David Reeves’ letter in PE Feb 2012 concerning the use of the word “Engineer” in the UK offered creditable ideas. However it contained a section implying that the IMechE’s encouragement of Technicians to become full members of an Engineering Institution was comparable with British Gas’s practice of upgrading their fitters to engineers via a job title.
I would suggest that this is an unfair slight to Eng Techs in our Institution and others. To obtain Eng Tech status a person has to demonstrate competencies outlined in the EC’s UK Standard for Professional Registration just as CEngs and IEngs have to at their respective levels.
The IMechE maintains a rigorous process where the candidate is assessed by members of the ETAG (Eng Tech Assessor Group) whose recommendations are then reviewed by the PRC (Professional Review Committee), not a simple exercise in allocating a new name.
Eng Techs exist in many forms ranging from young technicians to very experienced Design Draughtsmen and Foremen, not forgetting members of the Armed Forces. They are the people who have to make things work, often requiring specialist skills and knowledge to do this.
Many Eng Techs, especially those at the earlier part of their career, see their achievement as a stepping stone to IEng and CEng status.
Mike McLoughlin, Warrington, Cheshire