A look back at 2018

19 Dec 2018

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. Our offices will close for the Christmas break at 5pm on Friday 21 December and reopen at 9am on Tuesday 2 January 2019.

2018 got off to a great start with the second in the series of Materials Protecting Society seminars. The one-day event in February on Materials Protecting the Environment included keynote speakers, session presentations and debate on climate change, ocean health, circular economy and air quality. This was followed by a second seminar on the subject of Materials Protecting People in November. Other events included the annual ClayTech conference held in Newark, the International Conference on Manufacturing of Advanced Composites (ICMAC), Timber 2018, organised by the Wood Technology Society and a raft of well-attended events to finish up the year – Residuals in Steel, Particulate Engineering for Industry, the FAME (Flexible and Mobile Economic Minerals Processing project) closure conference, and OXI2018 – European Oxide Scale Conference. Throughout the year, we have also supported the Year of Engineering, a Government campaign celebrating engineering and aimed at tackling the skills gap.

There have been some significant changes within the Institute this year with the announcement in April that Bernie Rickinson was calling time at IOM3 and would retire at the end of 2018. From taking the role of CEO in 1997, Bernie has had a significant impact on the Institute and we thank him for his outstanding contribution - it is fair to say he will be sadly missed. In late November Dr Colin Church took over the role of CEO as we look ahead to our 150th anniversary in 2019. With this, we also say goodbye to Martin Cox as President on 31 December and taking on the role in 2019 will be our first female President, Professor Serena Best. We thank Martin for his hard work over the past two years and look forward to working with Serena.

Various Younger Members’ activities took place, including the annual Young Persons’ Lecture Competition and then the World Lecture Competition, where this year the finalists jetted off to South Africa, as well as Matopoly: Liverpool, and the Education and Technician Awards in the autumn. 

Overseas engagement was as important as ever, with our second Russia-UK Raw Materials Dialogue, organised by IOM3 alongside our partners St Petersburg Mining University in October. A very successful day and made way for further interaction between the UK and Russia. We also welcomed an Argentine mining delegation to IOM3 headquarters at the end of May to develop relations further with the country.

Our Membership team were delighted to upgrade 250 members during the year, 162 to Fellowship (FIMMM) and 88 to Technician Member (TIMMM). We are also pleased to report 172 new professional registrants to the Science Council, Engineering Council and Society for the Environment during 2018. We are grateful to all our volunteers who give their time to help with the process of peer reviews and interviews relating to professional registration and upgrades.

Our staff and volunteers from technical divisions represented IOM3 at several major exhibitions: the Particulate Engineering Committee (PEC) had a presence at the EPMA Euro PM 2018 Congress in Bilbao, Spain; The Packaging Society was in the spotlight at the EasyFairs Packaging Innovations events in London and Birmingham; the British Composites Society attended the Advanced Engineering exhibition at the NEC in November. Such activities help to raise the profile of IOM3 and its technical communities and reach out to new audiences.

Institute Governance was an ongoing theme during the year – the Governance Review went into a second phase with a reassessment of our technical communities and the announcement of the new Technology Committees Board, and an EGM was held in July to ratify amendments to our Bye-Laws and lay the groundwork for the changes that will come into force when amendments to the IOM3 Charter and Bye-Laws are approved by Privy Council.

We have a very big year coming up with the International Rubber Conference 2019, Adhesion 2019 and our annual Starpack Schools, Students and Industry Awards, not forgetting planning ahead for PVC 2020 which has moved to a new location from Brighton to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

Planning has also been well under way for the Institute’s upcoming 150th anniversary in 2019. We are very excited to celebrate and commemorate this momentous milestone with various activities and events throughout 2019. Keep up to date with the upcoming programme of events at www.iom3.org/150

We will be back in 2019!