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Farewell IEE and IIE - hello IET

01 October, 2005

Farewell IEE and IIE - hello IET

Members of the Institutions of Electrical and Incorporated Engineers - the IEE and IIE - have voted to merge to form a new organisation. The merged body, to be called the Institution of Engineering and Technology - or IET - will have the largest number of professionally registered engineers and engineering technicians in the UK, when it is formed early next year.

About 20% if the IEE`s 120,000 members took part in the ballot, and of those, 73.5% were in favour of the merger. About 23% of the IIE`s 40,000 members participated in that institution`s ballot, but they were more enthusiastic about the merger, with 95.7% voting in favour of it.

IEE president Professor John O`Reilly hailed the vote as "an historic step for both institutions". He said that the 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".

O`Reilly`s counterpart at the IIE, Lord Trefgarne (above), remarked that 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 organisation for our profession".

The two organisations have begun the process of creating the IET, which will need to be approved by the Privy Council.

The IEE began life as the Society of Telegraph Engineers in 1871, before being renamed the IEE in 1889. As well as UK premises in London and Stevenage, it has offices in the US, China and Hong Kong, and has 90 branches worldwide.

The multidisciplinary IIE can also trace its origins in the 1870s, but has had a more complex history. It was formed in 1998 by the merger of the IEEIE (the Institution of Electrical and Electronic Incorporated Engineers), the IMechIE (the Institution of Mechanical Incorporated Engineers) and the IET (the Institute of Engineers and Technicians). In 1999, it was joined by the IIExE (the Institution of Executive Incorporated Engineers) and in 2005 by the SoE (Society of Engineers). The IIE has had a royal charter since 2001.

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