Jane Cutler FIChemE - Nominee for Deputy President

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  • Last Post 03 May 2020
Rachael Fraser - Communications Executive posted this 24 March 2020

Jane Cutler FIChemE is a non-executive director of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

Please click on the attached file to download her biography and election statement. You’re welcome to use this thread to ask Jane any questions you may have about her nomination.

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Bill Harper posted this 03 May 2020

Jane

Please can I take the opportunity to sincerely thank you for standing for the position of Deputy President, and to all those who encouraged and supported your nomination.

As a very long-standing engaged member with good networks, I am a career long advocate of the vision of a Member Led and Focused IChemE and I regard you as the best candidate to use this vision to accelerate the change envisaged by Strategy 2024 and to atleast make something of the Centenary in 2022.

It has been sad to note that in some quarters that the Member Led and Focused vision seems to have been used but as an excuse for introspection and inertia, so I am excited by the global and outward looking drive which I know you will bring to bear.

So I do wish you well with the rest of the campaign and very much look forward to working with you to help drive the IChemE to the strong Member Led and Member Focused place that it needs and deserves to occupy

Regards and Good Luck

Bill

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Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 03 May 2020

Andrew, Thank you for your active support and questions on Interface.

Thank you also to Dame Judith Hackett, Nigel Hirst, Eur Ing Keith Plumb, Peter Slane and Greig Wilson who encouraged me to stand and supported my nomination for Deptuty President.

Thank you to every member who has voted and encouraged others to vote. To those of you who have personally contacted me your encouragement is greatly appreciated. 

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Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 22 April 2020

Chemical Engineers in transition are almost invisible. A "job for life” is a bit like a slide rule and fax machine ….. a distant memory for some of us and a surreal concept for many students and young engineers. Transitions between jobs, companies, and sectors will face many members more than once in their professional life. Discussion about transition is sparse. Limited support exisits for Chemical Engineers facing job loss and other forms of career transition. There is tremendous opportunity for IChemE to offer online learning and other support to engineers in transition. Not all engineers who face redundancy or other career transitions have access to outplacement consultants and other services at the expense of their former employer. As one West Australian member challenged me “as a professional Chemical Engineer how do I find out what is fair? What issues should I consider in a redundancy agreement ?”   He was not wanting legal specifics but the basic principles and examples of how they apply to Chemical Engineers.  Members in transition could benefit from the latest thinking in programs about resume preparation, use of LinkedIn and other online tools, personal branding and marketing, preparation for interview, application failure analysis and subsequent improvement, skills gap analysis and training updates. If successful members may well transition with less stress, become more involved in IChemE in the process (eg participate in member group or SIG and activities) and more may remain in the profession as active IChemE members.

Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 22 April 2020

Thanks Andrew, it is an important issue, worthy of attention.

A Bailey posted this 20 April 2020

Many IChemE members are self employed, sometimes by choice and sometimes by circumstance. In my experience being self employed can be tough, particularly if the local economy is also doing it tough. As a group, self employed members seem to almost invisible.  At the same time their need for support in many areas is high particularly during the transition to self employment,  CPD, (including business skills such as marketing, proposal writing, estimating time and cost, networking, sharing of experiences become more important just as time and money become more limited. It is not clear whether IChemE offers anything that is targeted to the specific needs of this group of members. The Consultancy SIG does not appear to have been active for a while and seems to be targeting members who work for consulting companies, The LinkedIn page is filled with “40% off” advertisements for a process safety training company,  Perhaps it is time for the LSC to consider closing the Consultancy SIG  (and its LinkedIn page) as it does not have active member support.. In its place establish a SIG / Committee / Community of Practice for self employed members which can provide a focal point to share experiences and coordinate an online curriculum to support self employed members.

Thanks Jane, this is an excellent post.  I think the topic of the self-employed members of the IChemE is worthy of a question to the other two candidates.

Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 14 April 2020

Reasons to be cheerful ... I found the IChemE Blog .... perhaps I am beginning to get the hang of this social meda stuff !

