Memorandum submitted by the Institute
of Electrical Engineers (IEE)
Thank you for the invitation to the IEE to submit
evidence to this enquiry. In doing so, we are restricting our
comments to the area of which we have first hand knowledge, that
is the contribution made by the IEE to providing scientific advice
to Government and to communicating science and technology to the
IEE is a not for profit organisation, registered
as a charity in the UK. Its income is mainly derived from its
technical publishing activities and from Members' subscriptions.
IEE commits well in excess of £1.5 million a year to education
and public awareness activities. The annual cost of its Engineering
Policy Department represents a further £430,000. With rare
exceptions, noted in the detailed evidence attached, this work
is carried out entirely at the IEE's own expense.
Founded in 1871, IEE is the largest professional
engineering society in Europe and has a worldwide membership of
circa 130,000 ranging from students to the most distinguished
and highly qualified members of the profession. IEE represents
a wide range of engineering disciplines including power engineering,
electronics, communications, computing, software engineering,
IT and manufacturing.
The IEE is keen to ensure that in framing policy
and legislation the Government has access to the best professional
engineering advice. IEE monitors Government and Parliamentary
consultations and responds to approximately 30 consultations each
year on subjects ranging from Renewable Energy to Innovations
In providing advice to Government, the IEE acts
in accordance with the obligations of its Royal Charter and therefore
particular importance is attached to reliable, authoritative advice
in the fields of health and safety and environmental issues. It
conducts proactive in-depth studies of key issues as well as responding
to requests for comment.
An important recent example is the assistance
provided by the IEE to the Stewart Enquiry into the possible effects
on health of mobile phones. The IEE's Policy Group on the Biological
Effects of Low-level EMFs monitors all published research on this
subject world-wide and has compiled a database of research results,
reviewing and adding approximately 1,400 new entries per year.
This independent data was supplied to the Stewart Enquiry and
formed a basis for the thorough review that was undertaken.
IEE organises a number of high profile activities
designed to communicate science to the public. Principal amongst
these is the Faraday Lecture tour which in 2001 was attended by
approximately 25,000 students and reached a further three million
in the UK, USA and Canada through a combination of satellite and
cable broadcast and Channel 4 schools programming based on the
lecture. Other examples are given in the accompanying detailed
IEE is convinced that one of the most effective
means of achieving better public understanding of science and
technology in the longer term is to support teachers. It therefore
devotes considerable time and money to the provision of curriculum
support. IEE initiated and piloted the Marconi Days scheme, in
association with GEC, with the aim of increasing the number of
teachers of electronics through the Design and Technology Curriculum.
More recently IEE has become a national funding partner for the
STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) initiative
being delivered through SETNET and is working with a major media
partner to develop an exciting new Web-based project.
Dr Nicholas Moiseiwitsch
Head of Engineering Policy
1. The IEE's Mission Statement is "to
advance and disseminate knowledge in our discipline and to enhance
the quality of engineering professionalism available to the community".
IEE ROLE IN
Submissions to Government, Select Committees and
2. The IEE is keen to ensure that in framing
policy and legislation the Government has access to the best professional
engineering advice. IEE monitors Government consultations and
responds to approximately 30 consultations each year on subjects
ranging from Renewable Energy to Innovations in Microprocessing.
3. In formulating submissions, every effort
is given to assembling diverse groups involving many different
backgrounds and viewpoints. All submissions are approved on behalf
of the Board of Trustees by the Chair of an expert group, appointed
in consultation with his or her peers. The IEE takes this activity
very seriously and has a dedicated staff function, the Engineering
Policy Department, to oversee and administer the process.
4. The timescales set by Government for
responding to consultations remain a problem, with many considerably
less than the three months recommended in Government policy. IEE
consults as widely as possible amongst its members but, clearly,
the more time that is given, the more extensive is the possible
consultation and the more opportunity busy expert members have
to comment fully.
5. The drive towards "Open Government"
means that Government Departments and other agencies increasingly
consult by placing a consultative document on their website, without
specifically inviting relevant organisations to respond. IEE monitors
a large number of relevant websites in order to ensure that it
is aware of the important consultations. However, direct invitations
to comment are appreciated. From the Government's point of view
there is very considerable benefit to be gained from inviting
the IEE to submit evidence as it can be assured that the views
expressed have been subjected to peer review. This point is further
developed in the IEE's evidence to the Office of Science and Technology
on "The use of scientific advice in Policy Making",
a copy of which forms Appendix B to this evidence.
6. It is noted with interest that the Government's
Ministerial Science Group, MSG, has undertaken to keep under review
Departmental procedures for early anticipation and identification
of issues for which scientific research or advice will be needed.
