03 Nov BPEQ 90th Anniversary: Celebrating Dr Marlene Kanga
In 2020, BPEQ turns 90. To celebrate this milestone BPEQ is acknowledging the achievements, projects, innovations, discoveries and stories of RPEQs past and present.
Dr Marlene Kanga AM is a chartered chemical engineer and has been a RPEQ since 2012.
Marlene has been listed among the 100 engineers that have contributed to Australian engineering at the centenary of Engineers Australia, in 2019, and among Australia’s top 10 women engineers (March 2019) and is recognised as a Westpac Women of Influence.
Marlene is a significant engineering leader in Australia and internationally.
Marlene was National President of Engineers Australia (2013), the second woman to do so in 97 years, and President of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO) in 2018-2019, leading engineering institutions from 100 nations and representing more than 30 million engineers. She was a board member of Engineers Australia for seven years (Chair in 2013) and is currently a board member of WFEO for 2015-2021 (having also served as Chair in 2017-2019).
‘[She is] among Australia’s top 10 women engineers (March 2019) and is recognised as a Westpac Women of Influence.’
Marlene is an advocate of the role of science and engineering in driving the economy and enabling social and economic benefits. As President of WFEO, she successfully led the proposal to declare 4 March every year as ‘World Engineering Day’, the first international day for engineering, declared by UNESCO and celebrated for the first time in March 2020. Her message on the role of engineers in advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals for a holistic approach to development that encompasses the impacts on people, the planet and the economy has been embraced widely by the engineering profession. More than 80 events in 40 nations celebrated the inaugural World Engineering Day in March 2020. The day will be celebrated every year going forward as an opportunity to promote engineering and engineering careers especially to young people.
She also led the bid for Engineers Australia to host the World Engineers Convention in Melbourne in November 2019 and chaired the committee that developed the convention strategy and themes over eight years. The convention was the largest and most successful event ever hosted by Engineers Australia. The focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals raised the profile of these objectives and the crucial role of engineers in achieving the goals. The conversations continue to grow in Australia and internationally, especially in Africa and Asia where WFEO had a focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2018 and 2019, when Marlene was President.
Marlene is an advocate for women engineers and for greater diversity in the profession. She bid for and led the first International Conference for Women Engineers and Scientists held in Adelaide in July 2011 (ICWES) and also hosted the inaugural meeting of the ICWES Asia Pacific Nation Network meeting which resulted in nine new networks for women engineers being established in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Myanmar. The network continues to thrive and grow, supporting thousands of women engineers in Asia.
Marlene is an experienced non-executive director and a board member of Australia’s leading public sector organisations including Airservices Australia, Sydney Water and Standards Australia. She was a board member of Innovation Australia (acting Chair 2014-15), leading Australia’s national innovation strategy and Asialink, leading Australia’s engagement with Asia and is currently a board member of Business Events Sydney, promoting national and international events to be held in Sydney, especially in advanced technology and innovation.
She is an advocate for innovation and the commercialisation of Australia’s research and is a mentor to several start-ups, a board member of various networks to promote innovation and a founding director of iOmniscient Pty. Ltd. which has developed artificial intelligence video technologies.
She has received numerous accolades for her contributions both in Australia and internationally. She is an Honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia, an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (UK), a Fellow of the Academy of Technology Science and Engineering (Australia), a Foreign Fellow of the ASEAN Academy of Engineering and Technology and an honorary fellow of the national engineering institutions of New Zealand and India.
Marlene is also a Member of the Order of Australia, a national honor, in recognition of her leadership of the engineering profession.
‘She is an advocate for innovation and the commercialisation of Australia’s research…’
This year is a celebration of the achievements, projects, innovations, discoveries and stories of RPEQs past and present. BPEQ encourages RPEQs to share their thoughts –
• What are some of Queensland’s great engineering feats?
• Who was the RPEQ/s who helped deliver the project?
• Are there unsung heroes in the profession?
To have your say contact BPEQ at firstname.lastname@example.org.