The Season Ahead, IET Swindon Network

The IET Swindon Network kicked off this season’s lecture series with a talk from Dr. Hamid Falaki, our very own Events Manager, with a presentation entitled "5G - Overview & Opportunities". This was also my first opportunity to introduce a speaker in my new role as Chair of our Network. I’ve recently taken over from Ray Lewington, who I’m sure many of you will know very well and will agree that he has done an excellent job.  I’m also very pleased that he has agreed to continue to actively support the Network where his involvement will be invaluable. My sincere thanks to him.

Along with Ray and Hamid, we have an excellent team of volunteers supporting the Network. Robert McLaughlan is our Schools Liaison Officer & Professional Registration Advisor. He has been instrumental in our successful application for an Engineering Education Grant Scheme (EEGS), where we will be running an event along the lines of a Faraday Challenge Day in collaboration with the Swindon based IMechE Rail Division. More about that later as the project develops. Paul Robinson is our Honorary Secretary, helping organise our activities and acting as our key point of contact. Ken Mills is our Webmaster and Committee Community Owner and therefore plays a key role in making all our event information publicly available. Matthew Ash has taken over as Honorary Treasurer, ensuring that we remain within budget and that suppliers are paid in a timely manner. We are also lucky enough to have John Turton and Graham Turner taking care of our Special Events, with a focus on Aerospace and Multimedia Communications. Tarela Ghomorai is responsible for our PATW event, which we look forward to running in the new year. Finally, there’s Ian Martin, who offers STEM support and continues to be instrumental in the development of our EEGS project. Our Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) engagement programme will continue to play a central role in our activities.

My appointment to the role of Chair now leaves a vacancy for the position of Vice Chair. We are also looking for a dedicated Publicity Officer to help us target a wider audience and engage with local media outlets.  If you are interested in either of these roles please email or come along to one of our events where we can discuss how you could become more involved. 

Looking to the season ahead the 5G theme continues with two further talks planned for 2018. The next will cover activities in the 3GPP standards, since the initial release of the 5G specifications will be shortly locked for new features. The final talk in the 5G series will examine the deployment status of 5G networks and no doubt examine the UK’s progress in this regard. We also have two presentations planned in the reminder of 2017, the first being held jointly with the IMechE, entitled “Formal Verification of Railway Inter-lockings”. This will be followed by what I believe will be an intriguing insight into cyber security, where “Lessons from the Pay TV Industry” will be examined. For those wishing to progress their engineering status, we also have our “Professional Registration” event.

This season we have already had a visit to Shrivenham Armoury, where once again the feedback from those who attended was excellent. Then we have two further visits in the run up to Christmas, the first being an Exclusive F1 Williams Grand Prix Collection Tour. Next is a visit to Fundamentals Ltd, who have recently become an IET Enterprise Partner. We look forward to continuing to work closely with them. 

Beyond 2017, we have an exciting programme of further presentations and visits. A highlight will certainly be our attendance at RIAT2018, which promises to be even more spectacular than ever with it being the centenary year of the RAF. Planning is already underway within the committee on a larger and more impressive IET stand, with a host of activities and information for the next generation of budding engineers and technologists. Running this wouldn’t be possible without the fantastic support of an additional army of volunteers, so our thanks go out to all those who give up their free time to support us. 

Walter Featherstone Ph.D., CEng MIET
IET Swindon Network Chairman
da47653eb3b612098d073ddf826a867c-huge-waA quick selfie just before the planes took off at RIAT 2017
Blog IET Swindon Network 28/09/2017 11:17pm BST

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