It’s been an extraordinary year to be President of our great Institution. In spite of the many challenges posed by the pandemic, I’ve been inspired by our amazing members and partners who have adapted and have really come together as a community to help with national and international efforts to make the world a safer place.
I’d like to thank our members and partners who have given their support and knowledge to help find solutions to the challenges we face. What we have all seen too, is just how critical the technology and engineering we collectively enable, is to support the world when challenged as it has been.
I’d also like to thank our members and partners for engaging with us as we adapted to restrictions, moving many of our events and services into a virtual environment. It has been a huge privilege and pleasure to serve you as President and, as ever, I am in awe of all the incredible work our members, volunteers, corporate and enterprise partners, and our wonderful and committed IET staff do to make a positive impact on the world.
At the beginning of my term in office, at last year’s President’s Address I launched a concordat, which mandated engineering organisations to champion professionalism, ethics and competency across the sector so that professional engineers are trusted by society to do the right thing and are valued for their expertise. This is, and will continue to be, a major focus for the IET.
Throughout my career I’ve witnessed the great work that engineers and technicians do across the world, but I’ve also seen the devastating impact it can have when things go wrong. I’m therefore delighted that some of the UK’s biggest employers and some of our most engaged partners have pledged to show their commitment to the principles laid out in the concordat.
Multiple companies across our Corporate and Enterprise partnership groups have re-focussed and re-energised their engagement with us around the Concordat. Plus, with digital engineering and data playing an increasingly important role in many of our sectors, it’s vital that ethical practices are followed, and competency is recognised as we collaborate across teams, departments, companies and borders.
Many of the companies that have committed to the concordat work internationally and, as an Institution with such strong international presence, it is my expectation that many more organisations will commit around the world.
There have been so many major achievements over the year and it has been such a privilege to be part of them. Some like our Young Women Engineer of the Year Award occurred pre-Covid were celebrated in our normal physical and online methods.
Others like our recent prize for school children to come up with innovate sporting equipment designs were conducted exclusively on line- and brilliantly so. One of the highlights was to meet all those volunteers who do work to assess competencies and similar of members to ensure that their membership and promotion within our Institution meets the quality requirements we expect. They are a quiet, yet extremely important part that protects our collective reputation.
We have done much work as a Board of Trustees, with Council, including the approval of a significant new publishing agreement that will ensure our Journals benefit those that need them in way that is fitting for the future. After a huge amount of work, I am also very pleased that we have signed off on the refurbishment of Michael Faraday House which is where the majority of our staff work. Taking a building in urgent need of refurbishment, to one that will provide our staff with modern working space, that is sustainable, healthy and fit for the future.
As my Presidential term comes to an end, I’m delighted to hand over to Danielle George who will be an amazing and inspiring role model throughout her Presidency. I’m particularly looking forward to our 150th-anniversary celebrations and seeing our plans come to fruition across the world.
In the meantime, please stay safe.
It has been a great privilege to serve as your President.