Marlene Kanga

Character introduction

Dr. Marlene Kanga is a chemical engineer and is President of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO), the peak body for engineering institutions internationally representing some 100 engineering institutions and approximately 30 million engineers. She was National President of Engineers Australia in 2013.

Marlene is a leading businesswoman and innovator in Australia. She is a member of various company boards including Sydney Water Corporation, Airservices Australia and a number of other organisations involved in innovation. She is a Director of iOmniscient Pty. Ltd. which has developed automated video analytic technologies.

Dr. Kanga is an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (UK), (the only woman in Australia to be so recognised).

Dr. Kanga is a Fellow of the Academy of Technology Science and Engineering (Australia) and a Foreign Fellow of the ASEAN Academy of Engineering and Technology (first from Australia).

Dr. Kanga has been listed among the Top 100 Women of Influence in Australia and the Top 100 Engineers in Australia. She was the FEIAP (Federation of Engineering Institutions in Asia and the Pacific) Professional Engineer of the Year in 2014, the first woman to receive this award.

Dr Kanga holds a Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai (IITB - India). She has a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering the University of London and a PhD in Business Administration from Macquarie University in Sydney.

She became a Member of the Order of Australia in June 2014 in the Queen’s Birthday National Honours List for her leadership of the engineering profession and as a role model.


In September 2015, the world came together to declare the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These goals take an integrated approach for future development, combining progress in economic prosperity, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. The implementation of these goals is a key objective of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations.

Dr. Kanga is the President of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations which is the peak body for engineering, representing nearly 100 nations and 30 million engineers. It is the voice of engineering at an international level and promotes the important role of engineers in key issues that the world is now facing: sustainable development, the growth of our cities, climate change and strategies for energy production to meet the needs to the growing population around the world.

In this work, the World Federation of Engineering Organisations is recognised by government, intergovernmental organisations, international NGOs and the public in general as a respected and reliable source of advice and guidance on strategies and policies that use engineering and technology for the benefit of human development and wellbeing and sustainable outcomes.

Every one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals requires science and engineering. WFEOtherefore has a key role in leading and co-ordinating various projects for greater science literacy and for developing engineering capacity for maximum long term impact to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The national and international members of WFEO, that are leading professional engineering institutions, will play a key role in this endeavour and in developing country and region specific responses.

Dr. Kanga will speak about the role of science literacy in advancing sustainable development and the work of WFEO through the WFEO Engineering 2030 Plan in advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals through engineering and science literacy for a better world.

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