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Role of Engineers in Global Challenges Essay

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Updated: Apr 16th, 2019

Executive Summary

There are diverse global challenges in the present century. These challenges affect health, technology, energy and other natural sciences (Grasso & Burkins, 2010). It is appropriate for all stakeholders to analyze and present the best approaches aimed at solving the challenges.

This paper identifies and discuses three major challenges. These include global challenges associated with oil and gas and carbon sequestration. The second challenge identified is relates to the demerits of using solar panel as an energy source. Thirdly, pollution of water sources is a major global challenge that requires urgent attention.


The major global challenges likely to have severe impacts on the globe are related to energy and water. These detrimental implications are likely to be experienced in the next 10 years. It is imperative to note the globe is bound to incur serious challenges if these issues are not addressed (Seliger, Khraisheh & Jawahir, 2011).

Appropriate technology and sustainability mechanisms must be ensured to enhance safety and global welfare. Most energy and natural resources monitoring agencies have noted the significance of adopting robust and transformative initiatives. Particularly, these refer to strategies applicable in the development of adequate solutions to these global concerns.

Adequate scientific research is the cornerstone for attaining sustainable and self-sufficient global communities. Interventions must now focus on sustainable and dependable systems while considering the future generations. In such initiatives, pollution and improper management of energy sources must be completely eradicated (ebrary, 2002).

Technological applications and innovation must be geared towards the invention and adoption of distinct systems for solving the global challenges. These indications are only achievable with good governance and political will. Apart from this, social mobilization, capacity building and advocacy programs bear significance in attaining the elusive global state. A period of five years is required to address these global challenges.

Global Challenges

This paper identifies and analyzes three critical global challenges. Analytically, these challenges are linked to issues of adequate energy and availability of safe water within the global perspectives.

The challenges of solar energy, water pollution, oil and nature will pose great threats to the general human society. Engineers need to develop crucial approaches to curb the impact of these notable global challenges (Chang, 2010). This paper highlights the three basic challenges and proposes the best solution mechanisms.

Challenge 1: Oil and nature

Oil provides the highest percentage of global energy source. Evidently, a significant percentage of the population relies on oil and gas. However, the greatest challenge in the resource is the problem of carbon sequestration (Grasso & Burkins, 2010). It is forecasted that this challenge will lead to the extinction of the vital carbon in the next ten years. This challenge poses a detrimental impact to the present and the next generation.

Role 1: Seeking Alternative Energy Sources

The engineers must now focus on the discovery and development of alternative energy sources. This initiative shall minimize the high level of carbon dependency. Consequently, it shall enable the engineers to reduce the high rate of carbon sequestration (Chang, 2010). The process will enhance sustainable development and ensure the existence of dependable natural systems.

Role 2: Application of Quality Assurance Standards

Engineers have to adopt and integrate quality assurance systems within all implementation processes. Oil and gas exploration must be conducted with total consideration of standard operating procedures (Grasso & Burkins, 2010). This initiative shall help to minimize exploration mistakes that usually lead to the increase in carbon sequestration in various ecosystems.

Role 3: Initiating Engineering Controls on Carbon Sequestration

Engineering controls aimed at reducing the rate of carbon sequestration are vital. These must be implemented to limit the process and increase safety. Engineers are charged with the responsibility to conduct empirical surveys on the appropriate mechanisms for accomplishing this task (ebrary, 2002).

Challenge 2: Solar Panel

Solar panel offers an optional energy source to many people within the globe. However, there are emerging global concerns such as the level of its efficiency. This challenge is particularly experienced in geographical zones with limited access to exhaustive sunlight. There are varieties of initiatives that may be undertaken by engineers to solve this potential challenge (ebrary, 2002).

Role 1: Development of Solar Panels with Low Dependence on Sun Light

Adequate research and innovation is necessary for the development of low light dependent solar panels. This would help to reduce the cases of inefficiency in this source of energy (Chang, 2010).

Role 2: Alternative Reliance on Geothermal Energy

The engineers must consider the establishment of alternate reliable energy sources within affected areas. These might include the use of geothermal and wind energy (Chang, 2010).

Role 3: Designing Systems that are Dependent on Minimal Energy

Minimal domestic reliance on energy will reduce the rate of consumption and demand. However, this is attainable only if the engineers design less energy dependent systems.

Challenge 3: Provision of Clean Water

Several people do not have access to adequate and clean water. This challenge is likely to compound into a disaster over the next decade (ebrary, 2002). Pollution of water sources by oil leaks and war activities has a significant contribution to this trend. Engineers have a remarkable role in transforming this trend.

Role 1: Upgrading the Current Water Treatment Plants

Water treatment equipment must be upgraded and operated to enhance the removal of oil leakages and sediments from the water. This consideration must be undertaken within all water treatment units.

Role 2: Removing the Oil Leak from Water

High and adequate technology is required to help in the isolation of oil leaks from the main water systems. This requires the engineers to employ strategic monitoring and response processes aimed at maintaining water safety and purity (Grasso & Burkins, 2010).

Role 3: Designing Alternative Media for Oil Transportation

Since transportation of oil through water might cause high levels of pollution, engineers must design other better mechanisms for oil transfer (Seliger, Khraisheh & Jawahir, 2011). This proposition must be considered in time to reduce the impacts of oil and water pollution.


The paper discusses the global challenges of solar panels, natural gas, and water pollution. As indicated in the discussion, there is an eminent need to solve these global concerns. Their solution will lead to the development of a sustainable and prosperous society (Chang, 2010).

These benefits shall apply both to the present and to the future generations. Engineers play very important roles in addressing these challenges. This is because they have the technical knowledge and skills to design sustainable systems.


These highlighted challenges remain real. Indicatively, they are already affecting the global community. Adequate and timely preparation of the engineers is necessary. It is upon the responsibility of the engineers to ensure that these challenges do not affect the global community in an adverse manner.


Chang, C. M. (2010). Service systems management and engineering: Creating strategic differentiation and operational excellence. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons.

ebrary, Inc. (2002). Engineering and environmental challenges: Technical symposium on earth systems engineering. Washington, D.C: National Academy Press.

Grasso, D. & Burkins, M. B. (2010). Holistic engineering education: Beyond technology. New York: Springer.

Seliger, G., Khraisheh, M. K. & Jawahir, I. S. (2011). Advances in sustainable manufacturing: Proceedings of the 8th Global Conference on Sustainable Manufacturing. Berlin: Springer.

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