"The era of growth in oil demand is over. Only an acceleration in structural changes in the way that the world produces and consumes energy can break the emissions trend for good. The bottom line is that flattening of emissions at today's levels is nowhere near enough. We need to bring them down and soon.

Tim Gould, Co-Head of IEA World Energy Outlook Series

 

This page describes the on-going progress of the "convergence of a number of engineering organisations, consultants, academics and activists into a Discipline". Over the past three decades, people have become increasingly concerned about unsustainable use of resources and environmental impacts.  Engineers from all Disciplines have been moved to take action. The Convergence for Carbon Transition explored how do we take effective action? Transition Engineering means exactly what you think it means. Transition Engineers change existing products and systems that are unsustainable.

Convergence of Intention into the Discipline of Transition Engineering

The Transition Engineering proposition: Business as Usual can only change when engineering changes. History has demonstrated that how engineers work, and what they work on, what they consider in duty of care, and what standards they follow for compliance determine the social, economic and environmental outcomes. If engineering changes, the future changes. Engineering changes through research, science, academic advancement and professional norms. Engineering changes because we decide to work on preventing what is preventable.

Why should people and companies who have already established their brand of sustainability consulting converge together into one coherent and recognised field? 

Why should academics in engineering schools all around the world learn about Transition Engineering and include considerations in the curriculum? 

Why should professional engineering organisations add "Due Diligence and Duty of Care for Transition" to their code of ethics? 

Why should governments support "climate emergency first responder" training for all engineers, managers and planners?

Why should professional engineers take on the social responsibility for exploring and finding downshift projects in all fields of work? 

Why Not? What have we got to lose? 


 

A poll of Convergence Participants:  What do you most hope to get out of the Convergence?

  1. Hope that there is a way to reduce emissions and other harms of "successful engineering" fast enough (57%)
  2. An understanding of what Transition Engineering is all about (48%)
  3. A sense that the field is growing and there is a route to implementation (45%)
  4. Reinforcement of my understanding of the methods and examples of application of Transition Engineering (35%)

 

No-Travel, Low Carbon Convergence Meetings

Convergences are held simultaneously at multiple venues around the country and the world. Local convergences arrange their own welcomes, discussions and food at local cafes for tea breaks, and lunch. 

The Slido App is used for all participants to ask questions of panelists. The presentations included InTIME professional practices, new and challenging perspectives, innovations and Shift Projects.

New Zealand Convergence 2020 

The Convergence 2020 is the fourth no-travel, low-carbon conference organised by Transition Engineers. The first was Signs of Change in 2010 which had attendance of 275 at seven venues from Invercargill to Kerikeri, saving 400 hours in travel $140,000 in travel cost, and was 1000 times lower emissions than if all of the attendees travelled to Christchurch. The Convergence 2020 design of distributed mixed participation also turned out to have special significance in 2020 as the COVID pandemic meant that at any time a transmission alert may be in force for one city, region or the whole country. The programme for the day was available as an individual feed, and at the group venues.


 

Conference Programme

Watch the Whole Convergence Programme on Vimeo

or click on individual links below

Keynote 1 

The 2020ies will see the explosion of Transition Engineering

Daniel Kenning - Co-President, Global Association of Transition Engineering (London) TBC

Keynote 2  Core Concepts: The Mission and the InTIME Methodology and the Workflow Process

Prof. Susan Krumdieck, Professor of Energy Transition Engineering at Heriot Watt University, Adjunct Professor at the University of Canterbury

Keynote 3    

The Maori perspective and the alignment with the Transition Engineering approach  PÅ«hanga Kia ToitÅ«

Johnnie Freeland, Project Specialist, Iwi Maori Partnerships, Orana Tamariki, Whakapapa Centred Designer 

Keynote 4 

InTIME Step 3 - Crash testing scenarios. Let's test drive the Hydrogen fuel scenarios.

Susan Krumdieck, Professor in Mechanical Engineering, and Johann Land, PhD in Chemical and Processing Engineering

InTIME

Examples

Wicked Problem 1   - Jamie Silk: Natural Gas Firming and Peak Generation - Taranaki

Wicked Problem 2   - Daniel Bishop: Low Standard, Unhealthy Homes - Ruapehu

Wicked Problem 3   - Millie Robinson: Wood Home Heating and Air Pollution - Christchurch

Wicked Problem 4   - Isabel Andrade Beltran: Coal Heat for Buildings at University of Canterbury

InTIME 

Examples

Wicked Problem 5 - Stacy Rendall: The Car City - InTIME Analysis and Insights

Wicked Problem 6 -  Johann Land: The Car City - Shift Project innovation: The PlaceFinder App

Wicked Problem 7 - Patricio Gallardo Ocampo: Testing out the Electric Vehicle Scenario

Moving to 

Action

Grant Symons, Transition HQ 

David Kidd, WSP 

Pannel 

Discussion

Commentator Rod Oram     The Context of the Carbon Transition 
Prof Susan Krumdieck, Chair in Energy Transition Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland
Dr Russel Norman, Executive Director Greenpeace Aotearoa
Craig Price, Chief Technical Officer, Beca

Actions

Attendees at the 2020 Transition Convergence voted on the next urgent actions that they would spend 4 hours on in the next month. 

  1. All STEM professionals complete "Climate Emergency First Response InTIME" training by 2022
  2. Establishment of the Transition Lab at University of Canterbury for research and InTIME Project support, Partner with Ara Ake, Transition HQ and other labs and organisations 
  3. Prime Minister appoints a Transition Engineering Advisor
  4. Write a GATE Standard for Duty of Care on Transition Downshift of Fossil Fuel
 

Questions of Convergence

Use of the Slido App throughout the Convergence produced a wealth of questions and comments. Participants were able to vote up questions. A few were addressed during the question time on the day. But there are so many good questions that we have posted them according to topic on the GATE LinkedIn Discussion Forum at the link below. 

Question and Answer Discussion Continues on LinkedIn 

Convergence Sponsors 

The Convergence for the purpose of contributing to the transition to low carbon could not have been possible without the generous provision of the venues by the University of Canterbury, Auckland University of Technology, Victoria University at Wellington, Otago University, Western Institute of Technology, Beca, and Southern Institute of Technology.