1 September 2023

Obituary - EURING Ian Bowbrick CEng CEnv FIMMM FRSA

Ian Bowbrick was well liked and respected as Director of Membership & Professional Standards at IOM3. Ian's support and direction was fundamental to the professional success of many members as well as the growth of the Institute from 2012 to 2023.


9 June 1964 – 2 July 2023

Born in 1964 to Pauline and Brian, Ian was educated at George Abbott School Guildford and Guildford Technical College before moving to Hatfield Polytechnic to gain a HND in Chemistry. He continued his education at Brunel University where he was awarded a BSc (Hons) Degree in Materials Science and Technology. His early career was at Pirelli, Kent, as part of a national postgraduate scheme.

In 1990 he joined the Royal Academy of Engineering as a Grants and Awards Officer and became Manager, Postgraduate and Professional Development in 1998, where I first met him, before becoming Head of Professional Formation in 2007. During his time at the Academy he was also the Secretary and Agent for the Panasonic Trust and followed in his father’s footsteps by obtaining EUR ING and CEng status.

In 2012, IOM3 was losing members and the decision was taken to appoint a Director of Membership. Ian applied for the job, was successful and started with the Institute in 2013. In his time with the Institute he was successful in reversing the decreasing membership trend by developing a strategy that has now achieved a recruitment of over 2000 new members per year from a base of 600 in 2013. He also grew professional registrations from a base of 92 in 2013 to around 200. His efforts helped to ensure the future of the Institute.

One of his major achievements was the relationship that he developed with the Mining University of St Petersburg. He was successful in securing a contract with the University to implement the UK-SPEC framework to enable mining engineers within the Russian Federation to become Chartered Engineers. His efforts were rewarded with him being made an Honorary Graduate and Visiting Professor. Obviously, the Russian invasion of Ukraine meant all this activity ceased, but at the time it was a significant achievement that received the blessing of the UK Government.

Ian was also a strong believer in the importance of the environment (becoming a Chartered Environmentalist in 2009). He played a big role in the early life of the Society for the Environment, including being its Chair in 2014-15. His novel approach to recruiting IOM3 members to become Registered Environmental Professionals (REnvP) was successful and led to IOM3 being the second largest recruiter for this qualification. Ian was also a strong supporter of greater diversity and inclusion in engineering, driving forward several initiatives to make the profession more accessible and welcoming for all.

In his career he was a Visiting Teaching Fellow at Aston University, a member of the Engineering Council Registration and Standards Committee and of the Science Council Registration Authority, Chairman of the Society for the Environment, an Advisory Board Member at Warwick Centre of Industrial Ultrasonics, and a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Mechanical Engineering Education.

At the time of his death he was a Member of the Lancaster University Court, a Science Council Licence Assessor, and a Board Member of the World Packaging Organisation.

Away from his day job he won a Silver Medal in the National Ju Jutsu Kumite Council (NJJKC) Championships in 1997. He was awarded his third Dan black belt in Jiu Jitsu in 2006 and for many years ran his own club promoting the sport.

During the Bosnian War, he took time off from the Royal Academy and participated in a United Nations Aid Mission. There he was almost blown up by a land mine and sustained burns to his face. He was recognised for his contribution by the UN for which he was awarded the UNPROFOR (United Nations Protection Force) medal. In 2002 he was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal. His family relates that he also had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the First World War and the Battle of Britain.

He was a man of many parts and the number of items that he covered, and was involved in, is now only just coming to light and shows how much this colleague and friend will be sorely missed.

Our sincere condolences go to his wife Mary, daughter Victoria, his wider family and his friends.

RG Siddall FREng CEng FIMMM