IEE would be keen to explore mechanisms by which early notice
of forthcoming consultations could be received and to enter into
dialogue with Civil Servants in the relevant Departments at an
earlier stage on future policy issues where the IEE could be of
7. IEE co-operates with other Institutions
and Societies such as the BCS, the IMechE and the IChemE. However
its current policy is not the produce "joint" submissions
with other bodies except on professional matters where the issues
are mutual. The pooling of inputs to produce joint submissions
adds to the time taken and generally leads to a more bland response.
It is understood that recipients of advice would prefer to receive
separate submissions so that any differences or similarities are
apparent and can be aired and debated.
Biological Effects of Low-Level Electromagnetic
8. The IEE Policy Advisory Group on the
Biological Effects of Low-level Electromagnetic Fields monitors
all published research on this subject world-wide and has compiled
a database of research results, reviewing and adding approximately
1,400 new entries each year.
9. IEE publishes Policy Statements, updated
every two years, on the basis of the peer-reviewed papers published
during this period. These are available on the IEE website.
10. The IEE's database was supplied to the
Stewart Enquiry and formed a basis for the thorough review that
was undertaken. As a result of the Steward Enquiry, the Government
has established the Mobile Telephone and Health (MTHR) Programme.
This consists of 15 Government funded studies into the possible
biological effects of mobile phones. Of these 15 selected studies,
four involve members of the IEE Biological Effects Group.
11. In 2001, the IEE produced a FactFile,
explaining in layman's terms the possible effects on health of
low-level electromagnetic fields. Copies were circulated widely,
including to MPs. It was also sent to local authorities and public
undertakings to assist them in planning matters. IEE's independence
was much appreciated by recipients. The FactFile is available
for free download on the IEE website.
IEE Reports and Guidelines commissioned by Government
12. IEE has undertaken a number of major
research projects for Government in the past years, with varying
degrees of Government funding. The main examples are:
Software in Safety Related Systems:
major research project funded by DTI and published in 1989 in
order to raise awareness of software as a new risk issue.
The IEE was also a founder member of the Safety
Critical Systems Club, which was set up, with DTI pump-priming
funds, to encourage the sharing of professional expertise in this
area. The IEE's Professional Network on Functional Safety, which
is due to be launched shortly, will continue to develop this area,
co-operating closely with the Club;
"Safety, Competency and Commitment:
Competency Guidelines for Safety Related Systems Practitioners":
published by the IEE in 1999, following a four year IEE/BCS project
with funding from HSE and backing from the DTI;
"Embedded Systems and the Y2k
problem": major research and awareness project, largely at
IEE expense, but with DTI funding for a specific sub-project;
"To School or not to School":
IEE Foresight Associate Project, published on the IEE website
in 2001, on the role of ICT in primary and secondary education.
This was funded entirely by the IEE.
13. The resource pressures on Institutions,
coupled with the increased pressures on expert Members' time,
mean that undertaking this type of project is much more difficult
now than five or 10 years ago. IEE currently has no plans for
projects of this nature, however, it is prepared to consider proposals
for longer-term studies in fields where it believes it can really
make a difference, provided they are fully or substantially funded
by the customer.
IEE ROLE IN
Faraday Lecture series
14. The IEE Faraday Lecture was founded
in 1924 to commemorate the life and work of Michael Faraday, and
is now an annual tour, which visits up to 14 towns and cities
throughout the UK. The Faraday aims to enthuse young people in
the 14-16 year old age group about science, engineering and technology
and to attract some of them into a career in these areas. The
lecture is a live stage presentation using the latest technologies:
sensors, web-cams, audio-visual inserts and multi-media together
with lots of demonstrations and audience participation. Over 20,000
students, together with members of the general public, see the
lecture in the UK and it is also received by satellite throughout
North America, Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong and Europe. It is televised
in Australia and New Zealand and, in the UK, Channel 4 record
the lecture on which they base an educational programme for schools.
In total the Lecture reaches in excess of three million television
IEE Christmas Lecture
15. This annual lecture is designed to bring
to the notice of sixth form school children the services electrical
engineering performs for the community. It is presented two or
three times at the IEE's headquarters in Savoy Place and sometimes
also in the Branches. The most recent Lecture was about the British
Airways London Eye and offered an insight into the complex engineering
design and construction methods that underpin this successful
PAWS Drama Awards
16. The PAWS (Public Awareness of Science)
Drama Awards provide bursaries to television scriptwriters to
enable them to develop ideas for drama with a science, engineering
or technology (SET) flavour. In doing so they recognise the power
of the mass media to influence people's perceptions through entertainment.
In addition to the bursaries there are prizes for the best programmes
to be broadcast with a SET base or containing elements of SET.
There is a regular newsletter and workshops where writers meet
engineers and scientists. The IEE has supported the scheme since
its inception and each year hosts and sponsors the Awards evening.
