On Friday 30 September 2022, Ingénieurs et Scientifiques du Luxembourg asbl, a local non-profit organisation representing Luxembourg's engineers and scientists, celebrated its 125th anniversary.
To mark this occasion, the non-profit held a special evening, in the presence of His Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Luxembourg and various ministers and other dignitaries. The speeches particularly focused on the theme of technologies and science in the face of environmental challenges, as well as the need to direct young people towards professions which are in very high demand.
As Franz Fayot, Luxembourg's Minister of the Economy, recalled, "the Ingénieurs et Scientifiques du Luxembourg association was initially born in parallel with the industrialisation of our country, it then developed and adapted as our economic development progressed".
"Today, it brings together the profiles we need to move our society and our economy forward. On many subjects that are close to my heart as Minister of the Economy, such as the decarbonisation of production processes, the circular economy or the digital economy, engineers and scientists are the profiles that allow us to move forward thanks to their skills", he continued.
"Over the past 125 years, the professional groups represented in and by the association Ingénieurs et Scientifiques du Luxembourg have been involved in many major
innovations that have contributed to the wealth and prosperity of our country", added Claude Meisch, Luxembourg's Minister of Education, Children and Youth. "But also in the future, engineers and scientists will be of paramount importance when it comes to providing adequate responses to the global challenges of the 21st century, such as climate change, the energy transition or digital and technological development".
Marc Solvi, President of Ingénieurs et Scientifiques du Luxembourg asbl, which has 1,400 members, recalled the origins of the non-profit, founded in the fumes of the steel industry in the 19th century, up to the construction of the Da Vinci Forum, its flagship building icon. For Mr Solvi, the training of a growing number of engineers and scientists is all the more crucial as we are faced with major challenges: climate change, energy production and costs, health, communication... Schools also have a major role to play in encouraging young people to enter these professions and particularly women, who are still under-represented in certain disciplines. Mr Solvi highlightedthe relevance of the Wëssens-Atelier, an initiative of the non-profit which consists of giving practical and interactive introductions to these disciplines in schools.
Insisting on the close links between the non-profit and the City of Luxembourg, Mayor Lydie Polfer recalled that among the founders of the association were the mayors of Luxembourg and Hollerich, two municipalities which have since been merged. To highlight the role of engineers, she noted that 240 engineers worked for the municipality (City of Luxembourg).
Also present were the President of the Chamber of Deputies (Luxembourg's parliament), Fernand Etgen, and the Minister of Internal Security and of Housing, Henri Kox.
Special guest speaker, Luxembourgish scientific journalist Ranga Yogeshwar, described the accelerated evolution of technical progress in a world turned upside down by the COVID-19 crisis. "We have to give innovation a purpose"”, he insisted in a demonstration dedicated to his grandson Emil. "Progress only makes sense if it is shared by all and not reserved for a minority".
The evening also featured the musical interludes of cellist André Mergenthaler, followed by dinner and birthday cake.