Even more reason - the April 2020 Guest Blog by Rob Best gives an excellent update on the Individual Case Proceedure, part of the Flexible Pathways to Membership part of programme SMART. Worth a look.

https://ichemeblog.org

  

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Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 12 April 2020

Many IChemE members are self employed, sometimes by choice and sometimes by circumstance. In my experience being self employed can be tough, particularly if the local economy is also doing it tough. As a group, self employed members seem to almost invisible.  At the same time their need for support in many areas is high particularly during the transition to self employment,  CPD, (including business skills such as marketing, proposal writing, estimating time and cost, networking, sharing of experiences become more important just as time and money become more limited. It is not clear whether IChemE offers anything that is targeted to the specific needs of this group of members. The Consultancy SIG does not appear to have been active for a while and seems to be targeting members who work for consulting companies, The LinkedIn page is filled with “40% off” advertisements for a process safety training company,  Perhaps it is time for the LSC to consider closing the Consultancy SIG  (and its LinkedIn page) as it does not have active member support.. In its place establish a SIG / Committee / Community of Practice for self employed members which can provide a focal point to share experiences and coordinate an online curriculum to support self employed members.

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Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 12 April 2020

The comments and questions around the young members groups apply to many areas of activity in IChemE. Groups of talented, motivated and committed members organising events, perparing papers, holding webinars which are enjoyed and appreciated by others in the group. Often we do not look up out from our "Silos" and "Tribes" where we feel comfortable and ask who else might be interested and how can we include them.  

The process of breaking down barriers has already started - it is now simple and free for any member to join as many SIGs as they like, any one can elect to get correspondance from other MGs - not just the one for their registerd address. If someone wants to get involved with a young members group its probably as simple as asking them (age doesn't appear to be a barrier to being on the committee). However making it easier for members to get involved is only one step, you need to know it exists before you can get involved. This is where improvements are needed to the member database and back office systems to support a more dynamic website and communications so members and see what is available and then target to their needs and interests. It would also enable the comunications team in Rugby to tailor coms to 

Practical initatives need to be underpineed by leadership. Do SIGs with cool stuff to say seek out MGs who might be interested and conversely to MGs who have members with a particular interests look to the SIGs for expertise and potential speakers. Do MGs invite someone from Rugby to give a brief talk (video) for 10 minutes on CPD or Project SMART?   Our leaders of SIGs MIGs committes should be asking, has anyone done this? who else might be interested ?  How can I make the activites of my group or committee more accessible to other members who might be interested. 

If I am elected I intend to initiate a series of short infomal video interviews with volunteers. As Deputy President I want to speak to members who are contributing to and shaping the future of IChemE through their interesting and inspring work on committees and groups. It would be great to record this and share with all members.

  

 

Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 12 April 2020

Thanks Andrew,

As I understand it the changes to the role and functions of the UK board have been as a direct consequence of the evolution of the IChemE's business architecture to organise around activites and interests (such as qualifications, congress, learned societly, regions) rather than geography. Such transitions take time both for the new arrangements to become fulliy functional and the old structures to divest their reponsibilities completely. Winding up of the UK Board would seem to be a sensible decision once that has occurred. We should now be focusing our energy in getting the new arrangements to perform and deliver for members. 

 

Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 11 April 2020

HI Andrew, Its good to know that its not just me !

A Bailey posted this 11 April 2020

Hi Jane, I'm afraid this is one of the joys of Interface.  I also now have this edit problem.

Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 11 April 2020

Apologies for the lack of paragraphs in the previous post which I appreciate i makes it almost impossible to read. Can someone explain how to retain paragraph spacing when clicking on  "add post"? Secondly, the edit button allows me to waste time attempting to edit but then tells me that I don't have the authority to edit my own posts? is there anything can I do to edit my own posts to reverse the changes interface made when adding my post?

Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 11 April 2020

Hi Macsene,

Thank you for your questions.

