2021 highlights from Insight and Policy

Working with our expert panels, industry, academia, and Government, we continued to provide engineering solutions across many industry sectors.

Through interviews, blog posts, reports, consultations, webinars, and more, we aimed to deliver insight to advance technology and innovation for the benefit of society.

Below are some of our highlights of this year.

Built Environment

Digitisation for construction product manufacturers - a plain language guide

Our guide helps decision-makers in manufacturing identify why supplying structured data is important, how to avoid poor investment decisions, safe ways to share information about products across the supply chain, and more.

48VDC: Is it the safe and affordable solution we need?

In this EngShort we look at the migration from no electricity to plentiful, reliable, affordable electricity, which is not a smooth one. A proactive approach is needed to create a new electrical ecosystem such as 48VDC.

Design and manufacturing

The future manufacturing engineer - ready to embrace major change?

This joint report from IMechE and the IET provides a snapshot as to what engineers are thinking and feeling about where manufacturing engineering is currently and how it will evolve in the future years.

Webinar series: the future of manufacturing

Our series of webinars examine how engineering thought processes, techniques, and tools play a key role in revitalising the manufacturing industry. We discuss digital resilience, Horizontal InnovationTM, manufacturing 2040, the net zero imperative, and more.

Digital

6G for policymakers

This guide aims to show policymakers the longer-term opportunities 6G provides to improve today’s national wireless infrastructures. It discusses shaping the direction of the evolution of wireless-based services, networks, and technology over the coming 20 years.

Webinar recap: internet voting – do the challenges outweigh the benefits?

The debate around internet voting in the UK has been ongoing for years, with campaigners for and against it. We hosted a webinar discussing the benefits and challenges surrounding internet voting.

Energy

Enabling a high renewable, net zero electricity system

We commented on a call for evidence from The Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy that looks at options for evolving the current Contracts for Difference (CfD) mechanism for future allocation rounds. We believe a whole system approach is essential.

Energy technologies for net zero

This guide serves as a comprehensive reference to the technologies that we can use to decarbonise the UK energy system, that can shift our energy demand from fossil fuels to a low-carbon supply.

Engineering Safety

Arc flash risk management

This factfile seeks to set out the key principles of arc flash risk management using a risk-based approach. It is aimed at persons with responsibility for the management of safety in the control and implementation of work on electrical power equipment.

Webinar series: raising standards, saving lives

The Grenfell tragedy highlighted the need for sweeping changes in the construction world to ensure resident safety. Our series of webinars examined the role of the building safety manager and the importance of culture and competence in the built environment.

Healthcare

Artificial intelligence (AI) for drug discovery

Urgent action is required to equip the pharmaceutical industry with the AI tools, business models, and finance it needs to meet today’s challenges. We set out recommendations to support the acceleration of AI for drug discovery and the reduction of attrition rates.

The Evidence Space podcasts

This podcast series features experts from a variety of disciplines to share knowledge among healthcare professionals and the general public. The Evidence Space is an opportunity to keep up to date with healthcare hot topics and hear expert opinions on debated subjects.

Innovation and skills

Skills for net zero and a green recovery 2020 survey

We carry out an annual skills survey of engineering employers in the UK. In 2020 we focused on the skills requirements for delivering the UK Government’s net-zero target by 2050, the subsequent impacts of Covid-19 on engineering employers, and more.

A carbon-neutral country - what is net zero and why is it necessary?

Decarbonising quickly and effectively to hit our net-zero target by 2050 requires urgent, clear, and decisive leadership. In this video we ask what is net zero and why is it necessary.

Transport

Advancing safety in transport through automation

This report examines potential approaches to advancing safety in transport through automation, focusing on four transport modes: road, rail, maritime, and air. It reviews its current approaches to safety and risk and moves on to cover the expected impact of automation on safety.

Response to the Transport Select Committee on the roll-out and safety of Smart Motorways

Smart Motorways bring significant benefits, as they have been designed and implemented to address recurrent congestion on heavily used sections of motorway, but our view is that safety can be improved.

For any questions or queries, contact us at sep@theiet.org.

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