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A Brief History

The history of the Institution of Engineers in Scotland (IES) reflects the ever changing industrial scene in Scotland. Back in 1857 when IES was founded by, among others the world famous engineer and scientist, William Rankine, for the "encouragement and advancement of Engineering Science and Practice." There was to be a broad basis for membership; engineers from a wide range of prospering industries, from mining to railways, were to be eligible to join.

Later there was a greater emphasis on marine engineering and shipbuilding with a name change to Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland (IESIS). One of the reasons for the success of industry in Scotland was that it was common for competing firms to share information about their innovations to the benefit of all. IESIS provided an important forum for this sharing.

And now, in 2024, while there is still a role for shipbuilding, as engineering covers an ever-increasing range of special, but interrelated subjects from nanotechnology to … satellites … via power generation, the name has been changed back to IES. Its role in information sharing across the organisations and disciplines continues.

IES remains a truly multidisciplinary engineering institution with an understanding that wider issues such as ‘people skills’ and the pressing problems of Climate Change must also be addressed.

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