FAQ - Automobile Division

  • There won't be anything interesting for me?

    This is not a question, but it is a common misconception that the people presenting IMechE lectures will not give away any important technical information that would be of interest to competitors. This is simply not true. In order to make the lecture interesting to a largely technical audience it is necessary to share some secrets. Simply trotting out the company history won't do and lectures like this will not be repeated. If a lecture is being repeated around the country you can be sure that it was well reviewed and is worth seeing.

    More than just a chance to hear about the technology that your competitors use, an IMechE lecture or conference gives the chance for professional networking with other engineers and the chance to hear someone else’s view of a subject that you understand well. Often they may say something that causes you to think ‘I don’t agree with that’ and the process of thinking through why you don’t agree causes you to invent something altogether new. Why not challenge yourself? Do you really understand all there is to know, even about your favourite subject?

  • Why would my company want to present a lecture and give away secrets?

    The IMechE can provide an excellent way to market your business – and it is free! Presenting lectures for the IMechE can help your business in the following ways:

    Graduate recruitment

    Many of the lectures that are organised around the country are held in Universities or similar educational establishments. The students from these places will be looking for jobs and you want the best ones to apply for jobs at your company. You may only select a few graduates each year for employment, but surely you would like to be choosing from the best?

    Consultancy work

    Many qualified engineers attend the lectures who already work for engineering companies around the country. Maybe they have experienced problems similar to the ones you describe in your lecture and perhaps your company might be able to help them overcome these problems?


    Automotive engineering and motorsport is a very image conscious business. Presenting an IMechE lecture shows that your company has a professional attitude to its business and to its staff development. Lectures are advertised widely and making a connection between your company name and the IMechE can only be good for your company’s image.


    Most professional Motorsport companies rely directly on sponsorship to fund their existence. Showing the world what has been achieved by your company can provide useful exposure for your sponsors and, who knows, maybe your next key sponsor is sitting in the audience?

  • Why don't they include lectures on my specialist subject?

    In time we may well do so, but to be sure why not ask? We are always pleased to hear from members who have suggestions for good lecture topics. Maybe you might even suggest someone to present it or volunteer yourself?
  • What do the lecture evenings consist of?

    The most common format is to meet outside the lecture theatre up to 30 minutes before the lecture for refreshments and an opportunity to network with the other engineers present. The lectures are usually held in a large lecture theatre, commonly at an academic institution, with modern presentation facilities. Virtually every presentation is made using MS PowerPoint and it is common to include computer graphics, photos or animations to illustrate the talk. The talk usually lasts one hour and is followed by up to 30 minutes of questions, before the local Chairman brings the meeting to a close.
  • Who can come?

    Virtually anyone can come: Members, non-members, friends, colleagues or family. Due to the technical nature of the lectures it is not recommended that you bring children. The atmosphere is formal, polite and respectful to the speaker who will usually have given his time for free.
  • I am already a member, but how can I get more involved with the Institution?

    The best way is to go along to an event close to your home or work and introduce yourself to the local committee (or the person at the front who opens and closes the meeting). If you are working in the motorsport arena you may choose to head for your local Automotive Division as they will arrange almost entirely automotive based lectures and will certainly be pleased to see you. Another possibility is to be an Industrial Liaison Officer for your company – the point of contact for all IMechE communication with the company. Again your local committee can help you organise this and you can find contact details for them on this website under the AD CENTRES and MEMBERSHIP menus
  • IMechE membership is frowned upon in my company, why is this?

    This has been a problem in some specific motorsport companies, basically because some of the senior employees didn’t have the required academic qualifications to be members. This problem is disappearing as the old guard move on and are replaced with properly qualified professional engineers. No modern and professional company should display this attitude and the HR department should be able to help if your boss is awkward.

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