I would like to welcome you to the monthly newsletter for March. As we all know the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is currently having a big impact on many aspects of our lives. In this worrying time, I would like to send best wishes for the health and safety of all members of the ASEM community as well as their families. COVID-19 now looks to be a global pandemic and while different countries and corresponding governments are responding in different ways, I think it is important that such a response should be guided by experts – scientists and clinicians (including epidemiologists) – so that the strategies adopted to mitigate the impact of the pandemic are evidence-based and rigorous. Such an approach is consistent with our own values as engineering managers.
During this current period, many of us are working from home where possible. Universities are in many cases delivering teaching via online systems and this has resulted in significant challenges and disruption to ensure the online provision was made available in a timely fashion. Also at universities, student members of the society are clearly impacted by the current situation and will be concerned about their own education and research work and how the required commitments can be fulfilled this academic semester. Members of the society from industrial companies and governmental organizations face challenges associated with their own work responsibilities and the need to work from home if possible. These certainly are challenging and one could even say unprecedented times – and I very much hope that our collective efforts will help to minimize the deleterious impact of COVID-19 and that our normality of life, work and study will resume as soon as possible.
I also wanted to pass on that we are carefully monitoring the COVID-19 situation in regard to the 2020 International Annual Conference scheduled to take place at the end of October in Denver, Colorado. This is still more than half a year away and currently the conference preparations are continuing as planned – There are no changes to the technical paper submission and peer-review process, and we currently expect to hold the conference as planned. However, we will continue to monitor any new developments and ensure to keep members informed if any changes need to be made. Although please be rest assured that in the event the conference is disrupted by travel restrictions due to COVID-19, conference registration fees will be refunded.
I would like to conclude this introduction by highlighting the excellent news that ASEM has recently published the 5th Edition of the Engineering Management Body of Knowledge Guide (EMBOK Guide). The EMBOK Guide serves as a foundation for certification exams, curriculum development, and professional development programs. The guide can be viewed as a foundational reference for the discipline of engineering management. I would like to offer my thanks to Dr. Hiral Shah (Editor) and Walter Nowocin (Associate Editor) for their leadership and dedication on the production of this key publication for the Society. I would also like to thank all the chapter authors for their hard work and contributions to the new publication.
Stay safe and keep washing your hands.
Dr. Simon Philbin