A stronger voice for engineering

29 April 2013
By Professor Andy Hopper, IET president
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Andy Hopper and Isobel Pollock sign MoU

New MoU: IET and IMechE presidents Professor Andy Hopper and Professor Isobel Pollock.

IET president Professor Andy Hopper talks teamwork and collaboration between the IET and IMechE.

Back in February, the IET Board of Trustees approved a substantive project to comprehensively refurbish IET London: Savoy Place, commencing mid-2013.

I’m excited about this important project on a number of levels, not least that it will give us an opportunity to work more closely with one of our sister institutions.

During the two-year period in which Savoy Place will be closed, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) is providing a temporary London home for the IET at its headquarters in One Birdcage Walk.

In a practical sense, this temporary ‘co-location’ enables the IET to retain a London presence and maintain its event portfolio and member facilities. As detailed in our project web area, there will be a shared members' lounge and business centre, and IET library facilities will be available as part of the IMechE library.

More broadly, sharing the same building for this two-year period also allows the IET and the IMechE to pursue closer working, for the good of members, the engineering profession, and the wider public.


Closer working: what does it mean?

Earlier this year, the IET and the IMechE signed a new Memorandum of Understanding, confirming our commitment to developing a closer working partnership, deepening our collaboration on activities, encouraging knowledge exchange between our communities and pooling resources to increase our ability to generate and apply engineering knowledge to the benefit of humankind.

Our ultimate aim is to deliver a stronger voice for engineering.

Of course, closer working doesn’t mean that we’ll be doing everything together, but we are looking for specific activities, projects and tasks where a collaborative approach will be feasible, and in the process further both Institutions’ aims.

This includes things like joint policy submissions and lectures, and discussions are already underway between staff and members to identify potential opportunities in these areas for the remainder of 2013 and beyond.


Member input: the essential ingredient

For closer working to be a true success, it is also vitally important that you – our members ‘on the ground’ who deliver the lion’s share of the IET’s activities – seize opportunities to work collaboratively with the IMechE.

The IET Board of Trustees encourages all IET members to consider how they could work with IMechE colleagues for the good of the profession. This means looking for situations where 1+1=3 (or at least 2.5), and suggesting new things which can only be done jointly, or are much better done jointly.

This could include:

* planning and delivering joint event programmes in local communities around the world;
* attending each other’s committee meetings as observers;
* inviting IMechE counterparts to join in activities around sectors and technical subjects; and
* collaboration between Young Professionals across disciplines.

As always, our staff team is ready to support you and discuss your ideas, so please work with them to put closer working into action.

Thank you in advance for your support.