Opinion Former Article

SOE: Networking in road transport is as easy as S.O.E.

The IRTE (Institute of Road Transport Engineers), a professional sector of SOE, is launching a new membership structure that will open the organisation's benefits to more people working within the road transport profession.

The SOE (Society of Operations Engineers) announced the change following a lengthy review earlier this year. The Membership and Professional Standards Committee (MPS) concluded that the membership class structure needed to evolve to ensure that the organisation develops in line with the industry, and continues SOE's goals to promote the profession and raise standards.

By welcoming into membership people who are industry professionals, but not necessarily engineers, SOE is ensuring that those holding key positions within the engineering community have access to invaluable networking opportunities and information. Mark Organ, Head of Membership Services and Communications said: "Engineering directors and managers have often expressed concern that parts of their team could not join the IRTE, even though they held equivalent level qualifications."

The changes will not affect the status of existing Fellows, Members and Associate Members. However, those currently classed as Associates, Graduates or Students will now all come under the Associate Member banner.

To ensure clarity, qualified engineers will continue to distinguish themselves from non-engineer members by registering with the Engineering Council UK (ECUK), through SOE, as a Chartered Engineer (CEng), Incorporated Engineer (IEng), or Engineering Technician (EngTech). Registrations through SOE will lead to the relevant post-nominal letters being displayed on membership cards and other related literature.

Roddy MacKenzie, Chairman of the MPS Committee, said: "We are confident that the new class structure will support our members today and in the future. It will preserve our engineering reputation and let us continue providing the impartial technical advice that our members value."

The Society promotes safe, efficient and environmentally sound operations engineering to the benefit of the community. It is also one of the three partners that run the CV Show, one of Europe's largest commercial vehicle fairs held at Birmingham's NEC on 15-17 April 2008.

Members receive industry-wide recognition, as well as the latest technical and industry news in the form of our journals, Transport Engineer and Operations Engineer. Numerous events are held throughout the year, affording excellent opportunities for career progression, whilst discounts are offered on selected travel, financial, legal and insurance services. In addition, the SOE website includes an exclusive Member's Area, which supports our commitment to provide members with Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

If you are interested in the membership opportunities that SOE can offer you, or would like to find out more about our work, please visit www.soe.org.uk or call 020 7630 1111.

Ends

Editor's notes:

SOE (Society of Operations Engineers)

SOE is a professional membership organisation that represents around 17,000 individuals and companies in the engineering industry. The SOE has three professional sectors - IRTE, IPlantE and BES (see below for more details).

The Society promotes safe, efficient and environmentally sustainable operations engineering to the benefit of the community at large, through the support of best practice and health and safety initiatives, a commitment to the professional development of its members and by influencing legislation and design.

The SOE is online at www.soe.org.uk

IRTE (Institute of Road Transport Engineers)

IRTE, one of the most respected names in UK transport, was founded in 1944 and is recognised as an impartial voice of the industry. It encourages high standards of excellence with an emphasis on safety in operation, demonstrated by its research and education programme for members and industry. The IRTE is also a partner in the CV Show, alongside the RHA and SMMT.

IRTE members come from a wide variety of transport-related roles including apprentices and technicians in the light and heavy and bus and coach sectors, workshop managers, fleet engineers, transport managers and company directors.

BES (Bureau of Engineer Surveyors)

BES was established in 1965 as a specialist technical organisation for engineer surveyors to keep up-to-date with relevant technical information. Engineer surveyors independently assess plant and machinery for legal compliance and technical risk. BES activities are also of interest to building services engineers, technical health and safety professionals and those involved in engineering facilities.

IPlantE (Institution of Plant Engineers)

The IPlantE was founded in 1946 and is the Professional Sector for engineers, technicians and those with an interest in the specification, installation, operation and maintenance of industrial plant and services.

IPlantE members represent a huge range of engineering-related activities including static and rotating plant, industrial installation, mobile plant, power generation and distribution, utilities, system design, construction, production and maintenance and repair.

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