Engineering practices have a central role to play in the UN 2030 agenda for sustainability as they underpin all the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). In the future, most engineering practices and innovations will be centered around achieving sustainability. And in the present context, here are three ways engineering is empowering SDGs.
Achieving Water-related SDGs with Engineering
One of the chief goals of SDG6 is to ensure the availability of safe drinking water in rural areas or degraded urban centers. Towards this, engineers can build safe and effective treatment approaches that can be locally maintained, develop new and local sources of potable water, and provide distribution networks for a larger populace. Other areas that engineering can impact include sanitation and hygiene – by providing clean water, improving wastewater quality – with appropriately scaled plants for water treatment, and increasing water efficiency – with smart water metering.
Achieving Solid-waste Management SDGs with Engineering
Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) can be a strong driver towards achieving multiple SDGs either directly or not. Building a process that can orchestrate efficient discharge, storage, collection, treatment, and the final disposal of all wastage helps reduce the ever-increasing bulk of waste and addresses core issues with municipal waste management procedures. This integrated approach towards solid waste management accounts for all dimensions, actors, and influencers.
Achieving Human Health Improvement SDGs with Engineering
Engineering approaches can be key to improving healthcare and combatting global pandemics. Leveraging technology and innovation, engineers have developed an array of modern medical devices like PPE kits, CT scanners, ultrasounds, X-ray machines, pulse oximeters, and more. This has been supplemented with the development of advanced digital communication technologies and tools to facilitate virtual consultation and telemedicine. On top of this, the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) enables connections between medical devices and apps to the network where AI in biomedicine can leverage even more information to produce actionable insights. This can transform key processes, such as screening, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation. Similarly, the use of applied robotics can action processes like disinfection, sterilization, delivery of food and medicine, and patient monitoring, making them instrumental in combating health challenges.