The operation of IMechE and ways to keep in touch during the COVID-19 outbreak.
As many of you will have spotted, the work of our Institution has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions. Our Headquarters is located in the major epicentre of the virus in the UK and our core business of encouraging networking and sharing best practice through meeting other engineers runs completely contrary to the need to socially distance from each other.
And yet, our Institution continues to operate. Slightly ironically however, this title of newsletter is now somewhat misleading. We have taken the decision to close Birdcage Walk completely for the foreseeable future. Our aim is to ensure that the virus does not take hold in the building itself which might mean its facilities would perhaps not be available just when we need them. The server for our website for example is still located there, and so needs to be freely accessible to allow for routine maintenance at all times. Our AGM on Wednesday 27 May is also planned to be held there. It’s a situation that we will of course keep under review as would like as many members to take part as possible. As with many of our external activities, like the Challenges, we hope that the internet will be part of the solution in this instance.
As we stand, and whilst the printers continue to be able to operate, you will still receive PE Magazine on your doorstep. Even if the presses have to close one day , there will still be both an email version and online content as well as the ‘app’, "Professional Engineering", available on both Apple and Android devices. This remains one of the main ways in which we can share information with you although the digital routes of Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook are gaining in popularity. You may have seen for example the recent work some of our members have been doing to support the production of ventilators for patients in intensive care .
We will also revert to updating this webpage weekly so that you have a chance to ask questions of us and get quick responses in the section at the bottom. There is much we are doing with processing registrations, reinventing or postponing physical events, creating online events, maintaining our information and library services, and of course encouraging voting for our new Trustees and Council that we want to keep you up to date with.
Finally, we must acknowledge the tough financial conditions as well as health risks that we all face. We have already heard from members whose income has either completely or substantially disappeared overnight. In cases of real hardship, please remember that we still offer means-tested reduced fees. We do believe of course that your registration is one of the most valuable assets you will have in helping you to find work or rebuild your business in the future. For the Institution, we are lucky that we had a better year financially last year which means that have some limited reserves to tide us through. At this difficult time, let’s still keep the network going to support those who are not so fortunate.
Dr Colin Brown
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