  Your comments about CPD are well made. In fact, prompted by member questions, Congress discussed CPD at our most recent session. In brief, Congress concluded that IChemE’s approach to CPD is progressive and practical. It encourages members to develop plans for their professional development based on their particular situation and enables a wide range of activities, including development plans required by an employer, to contribute. On an individual level, the specific activities that count towards CPD depend on personal needs and plans. CPD can be primarily learning (eg professional reading, attending courses, webinars), or participating (eg attending IChemE member events) or contributing (eg volunteering for an IChemE committee or group, mentoring, assessor, STEM program).  In Congress's opinion, most of the member questions about CPD are driven by a lack of understanding rather than a fundamental problem with CPD. More effective communication such as the use of video, webinars, brief overview at member events to name a few would reduce member concerns.    I question whether a wider understanding that volunteering contributes to CPD would lead to an increase in members volunteering in isolation from other improvements. For example improving systems and processes to enable members to see the multiplicity of ways in which they can contribute, understand what is expected of volunteers, be able to easily select their area(s) of interest and get feedback as to if and when they can actually get involved. Whilst I hear feedback that whilst they would like to get involved, it is too hard or they offered but have heard nothing since. On the other hand, there are many committees with gaps and projects needing help. We should question whether we have made things too complex, or/and are asking members to do things that do not interest them.    When I started the election process, a little over 3 months ago, my drivers were to build on the process of reform and modernisation that is already underway at IChemE, to make it more inclusive of member needs and in so doing support members contribute to society. There are numerous examples of this reform such as the establishment of Congress and opening up of elections for the BoT. In my experience many of IChemE's systems, structures and processes, whilst well-intentioned, are complex, prescriptive, overlapping, often operating in silos and frankly confusing. These are symptoms of a culture which is struggling to keep pace with the ongoing changes. My priority was to support rapid implementation of key projects already underway such as Project SMART and the update of some of the IT systems whilst encouraging simplification, focus and streamlining of activities and processes that are no longer useful. Over time, the cultural change together with the adoption of a communication style, tools and techniques designed to engage and energise more of the membership, such as the use of video, personalising communication would consolidate the improvements already underway before adding any new “pet projects”.      However, COVID-19 has changed all of our worlds and institutions including IChemE must rapidly come to terms with these changes to recognise and respond to the threats and opportunities that are emerging. From where I stand today I see many challenges ahead which based on the limited IChemE specific information available to me I anticipate 3 phases of activity over at least the next 18 months, Naturally achieving this may involve delaying or stopping other activities.   

Stage 1 : Preserve (Now until June) Focus on protecting staff, supporting members through the sharing of information and scenario planning to understand the range of potential impacts, including financial impacts  Support work of IChemE’s COVID-19 engineering response team (and related local initiatives) to identify areas where chemical engineers can assist governments and share member experience and knowledge.  

Stage 2 : Step-Up (April through December) Develop and rollout tools/capability for MGs, SIGs and others to operate virtually    Pivot curriculum to deliver long term through webinars, podcasts, vodcasts,(not face to face) Identify and strongly promote “free stuff” to members to build skills (not just COVID-19 related but across many areas such energy and resource efficiency, managing for safety in times of resource constraints  etc) so that members recognise the value for money in their membership Where relevant advocate for regulatory settings fit for resilience and recovery  Invest in technology to support members and staff  

Stage 3 : Be bold (June through Dec 21) Bring the digital strategy forward 12 months to accelerate becoming “a global professional body that is able to service its members at any time where there is internet access”  Focus on providing the skills and experience for members at all stages of their professional journey recognising that transformations promoted by COVID-19 are only one of the engineerings grand challenges and community transformations that will face us all during our professional lives.

 

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A Bailey posted this 11 April 2020

To give all three candidates the opportunity to answer the same questions posed on Interface, here are two question previously asked by Bill Harper:

What is your take on the activities and achievements of the UK Board over the last couple of years?
Specifically what is your line on the decision of the Board to wind itself up?
What do you see as its future?

 

By the look of the Young Member Group's web-page they have a very impressive committee and are doing all the right things.

What in your opinion can be done to make their activities more visible and connected with the wider membership and the key stakeholders?

I would class myself in both categories and feel a strong desire to help and support the Group in anyway. However why are they not on my radar screen?

Would a credible replacement for the UK Board based on the current governance model and direction of the IChemE provide the necessary glue?

 

Jane, I found your answers to the previous questions very informative.

Most of us who volunteer already know that volunteering for the IChemE counts as CPD. However, there are many members who are not aware that joining a committee or participating in established outreach programmes (like becoming an IChemE STEM Ambassador, for example) will not only satisfy their annual CPD requirements but also allow them to give back to the Institution and society.

