Canadian Standards Association completes report identifying climate change education needs for infrastructure engineers



    TORONTO, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - Canadian Standards Association (CSA), a leading
developer of standards and codes, today announced it has completed a special
project to identify specific areas of engineering curricula and continuing
education programs that could be improved and updated to better address the
impact of climate change on civil infrastructure. The project findings and
recommendations have been compiled into a report titled Climate Change and
Infrastructure Engineering: Moving Towards a New Curriculum.
    The CSA project, funded by Infrastructure Canada(*) through its
Knowledge-building, Outreach and Awareness Program (KOA), examined the current
state of knowledge of climate change issues and responses, along with the
level of awareness and use of such knowledge in the day-to-day work of
infrastructure engineers. The goal was to establish a baseline for the present
state of climate change topics within engineering curricula and to propose an
educational framework to improve knowledge and awareness over time.
    Climate change represents a relatively new challenge for most engineering
disciplines and the report focuses on preparing engineers to deal with the
effects of a changing climate and helping to provide them with the tools and
foundation to apply their engineering knowledge in a new way. As part of the
project, CSA examined the course offerings of eight Canadian universities and
three continuing education programs for references to important broad climate
change topics. Risk assessment and risk management are examples of important
topics identified in the report that will need to play a greater role in
future engineering decision-making. It will be the responsibility of
universities, continuing education providers, and engineers themselves to
ensure that the engineering community is prepared to deliver the appropriate
responses and solutions to a changing climate.
    CSA also conducted an independent survey aimed at Canada's professional
engineers. The results of this survey were analyzed within the context of the
project to assess the awareness of climate change issues as they relate to
real-life engineering practice, familiarity with the identified high priority
topics, and familiarity with tools and techniques that are considered to be
important. The survey results indicated that a majority of the engineers
agreed that global climate change will affect their practice; however, very
few routinely consider climate change currently, and most claim they require
more information before integrating climate change in their day-to-day
engineering decisions.
    Information gathered through the report will also be used to assist CSA's
volunteer Technical Committee experts and staff in the development and
maintenance of a broad range of standards relating to urban/rural
infrastructure. In addition, CSA will share any lessons learned with Canada's
network of more than 160,000 engineering practitioners through a broad range
of communications media including articles, presentations and an interactive
website.
    Climate Change and Infrastructure Engineering: Moving Towards a New
Curriculum is available free online at www.infraengineers.ca or at
www.csa.ca/climatechange/downloads

    (*) The views expressed herein or within the Climate Change and
Infrastructure Engineering: Moving Towards a New Curriculum report do not
necessarily represent the views of the Government of Canada.

    About CSA

    Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is a membership association serving
industry, government, consumers and other interested parties in Canada and the
global marketplace. A leading developer of standards and codes, CSA aims to
enhance public safety, improve quality of life, preserve the environment and
facilitate trade. To help people understand and apply standards, CSA offers
information products and training. The Canadian Standards Association is a
division of CSA Group, which also consists of CSA International for product
testing and certification, OnSpeX for consumer product evaluation services,
and QMI for management systems registration. For more information visit
www.csa.ca

    Version française disponible




For further information:

For further information: Anthony Toderian, Senior Media Relations
Officer, CSA Group, T: (416) 747-2620, E: anthony.toderian@csagroup.org

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