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  12 February 2013

The Opening Ceremony of the 4th WIETE Annual Conference on Engineering and Technology Education was held at the Pacific International Hotel in Cairns, Australia, on Tuesday, 12 February 2013. It commenced with an introductory address by the WIETE Director, Professor Zenon J. Pudlowski, Conference General Chairman. Subsequently, a welcoming address was given by Professor Promod Vohra, Dean of the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology at the Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, USA, and a Vice-President of the WIETE International Advisory Academic Committee (WIETE-IAAC). The welcome was given on behalf of the Conference General Chairman, Professor Adinarayana Kalanidhi, Vice-Chancellor, Commonwealth Science and Technology Institute, Kandy, Sri Lanka; Vice-President, Commonwealth Science and Technology Academy for Research (C-STAR), Chennai, India; and President, WIETE International Academic Advisory Committee (WIETE-IAAC), who was unable to attend the Conference due to sudden illness.

Collaboration in Engineering and Technology Education was chosen as the Conference theme and the addresses stimulated discussion on this theme. The overarching theme permitted authors to identify and present the best collaborative programmes and projects, as well as examples relevant to this theme.

Two addresses were presented during the opening session that was chaired by one of the WIETE-IAAC Vice-Presidents, Professor Andrew Nafalski of the University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia. The first address entitled Internationalisation of higher education: the why and the how was presented by Professor Hans Peter Jensen of the Council for Internationalisation of Educations in Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark, and the second address entitled Pathways to engineering leadership education was presented by Professor Derek O. Northwood, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, formerly President of the WIETE-IAAC.

Both these speakers will become distinguished septuagenarians this year, so on the occasion of the Chinese Year of the Snake, they were presented with a commemorative sterling silver coin with a snake, issued by the Australian Mint. This was a small token of appreciation from the WIETE in recognition of their contribution to the work and achievements of the WIETE.

The top picture shows Prof. P. Vohra, presiding over the opening ceremony. The bottom picture shows (l-r): Prof. H.P. Jensen, Prof. Z.J. Pudlowski and Prof. D.O. Northwood.