Today's Engineers Painting Competition
17. This competition is designed specifically
for primary schools (five to seven year old pupils) and has been
running for eight years. It regularly attracts 10,000 entries
from schools throughout the UK and is backed by a consortium of
15 bodies from the engineering world, with the IEE being the largest
sponsor and providing project management. This is one of IEE's
main contributions to SET Week and, in 2002, to SET Year.
National Exhibitions and Events
18. IEE also recognises the need to meet
various members of the public face-to-face, particularly family
groups, and staff attend a number of exhibitions each year. Typically
this could include the British Association Festival; Tomorrow's
World Live and the Imagineering show within the Town & Country
Fair. Every effort is made to target exhibits to the science and
technology national curriculum.
Campaign to Promote Engineering (CPE)
19. The IEE was one of the founding Patrons
of CPE and has continued to support it. As well as being represented
on the Board and, initially, providing accommodation for the Campaign's
offices, the IEE representative chairs the CPE's Health Planning
IEE Prize for Helping Disabled People
20. The IEE Prize for Helping Disabled People
is a collaborative project, managed by the IEE and run in conjunction
with "Young Engineers" with the support of the Campaign
to Promote Engineering (CPE). Aimed at 11-18 year olds, this national
competition promotes the major role played by engineering and
technology in meeting the needs of people with disabilities and
Engineering in Health Week
21. This project has been running for six
years and is supported by CPE and its Health Planning Group. The
IEE is one of the sponsors of the week and provides the project
management for it. The week consists of a series of high-grade
lectures on health technology delivered by leading figures in
the field. It is aimed at A level students to encourage them to
consider this area as a career and is linked to the appropriate
parts of the national curriculum. Originally based in London it
has now added Birmingham and Glasgow as venues and attracts some
2,000 students each year. In 2002, Engineering in Health Week
is badged as a contribution to SET Year.
Daphne Jackson Memorial Lecture
22. Organised by the IEE in conjunction
with the Women's Engineering Society (WES) and the Institute of
Physics (IoP), the annual Daphne Jackson Memorial Lecture aims
to highlight the contribution that women make in the fields of
science, engineering and technology and to promote engineering
as a suitable, worthwhile and exciting career for girls.
Factfiles and Factsheets
23. The Engineering Policy Department produces
a range of FactFiles and Factsheets on topical issues with an
engineering dimension. They are suitable for non-engineers and
designed to give unbiased factual information. Titles include
"Nuclear Power in the UK", "The Environmental Effects
of Electricity generation", and "Electromagnetic Fields
24. The Department also produces a large
range of Health and Safety Briefings and Legal Briefings. These
are available on the IEE website.
25. The IEE website, www.iee.org, is a major
resource of information for Members and the public. Information
on every aspect of the IEE's activities may be found on the website.
For example, the Engineering Policy section contains the full
text of all submissions made by the IEE to Government and links
to factual information on a wide range of fields.
26. The IEE Archives are available to the
public and used by researchers, eg for TV programmes, events and
exhibitions. They contain information about the development of
electrical science and technology from earliest times to the present.
There is visual and written material on the electrical industry,
design, business and family history, and women in engineering.
Information about the content of the collections is accessible
to the public via the IEE website.
Curriculum resource materials
27. The IEE produces a wide range of curriculum
resources for primary and secondary schools to support the teaching
of science, design and technology, ICT and careers. The majority
of these are produced in collaboration with other partners. The
resources include TV programmes, CD-ROM, software, books, videos,
training materials for teachers and posters. Particular examples
Young Foresighta design
and technology initiative for Year 9 (14 year olds);
new A level course developed with the Institute of Physics;
ICON Soft Electronicssoftware
for programming PIC (programmable interface controller) chips;
Handbooks for Science Teachersset
of three developed with the Association for Science Education.
28. IEE has become a national funding partner
for the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)
initiative being delivered through SETNET. It is working with
Channel 4 Learning to develop an exciting new Web-based project
promoting careers involving the creative use of ICT and electronics.
IEE/NEC Teacher Awards
29. Now in its eighth year, this annual
scheme provides awards for twelve teachers from primary or secondary
schools, who through good practice, enthusiasm and dedication
have encouraged students to develop a keen interest in subjects
appropriate to electrical, electronic, and manufacturing engineering.
30. Although particularly appropriate for
those teaching design and technology, information technology,
mathematics or science, the awards are not restricted to teachers
in any particular subject area. Nominations are welcomed from
anyone with personal experience of a potential winner, whether
as a current or past student, parent, school governor, colleague,
adviser or an engineer who has links with the school.
31. SchoolNet is the IEE School Affiliate
Scheme, membership of which is free to secondary schools, sixth
form and further education colleges. The scheme aims to support
and enhance the teaching of science and technology at secondary
level by disseminating information about the IEE's schools activities
and resources, as well as details of other relevant materials
32. Electronics Education is the
schools magazine of the IEE. Published each term, in September,
January and April, it is sent free to science and technology departments
of all UK secondary schools as well as to Initial Teacher Training
providers and many educational organisations.
