A two-day conference focusing on how best to optimize local engineering practices to save money opened at the International Convention Centre, Liliendaal yesterday.
A number of stakeholders from various bodies attended the conference which was addressed by Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Minister of Transport and Hydraulics, Robeson Benn and other engineers from within the Works Services Group of the Ministry of Public Works.
“We are at the point where we have to review and to reconsider our engineering practices”, Benn told this newspaper in a comment noting that across the ministry, there is a wide range of projects in engineering, marine construction, hydraulics, roads and bridges, street lighting, among others and “we are focusing on how can we best optimize our engineering practices to adopt ways in which we could save money and then apply the funds elsewhere.”
“It is indeed to improve our practices, to have sustainability, longevity and good quality control with respect to our work”, said the Minister. He said that over 100 persons attended yesterday’s morning session including contractors, consultants, students, engineers and administrators from across the ministry and other interested persons including some with institutional memory and historical knowledge of some of the projects in the past and ideas as to how some projects can be done better.
“We are developing new guidelines, new practices, manuals…”, he said pointing to issues addressed at yesterday’s session such as the recycling of asphaltic concrete and improving ways of doing a ‘chip-seal’ road.
Several engineers spoke on various issues yesterday and the conference will end later today. It is being held under the theme “Optimizing engineering practices”.