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As you probably know (especially if you follow us on Twitter) I’ve gone to The Hague to attend the 9th European Congress of Chemical Engineering: shaping a sustainable future. This year the congress was focusing on Sustainability, Innovation and Careers.
The 24th of April was career day. Young professionals had the opportunity to interact with industry and attend the different workshops and conferences where they could learn more about industry, and about the importance of having a scientific background.
Dr. Geer Woerlee, founder of Feyecon, talked about the importance of being prepared to respond the needs of the market, saying:
“Scientists need to know how to go from the rats (lab) to the elephants (market)”.
The entrepreneur stressed the importance of thinking long term, and of being prepared to see things on a larger scale – the value chain – – usually scientists remain very close to their labs and they don´t think about the needs of society. “You need to optimise the value, not the product”, he said.
Marc van Heyningen, from Fluor, gave a very inspiring talk: “Someone has to Engineer the Future: you?”, where he highlighted the importance of having people with scientific skills to boost the economy and to face the changes in society.
As he put it – and I totally agree with him –
“society needs strong people to lead and brilliant minds. In fact we need more Einsteins”.
For Marc, to be successful in the future people need to have three main characteristics:
1 – need to understand technology
2 – know how to lead a team, and have team-working skills
3 – have business tactics and a high ethical conduct.
The Vice President of Fluor also stressed the fact that scientists shouldn´t be happy only with their research — they should engage and drive society and make sure society is making the right choices. “Your role is the key to achieving a sustainable future” he said.
I also attended a workshop by Arthur Tolsma, who taught the audience about “how to pitch your career”, giving us precious tips about presentations and about pitching projects. Anyway I think I’ll write a blog post just about this, as I know that the majority of you will be interested in this topic! Aren´t you?
So today´s conclusion is: are you ready to use your skills to save the world?