33. Electronics Education seeks
to be a resource for teachers, providing support in implementing
the electronics content of the science and design and technology
curricula at Key Stages 3 and 4 and in the sixth form. It covers
electronics, computing, engineering careers and related topics,
and reviews books, software and educational products. As well
as informative articles, each issue features project work to provide
teachers with ideas to pursue with their own students. These projects
are contributed from various sources including pupils themselves.
34. The electronics industry has, for some
years, faced problems recruiting enough people at all levels.
In a large part this is because only a relatively small number
of schools offer GCSE electronics through the Design and Technology
curriculum (about 20 per cent of secondary schools) which, in
turn, means that only some 7 per cent of the cohort are opting
for electronics. Recognising that the provision of sufficient
teachers trained to teach the subject was vital, the IEE, with
funding from GEC (as it was at the time), set up a pilot scheme
to train teachers of electronics as an INSET project. The initial
results were so encouraging that the Design & Technology Association
(DATA), as the specialist body for teachers in this part of the
curriculum, was invited to take on the management of the next
phases of the project which attracted government funding. The
IEE retains an active interest as part of the steering group and
has accredited the work through it own Continuing Professional
Development schemeboth for training of trainers and of
OTHER IEE ACTIVITIES
IEE's qualifying role
35. IEE is a qualifying body for engineers
in a wide range of engineering disciplines including power engineering,
electronics, communications, computing, software engineering,
IT and manufacturing. Employing organisations, clients and members
of the general public can be assured that a Chartered Engineer
qualified through IEE is a knowledgeable professional who will
make recommendations and conduct business in a strictly professional
manner adhering to the code of conduct and the ethical standards
laid down by IEE. Engineers so qualified may describe themselves
as Chartered Engineers and may use the designatory letters CEng
MIEE after their names. Such clear designation assists the public
in understanding where to obtain authoritative information and
IEE's Learned Society RoleProfessional
36. The IEE's learned society role is based
on its 33 Professional Networks. Each Professional Network provides
an interface for global networking between professionals with
shared interests and needs and aims to meet those needs by providing
focused technical events, papers and other products. The Engineering
Policy Department draws on this framework to access experts in
the appropriate fields when providing advice to Government.
Co-operation with EPSRC
37. IEE works actively with the Research
Councils and especially EPSRC, in assisting in the setting of
the national research agenda and supporting the interests of its
large number of research-based members and affiliated companies.
Such research involvement is also crucial to IEE as an internationally
respected academic publisher. In practice, for example, IEE co-sponsors
EPSRC events (such as the PREP conferencePostgraduate Research
in Electronics, Photonics, Communications and Software); nominates
IEE experts to senior EPSRC Committees and Colleges, and undertakes
specific tasks for the Council, such as managing the recent OST-initiated
International Review of Computer Science Research. In turn, senior
staff members of the Councils are active in IEE affairs: The present
CEO of EPSRC is a Deputy President of the IEE, for example.
Standards makingWiring Regulations
38. IEE is responsible for publishing the
UK National Standard BS7671: Requirements for Electrical Installations.
IEE also publishes standards for ships and offshore installations.
In association with these activities, IEE members and staff represent
UK interests at a range of European and international standards
Scholarships and Grants
39. The IEE offers a significant number
of awards to assist members and students with undergraduate studies,
postgraduate research and international travel. The annual commitment
in terms of the above awards is approximately £142,000.
40. The postgraduate awards are intended
to assist with research in the fields of electrical, electronic,
manufacturing and information engineering. The awards range in
value from £1,000 to £10,000 per annum. The premier
postgraduate award offered by the IEE is the Leslie H Paddle Fellowship
which is available to assist members of the IEE with research
which is in the forefront of technology related to Electronics
or Radio Engineering.
41. Undergraduate scholarships and grants
are available to assist students and members with their studies
on an IEE accredited first or MEng degree. The awards range in
value from £500 to £750 per annum and are open to students
who have demonstrated a keen interest in mathematics, science
and engineering. Applicants are expected to have attained exceptional
results in their A Level, Higher, Advanced Higher or vocational
qualifications or during the course of their university studies.
The Jubilee Scholarships are the premier undergraduate award.
These have a value of £750 per annum and are open to students
who are to enter an MEng degree at the start of each academic
year in September.
42. A number of Prizes are also offered
for academic excellence on an IEE accredited first or MEng degree.
43. Travel awards are available to assist
members with international travel related to research, professional
interests, training, professional development and the presentation
7 Guidelines 2000, Scientific Advice and Policy Making,
OST, July 2000 Back