Institution news

From Birdcage Walk

Colin Brown, Chief Executive

... the ideas of Uff remain very pertinent to our future
... the ideas of Uff remain very pertinent to our future

The latest in our ongoing series of updates about activities at the Institution.

Dear Member,

John Uff QC famously quoted the American General Eric Shinseki in his review of the engineering profession published in March 2017.  He was keen to use the intention of the phrase “If you dislike change, you're going to dislike irrelevance even more” to urge the professional engineering institutions to keep pace with the modern world. He came up with 20 recommendations for action. Some were very specific, for example  “there is a clear need for much more fundamental combining of professional activities between the PEIs”

And so where are we now more than two years on? For sure the ideas of Uff remain very pertinent to our future. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had contact from Texas and from Cumbria to point out that the ‘London Bubble’ is still a challenge for us. Despite having a President from Scotland and Trustees from Switzerland, Germany and from India (admittedly as well as others from around the UK) the natural tendency is to work with those that you see most often. It seems beneficial therefore that collaboration with other organisations would naturally open up having more people ‘near you’. They may not have exactly the same discipline as you, but the majority of them would be working towards or maintaining a professional engineering status. Indeed, there is already much work going on around the world where Members of one or more PEIs work together.

It is therefore encouraging to report that following Council in May we are now reinvigorating and growing our ‘Project Relevance’ team. Their goal in the coming months is to ensure they know enough about the views of our Members so we can pursue those options that will get the widest support. As management training courses tell us “it is not the quality of the solution that’s paramount but the commitment to its implementation”.  The topics to be explored include finding out just what you think your Institution does for the engineering profession in your region or your sector. The priority is to understand how change could allow us to do more.  An important step will be to then share those responses with other institutions, or indeed with other engineering bodies in general, and see if there is any alignment with the thinking in their organisations too. No-one can argue that what was good yesterday will unavoidably be good for tomorrow.  The challenge for us all is to work out what would be better.

Thank you

Colin Brown

Chief Executive


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