IMechE and ICE decide not to merge
After almost two years of talks and studies, the Institutions of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and Civil Engineers (ICE) have decided not to merge. Instead, they will pursue joint initiatives and activities on topics – such as waste, energy and transport – where "clear benefit" can be identified and achieved for their members.
The two bodies have been exploring the possibility of merging since June 2004, when they agreed to undertake an in-depth study to evaluate the value of closer collaboration, including a possible merger.
The IMechE board was keener on the idea of a merger than the ICE Council, which preferred a more limited partnership.
Commenting on the decision not to merge, IMechE president Alex Osborn said: "We are naturally disappointed that more extensive convergence will not be pursued. We will continue to explore where we can increase benefits to members and enhance the reputations of both bodies through working together. The need to speak with a common voice has never been more apparent.
"This has been an extensive and useful learning exercise for both Institutions," he added, "and will help in the pursuit of strategic and operational opportunities, as they arise."
On behalf of the ICE, president Quentin Leiper commented: "The outcome from our work with IMechE has shown us that we can reap the benefits of working together. We will continue to work in partnership with IMechE, other engineering institutions and other bodies in the built environment. It has been a very productive exercise and brought us closer to our sister institution."
A benchmarking study, conducted last year, identified several opportunities, both strategic and operational, for collaboration between the two organisations. These are likely to include international and UK regional co-operation, and joint young members’ groups. Both Institutions intend to continue these activities and to develop them in the future.