I hope you’re all doing well and are looking forward to the Christmas break.
Since becoming President of the IET in October this year, it’s been a busy but exciting three months!
Being President during the IET’s 150th anniversary year is such an honour and privilege. I am immensely proud to be part of a global institution whose vision is working to engineer a better world and inspire the engineers of tomorrow. I absolutely loved kicking off the celebrations with my President’s Address, taking you all on a journey, celebrating the most inspiring difference makers of the past and taking a look at the influencers of the future. The celebrations will continue throughout 2021 with a children’s book competition, a Fashion Industry prize to help solve sustainability issues in the sector, a presence at the World Expo in Dubai, turning our successful annual Engineering Open House Day global and so many other activities that are still to come so watch this space!
During the Autumn I have had the pleasure of interviewing our newest Honorary Fellows and finding out about the incredible work they are doing to inspire the next generation and engineer a better world.
It was so much fun being part of the YWE Meet the Finalists programme, new to this year! From supercars and submarines to healthcare and keeping people safe, this year’s finalists are incredibly inspiring role models and I look forward to seeing who will be crowned our YWE winner in March.
This year has highlighted the fundamental role engineering and technology play in tackling real-world problems and shown just how, by working together, we can achieve great things. With this being said, I’ve been a part of meetings with ICE and IMechE’s Presidents to discuss how we can collaborate more going forward.
The coronavirus pandemic has also highlighted the growing problem of digital poverty in the UK. With 1.9 million households with no access to the internet, COVID-19 has identified key gaps in the ability of people working from home, as well as the capability for many children to learn from home. So the IET and Digital Access for All (DAFA) are bringing together organisations to kick start an alliance aimed at tackling the issue of digital poverty, ending it for all, particularly for disadvantaged children. The first Digital Poverty Alliance (DPA) virtual roundtable took place on Friday 23 October with representatives from more than 20 organisations attending, including Intel, TechUK, TeachFirst, BBC News, DCMS and the Department for Education. The roundtable will be followed by several workshops to form an action plan with the goal to end digital poverty for all.
And finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for making me feel so welcome and being so wonderful to work with. During such a challenging year, the IET has had some incredible achievements and it’s all thanks to our staff, volunteers and members.
Please stay safe during the festive break and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!