Information Matters - November 2011

The monthly newsletter for IET volunteers.

1.     The new website has landed!
2.     Governance Review
3.     YWE 2011 - shortlist announced!
4.     Introducing Dr Mike Short - IET President
5.     Communities News
6.     Volunteers Conference 2011
7.     IET News - October edition



This newsletter is also available in word or PDF format (see right).


1.     The new website has landed!

website paint roller image

Following a process that has garnered extensive feedback from users and staff, the new-look website is now live!  The website offers simpler navigation and a better user experience ensuring information is easier and quicker to find.

The new site has been designed to help the IET’s wide range of audiences to identify themselves, and follow paths that take them straight to the IET products and services that are relevant and interesting to them.

One of the ways the simpler navigation and personalisation has been achieved has been through the adoption of the very latest in web design. Keith Woodward, Head of Marketing, said, “The new website has been ‘mega-navved’, to use technical slang, which basically means that it’s going to be much more intuitive and user-friendly. In fact, you could say that it’s a good site better!”

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2.     Governance Review

In the October edition of Information Matters we included an update on the governance review.

Due to the website redesign we were unable to circulate last months edition so we've included the link again in this edition to ensure that everyone has a chance to read the article, written by Dr Nigel Burton.

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3.     Young Women Engineer of the year - shortlist announced!

The finalists for the 2011 Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards, celebrating the dynamic young women representing the very best in engineering and technology, have recently been announced.

The IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards are made up of three prestigious prizes that honour the very best female engineers under the age of 30 working in the UK today.

Each a highly esteemed award, the Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards recognise the achievements of fresh new female talent in engineering and aims to encourage and inspire others to enter the profession.

Ranging from 20-28 years old and occupying a great mix of roles from an aircraft engineer to a combustion engineer, the IET’s Selection Panel has chosen eight professional engineers and apprentices based on their achievements to date and commitment to the advancement of women and technology.

The winners will be presented with their cash prize and awards at an exclusive ceremony on 1st December at IET London: Savoy Place. The ceremony will be hosted by TV presenter and talented musician Myleene Klass. The ceremony is free to attend.

To find out more about the finalist, visit the Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards website.

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4.     Introducing the IET President 2011/12 - Dr Mike Short

The IET’s new President, Dr Mike Short officially began his term as IET president for 2011/12 when he delivered his inaugural address to a packed audience at IET London: Savoy Place.

Mike’s career spans 37 years in electronics and telecommunications, with the last 24 years in mobile communications.

In his current role of Vice President of Public Affairs for Telefonica Europe, Mike’s focus is on European public policy that relates to innovation; including research, the responsible use of mobiles and new business development.

Currently a visiting professor at a number of UK universities, Mike was also awarded an honorary doctorate for services to the mobile communications industry in 2008 - the same year he joined the IET’s Board of Trustees.

Mike is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the IET, the British Computer Society, the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Born in Surrey, he has spent most of his life in South East England, and currently lives in London. In addition to spending time with his wife and two children, Mike enjoys following many sports and pursuing an eclectic taste in music.

You can watch Dr Short present his President’s Address, “Digital Century – the web is your oyster” on and you can also keep up to date with his latest news and views via his blog on Member News online.

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5.     Communities News

Changes to the community staff team

Part of the implementation of the new community model is the creation of a single staff team in the UK, bringing together the Local Network (LN) and the Technical Professional Network (TPN) support teams into one fully integrated Community Team.

There will be no changes to the staff support for LNs in Asia Pacific or South Asia. These Networks will continue to be supported by Jenny, Shobha, Winnie or Julian from the IET's Beijing, Bangalore and Hong Kong offices. It is just the UK staff teams that will change, and this will affect support for all the TPNs, and the LNs in UK, EMEA and the Americas.

What does this mean for volunteers?

Right now, nothing changes. In the short term LN and TPN community volunteers will continue to work with the staff that they are familiar with.

By the end of November there should be clarity around who is doing what within the new staff structure, and there will be communications to all the LNs and TPNs that are affected to let them know what is happening and what this will mean.

There are some new job roles within the new structure and some staff are likely to change jobs. This may mean that the staff who currently work closely with your committee may change. However, in the new structure every community will continue to have a dedicated member of staff working closely with volunteers to help develop community activities.

Every community will also have access to a much bigger staff support team, to help you promote and deliver your activities.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more, please contact Steve Perry on 01438 765623 or


The new community model

The IET would like to thank those of you who provided comments on our recent proposals to enhance the way we support communities in the future. Having taken your feedback into consideration, the new community model has been developed further. 

You can view the latest developments on the Community Model in this video presentation which details the processes that underpin the new model.

As we move towards implementation of the new model, we would welcome any comments you may have on the latest plans via the Community Engagement discussion forum.  Alternatively, if you are attending the Volunteers Conference in October, you will also get the opportunity to share your thoughts or ask questions on behalf of your communities.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more, please contact Steve Perry on 01438 765623 or


Community Engagement

As part of the continuing activity surrounding the IET Community Model, William Webb, IET Vice President and the Trustee Sponsor for the Community Engagement Programme, explains the rationale for the new model in a short video.

