Our membership is drawn from all engineering disciplines as well as science and management professionals. Many of our members are experienced sustainability champions and have experience in design, environmental management, transport, mining, waste management, pollution control, natural resources and infrastructure. We have professional and academic members as well as managers, policy-makers, planners, developers and conservation scientists. Transition Engineering is an evolution in the vision and practice of engineering, in much the same way that Safety Engineering was an evolution in manufacturing and buildings 100 years ago. Our main point of difference from the historical practice of sustainability management is that we use an exploratory methodology to create the thinking space for innovation aimed at changing what is unsustainable. Flipping your mindset is key:
- Flip your point of view from adding sustainable technologies to an unsustainable system > to changing the unsustainable system
- Flip your focus from using more renewable energy > to eliminating an energy load
- Flip your focus from making plastic more recyclable > to eliminating plastic in the product stream
- Flip your focus from carbon capture and sequestration > to safe shut down and capping of oil and gas wells and coal mines
- Flip your hope from mega factories making mountains of batteries to transition of commercial buildings > to 80% passive renewable resource utilization
- Flip your dreams from the isolation of on-line shopping and drone delivery of disposable products made half a world away > to vibrant streets with quality services and goods and a prosperous local social economy
GATE will possibly be the first engineering body to implement a mechanism that directly responds to the Brundtland challenge that “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of current generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Interestingly the current UK legal system does not allow “future generations” to be named as “charity beneficiaries”. GATE will therefore seek to establish groups of members who will represent the interests of those future generations and provide a voice in current engineering, strategy and policy decisions.
The objective of GATE members is to achieve the changes that science indicates must be made. Projects that change currently profitable systems are very difficult, but also very hopeful. The most challenging requirement is the energy transition in both supply and end-use. But materials and product transitions, transition of land use and urban form, and transition of industrial agriculture are among other epic wicked problems.
- Curtail greenhouse gas emissions by 80%
- Eliminate marine plastic pollution and disposable plastic products
- Eliminate synthetic xenoestrogens in products and manufacturing
- Restore forest cover to 40% of arable land
- Restore marine ecosystems and reserves in 30% of coastal areas
- Ccurtail glyphosate manufacture
- Peer-to-peer networking and exchange of information and experience is essential for the challenging work on wicked problems