SSEE Name Change

Mon, 2012-05-07 01:15 -- adminssee

June 2012

The SEng Board has decided our name needs to be changed. 

Why?  Our name is too long, too complicated and too confusing in a communication age that is fast and flowing.  Our name (unfortunately) sinks to the bottom of the information soup of modern conversation.  We need a name that is easily recognisable, memorable and self-evident.  This will help the society to get its message across, and be seen as a thought leader in environmental sustainability issues related to engineering.

The SEng Board recently invited submissions on possible new names for the society.  The list of names received are listed below.

  • Environmental Society
  • Society for Engineering Sustainability
  • Engineering Sustainability Society
  • Sustainability Society of Engineers Australia
  • Sustainability Society.
  • Sustainable Engineering Society
  • Environmental Engineering Society

After much debate amongst the board it has also been decided to include our current name SEng as an option.  The preference by the board is Sustainable Engineering Society

We know we can't keep everyone happy and there appears to be two main sets of views in relation to the proposed changes those who want the word environment in the name and those who like the word sustainability in the name.  The purpose of this forum is to initiate some discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of  the possible names.

It should be noted that there is no proposed change to the College of Environmental Engineers, which is the keeper of the body of knowledge for Environmental Engineers, and which all Environmental Engineers who are members of Engineers Australia belong to. The society has a broader membership than just Environmental Engineers, and includes Environmental Scientists, Planners and engineers from other disciplines. The Chair of the Environmental College, who is a member of the SEng Board, supports the idea of changing the name, for the reasons outlined above.

Are you an SEng member? Vote now.

Voting Closes 22nd June 2012.



Some comments already received from members to date are:

"In reply to the name change. I think sustainability is an over-used word that seems now to mean being able to continue over a long period. I think the name should be changed to the ‘Environmental Engineering Society’. At the moment Environmental Scientists are being confused with Environmental Engineers and to combat this the simple name Environmental Engineers should be promoted till it has the same understanding as Civil Engineers."

"I'd like to see a return to: Environmental Engineering Society (EES) or Society for Environmental Engineering (SEE).

The Society member are predominantly Environmental Engineers.  This will align with our society Environmental Engineering College of Engineers Australia.

I've just read the "Graduate Capabilities for Environmental Engineering Degree Programs (Draft for Comment Feb 2012)" from the ALTC DYD Project.  It is on the whole an excellent document which correctly articulates that Sustainability is a PRINCIPLE that underpins environmental engineering (which is the SEng's focus) (Page 4).  Sustainability is a very important principle, but it is not a discipline area.

I'd love to see more work spent promoting and explaining Environmental Engineering as discipline.  Mixing a principle (sustainability) with a discipline area (like environmental) dilutes and confuses.  Much easier to explain that Environmental Engineers are very interested in sustainability.

I note we do not have a Sustainability Engineering degree program (for good reason)"

"My view is that the word “sustainability” is hackneyed – everyone uses it and it is becoming devoid of meaning.

This is supposedly the peak body for Environmental Engineering and therefore Society for Environmental Engineering is appropriate, if it must be changed.

I note that the National Committee for Coastal and Ocean Engineering and the National Committee for Water Engineering are quite content with the length of their names.

I hope all disciplines of engineering are aiming at “sustainability”.

What is your view?  Let us know by logging in using your SEng member number and contributing to this forum.