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New IET President to champion technicians and enhance the status of UK engineers

Air Marshal Sir Julian Young, who retired recently from the Royal Air Force after 40 years of service as an Engineer Officer, became today the 140th President of the IET (1 October 2021).

With an increased government focus on vocational training and technical skills such as the introduction to T-Levels, Sir Julian will lead the IET over the next year to increase the visibility and importance of technicians - both within the IET’s membership and more widely to enhance the overall status of engineers.

Sir Julian will also continue to build on the success immediate past-president Professor Danielle George MBE achieved during the IET’s 150th anniversary.

He wants to encourage and inspire the next generation of talent by demonstrating the positive societal role engineers and technologists play as well as shine a spotlight on the emergence of rapidly developing sectors such as cyber, AI and ‘green jobs’ - those that support sustainability and climate change.

Sir Julian said: “The engineering and technology industry supports and advances the world we live in, but more importantly it enables opportunity.

It is our role as a professional membership body to support engineers and technologists throughout their professional career-enhancing the professionalism and competency of the industry by demonstrating engineering excellence.

“There are still around 3 million engineers within the UK that do not belong to a professional membership body, with some 4 in 10 of these being technicians. This year I will be driving forward our offer to technicians and championing their role to help enhance their status and formulate a pipeline for which young people can see positive and sustainable career options ahead of them.

This will support the Government’s ongoing work to raise the status of technical-level qualifications and boosting the skills needed within the industry.”

In his inaugural President’s Address, which takes place online on Thursday 14 October 2021, Sir Julian will explore the themes of professionalism and the importance of membership, the role of engineering to society and making a positive impact, embedding digitalisation and ensuring we are future-proofing the industry for the next generation.

The IET President’s Address, ‘Eat, Sleep, Engineer, Repeat – How you can play your part in evolving our engineering landscape for all’, will take place live online on Thursday 14 October at 1pm BST / 2pm CET / 8pm CST / 8am EDT / 5am PDT. Find out more here:


Notes to editors

Sir Julian Young succeeds Professor Danielle George MBE as President of the IET for 2021/22.

Air Marshal Sir Julian Young KBE CB FREng CEng FIET

Air Marshal Sir Julian Young retired recently from the Royal Air Force (RAF) after 40 years of Service as an Engineer Officer.  In his last post he was Director-General Air within the Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) organization in the Ministry of Defence (MOD). In this role he led some 2,265 military and civilian specialists and was responsible of putting to work some £3.7 billion annually on equipping and supporting all of the MOD’s fixed-wing aircraft.  In this role he concurrently was a member of the Air Force Board and the RAF’s Chief Engineer.  He also had an MOD-wide role as the Defence Engineering Champion.

Throughout his long career, Julian held a variety of in-command, manpower policy, operational, engineering, training, logistics and staff appointments, including Project Team Leader for the Harrier GR7/T10 fleet and on the Support Helicopter Force (Falkland Islands, Cold War Germany and Gulf War I).

Julian’s first degree was in Air Transport Engineering, and he is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.  He is also a Governor of Bath College and a Trustee of the RAF Charitable Trust.  He was awarded a KBE in 2020, a CB in 2013 and an OBE in 2000.

About the IET

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