Section News

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

The IEEE UK and Ireland Section traditional Christmas Lecture took place on 13th December at the iconic Regent Street Cinema at the University of Westminster.

This year we had the honour of Dr Hayaatun Sillem, CBE giving a lecture on “An Engineering Profession Fit for the Future”.

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 explores 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.

Dr Hayaatun Sillem 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.

The Regent Street Cinema has been the home for our section Christmas events for the past 6 years. The past events can be watched again at 2021, 2020 (virtual)20192018, and 2017.

Below is a selection of photographs from the event.