Engineering the Future

Engineering the Future cube

Listen to the Engineering the Future podcast on your favourite podcast platform.

The Engineering the Future series is a space for thought-provoking conversations about the bold ideas that will impact society over the next two decades.
From exciting developments in nuclear technology and major transformations in the mining industry, through to the universal impact of artificial intelligence, we speak with leading academics and industry leaders about the technological marvels that will define us as we work towards a more sustainable future for all.
Together, we’ll discover how innovative engineering starts with imagination in action.



Insects, Ozempic and the science fiction of all your food in a single pill.


  • Johannes le Coutre, Professor of food and health at the UNSW School of Chemical Engineering.
  • Katherine Samaras, consultant physician and endocrinologist at St. Vincent's Hospital.
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Solar Technology

Get ready for solar to be everywhere by 2050.


  • Renate Egan, Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics.
  • Zi Ouyang, Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer of JA Solar.
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Artificial Intelligence

Transport, healthcare, education, and defence: where to next with AI?


  • Stela Stolar, Director of the National Artificial Intelligence Centre hosted by CSIRO's Data61.
  • Toby Walsh, Chief Scientist at UNSW.AI, and Laureate Fellow and Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence at UNSW Sydney.
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Let's talk about nuclear. 


  • Jasmin Diab, Combat Engineer Officer in the Australian Army, and President of Women in Nuclear Australia.
  • Edward Obbard, Nuclear Engineering Program Lead at UNSW Sydney.
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If it’s not grown, it’s mined. 


  • Ismet Canbulat, Head of School and Chair of Rock Mechanics at the UNSW School of Minerals and Energy Resources Engineering.
  • Rae O'Brien, Executive General Manager of Mining Excellence at Centennial.
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Energy decathlon: the long race to redesign the industry.


  • Dani Alexander, CEO of the UNSW Energy Institute.
  • John Fletcher, Professor at UNSW School of Electrical Engineering, and Director of UNSW Digital Grid Futures Institute.
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Future Cities

Smarter, sustainable, and more resilient use of cities and space.


  • Asal Bidarmaghz, Senior Lecturer in Geotechnical Engineering at UNSW School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
  • Taha Rashidi, Associate Professor in Transport Engineering at UNSW School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
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Biomedical Technologies

Brain-machine interfaces… coming soon to a cerebrum near you.


  • Claire Bridges, PhD candidate at UNSW Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering.
  • Mohit Shivdasani, Associate Professor in bionics, at UNSW Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering.
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Past events

The role of fossil fuels in our renewable energy future

As our climate continues to change, reducing our carbon emissions and environmental footprint has become the moral imperative of our generation. But what is the role of fossil fuels in this transition? 

Speakers: Dani Alexander, Kerry Schott, Amy Kean, Iain MacGill, and John Fletcher.

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AI: From Imagination to Reality

Generative AI has the potential to revolutionise a wide range of industries and fields. What ethical concerns and potential risks does it have for the future of society, industry, and beyond? 

Speakers: Wilson da Silva, Rita Arrigo, Aurélie Jacquet, Sebastian Sequoiah-Grayson, and Toby Walsh.

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Technology and Longevity — How far can we go?

Biomedical technology advancements have created opportunities for us to connect and be part of a more inclusive living environment. With the desire for a longer, healthier life, what role does technology play in shaping this future?

Speakers: Julie Robotham, Beena Ahmed, Sze-Yuan Ooi, Eugene Salole, and Jackie Leach Scully.

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We need to talk about Nuclear Technology

There is no denying the nuclear conversation is already happening and has progressed around the world. With Australia well placed to become a world leader, what opportunities and issues does this disruptive technology pose?

Speakers: Lyria Bennett Moses, Edward Obbard, Ben Heard, and Matthew Kearnes.

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Humanitarian Engineering: Empowering Lives

Our world is ever changing. As we continue to grapple with both natural and man-made events that impact the homes and lives of people, what role does the humanitarian engineer play? 

Speakers: Andrew Dansie, Justine Nolan, Amit Singh, Sanmugi Sivakumar, Elizabeth Taylor AO.

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Engineering Ethics in the Age of Digital Advancement

With the advancement of digitisation and AI in the civil engineering industry, how do we ethically build a model that works at all levels and inspires trust, and learn to become greater ethical engineers ourselves?

Speakers: Matt Press, Michael Dakhoul, Agi Sterling, and Travis Waller.

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Australia’s Energy Future: Shaping a climate changing world

Climate change is arguably one of the most important global issues we face, so what are governments and industry doing to combat this issue?

Speakers: Justine Jarvinen, Grant King, and Dave Sharma.

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