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Friday, 19 April 2019
In the Press
Meeting with the Engineering Profession Board (25/03/19)

On 25th of March 2019, the newly elected Council of the Chamber of Engineers (CoE) held a meeting with the Engineering Profession Board (EPB) at The Professional Centre, the CoE headquarters. The purpose of this meeting was twofold. First, to cordially introduce the new council to the EPB. Secondly, the CoE requested the latest factual picture about current issues surrounding our profession including the Warrant as well as the Engineering Act which is currently being revised.

The EPB re-iterated that it recognises the CoE as the singular interlocutor between the EPB and the engineering community in Malta. The EPB also acknowledged the role of the CoE as the bridge between the EPB and the members of the engineering community.

The CoE took stock of the developments regarding the engineering profession warrant and gathered further information on the actions to date and future steps.  The same meeting was also the right platform to discuss the EPB’s work with respect to the revision of the Engineering Act, as planned for the near future. Both subjects were discussed in detail and the core points are sumarised hereunder:

The EPB has amended the interview process as part of the application of the Engineering Warrant in favour of more scrutiny and an improved process which recognises further the value of the Warrant.

The EPB has reviewed a Pre-Warrant Qualifications Course (60 ECTS at MQF Level 6) to commence at MCAST in April 2019. This will serve as a bridging course for MCAST students who followed a 180 ECTS course and currently do not fulfill the requirements for applying to the Engineering Warrant. The EPB has found the content of this bridging course satisfactory. The CoE also positively notes that apart from this first check, this Pre-Warrant Qualifications course will be subject to an independent external auditing process whose administrators will be appointed by the EPB. The audit will be carried out while the course is running. It is only once this bridging course has been scrutinised further by the external reviewers that the bridging study will be considered satisfactory. A further point that the CoE had emphasised in the past is that the attainment of credits should be tested through formal examinations. We were happy to note that indeed this will be the case for this bridging course.

The EPB said that Engineering courses at MCAST, as of the start of the academic year 2019/2020, are now composed of 240 ECTS and the exam component of the assessment method is also present in the entirety of the course content. Furthermore, as was emphasised several times by the CoE, the course content leading to a degree in engineering should be of an academic nature rather than a vocational education type of approach.

The EPB said that it is issuing a call for external auditors which will be responsible to ensure that both the new engineering courses at MCAST and the Pre-Warrant Qualifications course at the same institution are of the expected level. The EPB said that it wants to ensure that the results of the new courses are up to standard, which means that the auditing process will be taking place at minimum until the first set of graduands (i.e. the year 2023)

The CoE inquired on the details of the letter issued by the engineering board dated 9th October 2018 which provides guidance notes for candidates sitting for the interview process and also guidelines for the “Assessment of academic qualifications leading to the award of the warrant to practice of the engineering profession”. Particularly, the council voiced utter concern on the clause reading “a minimum of 3 year full time (180ECTS credits at level 6) Bachelors degree in Engineering recognised by the board plus a further minimum of one year full-time equivalent (60 ECTS at MQF level 6 [of a sub-level 3 or 4 within MQF level 6] or higher) leading to an engineering qualification.”. The EPB reassured the Chamber that this clause is only relevant to students graduating from the Faculty of ICT at the University of Malta which uses a 3+2 educational system in line with the Bologna process. This clause does not apply to the proposed 60ECTS bridging studies credits unless the full checks and balances take place and the course is found to be satisfactory.

The CoE requested further that in the future, a state exam should be considered leading to the qualification for the Warrant. This was in-line with the strategy of the EPB, resources permitting. This would be yet another checkpoint to ensure that warrant holders are only of the required standard.

As regards the Engineering Act, the EPB said that it has been putting effort in consolidating the Act’s structure from the legal perspective, and in this regard has sought for consultation from EU institutions.

The EPB is working on the proposal of the first draft to present to the Minister. The CoE formally requested that this revised act is made available for consultation with the COE and its members.

The CoE had worked on an initial draft of the act and subsequently requested the removal of the Alternative access and partial access to the profession. This will closely be followed up.

The CoE accepts with responsibility the confirmation of recognition by the EPB and commits itself to its members and the engineering community to ensure that it serves its rightful purpose as the bridge between authorities and the engineering community. The CoE will continue to do so while first and foremost be the voice of the best interests of the engineering profession. Throughout the coming months, the chamber will be following closely the evolvement of these items and others that may arise through continuous meetings with the EPB. The council will also be meeting other crucial stakeholders.

Last Updated on Monday, 01 April 2019 14:35
 
Press Release 06/06/2018

 

6th June 2018

PRESS RELEASE

Fire at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in central London: More than 100 firefighters sent to tackle blaze


“Dozens of residents, guests and members of staff were evacuated after a fire broke out at one of London’s smartest hotels.

