IET Sri Lanka Network gained over 60 new members last year alone.
The IET Sri Lanka Network is one of the IET’s longest-running Networks, established back in 1935 to support the region’s engineering community.
One of the IET’s longest-running Networks, the IET Sri Lanka Network was established back in 1935 to support the region’s engineering community and coordinate local activities.
Considered one of the most prestigious institutions in the country, the IET Sri Lanka Network has around 900 members, many of which hold positions of power within both the government and private sector. Many new members come on board each year and in the last 12 months the Network has had over 60 new joiners.
The Network is a bustling hub of action, with activities taking place throughout the year. These include seminars, workshops, industrial visits, conferences, courses and the presentation of papers.
IET membership is an important status for engineers and technologists in the region, as Rohan Seneviratne, the Network’s chairman highlights.
“Membership is an important status, definitely. Closely tied to the Engineering Council UK, it adds value,” he notes. “[We have many active members] and I think this is because of the professional services provided by the IET in the UK, as well as the activities organised by the Local Network (LN),” he continues. “For example we recently organised a technical visit to the new Hambantota International Airport, currently being constructed. This was something all the members really appreciated.”
The Network’s success comes down to the support provided by its volunteers, who, as Rohan highlights, are the lifeblood of the IET. He believes they get as much out of the community as they give, so they benefit from being active members.
“We have self-motivated volunteers who work for us,” he says. “Networking activities and events motivate them to take part, as do the opportunities to visit the UK and India to attend the IET’s volunteer conferences. They are also highly recognised for their work by Sri Lanka’s engineering community,” he notes.
Although many members play their part, the most active volunteers are those of the executive committee. These are the people that come up with ideas for events and then put them all together and do the organisational work.
And they’re doing something right, that’s for sure. The 2011-12 session has been the Network’s most successful to date, seeing it grow in popularity and stature.
The Network’s aim has always been to share and gain knowledge and ideas, as well as work closely with the IET in the UK in order to maximise the value of membership. It also works to encourage members of the general public to take part in its activities and promote engineering in general. With this in mind it undertook some new initiatives to back this aim.
“We have witnessed a surge in our activities this year covering evening forums, conferences, field visits, fellowship and networking events,” says Rohan. “During the year we have conducted ten very successful events for the benefit of our own members and the general public. These included our annual technical conference, a field visit to the Upper Kotmale Hydro Power Project and the Fellowship Dinner.
“The highlight of the year was the International Conference on Clean and Green Energy held in June, where seven international and local experts made presentations on related subject areas to an audience of over 250 delegates,” he continues.
“It offered a unique opportunity for CEOs, engineers, economists, top decision makers in government and the corporate sector, and green enthusiasts to learn more about latest developments in green energy related technologies, economic benefits and techniques of development of low-carbon infrastructure facilities.
“The keynote speaker at the conference was Hon Patali Champika Ranawake, Minister of Power and Energy. Wide publicity was given to the conference online and in print, which definitely raised the image of our Institution.”
The Network’s Young Professionals Section (YPS) also had a successful year, holding several popular events including the South East Asia heat of the IET’s Present Around the World competition and several guest lectures.
The Network’s success this past year has been quite tangible, as it had its highest ever number of event attendees. Over the year 1290 people attended events arranged by the main committee, plus a further 755 attended activities organised by the YPS. Promotion and publicity was also high, which Rohan believes helped to bring new members onboard.
“Ample publicity was given to our events in the printed media through professionally designed advertisements, which encouraged quite a few non-members to join the Institution,” he says. “For the first time in the history of the IET Sri Lanka Network, we published 15 colour quarter-page and two half-page advertisements in the Sunday Times and Daily Mirror newspapers, plus a colourful and informative newsletter was published during the year to highlight the activities to our members.
“The media coverage given to all our events by our media sponsor Wijeya Newspapers was excellent and that has helped brand the IET Sri Lanka Network as one of the top professional associations in the country,” he adds proudly.
Looking forward, the Network’s aim is to continue to maintain this momentum. Now part way through the 2012-13 session, it has already held a successful Fellowship dinner, research conference and field visit, and is planning many more events, including an international conference.
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