Earlier in 2020, the IEEE Industry Engagement Committee organised a global competition for IEEE Sections to showcase their existing industry engagement activities/initiatives. We were asked to describe activity and initiatives launched (events, workshops, lectures, meetup event, industry tours, products/services etc.) that had provided value to individuals in industries, corporations (Small/Medium/Large Enterprises) and government agencies.
We are delighted to be able to announce that in a very strong field we are one of the three winners along with the Poland and Toronto Sections.
Our submission was made by Professor Rod Muttram (Industry Delivery Officer) and supported, in particular, by Richard Pitwon (Photonic Chapter Chair), Prof Ali Hessami (past-past Chair), and Dr Mona Ghassemian (Section Chair).
Professor Muttram Commented:
Our submission detailed our activities in three areas:
- Our Industry Forum, through which we have researched and responded to UK industry needs which fell in three areas: re-skilling long standing employees with digital skills; Input to IEEE Standards for new technologies; and ongoing professional development and the demonstration of competence.
- Industry-led activities: technical and non-technical activities planned or organised by our section’s officers including: our flagship conference called IEEE British and Irish Conference in Optics and Photonics (BICOP); BlockChain our SIG launch event and webinar series; our support for RTSI 2022 (now 2023): International Forum on Research and Technologies for Society and Industry (IEEE RTSI); and our support for Internships towards industrial placement – facilitating student placements in UK & Ireland industries.
- Thematic area professional development: helping individuals develop skills that help them to perform as a rounded professional. Key development areas include personal, management, and business skills.
Whilst some of these activities have had to be delayed or put on hold due to the Covid 19 pandemic we continue to develop our offering. A key enabler to increasing industry engineer membership levels in the UK is believed to be the ability to offer Professional Registration as a Chartered Engineer or equivalent through the IEEE. A steering group has been established chaired by Brian Harrington (former Region 8 treasurer), and we have agreed to a path to Associate Membership of the Engineering Council, a key first step in establishing this capability. Hopefully more on that soon.
All of our activities will be assisted by the $2000 prize as a winner of this competition.