Gordon Attenborough interviews Deputy Prime Minister at Farnborough Air Show

Sector Head Gordon Attenborough and the IET.TV team were recently invited to the Farnborough Airshow by The High Value Manufacturing Catapult as part of thegrowing relationship between the two institutions. The Rt. Hon. Nick Clegg MP was there to announce government investment in Aerospace research and development and Gordon took the opportunity to get his views on the Catapult and the contribution it makes to UK innovation.

Nick Clegg Interview

Would your University like an IET Event?

A recent event was held at Cranfield University as part of their Academic Partnership with the IET. Students were invited to attend a series of presentations around some of the key sectors today, Manufacturing, Transport and Energy. Sadly Andrew McNaughton, Technical Director at HS2, had to withdraw at the last minute however, students made full use of presentations on how to innovate in manufacturing and off shore wind power courtesy of Gordon Attenborough of the IET and Andy Compton from Alstom.

The event was intended to demonstrate some of the knowledge transfer and thought leadership activities the IET engage in, highlighting how the Institution affords members opportunities to engage and collaborate with key companies, technological challenges and the major engineering projects of the time.

Gordon told us: "It is not uncommon for students to have the impression that the IET is only about accreditation and CPD, it was fantastic to be able to showcase the whole knowledge management side of what we do. The Sectors team in particular, are very fortunate in the external collaborations and partnerships we get to establish at the highest levels and I hope some of the students today took away a real flavour of the opportunities for members our institution gives in that regard.”
Key companies, academic institutions, policy concerns, technological innovations and major engineering projects - all are a part of our knowledge transfer and thought leadership activities."

If you would like a similar event at your University with presentations from key industries and projects working with the IET then please contact to discuss further

The videos from the day are available below:

Innovation in Manufacturing
Delivering UK Off Shore Wind

 The Head of the Design & Production Sector, Gordon Attenborough, recently attended the first project group meeting arranged with Arthritis Research UK that has been formed to generate collaborative projects around design, engineering, arthritis and the aging population question. With additional representatives from The KTN, The Design Council and The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design; this group is ideally placed to generate crucial thought leadership and real impact in an area of increasing concern.

Gordon told us: "The need for more inclusive design with consideration of those with impairments to become a mainstream consumer issue, rather than a niche one, has been pushed for some time with limited success. The exciting thing about this group is the level of experience and understanding of what could be achieved combined with absolute realism as to the barriers to getting traction in Parliament and Corporates."

He added "It has become clear that where we can make a real difference is by quantifying the economic impact better design and engineering could have upon the aging population crisis, The financial services sector is currently being looked to for solutions however, if we can provide examples and metrics of how engineers can delay the need to go into care and reduce the number of accidents in the home involving the elderly; I believe this will be an extremely significant piece of work."

The research process is now underway and if any members have case study examples or suggestions for data that address these issues, please let us know either via the community pages or emailing Gordon directly at

Dr Ronaldo Ronaldo -  The newly elected Chair of the IET Manufacturing Technical Professional Network, highlights the key role IET networks have to play and announces an invitation for new applicants to join this prestigious committee.
"It is reassuring to see that manufacturing continues to make positive headlines in the recent months - not only in the UK but across the globe. From the new product development to packaging and distribution, engineers play a big role in manufacturing and contribute enormously to the economy. Economic contribution whilst important, I would argue, is a by-product of manufacturing activities. Throughout decades we have seen how manufacturing has realised many of human aspirations; producing more affordable transports through lean manufacturing, micro-fabrication techniques enabling the creation of integrated circuits and sensors, realisation of complex designs through additive manufacturing, just to name a few.
So what's next for manufacturing? I believe this sector will grow steadily and we will continue to see the cycle of shoring and re-shoring. Low cost advantage is a temporary state and we are seeing more manufacturing activities being set-up closer to customers. Furthermore, in creating values for rapidly changing customers demand, supply chains are being restructured and becoming more integrated & closely knitted clusters. The push mentality has becoming the past, and the new era dictates the need of seamless multi-directional value streams.
Therefore the need to radically engineer improvements, by applying new and more sustainable technologies and methodologies, are becoming more important than ever before. As much as company director needs to understand demand to make sound judgement, every engineer needs to continue updating their knowledge and learn best practices from every corner of the world. This is where the Manufacturing TPN, in collaboration with other TPNs and Local Networks, Design and Production Sector, and other entities, comes into play by facilitating knowledge exchange through a variety of activities.
I would like to conclude by saying that there is a good vibe of being an engineer today - credit to IET staff & volunteers and otherwise, who are continuously raising the profile of engineers. The previous Chairman, Lee Wood CEng has done a tremendous work for the Manufacturing TPN and is still volunteering within the other part of the IET. But we know we can achieve more, so if you would like to drive this sector forward, by using your expertise and influence, I am pleased to say that we have a number executive vacancies."

Dr Ronaldo Ronaldo BEng BBus MSc MIoD MIET Chair of The Manufacturing TPN. 

More details of these positions are available on MyCommunity and if you are enthusiastic on shaping the Network, or would like to discuss the opportunity further, please just get in touch at or via Joanne Longton Community Relationship Manager.

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Design & Production events

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Modelling of Capacitive and Resistive Devices - what are your challenges?

Designing modern electronic devices requires a thorough understanding of the behaviour of electric fields, current and charge in dielectrics and conductive media. For instance electronic devices are generally susceptible to heating due to resistive and dielectric losses.

This webinar will explore the design benefits of a multiphysics approach to modelling this behaviour within capacitive and resistive devices including resistors, capacitors, insulation layers, electrostatic actuators, and resistive and capacitive sensors.

Learn best practices for modelling common multiphysics effects such as cooling air flow, thermal expansion, and Joule heating, in addition to the electromechanical couplings often observed in sensors and actuators.

If you have questions on this topic, or want to share your experiences in multiphysics simulation join the webinar on the 2nd April

View the webinar programme here:
  • Posted Wed 05 Mar 2014 03:14 GMT

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