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'The message from the president was to be proud to be an engineer'.

THE engineering sector is still struggling when it comes to recruiting women who make up only 6.7% of all engineers.

However, two female engineers who are actively encouraging others to follow their lead, are newly chartered engineers, Charlotte Pugh and Fran Mockford of Stocksfield-headquartered IHC Engineering Business.

Pugh and Mockford spoke out after meeting the IMechE president during his visit to the production and assembly facility at the Port Of Tyne in South Shields, South Tyneside.

The newly-chartered engineers were among 15 at IHC to gain the professional Chartered accreditation, which is an important milestone in any engineer's career development.

Pugh was thrilled to be awarded with her certificate by Patrick Kniveton.

She said: "Every one of us is proud of our achievement in gaining Chartership with the IMechE and we felt particularly rewarded when the President of the IMechE personally presented our certifi-cates to us.

"His visit has recognised not only our individual efforts, but is also recognition to IHC Engineering Business for its support of continual development of its employees.

"The key message from the presidential visit was to 'be proud to be an engineer' and I certainly am.

"He emphasised that by being an engineer we can make a difference to society and future developments which is a fantastic feeling and I hope others are encouraged to enter into this sector."

Meanwhile, Mockford was also thrilled.

She said: "For me to become chartered in just four years of graduating is a great achievement. "The variety of work I have been exposed to has enabled me to achieve this. I continue to be challenged with the work I do, and the variety keeps the job interesting. For the company to arrange this visit of the IMechE president shows how much they support and encourage us.

The engineers, who are deployed across a number of departments at IHC EB, underwent an external assessment to evaluate their skills and competencies against standards set by the Engineering Council. A team of nine representatives from IMechE and chartered engineers from industry visited IHC EB's Stocksfield base to undertake the assessment, which to date, is the largest ever company-based review delivered by the institution.

Achieving the status secures the engineers full membership of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

Bill Herron, CEng FIMechE, engineering manager at IHC Engineering Business Ltd, was heavily involved with ensuring the success of our chartered engineers.

He said: "Over the past two years IHC Engineering Business have developed and introduced a training and development plan to attract and retain first-class engineers.

"It has introduced an approved Monitored Professional Development Scheme for Graduate and Developing Engineers to assist them in growing and demonstrating competencies that will enable them to achieve chartered status through the IMechE. It was very proud day for me. The culmination of efforts over the past two years came to fruition with 15 highly qualified and experienced engineers being recognised by the president of the IMechE himself.

"This is recognition of the achievements of the individual engineers and the dedication of IHC Engineering Business to continual training and development. Investment in our engineers is key to the success and future of the business."

IHCEB designs, manufactures, installs and commissions bespoke equipment for the offshore industries, actively encourages its workforce to fulfil professional registration with respected industry bodies. The company, which is part of the global IHC Merwede group, provides a mentoring programme to support employees working towards professional accreditations as well as funding external assessments and membership subscriptions for professional institutions. Herron added: "It is a significant endorsement of their commitment to the development of their professional competencies and skills. "Professional development is a key element of the support IHC Engineering Business provides for its employees and we actively encourage individuals to benchmark their skills through respected accreditations and quali-fications."


The newly-chartered engineers from IHC Engineering Business with the team and also IMechE president, >Patrick Kniveton
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 20, 2014
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