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Chamber holds 13th edition of the Malta Engineering Excellence Awards

On the 5th December 2014, the Chamber of Engineers organised the 13th Edition of the Malta Engineering Excellence Awards under the patronage of H.E. the President of Malta and which this year was held in St. John’s Cavalier in Valletta. The Awards were presented by the Hon. Minister Mr Joe Mizzi and were given in the following categories:

  • The Maurice Debono Lifetime Achievement Award - that was presented to Prof Ing. Joseph Micallef.
  • The Industrial Excellence Award – there were two finalists in this category with the awarded being to Inspectra Limited.
  • The Start-up Entrepreneur Award – In this category there were also two finalists with the result being a tie and hence both were presented with the awarded. These were Ing. Matthew Spiteri (Altern Limted) and Representatives of UoMRacing (University of Malta Racing Association).

The Chamber of Engineers would like to thank its corporate sponsors Bank of Valletta and Citadel Insurance and H.E. Ingr Umberto Di Capua for granting permission to hold the event at St John’s Cavalier and also  the event sponsors: Malta Communications Authority, Water Services Corporation, Ministry for Transport and Infrastructure, Econetique, Alberta Group, Stephen Cordina and AV Warehouse.

Address from the President of the Chamber of Engineers - Ing. Norman Zammit

As the President of the Chamber, Ing. Norman Zammit welcomed all guests and indicated in his opening speech, that the Chamber of Engineers considers this important event as a yearly tribute directed towards ingenuity, engineering excellence and lifetime commitment towards the profession.

Starting his speech with a light note, reminiscing the student days when the University Engineering Students Associations had a number of catch phrases or slogans…Engineers Do It With Precision….Engineers Do it Better etc., the President stated that it was the firm belief that Engineers can do it better and give added value to Society, that acted as the impetus for the late Ing. Maurice Debono and a group of engineers from the Chamber, to create a draft legislation and work hard to have the engineering profession finally regulated under a warrant system on the 22nd February 1988 with the approval of the ENGINEERING PROFESSION ACT Chapter 321 in Parliament.

From that time, the Chamber continued its work in favour of the profession with the formulation of a Code of Ethics. This Code of Ethics was adopted by the Engineering Board under the law as the approved code of ethics for all engineers.

The Chamber had for long discussed the state of practice of the engineering profession in Malta and being aware of instances of inappropriate practices by a few warrant holders, it is no surprise that the Council set as one of its strategic objectives and priorities for 2014, the setting up of an Ethics and Disciplinary Committee.

The President continued by stating that the terms of reference of this committee is to review and debate the Code of Ethics for the Engineering Profession and to advise and recommend to the Council any revisions deemed necessary.  The Committee was also tasked with the responsibility to investigate cases of infringements of the Code, and to advise Council to recommend appropriate disciplinary measures to be taken by the responsible authority (Engineering Board).

The Committee was also set up to assist and give advice to members of the Chamber on problems encountered in the Industry or Society that could potentially lead to a breach of Ethics by the member in the execution of a particular task. Therefore the committee would investigate means of support to be extended to warrant holders to facilitate adherence to the Code of Ethics and which would therefore result in the elevation of the status of the Engineering Profession and the perception of Maltese society towards it. In the new year the committee shall be launching a questionnaire amongst Chamber members with the aim to investigate better the present scenarios within Industry with regards to ethics and the perception amongst engineers of this notion, which is fundamental to their professional life governing their way of working.

Ing. Zammit stated that ‘we have to remember that as Engineers, we are the catalysts of change and innovation and therefore we should always be the guardians and promoters to the establishment of quality and safe work practices within Industry and Society at large. We need to ensure that we will always retain our credibility and never negotiate our integrity’.

During this year the Council of the Chamber has worked on strengthening the synergies that exist between the Chamber and the Engineering Board. These synergies have in the past provided benefits to the profession and there is a constant commitment that this spirit of collaboration is sustained for the benefit of the profession. In their exchange of ideas with the Board, the Chamber have proposed a fundamental amendment to the composition of the Board where it is being suggested that the Chamber of Engineers is given the opportunity to have a representative ex-ufficio on the Board.

Ing. Zammit also made reference to the important contribution that the Chamber has given on a European and International level with the continued participation as members in the World Federation of Engineering Organisations and the very active participation within the realms of FEANI – The European Federation of Engineering Associations where as the National Monitoring Committee the Chamber attended the FEANI Annual Business Meeting that took place during October in Gdansk – Poland.  Various issues were discussed during the General Assembly with one of the focal points being the introduction of the EngineerING card for engineers in lieu of the European Professional Card as proposed by the EU Commission. This document is intended to enhance mobility of engineers within the European Union. However there is still work to be done until all the National Monitoring Committees within FEANI come up to an acceptable formula for its full implementation. As Malta, the Chamber has expressed its reservations on certain aspects of the card but shall continue to support the concept.

The President also announced that the topic for next year’s Annual Engineering Conference is Energy and Transport – Challenges and Opportunities, with the venue being SmartCity Malta. He stated that the topics will raise interest and was hoping that the Hon. Minister Joe Mizzi and Hon. Minister Konrad Mizzi would be available to give their precious contributions.

Finally Ing. Zammit thanked all fellow council members for the commitment towards the work of the Chamber and other various members who have dedicated their time to represent the Chamber on various committees and organisations.

