Working through the pandemic: a view from our China office

As Covid-19 broke out in China at the beginning of 2020, Wuhan locked down on 23 January. The IET China office, located in Beijing, was required to suspend re-opening with all staff working from home after the Spring Festival.

During that panic period, we received a letter of support from Nigel Fine, the CEO, and a package of masks from UK Headquarters, which was really a great comfort to us.

China’s social channels were still working at that time and we were able to deliver the CEO’s greeting message to China members, volunteers and partners. The China office re-opened on 18 February, with a skeleton staff on duty and finally fully run in May 2020.

As to the physical events prohibited during most of 2020, we upgraded our event website to hold the 16th international conference on AC & DC power transmission online in early July with 374 delegates in attendance and 417 papers published.

Meanwhile, the China office worked with the Chinese Society for Electrical Engineering to launch three free webinars in Q3 to benefit local engineers. 12 distinguished speakers from both the UK and China’s grid enterprises and top universities shared their views on the topics of challenges and solutions of renewable energy grid connection, energy Internet, DC transmission and grid technology. There was also lots of open discussion with the attendees in Q&A sessions via the online platform. More than 600 delegates participated in this series of webinars.

We also collaborated with the Chongqing University of Technology on a workshop to improve journals development. This was held online in late June. Dr XIAO Zheng, the Managing Editor of IET partner journal "High Voltage", introduced the establishment and development of the English journal, and Veronica WANG, the IET Research Engagement Manager, shared updates on IET journals and the benefits to authors. This workshop was well received by our journals partners and authors, the live streaming event attracted 1928 views and tens of thousands of likes. 

Due to the travel restrictions, especially regarding international trips, the China office conducted professional registration training and interviews virtually to support applicants going through the process during the pandemic period. 

Now, at the beginning of 2021, we can see a glimmer of hope for the future as the vaccine has begun its roll-out. In the brighter days ahead, we’ll keep on finding solutions to meet demand in this ever-changing situation and to inspire, inform and influence the local communities.    

If you want to learn more about the resources of the IET in China, please visit the IET China domain: http://www.theiet.org.cn or email China@theiet.org.