I am committed to implementing initiatives that will encourage all members to become active volunteers (so that they can ensure that they fulfil their CPD obligations and by default) become more engaged members!!

Do you have any big initiatives that you want to push through if you are elected as Deputy President?

If yes, can/will you provide some of the details of the initiatives you would like to promote?

Thanks,

Macsene

Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 04 April 2020

Thanks Andrew for your excellent questions:
  • The summary of the facts is correct. The process requires the successful candidates to be accepted at the AGM, at which point their names will be announced and they will officially take up their seats hence the limited information in the announcement which was to let people know that there was not going to be an election. During the nomination period there was information available about which seats had nominations. Yes, there have been regional gains and losses.
  • Congress contributes the “wisdom of the crowd” or collective opinion sourced from across the membership. Members are not expected to represent the views of a particular constituency. Congress deliberations are inclusive. It operates virtually so members can participate regardless of timezone, work and personal commitments. Given this, does it really matter there are empty seats if a wide cross section of seat are filled most of those members contribute most of the time?  Whilst it would be great and look good if all seats were filled we need to be clear that a full seat is only part of the story, if all seats are filled but members don’t attend or contribute there would seem to be little point. I am sure we have all been part of committees and groups where some members either don’t attend or don’t contribute even when they do attend. Since Congress inception, the Vice-Chair has been encouraging those who haven’t contributed much to increase there participation. The Chair has been sensitive to members’ changing circumstances and encouraged members who’s circumstances have changed (and as a consequence were no longer able to contribute) to stand down, particularly prior to starting the nomination process. Had this level of transparency not been encouraged there would have fewer seats to fill so the end result could have looked better (ie more seats occupied) but I question whether this would have resulted in more and better contributions. Fortunately nominations for congress elections open again in approximately 9 months so there will be another opportunity to members put themselves forward. 
  • Not enough volunteers, vacancies on committees, few attendees at events etc are common complaints across IChemE. Some volunteers, committee members and attendees are stretched as they are contributing across as large portfolio of IChemE activities, is this sustainable? Framing your question more broadly :  if an IChemE volunteer activity / committee / event  is not getting support do we understand why ? There are many possible reasons, communication about the opportunity, over reliance on the people we know (ie current volunteers), new initiatives needing more volunteers without stopping something else, just to name a few. The challenge is broader than Congress. If after review, communication and a focus on clarifying and simplifying structures and processes, it may be necessary to put on hold, merge or fold completely some activities / committees etc that are no longer supported or fit within IChemE’s priorities. Important initiatives, like Congress, need a little time (perhaps up to 5 years) to get established and prove their value but even then I would not be confident that 100% of seats will be filled. Certainly after the 2022 Congress elections we should start thinking about how Congress (and other key committees) are functioning, to confirm ongoing need and opportunities for improvement.

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A Bailey posted this 03 April 2020

A timely follow-up question on the topic of member engagement.  The IChemE has published the results of the 2020 Congress nomination process (although the announcement was rather short on specific details).  I will withhold my personal opinion of the results, and try to focus on extracting some facts.

  • The functional college has lost 23% of its overall number of representatives, as three out of the five seats up for election remain vacant.
  • The regional college has the same number of occupied seats as the 2018 election, however, due to the lack of published detail, it can’t be deduced if the same areas have returned representatives or if there have been gains and losses.
  • There will be no Member election for Congress seats as all nominations received were unopposed.

Questions:

  • Would you please offer comments on the above.
  • Is the current structure of Congress, while with merit, actually too ambitious to fulfil?
  • Advise how you could influence potential governance amendments to improve Congress representation. The 2022 Congress election will come during your tenure as President, so you will have been a Board Trustee for approximately 18 months at that point.

Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 02 April 2020

IChemE is not unique, the challenge of declining member engagement and / declining members faces all the member organisations I have been privileged to be involved within recent years. Our members today have many more demands on their time, opportunities to gain knowledge and ability to network than was the case when I started my career. As far as I can see there are no easy answers, even "member engagement" has different meanings depending on who you talk to. Is an engaged member one who interacts (looks at the website / attends an event etc or is it one who volunteers or responds to surveys or votes .... ?

