Organized by the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) and the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE)，the 4th Global Grand Challenges Summit (GGCS) was held in London, England from September 12 to 18, 2019. With the support of Youth League Committee and International Division of Beihang University, a team consisiting of Li Tianhao, Liu Xianzhong and Han Shaohang from the School of General Engineering was invited to attent the Summit, together with other teams from 19 Chinese universities, including Tongji University, Wuhan University, Central South University, Chongqing University, etc.
With the theme of "Engineering in an Unpredictable World" and focusing on 14 major engineering and technological challenges facing mankind in the 21st century, the 2019 Summit aims at inspiring the young generation to devote to the engineering science and technology and meet global major challenges through engineering methods.
The student competition is one of GGCS highlights. 300 undergraduates from China, the United States and the United Kingdom gathered together in London to launch an on-site competition of technology innovation and business plan creation on September 13-16, aiming to solicit creative project ideas and develop innovative tools to address global challenges through cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration. All teams were re-established on the spot and each team was mixed with students from the three countries. The new team collaborated and drew on each other’s strengths and fut forward solutions to major challenges on site in the limited time.
On the last day of the competion, project plans of various mixed teams were presented and reviewed by the judges at the exhibition. The project "algea warriors", guided by Zhao Qiudi, the lead teacher of Beihang, stood out among 50 team projects and was selected for Top 10. Moreover, the projects of the other three students' teams also received high praise and appreciation from the Chinese and foreign judges, including Academician Deng Zhonghan and Academician Duan Baoyan.
On September 17 and 18, Beihang team participated in the 4th GGCS, together with more than 900 representatives from global industries, institutes and universities in the filed of Science and Engineering. Besides, over 20 academicians, experts and representatives in the business circle from China, the United States and the United Kingdom made reports on the conference and had a lively interaction with the participants. Princess Anne, the daughter of Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ, gave a welcome speech at the opening ceremony of the Summit and warmly received the student representatives. She said that, with the unremitting efforts of people from all walks of life, the world will become even better.
The field reports covered such topics as "the role of engineering projects in an unpredictable world", "the meaning of artificial intelligence for our work and life", "what kind of digital technology is in line with our ethical values", "how innovation practices change our world", "how engineering technology can reduce the risks of climate change" and "how can we build a world that is able to feed 10 billion people in the future".
During the Summit, the teachers and students of Beihang actively communicated with the attendees and fully displayed themselves on this important international stage of scientific and technological innovation. It shows that Beihang, together with other universities all over the word, actively responds to global challenges and takes its responsibilities for common development.
The Summit is of far-reaching significance to broaden students' international vision, deepen their understanding of "a community with a shared future for mankind”, promote their innovative consciousness and competence, and guide students to become world-class leaders who can devote themselves to building a great modern socialist country and respond to major global challenges in the future.
As an "International Model School", the School of General Engineering will continuously strive to build itself as a demonstrative base for the cultivation of first-class general engineering talents and foster international engineering leaders with global vision, well-rounded and specific knowledge, and systematic innovation capabilities.
Being held every two years, the GGCS was previously convened in London, Beijing and Washington in 2013, 2015 and 2017, respectively. The 5th GGCS will be held in China in 2021.
Reported by Zhao Qiudi
Photographed by Li Tianhao
Reviewed by Wen Dongsheng
Edited by Jia Aiping
Translated by Ma Yaping