Ing Helga Pizzuto as vice-President of the Federation of Professional associations representing the Chamber together with Ing. Saviour Baldacchino.

Ing. Johan Psaila - Treasurer for his contribution on the BRO.

Prof Dr Ing. Robert Ghirlando, Dr Ing. Victor Buttigieg, Ing. Pierre Ciantar for their contribution within the Ethics and Disciplinary committee under the chairmanship of Ing. Alex Galea.

Prof Dr Ing. Brian Azzopardi our Editor who together with Prof Dr Ing Robert Ghirlando, Ing Pierre Ciantar and myself form the Editorial Board of our flagship publication ‘Engineering Today’.

At this point Ing. Zammit saluted the memory of the late Ing. John Pace previous editor for this publication and stated that Ing. Pace shall be given a special award for his contribution to the Chamber. His wife Mrs May Pace collected the award for this special recognition.

The President went on to thank Ing Anthony Muscat, Ing. Ray Vassallo and Ing. Carmen Abela for their priceless contribution towards the introduction of national standards related to the installation and certification of PV panels.

He stated that the valuable support of the members is fundamental for the efficient operation of the Council. He however strongly encouraged the participation of more women within the Chamber, following the example of Ing. Helga Pizzuto.

To conclude the President congratulated all finalists for these prestigious awards. He stated that it was not an easy task to select the winners as results were very close and the level this year was again very high.

Address from the Hon. Minister Mr Joe Mizzi

The Hon. Minister Mr Joe Mizzi started his speech by thanking the President and the Council of the Chamber for inviting him to present this year’s Malta Engineering Excellence Awards.

He went on to state that as the President of the Chamber indicated in his speech, the intent of these awards is to give recognition to persons who have contributed to the profession and the engineering environment within the Maltese society for the benefit of society at large, whilst the other two categories promote engineering excellence and entrepreneurship thereby promoting the launch of SMEs which are the motor of the Maltese economy and which the present Government has given so much focus to even with solid initiatives in the budget for 2015.

The Minister went on to state that as reported by the late Ing. John Pace, in an article that appeared in a local journal in 2013, the engineering community celebrated 50 years from when the University opened its doors to the first 11 students to study for an Engineering degree in 1963, nine of whom graduated in 1966. Minister Mizzi exclaimed ‘most of us can only imagine a university where students have no access to the internet. Where no one has a computer or even an electronic calculator and has to perform complex calculations using a slide rule. A situation where parking at the University is not a problem as students do not have cars and this I am sure is a dream for most students and staff using their own transport to get to the University nowadays. A lot has progressed and has been achieved since that time with regards to the quantum of students that today attend the courses leading to the award of an engineering degree’.

Speaking of cars, the Minister stated that this government understands well the challenges that lie to instate an efficient transportation system that would rely heavily on efficient use of modern infrastructure. That is why a number of projects have been planned to better the current situation and this cannot be done unless we consider engineering as a backbone in transport, infrastructure and energy initiatives. ‘It was therefore a pleasure to hear that the annual engineering conference of next year shall be dedicated to Energy and Transport – Challenges and Opportunities. I firmly believe that the engineering community has a fundamental contribution to give in these sectors through expert advice, research and development initiatives as well as the application of modern engineering solutions to classical problems. We are sure that there shall be instances where the ingenuity of engineers shall be looked upon to bring about change that would be beneficial to the economy’.

The Minister did not wish to conclude his speech without noting with satisfaction the synergies that exists between the Engineering Board and the Chamber of Engineers when it comes to the fundamental pillars of the profession which are ethics and competence. ‘It is fundamental for a Government constituted body as the Engineering Board to be able to find synergies with NGOs in the same sector and for this matter the Chamber of Engineers and the Engineering Board have kept this collaborative environment that I encourage both parties to sustain.’

He stated that he had also noted the request from the Chamber of Engineers to have formal representation ex-ufficio on the Board and assured the President and Council as well as members of the Chamber that this proposal will be given the due attention and consideration.

The Minister also made reference to the meeting that was held between the Chamber and the Engineering Board where the Chamber is closely following the ongoing discussions between MCAST and the Engineering Board with regards to the recognition of the degrees issued by MCAST for the purpose of qualification to the engineering warrant.

The MCAST detailed syllabi of the degrees are still undergoing evaluation and aware of the urgency of this matter he stated that he shall take up the discussions with the Engineering Board to see what additional resources need to be deployed to complete this review process in a reasonably short time frame.

To conclude the Minister congratulated all finalists for these prestigious awards with special appreciations going to the winners of every category.

The 2014 Awards for the best FINAL YEAR ENGINEERING and ICT Students’ Projects

The second part of the evening was dedicated to the awards for the best Final Year Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Projects as well as best Final Year ICT student’s project.

Dr. Ing. John Betts, Dean of Engineering Faculty, University of Malta and Prof. Ernest Cachia, Dean of the ICT Faculty, University of Malta addressed the function.

Mr Donald Dalli was the award winner from the Mechanical Engineering stream.

Ms Rachael Nicole Darmanin and Ms Nathalie Margaret Cauchi were the winners from the Electrical Engineering stream whilst Mr Tony Cini was present with the award for the ICT Computer Systems Engineering stream.


Last Updated on Thursday, 18 December 2014 17:42