IET media roundup

9 January 2014
IET Communications team
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IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year Awards 2013

Sara Underwood, Barry Brooks, Abbie Hutty, Nigel Fine and Yasmin Ali at our 2013 YWE ceremony.

Another great month for the IET in the media.

December was a great month for IET media coverage, with over 300 mentions of the Institution across national, broadcast and trade media. 

Amazon delivery drones

In early December, chief executive of retail giant Amazon, Jeff Bozos, announced the company could start using unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver parcels to customers within 30 minutes.

The IET’s Lambert Dopping-Hepenstal commented on the issue in a number of publications, including The Independent, Yahoo, MSN and City A.M.

Lambert said: “We are very likely to see a lot of progress in this area over the next decade. However, there are many challenges to overcome.

“Top of the list is the need to mature the technologies and demonstrate to the regulators that Unmanned Aircraft can operate safely in our airspace. The ASTRAEA programme in the UK is addressing this.

“Initially we would anticipate that high value packages, such as transplant organs, be candidates for such a service. The most important criteria for their introduction is that they must be at least as safe as the equivalent manned aircraft.”

Young Woman Engineer of the Year awards

Also in early December, a structural engineer from Hertfordshire, Abbie Hutty, was named the IET’s Young Woman Engineer of the Year (YWE) 2013. Abbie was interviewed by the Daily Mail, and her win was also mentioned in the Sun.

Abbie told the Daily Mail: “Engineering is about thinking creatively to solve problems. You’re also constantly breaking new boundaries. The rover’s wheels will leave tracks where no human has ever been, and send back pictures that no one has ever seen.

“There are so many jobs that you can do with an engineering degree: I have friends in Formula 1, renewable energy, aircraft, robotics, oil and gas. Engineers are designers who invent and create things. If more people realised that, more would consider an engineering career.”

Sara Underwood, an apprentice from Rolls-Royce, received the Mary George Memorial Prize at the YWE awards. Sara appeared in the Yorkshire Post and the Craven Herald and Pioneer.

Yasmin Ali, winner of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) Award, appeared in the Nottingham Post and the Mansfield Chad.

Barry Brooks letter published in The Times

On the 27 December, The Times published a letter from IET President Barry Brooks, responding to former Chancellor Kohl’s comments that while Britain was once the most advanced engineering nation in the world, it has now “more or less given up on engineering and replaced it with finance”’.

The letter said: “It’s certainly true to say that engineering has been neglected by recent governments, which is why organisations like the IET have been working so hard to put it back on the agenda and make sure that the UK doesn’t give up on engineering.

“Clearly, there is still a lot of lost time to make up for, but the UK hasn’t given up on engineering in favour of finance.  In fact, given the pitiful performance of the finance sector in recent years, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that the UK is slowly starting to recognise that engineering will play a vital and central role in our future economic growth.”

You can see the full letter on our Facebook page.

Social Media

Over the holiday period, the IET ran two popular social media campaigns from the main IET Twitter account.

On Christmas Day, we asked our followers to share with us their STEM-related Christmas presents, using the hashtag #STEMpressie. We received some great responses, including plenty of  pictures, all of which you can see on this IET Storify page.

In between Christmas and New Year, we summarised the IET’s 2013 highlights using the hashtag #IET2013highlights. You can see all the tweets on the Storify page.

Follow the IET on Twitter and Facebook.