Article - Issue 21, November/December 2004

Engineering Change

Dr Scott Steedman FREng

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This issue of Ingenia heralds the beginning of a new chapter in the history of The Royal Academy of Engineering and the service Ingenia provides to Fellows and friends. Dr John Forrest’s excellent work as the first Editor-in-Chief has been vital, and has established the magazine as a leading voice for engineering in the UK. Together with the devoted and tireless Editorial Board, we now need to continue that process, building on the strengths of the magazine and pushing it out to a wider and wider audience. Of course, change brings both opportunity and challenge.

Purpose and objectives

In this issue, you will find the story behind the recently launched logo and brand identity for the Academy, a project that has both raised eyebrows and stimulated discussion of our purpose and objectives. This new image was the result of intensive discussion over what we seek to achieve as an Academy, beyond the accolade of Fellowship. It is intended to reflect a vibrant, outward looking and authoritative organisation, eager to make the case for engineering in the UK in the public interest.

Ingenia too must change its image, partly in content but mainly in style and presentation, and this will commence with Issue 22. Ingenia has the opportunity to reach the widest readership of any engineering publication in the UK – from government to clients, financiers, industry, academia and even, perhaps especially, to young people. Engineering is responsible for the wealth of the nation – Ingenia should celebrate that achievement and promote the value that our profession brings to society. As Nick Donofrio of IBM explained in his Hinton Lecture this year on ‘The value of innovation’ reported on pages 13–21, ‘the true measure of innovation is the ability to transform technology into products, services and solutions that transform institutions – that deliver new and lasting value.’ In our case, we want to take Ingenia and use it to push the message of engineering in the UK and abroad. In Donofrio’s words, ‘innovation is about taking a great thing and making it pervasive ... .’

The innovation process

Innovation lies at the heart of engineering success. In this and future issues we aim to publish a series of articles focusing on the innovation process. Innovation is affected by national and international events, but above all it is a process dependent on individuals, motivated and eager to pick up new challenges and to try out new ideas.

Industry transformation as a result of innovation is now a key theme across Europe. As engineering companies wake up to the challenges of our continuously changing business environment, the opportunity for Ingenia is to position itself as an international voice of authority in a world of uncertainty.

Our articles must reflect the vast range of engineering activity and its impact on the wealth and productivity of the country. Our debates must engage with the major public issues of the day. Our readership must be inspired and stimulated to seek our opinions, to invest in our products and to recruit our graduates. The challenge for Ingenia is evident. The opportunity is boundless.

Ingenia has the opportunity to reach the widest readership of any engineering publication in the UK

Dr Scott Steedman FREng

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