Two of the UK’s leading engineering institutions, the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) and the Institution of Incorporated Engineers (IIE), have announced that their members have voted to create a new institution, to be known as the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), which will come into being in early 2006. The IEE has 120,000 members worldwide and the IIE 40,000. The IEE voted 73.5 percent in favour while members of the IIE voted 95.7 percent in favour. Now that the decision has been taken, both organizations will begin the process to create the IET, which will require approval by the Privy Council.

Once formed, the IET will have the largest number of professionally registered engineers and engineering technicians in the UK, working in a wide range of sectors including ICT, robotics, manufacturing, power engineering, transport, contracting and building services, defence and the armed services.

Professor John O’Reilly, president of the IEE, said: “This is a historic step for both institutions. Members have shown themselves ready to embrace the future and ensure that institutions that have served decades of engineers remain relevant in the 21st century.” He continued, “Engineering is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary and global and it is important that institutions reflect the way in which their members operate.”

Likewise, Lord Trefgarne, president of the IIE, commented: “The engineering profession has for far too long been fragmented and undervalued. By bringing together all key members of the technical team, whatever their professional status, IET holds out the hope of creating a more coherent and representative organization for our profession.” He added: “The new institution will be better attuned to meet the needs of its members, of employers who need well qualified staff, and of wider society which benefits from the products and services underpinned by our collective efforts.”