A Blog from IET Chief Executive Nigel Fine

Covid-19 has had a significant impact on every part of the IET since the beginning of the year. In many cases it has meant changing how we deliver services, being more innovative and agile. There have been many great achievements which we will be telling you more about in the next edition of Member News.

In October we welcomed Professor Danielle George MBE as our President and launched our 150th-anniversary celebratory year. You can watch Danielle’s President’s Address where she celebrates some of our most inspiring difference makers. Danielle also talks about who inspired her to become an engineer and looks at the innovators of the future.

Difference Makers is something you will continue to hear about throughout our anniversary year. Plans for our Difference Makers campaign, which focusses on inspiring young people to recognise the impact engineering has on our world, continue to be developed. Please keep an eye on our IET@150 website to find out more about this campaign and the many other opportunities we have to celebrate and build a legacy from this important year.

Continuing on the theme of our 150th anniversary, earlier this month we launched an exciting competition with The Times newspaper and Chicken House Publishing. We are looking for a creative author who has written a children’s story which celebrates STEM. The winning manuscript will be published worldwide, with the successful author receiving a £10,000 royalty advance and an offer of representation from a literary agent. More details about the competition are on our IET@150 website.

The IET has an important role in promoting exceptional talent and innovation across engineering and technology. The recent virtual E&T Innovation Awards ceremony showcased some of those inspiring role models who are helping to engineer a better world. I was delighted to be able to present the Leader of the Year award to Bethany Koby, co-founder and CEO of Technology Will Save Us. Moving from holding physical awards and conferences to inspiring virtual events, such as these awards, is just one of our successes of 2020.

In the UK, we continue to follow Government guidelines around the latest pandemic restrictions and in the next few days, we expect to come out of our second lockdown. We anticipate that our venues in the UK will still only be allowed to host physical meetings for a maximum of 30 people, although we are currently reviewing the latest guidelines. Unfortunately, the Faraday Centre, a facility for our members at Savoy Place in London, will remain closed.

While our venues remain closed for members, I would encourage you to visit our online services and find out about forthcoming Technical Webinars or visit our library services online. We have recently launched a new version of our online Career Manager platform to support the professional development of our members. The platform is mobile responsive and has a refreshing look and feel with a simplified interface. We would like your feedback on the new platform, so please send your comments to careermanager@theiet.org.

Our membership team continues to be on hand to help with any queries or questions members may have. You can find out more about the support available, as well as how to contact the team, by visiting our Members web pages.

We recognise that these are difficult times, particularly for members who are on their own. The IET is a community, so please reach out and connect with others on our Engineering Communities platform. Alternatively, additional support is available to members through Foothold, our benevolent fund. Their helpline is open 9am to 5pm (UK time) Monday to Friday. Please visit the Foothold website for information on how they can help.

As we come to the end of the year, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued commitment to the IET and to wish you and your family, Season’s Greetings and all best wishes for 2021.

Regards / Nigel

Nigel Fine
Chief Executive and Secretary