Guests at the five star Mandarin Oriental climbed several floors down external fire escapes to get away from thick black smoke billowing above them.

The fire came only a week after the completion of "the most extensive restoration in its 115-year history" - Gareth Davies and Patrick Sawer, senior reporters – The Telegraph

A few days away from the first anniversary of the Grenfell tower fire incident and a few months away from the fire in the car park of the Liverpool arena, another huge fire has broken out in central London. This time it is the five star Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The building came ablaze notwithstanding the fact that the building had undergone the most extensive restoration in its history. This incident once again emphasises the importance of proper fire engineering design and adequate facilities management of buildings.

As a Chamber of Engineers we note with satisfaction the important initiative taken by the Government, through the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects. The setting up of a new authority that will have the function of regulating the construction industry.

We therefore encourage the Government to push forward this process as it shall be the catalyst to the initiation of a holistic process leading to local building regulations that should also cover the fire safety aspects of buildings. These regulations should also induce the requirement for periodic inspections of systems within buildings and to this effect no distinction should be made between residential and non-residential buildings.

The Chamber of Engineers is always ready to work with the Government and its competent entities as we strongly believe in the overarching principle that is core of our profession and that is ensuring constantly public health and safety. We have therefore confirmed our support to the Hon. Dr. Borg that the Chamber of Engineers would be ready to participate on the authority as one of the important stakeholders in the Industry.

 

 

Inġ. Norman Zammit

President, CoE

 

Dr Inġ Daniel Micallef

General Secretary, CoE

 

Official Press Release Document

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 August 2018 13:18
 
BOV recognises engineering students

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

15th December 2017

BOV recognises engineering students excelling in their final projects

Christan Grech and Raisa Chetcuti are the first winners of the BOV award for Engineering Students. Set up last year as an integral part of the Bank’s collaborative partnership with the Chamber of Engineers, this award takes the form of a grant that is given to the engineering students, who in their final year projects, show excellence and innovation in their respective areas of studies.

In his brief introduction, Ing. Norman Zammit, President of the Chamber said that the engineer is the catalyst of change. He spoke about the Chamber’s position, which tallies with that of its European peers, vis-à-vis the clash between vocational and academic formation of engineers. Ing. Zammit emphasised that the formation of an engineer should be via an academic route, further substantiated by experience following graduation. He said that only in this manner can an engineer be prepared to solve tomorrow’s problems.

Joyce Tabone from PR & Marketing at Bank of Valletta expressed the Bank’s satisfaction at introducing this grant for promising students as part of the collaboration between the Bank and the Chamber. “This relationship goes beyond the financial support received by the Chamber from the Bank. It is about the synergies created, and the educational clinics that are organised for the Chamber members, in order to enable them to take more informed decisions about their financial future.” Ms Tabone also said that the introduction of the grant fits perfectly with the Bank’s focus on education as part of its Corporate Responsibility. She ended her intervention by inviting the winning students to share their experience studying overseas and make their contributions as to how the Bank’s relationship with the Chamber can be further enhanced for the benefit of the Chamber members.

Christian Grech is a graduate in electrical and electronics engineering, currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree, whilst actively participating in a collaboration between the Department of Microelectronics and Nanoelectronics and the Magnetic Measurement section at CERN. Christian is carrying out research on magnetic modelling, system identification and real-time magnetic measurements in synchrotrons. Christian’s project focused on human-machine interfaces, investigating how they could control a robotic arm manipulator to assist movement of individuals who have lost the use of a particular limb.

Raisa Chetcuti is the other winner. A mechanical engineering graduate, Raisa’s project looked at surface engineering of implant grade stainless steel to mitigate corrosion –wear damage to the surfaces of metallic hip implants, whilst increasing their longevity. Raisa is presently pursuing her final year studies for a master of science in mechanical engineering. She is currently studying the tribocorrosion behaviour of coatings to be applied to the artificial hip joint in conditions which replicate more closely the human body environment.

Following the presentation to 2016 students, the shortlisted students for year 2017 delivered a ten-minute presentation of their project. The nominated students were:

Mechanical engineers:

· Daniel Aquilina

· Marlon Attard, and

· Daniel Farrugia

Electrical Engineers:

· Rachel Cauchi

· Jeanluc Mangion

· Geraldine Mifsud

ICT Engineers:

· Nicholas Bonello

· Leander Grech, and

· John Napier

The winners for this year will be announced during the Annual Engineering Conference later on this month.

