Our Annual Review contains valuable insights into the Institution’s activities and achievements during 2011.
In 2011, the members looked to the Institution to support them during continued challenging economic times; delivering the things that really mattered to them, promoting high profile education initiatives that will inspire the next generation to work in engineering, getting engineers in the media and being heard by government. Members feel passionately that the Institution should be an organisation with global reach that truly represents and reflects the profession, and encourages professional registration and long-term career development. The Institution was able to deliver on these requests, achieving significantly against every one of its strategic aims, making 2011 another record-breaking year.
2011 saw the election of the Institution’s 100,000th member, Nicola McClatchey, an apposite milestone in a year in which it returned to the growth of paying members and a net number of registered engineers for the first time in 20 years. Highly targeted, strategic campaigns delivered sustained membership growth across the board: significantly more students becoming Associates; a 38% rise in the number of Associates; an increase of just below 100% in the number of EngTechs; and double the number of Fellow elections. More than 1,000 members based outside the UK joined the Institution, and key partnerships with leading multi-national engineering employers were cemented. The successful re-acquisition of our Engineering Council licence with a total score of 18 out of 20 showed that the Institution is fast-growing but also, just as importantly, is maintaining its quality and high standards. Read more.
As ever, members valued their Institution’s position as a market leader in the profession with a committed focus on the continual development of engineering skill and knowledge worldwide. This was further bolstered this year with the positioning of learning and development at the heart of the Institution’s brand. Belonging to an organisation that supports their achievement or maintenance of professional registration, and demonstrating their status as professional engineers, meant a lot to members. Our volunteers again demonstrated their remarkable commitment by organising just under 1,000 events for over 51,000 people around the world. More than 1,000 members of all ages worldwide now volunteer to help: advising students and developing engineers. Read more.
That members’ number one priority continues to be inspiring the next generation and supporting high profile global education initiatives was demonstrated by the fact that the vast majority of the 500 new Ambassadors recruited in 2011 wished to volunteer to promote engineering in schools and colleges. By supporting Bloodhound SSC as a sponsor until 2013, the Institution through its 130 Bloodhound Ambassadors has been able to reach out to thousands of young people globally and enthuse them about engineering, while a popular partnership with Primary Engineer meant that over 15,000 5–19 year old pupils in 580 schools took part in engineering educational events. Also of importance for members is the Institution’s commitment to ensuring that the views of engineers are well represented in the public domain. Having relaunched Professional Engineering magazine in 2010 as the voice of engineering for Institution members, it was extremely gratifying that precisely one year on from then PE was named as the Association of British Publishing Agencies’ winner of the Best Membership Title. Read more.
Continuing to raise the profile of the Institution in media and with Government, and producing reports and policy of public interest are activities that members applaud. The support by members for investing resources in the development of a media profile, and the readiness of the press to trust the Institution as a source of expert opinion, allowed it once again to achieve record- breaking media coverage of over £17m AVE* in 2011 – the highest ever level. In the aftermath of natural global disasters, the Institution became regarded by media as a trustworthy guide through the waters of complex engineering and an organisation whose voice allayed public fears. Continually sought out by Government as a source of expert opinion, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers was once again ranked as the engineering institution that MPs were most aware of in a Dods commissioned poll. Read more.
2011 proved a challenging year for Learning and Development’s open course programme, with fat results against the previous year. The faltering economy has impacted performance with open course, soft skills training considered to be discretionary spend in uncertain times. This performance is in line with the market place. Nevertheless, on a positive note we were ahead of 2010 in numbers of attendees hence delivering training to more people. Read more.
From a finance operations point of view, 2011 was a successful year. Whilst total revenue was lower, the amount we were able to spend on Learned Society activities increased in line with expectations. Read more.
Much of what we wanted to do could not have been achieved without the excellent support of a number of people whose efforts I very much appreciate. I would personally like to thank the members throughout the world who support the Institution in our Trustee Board, Council, Regions, Branches, Divisions and Groups, and Membership Services. In my time as President, it has been a tremendous privilege to meet many members and to serve such a prestigious Institution.
Professor Rod Smith
President, Institution of Mechanical Engineers
* Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE) is what the Institution’s editorial coverage in newspapers, online and on TV and radio would cost if it were advertising space, or time. The value is reached by measuring the space in column inches or time (for radio and television coverage) occupied by a clip, and then multiplying the column inches or time by the advertising rate for that page or time slot. Engineers will recognise it as a measure of activity rather than real money.