‘Engineering eye’ (December) refers to the e-petition to legally protect ‘engineer’. A worthy ambition but sadly misdirected. Are we to take everyone to court with ‘Repair Engineer’ on their van? Also British Gas, for upgrading their fitters to engineers ‘to improve their status’? Even IMechE, for encouraging technicians to become full members of an institution of Engineers? I doubt it.
Anyone who has worked elsewhere in Europe will have noticed that a professional engineer is highly respected and never confused with a mechanic. It is simply a matter of language. Their engineers all have titles which are derived from ‘ingenuity’ not ‘engine’.
We could solve our problem by simply adopting the French ‘Ingenieur’ (or anglicised Ingeneer) as the Germans and others did, ideally with a prefix such as 'Ir' for CEng's and 'Ing' for IEng's. Past IMechE Presidents and a past DG of the Engineering Council tell me they are in favour but are reluctant to say so in public.
The beauty of this alternative is that it would be self-publicising. Can't be done? Ask Hong Kong, where they introduced ‘Ir’ overnight and have never looked back.
David Reeves, Newark, Notts
- Want to sign the petition? Go to epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/6271