IET Mauritius Network hits 20-year landmark

3 September 2013
By Keri Allan
Aerial view of Mauritius.

IET Mauritius: working tirelessly to develop and host technical events for the local engineering community.

IET Mauritius technical event

Network events: "a catalyst to encourage new members to join the IET."

This year the Mauritius Network is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and is putting on several events to mark the occasion.

Officially created on 9 July 1993, the membership of the Mauritius Network has continued to grow as its committee has worked tirelessly to develop and host a number of technical events for the local engineering community.

“Our greatest achievement so far may be that we’ve kept this Local Network alive for 20 years, which in the Mauritian context, and seeing the turn-up at local events, is something I’m personally very proud of,” notes Sameer Khodabocus, Network chair.

To celebrate this landmark, the Network’s committee has arranged a number of events including a national essay competition for higher school certificate students, which has had a great response so far. Off the back of this, the committee is planning an award ceremony evening, which will be preceded by a talk and the launch of the Network’s newsletter.

“We also intend to organise a workshop and finally, in November, we will be hosting an anniversary dinner for our members,” adds Sameer.

The creation of the IET Mauritius Network

Founding member Sarupanand Kinnoo, highlights the people behind the Network’s creation.

“The founding member of the Network, and the man who started the whole movement, was (then IEE) Fellow Michael Wan Bok. He joined forces with members Adam Soopee and myself, and Michael went on to become the first committee president, Adam the first secretary and I was the first treasurer. The Network was officially launched on 9 July 1993 by the then IEE president Alan Walter Rudge OBE.”

Over the years the network has grown in size, and now has in the region of 150 members, many of which are regularly called upon to sit on national standardisation and accreditation committees.

“We’re also involved in other technical committees set up from time to time by the government on issues of public interest,” notes Sameer.

Local Network events

The network hosts a series of regular events, which include technical talks, workshops and lectures.

“We regularly organise technical presentations and talks on a variety of subjects. These can range from an exposé on the Rio+20 summit to the latest technology in the telecommunication field and other subjects such as small scale distributed generation and ecological building,” says Sameer.

“We usually issue invitations some 15 days before the event through either email - for those who are agreeable with this mode of correspondence - or through the postal service. Since last year, we have also been advertising our events on the MyCommunity platform and sometimes even through Facebook. These invitations are extended to members and non-members alike.”

Improving attendance and membership figures

Attendee figures at events can vary from 40 to 50 people for a popular subject, to 15 for more specialist events, with a core group of 25 to 30 members regularly participating.

This does not discourage Sameer, however, and his own personal contribution has already helped to grow attendance figures.

“Over the last three to four years I myself have been very involved in sending out invitations to a large number of people. Recently we’ve noticed this is paying off because the number of attendees has increased over the last few years.”

The committee is also keen to bring on board new members, and embrace the next generation of engineers.

“The committee has the intention to become more aggressive in organising talks at colleges and universities from early 2014, as the team believes this will be a catalyst to encourage new members to join the IET,” he concludes.

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