We are now moving into the implementation stage, under the guidance of the newly formed Communities Resourcing Committee. If you have further comments on the model, please continue to share these through the Community Engagement discussion forum.

You can also keep up-to-date on the Community Engagement web pages.


Local Networks

Welcome to 2011/12

To start the 2011-12 Local Network session and as an introduction to any new committee members, here is a reminder of the tools, information and resources that are available to each Local Network committee:

New Committee Lists

As soon as you have an up to date committee list for the 2011/12 session please send it to your Local Network Coordinator so that we can update our records.  This will ensure that we get the right information to the right people at the right time. 

Local Network Resources

There is a whole section in the Volunteer Gateway section of the website that covers resources available to help LN volunteers to develop a plan of activity and deliver successful events.

Please have a look at this section to see what resources and information are available covering variety of areas including the role of the Local Network, the importance of metrics, and information about planning and budgeting.

FameLab UK - The search is on for the new voices of science communication

The regional heats of FameLab UK, the UK’s biggest competition for new talent to engage the public in science, will start in October 2011. The competition is open to contestants over 21 years old and working in or studying science, technology, engineering, medicine or maths in the UK. 


Networks outside the UK

Local Networks outside the UK are reminded that audited accounts for the financial year 2010/11 are due in by December 2011.

Website taxonomy

In order to improve the visitor experience and raise awareness of the vast range of content on its website, the IET is applying a standard taxonomy to web content.

Taxonomy is the practice and science of classification using a hierarchical structure. Almost anything may be classified according to some taxonomic scheme and in terms of websites taxonomy enables users to receive relevant related information when they are searching, or moving through a series of web pages.

The IET has already classified all of the articles on the website and we are now keen that all events listed on the website are labelled. By tagging your Local Network events appropriately you are likely to receive more visitors to your events pages which will raise awareness of your activities and may help increase delegate numbers.

What does this mean for webmasters?

A training guide has been created that gives more information about the process to apply taxonomy to your events, but it is via a straightforward check box tree in the content editing form in Rhythmyx.

You should assign the most specific term that reflects your event as a whole. For example, if it is about nuclear safety, assign that term. If it is about nuclear power, and only mentions safety in passing, just assign “nuclear power”.

The Digital Services team will contact webmasters directly with more information about applying taxonomy to Local Network events. In the meantime you should contact your Coordinator or Chris Bradley in Digital Services directly if you have any questions.

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Present Around the World has changed!

In the last two years, the popularity of the Present Around the World (PATW) competition has increased. More Local Networks and Young Professional Sections (YPS) than ever before are taking part. PATW is raising awareness of the IET and engaging students and young professionals all over the world.

To ensure that the competition can continue to develop the IET has made some changes. We wanted to make it more accessible to young people, we also wanted to ensure that the rules were clear and not open to misinterpretation. As a global competition it is essential that PATW retains its integrity and that the opportunities for young people are consistent all over the world, so we have made some changes that it is essential PATW organisers are aware of:

  • The rules have changed. Some elements were open to misinterpretation which meant that competitors were not being treated equally in every area of the world. We have revised the rules to make them more straightforward and ensure that the competition is fair for everyone taking part. There is a worksheet for organisers which gives step by step instructions to help plan a PATW competition, including the rules.
  • There is new marketing material to support PATW, this is being produced at the moment and will be available from the Local Network online marketing toolkit. There is a new brand identity unique to PATW and the material can be personalised to suit your local competition. If you don’t have access to the toolkit speak to the staff team.

Every Local Network and YPS will receive separate email communication about the changes to PATW, but please pass this message on as well and help us to ensure that PATW becomes a world-class competition, the IET giving young people a unique opportunity to develop their skills.

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6.     Volunteers Conference 2011

A big thank you to all of the delegates who were able to attend the conference in October. If you did attend and still have expenses claims to submit, please send them in no later than Friday 9th December as they will need to be processed before the office closes for the Christmas holiday.

We will shortly be circulating a feedback questionnaire to all delegates in order to collect your thoughts and comments on this years event.  In the meantime all the presentations are available to download from the conference website including footage where available. We have also included a post-event pack which summarises all the key ''take-home" messages from the conference.

Photographs of the event will be available online shortly. 

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7.     IET News - October edition

Presented by Sarah Farmer, winner of the Women's Engineering Society Prize 2010, the latest news bulletin from IET London: Savoy Place includes:

  • Welcome to the IET's new President, Dr Mike Short
  • Recent professional registration results
  • Special package for the British Armed Forces
  • New IET Women's Network Facebook page
  • Improvements to the MyIET online tools
  • The IET Benevolent Fund, IET Connect

We welcome any comments or suggestions you may have for future editions of IET News - please contact the Communications team and let us know what you think.

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