My ideas to reach out to members more broadly have been covered in an earlier post. IChemE has recently introduced governance reforms, such as the establishment of Congress, which provides a member voice directly into the Board of Trustees,  My current thinking would be to allow more time to see whether these reforms continue to be effective and deliver the desired outcomes, any subsequent change would need to carefully considered so that any unintended consequences are properly considered. My understanding is that as at 1 January 2019 of the total membership (fellows, students, chartered and associates) approximately 30% (Fellows and Chartered) are eligible to vote.  

 

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A Bailey posted this 01 April 2020

Member engagement remains an ongoing issue for the IChemE.  From an Interface post I made in May 2018:

The reality is that there are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of IChemE members that pay fees (which are, for the majority, reimbursed by their employer) to simply maintain some letters after their name and have no further interest in the Institution.  How we try to engage with more of our members is a huge challenge going forward, and I for one admit I don't have the answers to that problem.

I will say this - simply isolating over 30,000 members from having any sort of tangible influence to steer the future of the Institution is, in my opinion, not the way ahead.  Is championing 6% of the total membership demonstrating a "strong show of support" really a credible advert for a fully democratic educational charity with one of the most discerning constituencies available?

Note the figure of 30,000 quoted above was used before the IChemE resolved the lapsing/membership database issues.  As President, how will you reach out to the membership and try to engage more people?  Would you consider opening up the voting constituency to include associate members?

Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 01 April 2020

Apologies if this is confusing. I haven't quite mastered paragraph breaks on Interface posts. They were in the text but inconveniently vanished when I hit the post button. The Edit button hasn't helped me so far.

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Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 01 April 2020

I wanted to share an email from my inbox this morning that prompted me to pause and reflect.      As one of the founders of the ChemEng Group in New Zealand, I felt I really ought to offer my support in any way possible. You are to be congratulated on even considering the position.   Unfortunately, I am in no position to cast a vote having resigned from I.Chem.E shortly after my retirement twenty years ago. Having been a member for forty years since being a student member back in 1958 when I was studying for my first degree at London University, the process of disengagement was remarkably painless. Quite frankly, they took my money each year but offered nothing in return. I do hope this attitude has changed over the last twenty years and I wish you every success in changing the direction of I.Chem.E even further.   My reply is below.   "I believe that there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future of IChemE, but only if there is strong leadership to continue the process of reform that is currently underway. A focus on supporting members throughout their professional career regardless of industry sector and geography is important.    On a personal note, I would like my daughter’s experience of IChemE, and that of her chemical engineering student peers, to be positive and productive. It would be great if her feedback after 40 years in the profession reflects how IChemE and contributed to her professional development and by being part of a vibrant Institution she was better able to serve society. I would be very proud if by becoming President, I am able to play a part in realising this goal on behalf of all Chemical Engineering students and early career members. (By way of background, my daughter is currently studying for her Master of Chemical Engineering at Melbourne University)."

 

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Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 01 April 2020

Thanks Andrew, I agree there are lots of good examples that IChemE can leverage.

A Bailey posted this 31 March 2020

The answer to the second part of your question :

My experience is that President's have historically engaged directly with members through relatively traditional mechanisms such as the formal President's Address, articles in TCE and attendance at events, such as dinners, conferences, meetings and prize giving in many Regions. If successful, I would look to expand the range of mediums and technology used by the President to be more accessible to the membership more broadly and interactively. For example, a video newsletter, regular live online question and answer sessions.  There may be some trial and adjust to seek what works for the members.

 Thanks Jane.  The ICE seem to be well ahead of the IChemE in this respect already, and they are to be congratulated for their output and the approach you suggest.

https://www.ice.org.uk/news-and-insight/latest-ice-news/members-address-from-ice-president-paul-sheffield

Maybe the current President should be encouraged to adopt this approach, rather than using the rather 'dry' emails that we get.

Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 31 March 2020

As for Brexit, despite being born in Manchester UK and watching the exit polls in London with IChemE members, there are many members who are better informed. I spent my teenage years in Auckland, New Zealand, attended Auckland University and graduated with a Chemical and Materials Engineering Degree. Except for assignments in Vietnam and USA my professional life as been in Australia. As you are aware Australia is a Federation so in many areas (work health and safety, vehicle registration, road rules to name a few) each State and Territory has its own legislation and regulation, that addresses its particular circumstances. The result is often complex, can create cost and confusion for individuals and icompanies who are working across state borders.  My experience in Australia is that a consistent approach across borders generally has benefits for everyone.

A clear, robust regulatory regime generally results in better outcomes for society. This could be an opportunity for collaboration and leadership. It would be great to see PEIs working together on key areas of regulation where harmonisation would be beneficial. Chemical regulation would be one area where IChemE in particular to take a lead.   

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Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 31 March 2020

Andrew, Thanks for your question about Interface. Statistics are clear: very few members use Interface. If I understand correctly about 10% of members signed up for Interface and probably less than 10% (maybe even less than 5%) of those have posted more than 5 times.

Before commenting on its future I would need to better understand why it was set up in the first place, whether the real or perceived problem it was solving still exists?  If so, is Interface (regardless of whether it is mark 1 or 2) the best way to solve the problem? If members want to debate particular topics would LinkedIn groups work better as more people are familiar with the technology?  If the problem Interface was intended to solve no longer exists, has been sorted or has changed significantly it may be the right time to retire Interface. 

  

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Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 31 March 2020

Andrew, thanks for sharing your experience. As you have highlighted communication is not just about sending out information it is also about whether the message has been received by the right people, understood and appropriate action taken as a consequence. Communication needs to be dynamic and respond to changing circumstances and member needs. Good communication is difficult to achieve. IChemE has, in my view wisely, chosen to use a wide range of tools and platforms to reach as many members as possible recognising the diversity of our members and how they communicate however feedback shows that not all messages are landing as intended. There are opportunities to review ensure that communications are targeted, relevant and meaningful in order to build trust, respect and a focus on supporting members.

As for Facebook, I question whether it is the best platform for communicating with ourselves. Many organisations have found Facebook to be a great platform for talking to the world. IChemE Facebook posts, especially with visuals or video, that target the world outside IChemE could be a great opportunity to highlight how Chemical Engineers and Chemical Engineering are contributing to society. 

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A Bailey posted this 30 March 2020

Inevitably, time for a question about the 'B' word for the members in the UK.

Does the IChemE have a greater role to ensure that chemical regulation in the UK going forward remains in a robust harmonised regime?  Do you believe that close alignment with the EU REACH regulations is desirable?

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-deal-chemicals-household-goods-standards-eu-rules-a9398101.html

 

A Bailey posted this 30 March 2020

None of the Deputy President candidates have posted on 'Interface' since it's inception in March 2018.  With what was a 70% failure rate for people who visit the forum for the first time after registering, and then never return, and a potential 'Mk2' upgrade for the forum postponed again, does this platform have a future under your Presidency?

A Bailey posted this 30 March 2020

Hi Jane, thanks for the update.  I have found IChemE communication to be of the 'carpet-bomb' philosophy.  The same message is sent to multiple online platforms.  For example, from a post I made in June 2018:

I still think that the IChemE needs to be more targeted with it's media output, rather than using the 'Bomber Harris' approach to every media announcement.

Take for example the news that Alun Cochrane is to host the Global Awards ceremony in November.  I have received this news via:

  • A discrete post on LinkedIn
  • A weekly round-up post on LinkedIn
  • A weekly round-up email from the IChemE LinkedIn group
  • A discrete post on Interface
  • A weekly round-up post on Interface
  • A media centre post on the IChemE website
  • A post on the IChemE Facebook page
  • A post on the IChemE Twitter feed

I fully expect to also receive this information via a weekly round-up email from the IChemE and also see a splash on TCE.  We are certainly well informed!

 

As part of the general downturn in usage of Interface, I note that weekly IChemE comms on here stopped last November.

My point would be that communication needs to be more targeted, and a review of where information is best disseminated would perhaps help, if not already done.  For instance, what benefit does the IChemE get from a page on Facebook?

 

 

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Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 30 March 2020

As I listen to members some common themes are beginning to emerge.