 

Contact:

Joyce Tabone
Manager - Media and Community Relations
Bank of Valletta

BOV Centre
Triq il-Kanun
Santa Venera SVR9030, Malta

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tel +356 2275 3037
www.bov.com

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 December 2017 21:33
 
MEEA 2017 Press Release

The Malta Engineering Excellence Awards 2017 – 12th December 2017

PRESS RELEASE: 19th December 2017

The Chamber of Engineers launched the 16th edition of the Malta Engineering Excellence Awards (MEEA) on the evening of the 12th of December 2017. The MEEAs 2017 were held under the distinguished patronage of H.E. Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta at the Verdala Palace. The MEEA showcased the excellence in engineering innovation and its positive impact on the Maltese society through three different awards:  The Maurice Debono Lifetime Achievement, the Industrial Excellence Awards and the Best Student Projects’ CoE Awards.

An amazing performance by the Harpist Dr Lydia Buttigieg opened the evening. An introduction to the MEEA by Chairman, Ing. Michael D’Amato and a welcome address was then presented by Ing. Norman Zammit, President, Chamber of Engineers.

The Maurice Debono Lifetime Achievement awarded was presented by her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca to Ing. Helga Pizzuto and to Ing. Anton V. Cutajar.

Aviation Cosmetics Malta Ltd, Altern Ltd and Malta Life Sciences Park were the three nominees for the Industrial Excellence Awards. Hon. Chris Agius, Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and the Property Market presented the awards for the Industrial Excellence Awards to the winner, Malta Life Sciences Park.

The Best Student Projects’ CoE Awards were divided into 3 streams;  Mechanical Engineering,  Electrical Engineering and  Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) best project awards.

The nominated students for the Mechanical Engineering Stream were Daniel Aquilina, Marlon Attard and Daniel Farrugia. Rachel Cauchi, Jeanluc Mangion and Geraldine Mifsud were the three nominated students for the best project in the Electrical Engineering Stream. As for ICT, the nominees were Nicholas Bonello, Leander Grech and John Napier.

Hon. Chris Agius, Parliamentary Secretary presented the award to Daniel Farrugia for the Mechanical Stream, Geraldine Mifsud for the Electrical Stream and to John Napier for the ICT stream.

Dr. Ing Glenn Cassar, representing Dr. Ing. Andrew Sammut, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Prof. Ernest Cachia, Dean, Faculty of Information, Communications & Technology at the University of Malta gave encouraging speeches about the students, Industry-Academia collaboration and the impact of engineering in society.

The evening recognised Engineering excellence in Malta and Engineering society and was closed by a reception where winners, nominees, engineers and guests were all invited to attend.

Thanks go to the volunteers at the Chamber of Engineers, the nominees, academics, engineers, guests and our corporate sponsors namely Bank of Valletta plc and Citadel Insurance together with the supporting sponsors Enemalta, Hydrolectric, Abertax, Crane Currency, Konnekt and Malta Industrial Parks.

 

Figure: Ing. Norman Zammit, President, Chamber of Engineers and Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 December 2017 16:29
 
London fire: Many killed as Grenfell Tower engulfed - Lessons for Maltese Engineers and Facilities Managers

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said questions will need to be answered over the safety of tower blocks.
He stated that "we can't have a situation where people's safety is put at risk because of bad advice
being given or if it is the case, as has been alleged, of tower blocks not being properly serviced or
maintained," he told BBC Radio.
Matt Wrack, of the Fire Brigades Union said something had clearly gone badly wrong with fire
prevention procedures at the building.
Firefighters would normally fight a fire in a tower block from the inside, going up the fire escape,
and fighting using the internal dry-rising mains, he said, but that's not been possible in this case. –
BBC Report

This incident brings to light now more than ever the importance of the proper facilities management
of buildings. In places like Malta, with its densely populated areas, Developers need to carefully
consider the importance of life safety systems from design to execution and eventual maintenance
under the Facilities management regime. A word of caution goes to those engineers involved in the
design of such buildings and others in the management of such facilities. We, as Chamber of
Engineers, strongly recommend that professionals have to be extra vigilant and make sure that no
one is allowed to compromise on costs both when it comes to the construction of the projects and
then when it comes to maintaining and operating them. Ethical considerations need to be looked
into here. There cannot be cases where buildings are certified as achieving compliance to the
necessary requirements from a fire aspect to ensure proper life safety when they are not compliant
just to anticipate that a building is deemed to be ready to be occupied. Such practice would only
endanger the lives of occupants within the development and puts Directors and Professionals
heavily burdened with the liabilities that would emanate from such actions.

We therefore encourage the Government to push forward the process of local building regulations
that should also cover the fire safety aspects of buildings. These regulations should also induce the
requirement for periodic inspections of systems within such buildings and to this effect no distinction
should be made between residential and non-residential buildings.

The Chamber of Engineers is always ready to work with the Government and its competent entities
as we strongly believe in the overarching principle that is core of our profession and that is ensuring
constantly public health and safety.

Inġ. Norman Zammit
President, CoE

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 June 2017 13:48
 
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