, a foundation degree engineering student from Birches Head has been awarded a certificate for student excellence and a cheque for £250.00 by IET North West Midlands. Read the Press Release
On 12th November, Dr Caroline Chibelushi
of Data Burrowing Solutions gave a presentation on how the use of artificial intelligence is used to detect financial fraud and tax evasion. Read the report
Report on NWM Network Event. Visit to Media City UK at Salford Quays 12 February 2013.
In mid February an enthusiastic group of 27 braved the cold to visit the new BBC base at Media City UK, Salford Quays, Manchester. Organised by the North West Midlands Network the event attracted a range of members, from students to the retired. Some travelled from as far away as Birmingham and Shrewsbury; one lucky member was able to stroll down from her apartment at The Quays.
Paul Newman, Communications Director for Peel Media Ltd who have developed the Salford Docks site and own Media City welcomed the group and explained how the site has been designed to be a world class centre for television and other media program production and distribution. The production equipment is owned by Peel so sharing between the tenants improves efficiency. As well as the BBC, who employ more than 2,500 people and ITV, who are moving from their old Quay Street Studios and building a dedicated production studio for Coronation Street, there are over 80 small and medium sized creative businesses. They have have made their home in the Media Village located in The Greenhouse and The Pie Factory. Salford University occupy a nearby building with more than 1500 students being taught in a new digital learning centre and carrying out research. The inclusion of excellent transport links, a hotel, apartments, shops and restaurants provide a complete living and working environment.
A conducted tour by the Chief Technology Officer of the BBC studios explained and illustrated how technically advanced the facility is. High definition 3G is employed throughout with interconnection by fibre optic hub and spoke configuration. The large studio can accommodate major events such as the Sports Personality of the Year in 2011 and Strictly Come Dancing. The sets in the smaller more flexible studios can be adopted quickly and economically for various productions. In the Jeremy Kyle studio one of the group, a PhD student could not resist sitting in the guest chair but thankfully did not start to tell us his problems. The Blue Peter studio brought memories back to all but no one admitted to having won a Blue Peter badge. The studios are also the home of the BBC Symphony Orchestra with a dedicated concert hall/studio.
Moving on to the journalistic facilities housed in a separate building, the more ‘hot house’ environment could be felt with news and sports programs being prepared and broadcast. It is the home to Radio 5 Live, Breakfast Television, Radio Manchester and many Radio 4 programs as well as being an important part of television and radio news. The modern, if unconventional working environment designed to enhance creativity and fresh thinking is truly impressive with the rows of open circular meeting pods in bright colours attracting the attention of the group.
Thanks must go to the staff of Media City and the BBC for making the afternoon enjoyable and very informative.
Photograph reproduced with kind permission of Media City, Salford Quays
Report on NWM Network Event. Talk by Justin Mingaye 25 September 2012.
Mr Justin Mingaye is the Regional Development Manager for West Midlands and Wales. He delivered a talk ”Who are the IET? What can the IET do for you?” at the Ruxton Technology Centre, Staffordshire University, on 25 September.
He prefaced his talk by emphasising that his background is in marketing, rather than engineering, but his talk clearly demonstrated knowledge of what the IET has as the central aims. Justin has seven networks within his region including our network, and is the interface between us and Savoy Place.
Justin has a key role in establishing contact with engineering and technology businesses, academic institutions and training providers across the region in order to exploit the services available from the IET and is already gaining a commitment from companies to formalise their engagement with the IET by becoming Corporate Partners, through a scheme rolled out in August.
Justin asked the audience what the main selling points should be when encouraging engineers to join the IET. Two reasons emerged:
1. The need to have IET membership and CEng as a licence to practice required by some industries. It was recognised that in the UK this was limited.
2. The help the IET can give for continued professional development (CPD). The website, library, national and local seminars and events.
A question was posed as to why we in our network had received very few referrals from engineers seeking mentoring. Justin admitted that the take-up seems patchy across the UK. One reason is thought to be the reticence of engineers to admit to anxieties, especially if names of colleagues were involved. It was suggested from the audience that mentoring should not be just helping members to achieve CEng which seems to be the perceived role but to help the development of engineers in their careers. In small companies mentoring from a peer group or from non line managers was limited and in some cases non existent. The IET could help.
In answer to another question asking why the IET did not take a stronger line with the issue of successive governments’ allowing our hard won expertise in many areas of engineering to be sold off to foreign organisations. Justin intimated his intention to seek an answer, since this was outside his operational activities. In answer to another question he gave an account of some of the recent initiatives aimed at encouraging more young people to aspire to engineering careers. Although aimed chiefly at producing more technician engineers with little mention of chartered engineers, there was general approval by those attending.
The question of increasing the involvement of schools and colleges with the IET was raised. Justin said that he had not visited the local colleges (Stafford, Newcastle, Stoke) due to limitations of time. On further discussion the idea of asking the younger members to visit local schools emerged. This is to be discussed at a committee meeting and noted and encouraged by Justin.
Mr Don Brown, consultant to the IET, gave a short talk about the re-vamped Benevolent Fund, which has now been re-titled IET Connect. A recent review of this service revealed that the kinds of help sought by members had been changing, and widening, resulting in recognition that many circumstances did not need the residential care provided for many years at the care home owned by the IET. In 2010 Spiers House was transferred to a private provider, thus releasing a substantial number of IET staff, who have been able to devote more time towards advising members seeking help with such diverse difficulties as legal advice, redundancy and financial assistance among other distressing problems.
This significant change came as a surprise to most of those attending, and there was unanimous approval of the outcome.
Photograph reproduced with kind permission of Media City, Salford Quays
The IET NWM Network would like to thank Staffordshire University for their continued support to the netwok activities over the last years.