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New IET President to champion professionalism of engineers and technicians to improve skills, ethics and competency across sector

Dr Peter Bonfield OBE, Vice-Chancellor and President at the University of Westminster, who became the 138th President of the IET on the 1 October 2019, hopes to eliminate bad practice in the industry and demonstrate to society that engineers and technicians are trusted to create solutions to global issues, such as sustainability and a digital future.

To ensure this, Peter has kick-started his year as IET President by launching a Concordat to help organisations show their commitment to valuing their engineers and ethical practices. So far 53 engineering and technology companies have pledged their support and signed up to the Concordat, including BAE Systems, BT, Cundall, Mott MacDonald Limited, Network Rail and Schneider Electric UK.

Peter explained: “I’ve always felt very passionate about the role that engineering, technology and science can have in transforming lives and in protecting society through collaboration, teamwork, innovation and creativity – and engineers and technicians are integral to this, having made major contributions to making people safe. But I’ve also seen instances where things have gone wrong, so we need to make sure our registered professionals are competent and can be trusted to do the right thing. We’ve got to make sure our engineers and technicians are properly valued and invested in by their employers.” 

In his inaugural President’s Address, which took place last night (23 October) at IET London: Savoy Place, Peter explored and expanded on his theme – “a new future for engineers” and explained how this shapes what he hopes to achieve during his Presidential term.

Peter previously worked as Chief Executive for the Building Research Establishment Group of companies who conduct multi-disciplinary research, training and education in the built environment sectors in the UK and around the world. Peter has also conducted four Independent reviews for UK Government. He was awarded an OBE for services to research and innovation in the construction industry.

The IET President’s Address ‘A new future for engineers’ took place on 23 October 2019 at IET London: Savoy Place. The event is available on catch up on IET.tv.

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Notes to Editors:

Dr Peter Bonfield OBE succeeds Mike Carr as President of the IET for 2019/20.

He joined The University of Westminster as Vice-Chancellor and President in May 2018. He joins a University with a proud and distinctive reputation which dates back to 1838, which has focussed on teaching and research for students from diverse backgrounds. Prior to this, he worked Chief Executive of the BRE Group of companies who conduct multi-disciplinary research, training and education in the built environment sectors in the UK and around the world. Prior to this, he was a Research Officer at the University of Bath on wind energy.

From 2006 until 2012 he was on part-time secondment to the Olympic Delivery Authority where he co-created the sustainable development strategy and took the lead on the sustainable procurement of construction products.

Peter has conducted 4 Independent Reviews for UK Government since 2012. These include UK Forests and Woodlands (Grown in Britain), Public Sector Food Procurement, Flood Resilience, and Consumer Protection on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (Each Home Counts). He has also served on the Government’s Grenfell Expert Panel focussed on broader UK people fire safety. He served as a Non-Executive Director of Defra from 2015 and 2018 and the Talent Advisory Group which focuses on development, retention and recruitment of civil servants.

OBE for services to research and innovation in the construction industry. Honorary Doctor of Engineering, Bath Univ. and Hertfordshire Univ. Honorary Doctor of Science, Loughborough Univ. And Napier Univ. Fellow; Royal Academy of Engineering; Institution of Civil Engineers; Institution of Engineering and Technology; Institute of Materials. Deputy President and Trustee IET. Honorary Fellow, Institution of Structural Engineers and Chartered Association of Building Engineers.

Peter is a former National Cycling Champion. He has coached many cyclists and triathletes including the Women’s 2004 Olympic Triathlon Team. He is a former sports journalist.

About the IET

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