Wednesday, 25 April 2012

New Engineers Ireland Byelaws adopted

A huge number of issues and decisions were taken at our recent April Council meeting. Apart from a new corporate Strategy, election of a new Vice President, we also adopted new Byelaws to replace the last Byelaws enacted in 2003. These Byelaws updated the governance procedures for election to Council and Executive. These give the President increased powers for the co-option of new members to broaden the representation to newer sectors and to reduce the traditional dominance of civil engineers on the Council of Engineers Ireland. In this way other sectors like biomedical chemical computing aeronautical and electronic engineers will get a stronger voice and hopefully will be encouraged to join Engineers Ireland. I would expect that the ongoing TV advert for Chartered Engineer would also help.

Engineers Ireland Headquarters at Clyde Road
The additional cooption discretion will also help to address gender balance and encourage younger members onto Council. During my year as President we brought the Chairperson of the Young Engineers Society onto both Council and Executive for the first time.

We also removed the absolute necessity that future Director Generals of Engineers Ireland have to be Chartered Engineers although the preference for this has been retained. This was a contentious item only settled by secret ballot at Council earlier in the year.

I want to pay tribute to former President Anne Butler who chaired the Byelaws Task Force which also had Domhnall Blair, Mairín Ní Aonghusa, Sean Linehan and Tanya Layng. Domhnall has an encyclopedic knowledge of Engineers Ireland byelaws and procedures from his many years on Council and greatly assisted by Mairín who is former Secretary to many Councils, Executives and Director Generals.

Having passed the new Byelaws we then decided to proceed with this year's Council Election in accordance with them. In this way next year's Council were elected and procedures put in place to elect next year's Executive Board which is the new title we have given the Executive.

Embedded in the new Byelaws are the new Membership Rules, the relatively new Code of Ethics and new Guidelines for Committees and Boards for Regions, Divisions and Societies.

At this Council also we approved the audited Annual Accounts for the Annual Report and six candidates for Fellowship by Presidential Invitation.

As it was former President Martin Lowery's last Council meeting I sincerely thanked him for his hard work on Council for 4 years, his year as a very wise President and for his great assistance to me over the past year in particular. I also thanked the two Vice Presidents Michael Phillips and John O'Dea for their support at Council and at all other times.

All in all, this April Council meeting which was my last as President concluded a lot of important business which will set a roadmap for the years ahead. I am most grateful to the Council and Executive for the workmanlike and constructive fashion with which they addressed the various issues over the past year.

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