Sir Julian Young, IET President 2021-22

New IET president to champion technicians and enhance status of UK engineers

Image credit: The IET

The new president of the IET will use his year-long term of office to champion engineering technicians by enhancing and supporting the professionalism and competency of the industry throughout the UK and internationally.

Air Marshal Sir Julian Young, who retired recently from the Royal Air Force after 40 years of service as an engineer officer, became the 140th president of the IET today (1 October 2021) for 2021/22, succeeding Professor Danielle George MBE.

With an increased government focus on vocational training and technical skills, such as the introduction of T-Levels, Sir Julian intends to lead the IET over the next year to increase the visibility and importance of technicians – both within the IET’s membership and more widely to enhance the overall status of engineers.

Sir Julian is also aiming to continue to build on the success that past-president Professor George achieved over the last 12 months during the IET’s 150th anniversary. He hopes to encourage and inspire the next generation of talent by demonstrating the positive societal role engineers and technologists play, as well as shining a spotlight on the emergence of rapidly developing sectors such as cyber, AI and ‘green jobs’ that support sustainability and climate change.

Sir Julian said: “The engineering and technology industry supports and advances the world we live in, but more importantly it enables opportunity. It is our role as a professional membership body to support engineers and technologists throughout their professional career – enhancing the professionalism and competency of the industry by demonstrating engineering excellence.

“There are still around three million engineers within the UK that do not belong to a professional membership body, with some 4 in 10 of these being technicians. This year, I will be driving forward our offer to technicians and championing their role to help enhance their status and formulate a pipeline for which young people can see positive and sustainable career options ahead of them. This will support the government’s ongoing work to raise the status of technical-level qualifications and boosting the skills needed within the industry.”

In his inaugural President’s Address, Sir Julian will explore the themes of professionalism and the importance of membership, the role of engineering to society and making a positive impact, embedding digitalisation and ensuring we are futureproofing the industry for the next generation.

In his last post at the RAF, Sir Julian was director general air within the Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organisation in the Ministry of Defence (MOD). In this role he led approximately 2,265 military and civilian specialists and was responsible for an annual budget of around £3.7bn to equip and support all of the MOD’s fixed-wing aircraft. He was also a member of the Air Force Board and the RAF’s chief engineer, as well as having an MOD-wide role as the defence engineering champion. Sir Julian's first degree was in air transport engineering and he is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

The IET President’s Address – ‘Eat, sleep, engineer, repeat: how you can play your part in evolving our engineering landscape for all’ – is scheduled to take place online on Thursday 14 October 2021 at 1pm BST / 2pm CET / 8pm CST / 8am EDT / 5am PDT.

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