1. In March 2009, our predecessor Committee published
the findings of its wide-ranging inquiry into engineering in the
report Engineering: turning ideas into reality (hereafter
referred to as the 2009 Engineering report). The Committee
had examined four case studies: (i) nuclear engineering; (ii)
plastic electronics engineering; (iii) geo-engineering; and (iv)
engineering in Government. Through the case study on engineering
in Government, the Committee made a number of recommendations
to improve the Government's use of engineering advice and expertise
in policy processes, which were supplemented further by the 2009
report Putting Science and Engineering at the Heart of Government
2. Engineering is a critical component of our
national economy, and the Government clearly considers the UK
to have significant engineering strengths.
However, changing economic and political environments have introduced
new pressures on UK engineering, and we were keen to revisit the
relationship between Government and the engineering community.
This follow-up inquiry is part of our ongoing interest in engineering
and its importance to society. Therefore in September 2011 we
sought views on the following questions:
a) Since the 2009 Engineering inquiry, has the
role of engineering evidence, expertise and advice in Government
b) Are structures within Government now designed
to optimise engagement with engineering communities and
input to decision-making?
c) How has the Government's relationship with
the engineering community changed?
d) Are there specific engineering sectors where
engagement with Government should be improved? How could improvements
We held two evidence sessions in November 2011. We
would like to thank everyone who contributed written or oral evidence
to this follow-up inquiry.
1 Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee,
Eighth Report of Session 2008-09, Putting Science and Engineering
at the Heart of Government Policy, HC 168-I Back
Ev14 para 2 Back
"Inquiry into engineering in government", Science
and Technology Committee press release, 30 October 2011 Back