President’s Address 2013

8 October 2013
IET Communications team
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Barry Brooks

IET president Barry Brooks answers audience questions at his President's Address on 3 October.

Barry Brooks gives his inaugural speech at the Royal Institution.

New IET president Barry Brooks gave his inaugural President’s Address, ‘Engineers who make a difference’, on 3 October.

Hosted at the Royal Institution, Barry’s address covered the achievements of historical British engineers as well as highlighting some modern success stories. He was joined onstage by the UK’s FIRST LEGO League (FLL) competition winners who went on to become World Champions earlier this year.

Barry used the address to praise existing IET volunteers, while also calling for more members to get actively involved in the work of the Institution. He used the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic 'games makers' as an example of “the power of volunteering”.

He said: “Within the IET, we’re always encouraging people to get involved – organising events within their local networks and technical networks, and in particular, we are not drawing enough on our most senior engineers and fellows working in industry or academia to play a leadership role at these levels. They are the sort of bedrock of local activity and the main interface for a lot of the public.”

The address also included a video from IET.tv, showing public knowledge of historical engineers and engineering as a whole. At the end of Barry’s speech, audience members were given the opportunity to ask the new president questions during a Q&A session.


Faraday Medal

The prestigious Faraday Medal was also awarded at the event, to Sir Michael Pepper, a professor at University College London. He was recognised for his work pioneering the basic and applied physics of advanced semiconductor structures.


Media coverage

To coincide with the ‘Engineers who make a difference’ theme, the IET conducted a survey asking members of the public who they thought was the greatest British engineer of all time. Barry was interviewed about the results on 18 radio stations, including BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, BBC Scotland and BBC Three Counties Radio. In total, the new IET president was mentioned 59 times in the media.


More information

The President’s Address is available to watch again on IET.tv. Barry also has his own Twitter account to interact with members - @IETPresident.