A round-up from our President, Danielle George

I was delighted to co-host The 150 Show with mathematician, teacher and writer Bobby Seagull during our 150th anniversary week in May.

This five-part YouTube series was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our rich history and the incredible work of engineers, technologists, and difference-makers from around the world.

Each edition (health, green, people, digital, and youth), showcased phenomenal stories, fascinating interviews, and fun experiments, alongside some familiar faces and truly inspiring innovators.

I really hope that there was something of interest to everyone because for me it was crucial that we weren’t just aiming at people who already knew they were engineers.

I wanted to reach out to a wider audience and whet their appetite by showing them just how cool engineering and technology can be, and the positive impact they have on nearly every aspect of modern life and society.

We had a great turnout, with over 15,000 views during our anniversary week, and that number continues to rise with people around the world tuning in on demand.

If you haven’t already, why not check it out via YouTube or IET.tv.

For International in Women in Engineering Day I was delighted to be invited to the IET Coventry and Warwick Local Network. They have an amazing all-female Local Network Committee, with all Chair positions held by women until and including 2023.

I joined in a great panel discussion with Paula, Marcelle, and Agata who are all dedicated to championing engineering and building a passionate and inspiring network of engineers.

On 23 July, COVID restrictions won’t hold us back as we’ll be hosting our first virtual Engineering Open House Day to help inspire the engineers of tomorrow.

Taking inspiration from the successful 150 Show format, we’ll be streaming a live magazine-style show from IET London: Savoy Place, making this previously UK-focused event available online to a worldwide audience.

The show will be full of exciting experiments, interesting guests, and even some fun challenges.

There will also be lots of virtual events taking place alongside this on our media hub, with hands-on activities for young people to try at home – such as writing code to control an animation of Tower Bridge or taking part in a virtual treasure hunt on the London Underground.

If you’re a parent or teacher who’s keen to inspire young people, visit our Engineering Open House Day web page to find out more and register your interest.

Before COVID, we had planned to celebrate difference makers during our 150th year by having young ambassadors travel around the world to uncover and share the value of engineering and technology.

To maximise our reach during the ongoing pandemic, and to really get our message out to Gen Z using their words and on their platforms, we moved our campaign online and I’m thrilled to say it is now live!! We’re celebrating the inspiring makers, doers, movers, and shakers across the globe who are helping to save the world using engineering and technology – often in entirely unexpected ways.

You can find out more on our Difference Makers web site.

Please do follow and share this campaign with the young people in your life, and if you know of a difference maker you think we should feature please get in touch with the team at iet150@theiet.org.

I want to shine a light on game-changers of any age who are making an impact on how we live today.

To this end, I have really enjoyed stepping outside the ‘engineering bubble’ to do Zoom interviews with difference-makers from around the world about the incredible work they are doing to improve the lives of their local community, or to make change at a national level.

To help shift our focus to the engineering difference-makers of today and tomorrow, or even just make sure we’re capturing anyone we might have previously missed, we’re rewriting the history books and updating our gallery of engineering exhibition in the stairwells at IET London: Savoy Place.

But we need your help in identifying incredible people who have made an impact to create this ultimate list of engineers and technologists

If you have someone in mind who fits the bill, please submit your nominations by 13 August.

We also marked our anniversary by drawing up a list of the 150 top inventions from the last 150 years, inspired by our 100 engineering ideas that changed the world exhibition. I recently co-chaired a panel that reviewed the list and selected 15 of the most valuable inventions from it.

Narrowing the list down to 15 was a really difficult challenge, but it was a brilliant exercise because it highlighted some of the most significant advancements in human history.

The IET Power 15 comprises AC power generation, aviation, canned food, the car, computing, the electric lightbulb, fibre optic communication, measurement, the microscope, the telescope, radio, refrigeration, telephony, the triode valve, and the X-ray. All these inventions are part of our rich heritage of innovation.

Fashion is not normally associated with engineering, so our sponsorship of the Manufacturing Futures 2021: Fashion District Innovation Challenge Prize gave us the perfect opportunity to demonstrate that engineering really is everywhere.

The competition, in collaboration with the London Fashion District, aims to find technological solutions to current industry issues, while also supporting innovations and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across design, manufacture, and retail.

I was really pleased to be part of the judging panel. It was fantastic to see such wide-ranging engineering and technology innovations being put forward to address real-life fashion industry problems, like supply chain mapping, pollution, waste, and sustainability.

We shortlisted 10 companies that have now progressed to the next stages of the competition, and the winner will be announced in September. They will receive £15,0000 and the chance to pitch to and collaborate with global brands to take their innovation to the next level.

Plus, our anniversary year is far from over yet! Please keep visiting the IET 150 anniversary web pages to find out what’s happening next.

Finally, in addition to all the amazing IET@150 celebrations, I’d like to congratulate our IET Partnership Account Management team on signing up our 150th Enterprise Partner: Scolmore Group! What a fantastic achievement in our 150th year.

Again, I would like to thank everyone who has played a role in bringing our mission, vision, and values to life during these unprecedented times.

I am so proud to be your President, especially during such an incredible milestone year.