I had the greatest honour and privilege of my engineering career, on 23 May, of taking up office to serve you as President of our great Institution.
In my address, which I hope you will have the opportunity to read or view, I speak about the role of an engineering institution in the 21st century and the role that we as engineers will play in helping to shape our society in the future.
However, before I talk more about those things it is important that I make some comment on the recent events around the call for the Special Meeting. Whatever the reasons behind what prompted the call and whatever views you hold on the matters, it showed that there was tremendous passion and energy within our Institution about what it was and what it stands for.
The positive outcome of this event is that it has allowed Members to express views and concerns about the Institution, its priorities, its purpose and how it is run.
These voices have been heard and actions have been committed to, which will ensure greater transparency and engagement throughout our membership and governance and engagement processes.
However, it is important that we now draw a line under this event, learn the lessons from it and restore the good reputation of our Institution.
We have a tremendously exciting future ahead of us to create an Institution for the future that is multi-disciplinary and multi-dimensional, one that is far more inclusive and relevant to all engineers and one that is fit for purpose to address the challenges that society faces, now and over the coming decades.
To achieve this objective, our membership must always be at the heart of our Institution, because it is through our membership, via our volunteer network of Council, Boards, Divisions, Committees and Groups that we will have the power to influence and shape the engineering profession and the role that it plays in our society.
I hope the things I speak about in my address will encourage debate amongst you on the type of Institution you want for the future. It is important that you feed that debate into your local, national and international volunteer networks. It is my personal vision that the true recognition of the value that Engineers make to society will only be achieved when we speak with one voice through an Institution that recognises the technical disciplines within engineering, but also one that is united together with a common purpose, to improve the world through engineering.
As engineers we will be shaping the future in all aspects of society from energy, transportation, food, housing as well as improving the basic lives of people within our society; to do this we need a modern forward-looking Institution, one that is open to change and one that can support us in the challenges we have in front of us.
I am very much looking forward to meeting many of you through the course of my Presidential year and talking and debating these things with you.
- Read Geoff Baker’s full Presidential Address – “Engineering in Society – the role of an engineering institution in the 21st century” [pdf]
- Watch Geoff’s Presidential Address [YouTube]
- Read Geoff’s biography.