WIMM scoops Society of the Year Award
Breathing new life into engineering
The IOM3, a major UK engineering institution with two Royal Charters and a membership of over 18,000 has conferred a major award on Staffordshire based Western Institute of Mining and Minerals (WIMM). WIMM was selected ahead of more than fifty other local affiliated societies around the UK as the IOM3 "large society of the year" for 2011. The equivalent IOM3 small society award was won by the North Staffordshire branch of the International Clay Technology Association. Both organisations have done outstanding work in boosting membership and interest in their specialised areas.
"Despite the general doom and gloom about the state of British industry and engineering in particular," said Christine Blackmore, the first lady president of WIMM and also principal environmental geologist at Wardell Armstrong International, "winning a prestigious award like this just goes to show that it is possible to breathe new life into a very traditional area."
Established in 1872, WIMM had been struggling to attract even a handful of members to its regular events. In the past few years, however, thanks to an enthusiastic overhaul led by Christine Blackmore, a much wider spectrum of speakers now give talks on topics ranging from geo-forensics and sustainable energy within cities to coal mining in South Africa. Audiences at the new venue of Keele University now regularly reach forty and sometimes eighty - with plenty of good opportunities for networking. A new sustainable technology prize has been developed for the university students at Keele, as well as an overseas prize for the Mauritania school of mines in West Africa. WIMM communications have also improved with a web microsite, better information about events and regular articles in Materials World magazine.