"Communication" is a top of mind frustration for some members, typical comments include: 

How easy is it to follow the main IChemE LinkedIn page or the smaller groups on LinkedIn? Is it there, in your face, or do you have to go look for it? Only today someone remarked that they personally couldn't tell me when they last saw a LinkedIn post with regard to the elections.  

At the same time, my own experience is that the IChemE team in Rugby, Melbourne and elsewhere are working hard to ensure that the information members need is readily available to them. Improving communication is also a goal of  BoT communications panel (which includes representatives from Congress). Lots of messages are being sent, improvements are planned and underway but some of the messages are not reaching their intended audience and inspiring action.

Should I become President supporting clear, transparent, timely communication will be a priority. I will seek to understand whether there are systemic barriers to communication that need to be addressed directly or whether other measures are required. 

Please share your views on the strengths of IChemE communication and areas for possible improvement with me. 

 

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Nigel Hirst posted this 29 March 2020

Thanks Jane.  Very encouraging...

Nigel

Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 29 March 2020

Thanks, Nigel 

Success or otherwise of Congress should be evaluated in the context of why it established and how it operates. Congress was established about 18 months ago with the primary purpose of being the Voice of the Member to the BoT. Congress membership is inclusive. It is drawn from all membership grades (including students and early career members in addition to Chartered and Fellows). All regions with more than 100 voting members are directly represented whilst smaller regions have the opportunity to vote for two Rest of the World Representatives.   

Congress deliberations are inclusive. It operates virtually so members can participate regardless of timezone, work and personal commitments.   

Congress contributes the “wisdom of the crowd” or collective opinion sourced from across the membership. Members are not expected to represent the views of a particular constituency. 

The answer to your first question a resounding yes. Congress is off to a great start. It is up and running, it has shown that operating virtually is not only possible but is productive.  Seats are filled, more members are contributing to each session. Quality of contributions is high. Advice and recommendations from the Board of Trustees and other stakeholders are being adopted. Congress is already making a difference. For example, It provided advice on strategy 2024, helped shape the 2019 Member survey, prompted a pause and rethink to the proposed changes to Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Processes, reviewed progress on Project SMART and the Learned Society from a member perspective, clarified sources of member confusion about CPD and provided a member perspective on IChemE's value proposition. 

The President's duty is to lead the Board of Trustees and ensure IChemE strategy and policy reflect its aim to be an Institution that is led by members, supporting members and serving society.

Should I become President, I would ensure that the role of Congress as the Voice of the Member is clearly understood within the BoT. My goal would be to build a relationship where Congress is seen as a "trusted advisor" whos advice is valued and actively sought prior to BoT decision making on priorities, strategy and policy. This aligns to a broader cultural shift towards early identification of member needs and concerns to pinpoint areas where member support is required. In particular, I would reinforce the need to seek collective input from Congress by the inclusion of key priorities, work scope, draft papers and policy positions for discussion in a Congress session.  Any tendency to think that by getting a Congress "representative" on a committee or working group means that Congress is "sorted" and therefore there is no need to seek a collective input should be discouraged.

As the current Congress Vice-Chair, I am ideally positioned to build the relationship between Congress, BoT and other parts of the Institution.  I believe we can continue to work efficiently and collaboratively to ensure that member voice that leads our Institution is inclusive of the diversity of members and their professional situations, supports members through their professional journey and in so doing enhances and enables our contribution to society.   

 

 

 

Nigel Hirst posted this 27 March 2020

Same question to all three candidates:

” What is you view of the success, or otherwise, of Congress? If you became President, how would you develop the relationship between the BoT and Congress?”

Nigel

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Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 27 March 2020

My short answer is yes, test the waters by starting small, for example by cooperating on university courses, accreditation, the flexibility of combination degrees and build momentum from there.   I haven’t been part of the (hopefully) healthy debate since the Uff report was released so it is not immediately clear whether the report vanished into a murky pond or whether others PEIs have picked it up and started running to get ahead of the game. Has anything happened? Does moving on the Uff recommendations fit with IChemE priorities and if it is a priority what should be stopped in order to make progress?    As explained in the UFF report benefits of collaboration, cooperation and synergies to current members, future members, IChemE and other PEIs should be considerable. However,  my experience is that but these synergies are notoriously difficult to achieve without a “burning platform” that drives organisations to move closer together by collaborating and sharing rather than digging in to protect the status quo. Typically egos and vested interests are massive blockers which are often only overcome by the threat of impending insolvency, Government direction/regulation, or other external intervention. Unfortunately, a “better future” is rarely sufficient to result in meaningful progress. 

