On taking the office of President, one of the first things I noticed is the auspicious list of people who preceded me.
We are an old organisation and have many traditions which go back to the Victorian period when the Association was founded.
There is a very fine line between becoming a dinosaur and throwing away all that is good about our traditions. We are after all engineers, and engineers are traditionally way up at the front in innovation and new thinking. A great deal of work is put in behind the scenes by the council, in preparing a programme and organising social events, but at least half of the council are from the last generation of engineers and frankly, we need reassurance that we are steering the Association along the right lines.
We started our web page about four years ago, in order to bring in modern communication methods, indeed I was originally seconded to the council for this very reason, the hope was that the younger generation would use it. We realise that there has been a huge sea change in working practices even in the last ten years, and the younger (ie still working) members do not have time that maybe I and some other retired members of the council had when we worked, but please take the time to communicate.
Many Associations and Societies are gradually dwindling away, indeed we see mergers of the engineering institutions who need to do this in order to remain viable. Let us at least try to be the exception and move forward. About a year ago, I placed a request on the web site for feedback about having some kind of partners night, and invited suggestions, it was also published in two issues of the monthly newsletter. There has not been a single reply ! This week I have repeated a request for feedback on several issues, you can find it on our web page under “How are we doing?” on the main menu.
Please read it, if you think we are crap, tell us, if you think we do a good job, tell us, but above all tell us.
I look forward to seeing many of you in the coming two years of my presidency of the association, and hope that we can move the association forward and exist for another 142 years.
Stephen Hall – President – LAE