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Annual Review 2012

The Annual Review provides insight into the Instituiton's achievements and activities each year. 

President's review

I am pleased to report 2012 as a truly exceptional year for the Institution.

Diversifying and growing professional membership in the UK and internationally

Our priority was to grow the membership. 2012 saw new membership increase by 25%. This is our fourth year of double digit growth in new members making IMechE the top performer among UK professional engineering institutions. Our net paying membership grew a healthy 2% – the first time for many years. At the end of the year, our total membership stood at just over a record 103,000. We made considerable investment in the future, setting the foundations for growth by building a new international development team together with a new Director of India operations based in Mumbai. Our Hong Kong team continued to grow from strength to strength with new relationships established in Mainland China. We increased our regional Business Development Team in the UK to support new members and cater for the demand for new company registration schemes. We delivered new online tools to streamline professional career development and professional registration applications. Over 200 members were recruited and trained to form a larger pool of expert volunteers to support and mentor professional registration.  Read more.

Increasing member engagement and value to members and their employers

More and more employers of all sizes recognised the Institution’s commitment to supporting worldwide development of engineering skills. Our company-based registration schemes are thriving with Blue-Chip employers such as Rolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover, Siemens, Cummins and Atkins Global. There are 315 Monitored Professional Development Schemes now in place and there was encouraging expansion outside the UK, particularly in the Middle East and Malaysia. We also launched our Supported Registration Service – a simpler version of our Managed Professional Development Scheme. It proved particularly popular with SMEs in the UK and with international organisations. Learning and Development further bolstered its place at the heart of the Institution by the acquisition of Argyll Ruane Limited: an industry-leading consultancy delivering high quality non-destructive testing training and examination. We also developed a number of initiatives to encourage greater professional engagement with sector skills bodies such as SEMTA, COGENT and the National Skills Academy for Rail Engineering.  Read more.

Providing expert leadership to Government, industry and society

Our member-led Learned Society event programme continued to provide a diverse range of events and seminars around the UK and internationally. We played a leading role in the engineering community in providing advice to governments. On strategic issues such as education, apprenticeships and manufacturing, we collaborated closely with our sister institutions, the Royal Academy of Engineering and Engineering UK to provide collective influential advice to inform policy-making through alliances such as ‘Engineering the Future’. On issues closer to our mechanical engineering heartland, such as High Speed Rail, energy, nuclear and aerospace, we engaged with policy leaders directly. Some 158 Parliamentarians attended Institution briefings, we made seven submissions to Select Committees and the Institution was mentioned 14 times in Parliament. Our thought-leadership policy statements on wide-ranging topics such as manufacturing, intelligent transport systems, shale gas and Scottish energy, were well respected in Parliament and Government and have been consistently rated for their quality and honesty.  Read more. 

Developing an awareness of engineering and the profile of the Institution 

With the challenges facing the world in energy, the environment and infrastructure, our work to put engineering in the public eye was never more important. Our members’ support for the development of our media profile, and the readiness of the press to trust the Institution as a source of expert opinion, enabled the highest ever recorded levels of media coverage. Our television coverage on sports engineering during the London Olympics and the promotion of new technologies such as Liquid Air and Petrol from Air, were typical of our innovative work which helped to garner 96 TV and radio broadcasts, 126 national press articles and 1,533 online articles throughout the year.   Read more.  

Inspiring young people about engineering  

Inspiring the next generation of engineers is one of the top priorities for our members. The Institution sets the standard among professional engineering institutions for successful educational outreach. I never cease to be amazed by the passion and commitment of our tireless volunteers in our Ambassador Network as they engage schools in the excitement of engineering. Thanks to the efforts of individual volunteers and Ambassadors, and through strategic partnerships with Bloodhound, Primary Engineer, and Formula Student – the biggest event of its kind in the world – the Institution successfully reached out to 50,000 primary, secondary school and university students. We continued to work with the IET, ICE and Engineering UK to channel effort and funding though the Government-backed Tomorrow’s Engineers initiative. Read more.

Much of what we do could not be achieved without the excellent and collaborative support of members, volunteers and employees whose efforts I very much appreciate. I would like to thank the members throughout the world who support the Institution on our Trustee Board, Council, Regions, Branches, Divisions and Groups and Membership Services. In my time as President, it has been a privilege to lead this prestigious Institution through such a successful year.

Professor Isobel Pollock 
President, Institution of Mechanical Engineers  

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