 

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A Bailey posted this 26 March 2020

It's now almost three years since the publication of the Uff Report:

Uff Report

For a long time, I have believed that UK-based Professional Engineering Institutions should work far more closely than they do now, both in terms of collaborative working and potential synergies of shared operations whilst maintaining the distinctiveness of each origin PEI.

Do you believe that the long term future of the IChemE, and other PEIs, is best served by enacting the recommendations of Uff, and to what degree?

Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 26 March 2020

The answer to the second part of your question :

My experience is that President's have historically engaged directly with members through relatively traditional mechanisms such as the formal President's Address, articles in TCE and attendance at events, such as dinners, conferences, meetings and prize giving in many Regions. If successful, I would look to expand the range of mediums and technology used by the President to be more accessible to the membership more broadly and interactively. For example, a video newsletter, regular live online question and answer sessions.  There may be some trial and adjust to seek what works for the members.

 

Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 26 March 2020

Hi Andrew

This is a very critical question and one that was also asked by the Nominations Committee. My response to the committee is included below.  The role description for President specifies a time commitment of 5-7days/month on IChemE business in addition to the 3 days/month required of a trustee.  

"I am pleased to confirm my understanding of the time commitments for the role of President and that of a Trustee. I also confirm my availability and willingness to commit such time.   I make this commitment having sought advice from those with direct experience and knowledge of the time required to undertake the duties and responsibilities of the President.   I have retired from full-time executive life. In addition to my IChemE activities, I currently hold positions on two governance boards and one advisory council as a professional Non-Executive Director. My current portfolio ensures that I will have both the time and flexibility to perform the duties of IChemE President. Furthermore, should my nomination for President be successful, I plan to step down from my roles on IChemE Congress and Energy Centre to fully commit to the IChemE Presidential responsibilities."   (In Australia, the time required by non-executive director roles varies greatly depending on the organisation. My current boards take approximately 5 days per month in total).     

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A Bailey posted this 25 March 2020

The same question(s) to all three candidates for Deputy President:

How will you be able to dedicate sufficient time and energy to the role of Deputy President, and ultimately President in 2021, noting the current senior role that you have at your employer?  Should you be successful at this election, would you look to modify the role of IChemE President to make it more accessible to other IChemE members in the future?

A Bailey posted this 25 March 2020

Thank you for your statement Jane, a very impressive addition to your election statement.  You raise many pertinent points that deserve attention by the IChemE, at the right time, in due course.  I also commend you for being the first DP candidate for engaging with the Interface constituency.

 

Ms LJ Cutler Jane Cutler posted this 25 March 2020

It takes a certain amount of courage to stand up and be counted in these uncertain and rapidly changing times. When I started the election process the conversation was around Climate Change. The Energy Centre supported by the SIGs were responding on behalf of IChemE. In a few short weeks, global attention has changed to COVID 19 and the toll on the health of our communities and our future wellbeing. We now see the IChemE Pharma SIG calling on members for supply support in response to Coronavirus. Chemical Engineers and IChemE have much to contribute to the collective response. 
In some ways, an IChemE election may seem inconsequential during this time of crisis. In my opinion, it is perhaps even more important that we look to the future, vote and bring fresh eyes and fresh energy to the Board of Trustees. A pause may be required in the process of reform, renewal and preparation for the Centenary as IChemE takes steps to address our immediate challenges to:

  • ensure the health and safety of staff, 
  • take any necessary action so that IChemE remains financially viable in the face of the real threat of reduced revenue, 
  • contribute to the collective effort responding to the immediate crisis of COVID 19 and the challenges of Climate Change, and
  • recognise and find creative ways to support members who may be facing an uncertain future following job loss, employment changes and career transition.

  Please contribute your questions and ideas.

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