An update from IET Chief Executive Nigel Fine

We have been very pleased with the support and engagement from our members via our online discussion forums to help tackle COVID-19. Our IET President, Dr. Peter Bonfield, launched the President’s Challenge to hear your thoughts and ideas on how to “unlock the lockdown.” Peter will share an update soon.

Your contributions highlight the importance of engineering and technology. These unprecedented times have shone a light on the incredible work of the STEM industry. Healthcare and Engineering professionals are essential in developing ground-breaking solutions to the biggest, global challenges we are facing.

The IET Healthcare Technologies Network offers three awards that are open to Undergraduates, Masters and PhD students and early-career professionals, within the field of Biomedical Engineering. We are looking to encourage and support the work and research of academics and newly qualified professionals to develop their innovative ideas.

This year our technical webinars have seen a steady increase in engagement with some  topics attracting members from over 40 different countries. It’s great to see so many of our members and volunteers engaging with our online content. There has been a huge effort across the IET to move Local Network activities and major events online so that we can offer our members options to continue engaging virtually rather than face-to-face. This includes the recent ACDC Conference in China that we hosted with the support of Tsinghua University. This was the first time the conference had been hosted online and it attracted over 400 papers.

We’ve been busy creating EngShorts to tackle some of the biggest questions in engineering today. Since lockdown began, we have released 17 EngShort videos. You can subscribe to our new IET EngShorts YouTube Channel to see all our content. New videos are released every Tuesday.

During the first six months of 2020, we have engaged with key stakeholders in the UK, including Ministers, Shadow Ministers, Chief Scientific Advisors and others. These engagements have taken place through a variety of means including face-to-face meetings (prior to lockdown), email, social media and virtual events.

The IET India team has continued to deliver insights to help our members and partners during the pandemic through the Digital Conversations and Digital Debates webinar series. The team has engaged with national as well as global experts from various fields to exchange ideas on critical issues around work, tech and mobility. The latest webinar explored whether COVID-19 will accelerate India’s electric vehicle story.

From 1 January 2021, all IET journals will become open access. The move to the open access publishing model allows researchers and practitioners around the world immediate and free access to the IET Engineering and Technology hub through the Wiley Online Library. The IET already has 15 wholly open access journals and this move will apply to the remaining 27 journals within our portfolio. We recently announced that we will be launching a new Blockchain Journal in September 2020.

We are also very pleased with our developing plans for IET@150. You can visit our Celebrate150 website for a preview of all the activities we have planned for the celebratory year.

We’ve started our search for the IET STEM Personality of the Year. As part of our 150th celebrations, we’re launching this new award to recognise amazing people who use STEM in their everyday lives and who challenge the old stereotypes and inspire the next generation. We are looking for people who are tearing up the rulebook on what it means to be a true STEM personality, whilst making a positive impact in society, no matter how big or small. You can visit our IET@150 STEM Personality of the Year web page to make your nomination or email IET150@theiet.org.

Our 150th anniversary is a great opportunity to celebrate the incredible and innovative work carried out in engineering and technology as well as recognising STEM role models to help inspire young people into Engineering and Technology careers

As always, if you need any additional support during these difficult times our benevolent fund, Foothold is contactable 24 hours a day. Foothold has launched an app to help provide accessible and free support to all IET members. The app is available to download, for free, on Android and Apple devices. Please make the most of this service and contact them if you need any support, either through the app, by calling +44 (0)20 7344 5409 or email hello@myfoothold.org.

I hope you continue to stay safe and well and if you are embarking on seasonal holidays I wish you an enjoyable time.

 

Regards / Nigel

Nigel Fine

Chief Executive and Secretary