Protecting the world and its oceans remains the focus of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) as it celebrates its 125th anniversary, says its new president, Richard Vie, VP Technical Development and Quality Assurance, Corporate Shipbuilding, Carnival Corporation.
Addressing more than 400 leading marine professionals from around the world at the IMarEST’s Annual Dinner at London’s Guildhall on Friday, March 28, Vie also called on members to inspire the next generation of marine engineers.
In his first official speech as the Institute’s 112th president, Vie said, “The protection of the world and its oceans is even more important than ever as we face the challenges of global warming and other strains on the environment. The Institute with its broad membership including marine scientists and marine technologists will play a key role in promoting debate and encouraging all marine professionals to work together to develop solutions and ensure a sustainable future.”
Vie went on to praise the next generation of marine professionals, calling on more females to enter the industry: “One of my main aims during my presidential year is to inspire as many of our young people as possible – including girls – to look at the opportunities available to them in the world of engineering and marine engineering, science and technology in particular.”
He also cited this July’s IMarEST-run European International Submarine Race, which sees 12 university teams from around the world compete to create the fastest human-powered submarine, as an example of young engineering talent.
The dinner, sponsored by Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, also saw Sir Ranulph Fiennes Bt OBE, dubbed “Britain’s greatest living explorer,” present a hugely-entertaining after dinner speech.
Sir Ranulph, whose maritime achievements include leading the first hovercraft expedition up the Nile, described several of his record-breaking achievements including the Transglobe Expedition from 1979 to 1982 – a 35,000 mile circumnavigation of the world along its polar axis.
When choosing teammates, Sir Ranulph spoke of the importance of personal motivation saying, “You can teach skills, but you can’t teach character.”
The IMarEST President, Vie, whose marine industry career spans more than 40 years, also presented Dr. John McGrath, the Dean of the Royal Naval Engineering College in Plymouth, with the institute’s prestigious President’s Commendation Award.
In praising McGrath’s career, which includes 26 years with the Royal Navy, Vie said, “Serving on two IMarEST committees, John has freely given his time and expertise over many years, working hard to ensure that professional standards are upheld and the requirements of our licensing bodies fulfilled.”
2014 marks the 125th anniversary of the IMarEST which, with 15,000 members made up of marine professionals from more than 100 countries, is the largest organization of its type in the world.
The dinner also raised over £1500 for its charitable wing, The Guild of Benevolence, which originated from the Fund set up in 1912 by the Institute, in cooperation with the Daily Chronicle, to help families of the engineer officers lost when the RMS Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, and continues to support maritime professionals and their families.