meet the executive team for 2017-2019

lydia amaraque 180 x183

Chair, Lydia Amaraque

I’ve always been an active contributor to my local engineering community; at university I was student rep for my course for two years, and within a few months of starting as a graduate at my company, I had volunteered to be on the graduate forum. I barely gave it a second thought when an opportunity came up within the IMechE for getting involved in something new. At that time, it was as part of the Manufacturing Industries Division, where we were given the brief to come up with a manufacturing themed event which could one day rival Formula Student. I just saw this as a project rather than a stepping stone. From being involved in this, I became the YM representative on the MID, and reversely MID rep on the Young Member’s Board. 

When I ran for Chair elect, my manifesto was about empowerment. I believe that all Young Members have great ideas to make things happen. I wanted to be their cheerleader and their project manager to enable them to get on with the things they really want to be doing in encouraging young people into engineering, promoting engineering and the institution to their peers, and developing themselves. The key themes for my year are Communication, Ownership, and Recruitment. With people having a better understanding of where we are and where we’re going, they can decide to join us on the journey to share the load, and that enthusiasm rubs off to those around them, bringing them along with us. I want every Young Member to know their opinion is valued, heard and magnified within the YMB, and through the right channels to drive the strategic direction of the Institution.

In all of my involvement with the YMB, I have been able to see the value of my membership a lot clearer. Not only have I developed networking skills, I have become more confident in sharing my professional opinion, and developed my project management, meeting facilitation and presentation skills. This year will be my biggest opportunity to develop my leadership skills. All of these will stand me in better stead in my actual job. These were not the reasons I joined, but I have seen the value in them. 

I would actively encourage any Young Member to get involved. There are rolling vacancies for Board membership, and I believe we achieve a lot from our volunteers, as their passion and enthusiasm is invaluable.

Esfandiar Khaleghi

Chair Elect, Esfandiar Khaleghi

I grew up in Tehran, Iran where I pursued studying mechanical engineering prior to relocation to England to continue my studies. I graduated with a Masters in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Birmingham in 2011. I have continued on my professional education by enrolling in Design Thinking, Human-Centered Design, Design and Innovation Management Master Classes at Stanford University, IDEO and Royal College of Art.

I became an entrepreneur pretty early in my career. I always knew that I wanted to work for myself at some point, but I thought it would be much longer down the road. I've worked on various award-winning projects for couple of well-known premium car manufacturers as a research and innovation engineer. What I was always looking for, was working on projects that are inspiring, interesting and challenging which builds on my university skills, knowledge and professional experience and contribute as much as I can to the world of engineering, which is why I established a pioneering urban mobility start-up company.

I have actively volunteered for the Institution at Greater London Region Young Member Panel for the last seven years as a Formula Student Officer (2012-13), Vice Chair – Networking (2013-15), YOUng Member Board Greater London Rep (2014-17), Vice Chair – Events (2015-16) and Chair of the panel (2016 - present) which I organised, liaised and participated in several IMechE STEM events and activities such as “Our World in 2050”, “SET for Sport” and “Engineering Your Future (EYF)”.

As a member of executive team, I will continue to help the board to ensure that the voices of the young members of the Institution are heard, listened to and acted upon, especially by increasing institution’s members’ engagements across UK and International Regions. I would also like to see a focus on delivering events, competitions and information that is relevant and engaging as a means of bringing our members closer together.

Ben Vallely

Vice Chair, Ben Vallely

I have been volunteering with the Institution for four years now. I have been heavily involved with the Railway Division Young Members Committee at various levels up to and including my current role as Chair, which I step down from at the end of 2017. I started volunteering on the Young Members Board in November 2014 as the representative for the Railway Division. I was then elected in May 2016 as the YMB Technical Strategy Board Rep, before now being elected as Vice-Chair of the Board.

Since I started volunteering on the YMB, I have been involved in various projects; I try where possible to offer a different perspective on the problems facing young members across industry and the Institution. I have helped develop the Great Event Ideas: A guide for volunteers, which, when we publish it shortly, will hopefully increase engagement across the Institution, giving volunteers at all levels an easy reference guide for ideas to be run in their regions. I spoke at the Global Engineering Debate on behalf of the Railway Industry in 2016, and attend the Institution’s annual Railway Challenge as a judge. 

Having been on the YMB for two and a half years, I felt that I could increase my involvement and input by becoming a Vice Chair, but, much more importantly, I want to, and can, provide a larger avenue for any young member to have their say. Increased representation is something I passionately believe in, and I look forward to helping all Young Members have their voice heard across the Institution over the coming two years – and beyond. 

Outside of work, I spend a lot of time in sporting environments, attending Grands Prix, watching almost any sport – and trying my hand at a fair few too, as well as being a qualified netball umpire. I have to date completed five marathons and aim to complete a lot more, despite not looking like your average marathon runner. Through this, I raise money for The Children’s Burns Foundation, who are a charity close to my heart. 

Gavin Kerby

Trustee Board Rep, Gavin Kerby

I’m currently studying a MEng (Hons) in Engineering at Bournemouth University; this is a part-time day release course that I will complete in summer 2018. I work for an SME called A&M Defence & Marine Services as a Project Engineer. My main roles and responsibilities are centred on Project Management for the Ministry of Defence and the marine industry.

I have previously undertaken an Advanced Apprenticeship gaining a B-Tec National Diploma, Higher National Certificate and a Foundation Degree, all part-time day release courses. The challenge of ‘earning and learning’ has been extremely beneficial, giving me a great mix of practical and academic knowledge.

I joined IMechE as an Engineering Technician in 2011 and was awarded as EngTech Visionary in 2012. Since then I have volunteered in a variety of different roles at Area, Regional and HQ level. In October 2013 I was honoured to be nominated and approved as an Ordinary Member on the Institution’s Council – the first Engineering Technician to be appointed a seat.

For the past 24 months I’ve been the Young Member Representative on Trustee Board. My focus during this period is Young Members, EngTech’s and alternative routes to Higher Education.

My main hobbies and interests are related to aviation and engineering. I’m a qualified Private Pilot and look to progress to take my night rating in the near future. I’m also a Gliding Instructor, having completing over 1,200 flights. I have a passion for manufacturing and engineering which is prevalent in all my activities.

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