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IEEE UK & Ireland Section Annual Christmas Lecture | An Engineering Profession Fit for the Future by Dr Hayaatun Sillem, CBE

IEEE UK and Ireland Section’s traditional annual Christmas Lecture takes place on 13th December 2022 (14:30-17:00) at the iconic Regent Street Cinema in London; the home for our Section Christmas events for many years.  Recent past events can be watched again: 2021, 2020 (virtual)20192018, and 2017.

This year we have the honour to have Dr Hayaatun Sillem presenting “An Engineering Profession Fit for the Future”. Dr Sillem is CEO of the Royal Academy of Engineering and also of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering Foundation. This is an in-person event and is open to both members and non-members.


  • Introductions and Welcome
  • A quick note to celebrate our 60 Years as a Section with running slideshow of 60 years’ of service to the membership in the UK and Ireland Section
  • Annual Christmas Lecture: “An Engineering Profession Fit for the Future” by Dr Hayaatun Sillem
  • Q&A
  • Note of thanks
  • Drinks and mince pie reception next door in the University’s foyer.


In this era of incessant and convergent global change and challenge, the role of engineers in addressing societal needs is more vital than ever. This lecture will explore key barriers and opportunities in engineering skills, culture and practice that impact on our ability to be a profession that is truly fit for the future.

About the Speaker

Hayaatun has extensive leadership experience in UK and international engineering, innovation, and diversity and inclusion activities. She chairs the UK Government’s Business Innovation Forum and the St Andrews Prize for the Environment, and recently co-chaired – with Sir Lewis Hamilton – his Commission on improving black representation in UK motorsport. She is a trustee of Mission44, Engineering UK and the Foundation for Science & Technology; a member of the UK Government’s Levelling Up Advisory Council; a non-executive director of Laing O’Rourke and UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK; and an advisor to EQL: HER and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation. She has been named as one of the ‘Inspiring 50 Women in Tech’ and one of the ten most influential women in both UK engineering and UK tech.

She has a Masters Degree in Biochemistry (MBiochem) from Oxford and a PhD from Cancer Research UK/UCL. She is a Fellow of the IET, Honorary Professor at UCL, Honorary Fellow at The Queen’s College, Oxford, and has received honorary degrees from UCL and Imperial College London. In 2021 Hayaatun won a Science Suffrage Award and she is a finalist for the 2022 Veuve Clicquot Bold Woman Award. She was made a CBE for services to international engineering in 2019.

Prior to her current roles, she was Deputy CEO at the Academy and served as Committee Specialist and later Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons’ Science & Technology Committee.

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