The role of engineering in shaping a more sustainable world

The role of engineering in shaping a more sustainable world

Juan Soler Torroella, founder of Industrias Eléctricas Soler (IES SOLER), used to say that “ingenuity and initiative are essential to be able to contribute to the improvement of a country”. Being an engineer implies two dimensions: a technical one, where knowledge and skills are required, and a social one, where society’s needs are met through the goods and services produced. This profession is capable of transforming people’s lives and its advances have had and continue to have an enormous impact on today’s world.

Engineers who changed the course of society such as Alan Turing, a key figure in the deciphering of the Enigma machine that helped end World War II; Margaret Hamilton who led the team responsible for developing the on-board navigation code used in the Apollo Special Program that sent Neil Armstrong into space; Henry Ford, known for his work at the Ford Motor Company, helped develop engineering feats such as the modern assembly line…. The list could be endless and there are many examples of engineers or inventors who allowed remarkable breakthroughs in different fields throughout history.


Engineering uses scientific and mathematical knowledge about a specific industry to develop forms, make them work and solve problems, whether with transportation, medicine, entertainment, space or the environment. This profession is behind almost everything (cell phones, cars, computers, shoes…) and its usefulness and benefits to people is what makes it so important in our society.

Nowadays, more than ever, the challenge is to develop efficient and continuously more sustainable products, since sustainability in production and consumption is of great relevance for industrial engineering. The demand for goods and services continues to grow, strains existing resources and demands greater ingenuity to meet the needs of an increasingly populated world.

In this context, industrial engineers are in a relevant and unique position to incorporate sustainability concepts into their work, in choosing more effectively how they want to contribute to the production and manufacturing of goods in a committed way responding to social demand while taking into consideration ecological and economic principles. Working on the design, operation and evaluation of cleaner manufacturing and production strategies is key for us to contribute to more sustainable and efficient engineering solutions.


We host visits to the company’s facilities from schools or colleagues in the trade, and IES always emphasizes the important role that engineers play in developing industrial electric heat solutions for our customers and industry.

A few weeks ago, Jordi Soler, 3rd generation of the company, was able to meet a group of engineers who are part of ENGINYERS BCN of the Col·legi d’Enginyers Graduats i Enginyers Tècnics Industrials de Barcelona and these were his words: “It is clear that without the engineers we could not have made this leap in quality in our engineering solutions for all types of companies and in particular those in the energy sector, end customers or EPC (specifiers) around the world.

Today we can supply complete equipment to maintain or increase the temperature in all types of liquids, solids or gases, offering a previous study with the help of sophisticated thermodynamic software applications. A solution for each application and customer, from a resistor to a complete unit assembled and interconnected in a skid with its pressure vessel, valves and control cabinets, as well as being able to offer on-site commissioning anywhere in the world”.

Sustainability and business profitability

Engineers will continue to make a difference in the society of the tomorrow. According to data from the Observatory of Industrial Engineers of Catalunya, digital transformation, the growth of human teams, access to Next Generation funds and the internationalization of the activity are the most important opportunities to be taken into account in the sector by the group in the coming years.


New engineering positions are constantly appearing and the need for qualified and specialized professionals to respond to the challenges of the industry is growing. According to a recent study by the Spanish Engineering Observatory, the state will need 200,000 more engineers in the next ten years.

It is therefore a profession with great prospects for the future, especially for young people who want to focus their career in this field. Different schools have visited our company’s facilities where we showed them the operation and the range of industrial electric heat solutions that we offer in the market from our experience of more than 75 years in the sector.

We are aware that the figure of the engineer will be key in the process of digital and energy transformation, we will continue working on the use of environmentally friendly and socially beneficial practices. Developing innovative, efficient, more inclusive and sustainable products is an objective that is part of our vision, as we contribute to the social aspect of engineering, which has so much value and can contribute to improving profitability, increasing competitiveness and the company’s corporate reputation. Furthermore, this involvement towards a more collaborative world is not only at a local level, but also worldwide, as the incorporation of the SDGs in the production philosophy is very present and is key in the commitment to a more sustainable society for all.