Is there a market pull for sustainable engineering roles?
“Absolutely,” confirmed Iana Aranda, director of Engineering Global Development at ASME, during her video interview with Power & Motion's affiliate publication Machine Design.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers hosted a stakeholder summit early in 2022 to explore this very question and to consider the intersections of sustainability in engineering.
“There are market forces that are already pushing this forward, namely environmental, social and governance, or ESG, factors that investors are considering,” said Aranda.
She added that these factors are creating a shift in culture, as well as “a pull for reporting, for understanding activities, particularly of corporations related to sustainability, which ultimately trickles down to the entire workforce and engineers.”
Given the engineers’ critical role in developing solutions, products and services associated with technological advancement and the bottom line for many of these corporations, a move in this direction demands attention.
The shift has also been observed in academia, where students—the incoming engineering workforce—are interested in having meaningful, purposeful work. “They want to do this as their paid job, which is entirely sensible,” Aranda said. “They want to be rewarded for their time and talent and then, of course, we’re also seeing this from the perspective of regulatory agencies.”
Aranda pointed out that the demand for sustainability in engineering solutions is further related to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and the measure of investment being made in climate action and technology associated with advancing climate action.
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Editor’s Note: Power & Motion's Workers in Science and Engineering (WISE) hub compiles our coverage of gender representation issues affecting the engineering field, in addition to contributions from equity seeking groups and subject matter experts within various subdisciplines.