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IET president’s visit boosts Local Network profile

24 September 2013
By Keri Allan
IET president Prof Andy Hopper

On the evening of his arrival in Brunei, Prof Andy Hopper gave a Prestigious Lecture entitled ‘A Perspective on Innovation’.

IET Brunei Darussalam Local Network

IET Brunei Darussalam Local Network committee members.

MoU with Association of Surveyors, Engineers and Architects

IET President Andy Hopper signs a Memorandum of Understanding with Association of Surveyors, Engineers and Architects (PUJA).

The IET Brunei Darussalam Local Network (LN) has had its profile boosted in the region thanks to a visit by the IET’s president this summer.

This June saw IET president Professor Andy Hopper journey to Asia to meet with LNs across the region. One of his stops included Brunei, where he met with the LN’s committee members as well as local dignitaries and governmental figures.

This visit came about by request of the LN itself.

“We were informed that the president would be in the region visiting the IET Malaysia LN, and so we asked him during the CVC conference in Hong Kong if he would also come to visit the IET Brunei Darussalam LN,” says Schufin Brahim, the Network’s secretary.

Making the most of the visit

Once the trip was confirmed the Network made sure they’d make the most of Professor Hopper’s visit and several events were arranged. They put a lot of effort into advertising these and making sure members, professionals from the public and private sectors and the general public were aware of what was taking place.

“Much work was put into advertising across local media, promoting the IET and leveraging the president’s visit – inviting both members and the general public to attend his prestigious lecture,” explains Schufin.

“A lot of work also went into direct invitations to interested parties in government and the private sector, and coordination between the media and guests,” he adds.

Lectures and MoUs

The trip may have been short, however, it was eventful. On the evening of his arrival on 15 June Professor Hopper gave a Prestigious Lecture entitled ‘A Perspective on Innovation’. He then went on to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with another local science, engineering and technology focused organisation called the Association of Surveyors, Engineers and Architects (PUJA), which was attended by some important local figures including guest of honour the Minister of Energy as well as other representatives from government and the private sector.

This MoU provides a platform of continuing recognition between both organisations through cooperation and collaboration of activities encouraging the sharing of information, widening publicity of the IET and PUJA and memberships to support the advancement of knowledge common and relevant to both. Ultimately it aims to establish recognition of professional registration and develop and promote professional statuses and the profiles of both organisations in Brunei.

The visit’s aim

The next morning the president met with the Network’s committee members over a working breakfast, and then held media interviews. The aim of the visit was not only for Professor Hopper to see for himself the IET situation in the region, but also to help enhance the Network’s standing, which Schufin believes was a great success as the entire trip provided a lot of press for the Network including several articles in national papers and websites.

“The Network benefited primarily from the publicity that arose from a visit by such a high-profile person, with attendance by high-profile professionals and government officials and local media coverage,” notes Schufin.

“[The signing of the MoU also], of course, raised the profile of the SET community in Brunei, with the appreciation given to the role of engineers in society which also represented a further boost of encouragement for the community to value their profession and to continue in their endeavours for professional registration and continuous development for the betterment of society and the nation.

“Frequent promotion and exposure of IET activities to the public is important as part of IET Brunei Darussalam’s outreach initiative to the engineering community,” he continues. “Initiatives such as this are particularly important as this is where the engineering community gets to attend and learn the latest on innovation and technology, the role of IET and the latest development that would benefit their profession and ultimately the goal of the nation in achieving a knowledge based and innovative society.”

Working to promote the IET and engineering in the community
Aside from arranging and promoting the IET president’s visit, the LN has been working hard to promote the IET and engineering in general to the region.

One focus has been on the younger engineering community with the formation of an IET-Institut Teknologi Brunei (ITB) student chapter, which the Network aims to further emulate at the Brunei Polytechnic and the University Brunei Darussalam, both of which are currently in the pipeline for formation.

“Other initiatives are talks/workshops conducted by some of the LN’s members to several secondary schools, which are aimed at inspiring and creating interest in the area of SET,” says Schufin.

“The Network is also intending to continue its efforts by taking part in recognising the talents and innovation by the SET community in Brunei Darussalam, to continue to partner with event organisers on school career days, roadshows and technical talks and it also aspires to reach out to other SET institutions to collaborate in areas of common interests,” he concludes.

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