Chairman's Letter

Dear Fellows and Members

Firstly, a Happy New Year to all the members of the Institution in the Suffolk and N Essex Area.  The Committee hopes that you had an enjoyable Christmas holiday.

Whilst looking for interesting topics to bring before you in the lecture meetings, it is surprising how wide is the range of disciplines which involve engineers.  As an example, consider water.  There has been much concern about the state of the coast in East Anglia following recent heavy rainfalls and the collapse of the coast line.  Engineers are being called upon to offer and implement solutions.  The same is true of the water supply to the South East.  The proposal was made in 2012 to construct down the spine of Britain, a large canal with electrical power to transfer water from the Scottish Borders to the South of England.  Add to this the engineers’ involvement with power generation, medicine, communications, defence, fracking, transport using the Hyperloop system (a vacuum tube to guide a passenger capsule at speeds up to 6500 km/hr), reduction of atmospheric pollutants and a host of other topics like the emergence of nanotechnology and composite materials, whose strength and ductility can be superior to conventional materials which we use today.  There must be plenty in this spectrum of engineering alone to spark the imagination of young scientists for a lifetime.

The reader may dismiss some of the foregoing as the stuff of science fiction but let him place himself in the position of the pioneers of flight and rail transport.  Could they have foreseen Concorde or the supersonic speed of military aircraft, VTOL and other aircraft the size of the Boeing 747?  Many of us can remember the poor definition of the images of early television transmissions  -  far removed from the high definition colour which we take for granted these days. 

There is therefore a lot of work extending well into the future in which young persons, young ladies as well as men, can immerse themselves for a rewarding career in engineering.

Please give some thought to invite a friend or relative, particularly the younger generation, to our meetings which are advertised on the Near You page for Suffolk and N Essex under the Eastern Region heading and let them see the nature of modern engineering.  All of our lectures, except the Christmas one, are focussed on modern and future engineering topics.  At Christmas we have a retrospective look at successful engineering.

I look forward to meeting you at one of our lectures.

With kind regards

Michael Allen


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