söndag 1 maj 2011

The reflective engineer

I gave a lunch talk in a student-led "project" called The reflective engineer this past week. It is one of the projects that the student organization Sustainable Engineering Everywhere - a KTH student organization (SEEK) organizes and there was a surprisingly large audience, perhaps 60 or 70 students or so. I don't know if it was my talk or the free lunch that got students there...

I built on the talk I have half a year earlier at the House of Science and connected peak oil to the future of the Internet. I unfortunately only had 45 minutes and that left only a few minutes at the end of the talk for questions. We had time for two and both were good.

I stayed and answered some questions and in fact had an hour-long conversation with an Iranian guest student who had been an oil trader earlier.

I realized afterwards (a few days later) that my talk probably was the first occasion for many students to hear about peak oil. Talks such as these give me an excellent platform to talk about issues that are important for me. So it is a pity to only have a few minutes for questions. What I realized is that I should have offered to sit down in the café outside the lecture hall for half an hour and talk or answer questions from those students who felt the need to probe thee questions that were raised further. That would also have been very valuable for me; I could have gotten some feedback and a better feeling for how my talk was understood and processed by the students. This did alas not happen this time around but I have decided to do so from now on every time the opportunity presents itself!

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