a more diverse range of engineers to improve outcomes for both people and planet.

When asked about the value of National Engineering Day in today's world, and its importance to the University, Professor Zhu commented:

It is important to mark the relevance of National Engineering Day with events such as this one. Engineering is currently vital to a sustainable energy future in the UK. However, less and less UK young people are engaged with engineering. To encourage more young people to join the profession, we need to engage with schools and broaden not only the public but also the politician’s perceptions of the relevance of engineering, as well as to create more industries and job markets.  We are very proud that Sheffield is a leading university in engineering, and that we have undertaken fundamental and applied research on enabling technologies which are vital to future developments in electrical power engineering, and have successfully promoted pull through of our R&D to commercial exploitation for applications encompassing different market sectors via industrial co-operations.

Professor Zi-Qiang Zhu

Professor in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering and Research Chair at the Royal Academy of Engineering

On the topic of attending the day at the houses of parliament, Professor Joan Cordiner from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering said:

“It was a privilege to represent the University of Sheffield and The Policy Committee of the Royal Academy of Engineering at this parliamentary discussion meeting on National Engineering day. It was great to see some of our politicians and Lords engaged and listening to the huge impact engineering has on the UK and the need to support schools in developing future Engineers. What was really exciting, was to share and see the understanding by the Common and Lords members of just how important engineers are in solving the huge strategic challenges the UK and the world face in these unprecedented times.”

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