‘Whilst I will no longer be serving you as President of the IMechE and promoting the case for change and reform, I believe passionately that it is absolutely essential that our Engineering Institutions come together and create an Institution that is more relevant and influential for the 21st century. Although this vision is clearly not shared by those who are choosing to resist change within the Institution at any cost, it will happen and I will be doing whatever I can to push this agenda forward. We are at a cross roads now and we have opportunities in front of us to make the first steps in creating an integrated, Institution of Engineers. If we can be bold enough to look forward and focus on that vision, we can overcome all the problems and challenges that can be brought up that could stop us from making that first step.
However, everything we do and any changes we make, must be driven by what our younger engineers, and our aspiring engineers, want from an Institution of the Future. It will be these Engineers of the future that will be called upon to shape and influence every aspect of our society and we must provide them with an Institution that not only recognises the technical disciplines within engineering, but also one that unites all Engineers together with common purpose and an Institution that speaks for all engineers and not just the minority; an Institution with common purpose to serve society to create a better world for generations to come.
Our priority now is stop looking backwards and inwards at ourselves and to look forward to the exciting future ahead of us and our future generations of Engineers.
Geoff Baker stands down as President of the IMechE – Read his statement to Council Members issued on the 4th July below:
Further to the letter from the President Elect, Ian Joesbury, of 29th June regarding my decision to stand down as President of the Institution and Trustee Board with immediate effect, I feel it appropriate to explain the background behind my decision, which has been made after careful consideration as to what I believe to be in the best interests of the Institution.
Anyone who knows me will understand the respect I have both for our Institution and the office of President and will appreciate that I have not taken this decision lightly. I reached this conclusion after a huge amount of thought and discussion both with my colleagues on the Trustee Board and with my family, both of whom have been a source of huge support and encouragement during this difficult time.
I have been a Member of this Institution for 40 years and to become its 133rd President remains one of the greatest honours of my career.
You will all be aware that the events surrounding the Special Meeting have caused much controversy across our Membership. However, there have been some very positive things that have come out from the recent Special Meeting, which has prompted much debate from across the Institution on matters away from the actual motions themselves. These debates, that have taken place across the grass roots of our Membership and have covered many topics from the way our divisions and groups are organised, our priorities on expenditure and the fitness for purpose of governance of the Institution.
I have taken part in many of these discussions and debates, but above all, along with my fellow Trustees, we have listened and taken note and you will be taking these issues further in the Council Meeting on the 1st August and into the new Council year.
However, you will also be aware of the discussions that have been running within the Institution concerning issues on the lead up to, and post, the Special Meeting. Unfortunately, the focus of these issues has been personalised by a very small minority on myself as President, Trustees and the Executive which have then been further distributed throughout the Membership and via social media. These issues have created divisions amongst our Membership which is making normal governance and management of our Institution extremely difficult and has caused my own position as President to become untenable.
In order for the Trustees to build the necessary bridges amongst our Membership and restore effective control and governance of the Institution by the Trustee Board, I believe that this will be more easily achieved if I stood down and removed the distraction of continued actions and threats against myself.
I trust that my resignation will help restore a much-needed sense of perspective to the debate about where the Institution needs to go next. I also hope it will bring both sides back to the table to discuss matters in a calm, objective and rational manner and reach a solution which is in the best interests of our Institution.
Your Trustee Board is taking strong steps in the right direction to ensure the high levels of transparency and accountability to our members, which will help restore their trust in the governance of our great Institution. I would urge you to support them in this regard and take part in the discussion at the forthcoming Council meeting in August.
It is imperative that the voice of our members is represented as we try to ensure our Institution is fit to meet the demands of the 21st century and we can continue to deliver our mission to “improve the world through engineering” for generations to come.
As many of you will know, this has been my passion and what has driven me to take up the role of President. I will continue to actively promote the need for change within the engineering profession, and whilst I will no longer be serving you as President of the IMechE and promoting the case for change, I will remain an enthusiastic advocate for this change agenda.
Finally, I would like to say again, it has been a privilege and honour to have served our Institution and sincerely thank those Members, colleagues and the staff who have supported me and backed the need for change in the Institution.
With my kindest regards and best wishes for the future.