The Dorchester Area of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers covers the post code zones DT1 - DT9. This embraces Blandford, Shaftesbury, Sherborne, Sturminster Newton, Gillingham, Dorchester, Weymouth, Bridport and Lyme Regis.
Unfortunately, today there are very few large industries within the Area. However, the Area does have a very diverse spectrum of industries within what is chiefly a rural environment. However, Dorchester is in an area of outstanding natural beauty with geographical interest associated with the Jurassic Coast world heritage site. In 2012 Weymouth & Portland hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing events, the legacy of which still continues by promoting and hosting world championship sailing events.
Because of the areas outstanding natural beauty many engineers tend to move into the area during retirement bringing with them a wide diversity of experience and wealth of interests which is evident in those attending our regular lectures, talks and visits.
The institutes values are;-
● Professionalism ● Respect for people and the environment
● Integrity ● Innovation
● High ethical standards
With five key themes;-
● Education ● Manufacturing
● Energy ● Transport Environment
The Dorchester Area Committee endeavour to engage with the interests of our membership and local community, and to these ends we offer a total of six lectures a year focusing on the five key themes in a combined programme with the Dorset & South Wiltshire branch of the Institution of Engineering Technology (IET). Lectures are held at Weymouth College, Cranford Avenue site and visitors are always welcome to attend. We believe our members and visitors enjoy the talks which are held on a wide ranging subject matter helping to promote a general interest in engineering and applied science.
In addition to our lecture programme, we work actively with many local schools and colleges promoting STEM activates to students through the tireless efforts of our Schools Liaison Officer. These activities include visits to science centres, project work and competition such as the IMechE’s Formula Student. We also try to organise at least one visit per year for our members to a local industry.
The Area committee meets four times a year in Dorchester, at the Trumpet Major Inn. Institute members are invited to attend and details can be obtained from any of the committee members. Our next committee meeting and AGM will be held on Thursday 6th February at 6pm. We are always looking for additional committee members, particularly young members, so why not come along and have a chat.
Finally, it is my sad duty to report the passing of the Dorchester Area’s former Chairman, Gerry Pritchard. Gerry passed away peacefully just before Christmas after a short illness. Gerry was Dorchester Area’s Chairman for over 15 years, delivering several enthusiastic lectures in that time and working tirelessly in local schools promoting engineering and assisting with their out of school clubs. One school in particular Gerry had close ties with was Colfox School in Bridport where a STEM prize is awarded annually in his name. The Dorchester Area Committee will miss Gerry’s knowledge, guidance and enthusiasm in the years to come.
Dr Andrew Samways FImechE