The Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland (IESIS) is a multi-disciplinary professional body and learned society, founded in Scotland, for professional engineers in all disciplines and for those associated with or taking an interest in their work. Its main activities are an annual series of evening talks on Engineering, open to all, and a range of school events aimed at encouraging young people to consider Engineering careers.
IESIS is registered as a Scottish Charity, No SC011583 and is the fourth oldest still-active registered Company in Scotland.
Members, Fellows, Graduates or Companions are entitled to use the abbreviated distinctive letters after their name - MIES, FIES, GIES, CIES.
The inaugural meeting of the Institution of Engineers in Scotland was held on 1 May 1857. Office bearers were appointed and the principal objective of the new institution was set down as "the encouragement and advancement of Engineering Science and Practice". It was to have a broad basis for membership, and engineers from the mining, foundry, railway, iron, shipbuilding and other industries were to be eligible. The prime movers behind the founding of the Institution were William John Macquorn Rankine, Regius Professor of Civil Engineering and Mechanics at the University of Glasgow, and Walter Montgomerie Neilson, one of the major figures in establishing Glasgow's locomotive-building industry. Rankine was the first President of the Institution and Neilson succeeded him in 1859. The Engineer James Howden, who died in 1913, was the last surviving founding member of the Institution.
The Institution was an early promoter of consciousness of industrial effects on the environment. In those early years there was a pervading atmosphere of enquiry into the applications of steam power. In 1858 the Institution was responsible for a public meeting, held in the Glasgow City Chambers, to establish "An Association for Promoting Safety, Economy and Absence of Smoke in the raising and use of Steam".
The Scottish Shipbuilders Association had been formed in 1860 and amalgamated with the IES on 25 October 1865. The current name of the Institution was adopted in 1870. The first female President of the Institution, Karen Dinardo, took office on 4 October 2016, at the start of a two-year term. She thus followed her father, Carlo Dinardo, who had been President in 1999-2001.
Titanic Memorial in Glasgow
The Institution has had a number of headquarters buildings, notably the building specially commissioned and built in 1906-08 at 39 Elmbank Crescent, Glasgow, designed by J.B. Wilson. In the foyer of this building, there is a memorial to 36 engineers who lost their lives on RMS Titanic. The marble and bronze memorial was subscribed by members, designed by the sculptor William Kellock Brown, and unveiled on 15 April 1914. The Institution, with the permission of Scottish Opera, current occupiers of the building, organised a memorial service in the building on 14 April 2012.
In addition to an annual programme of evening talks on various Engineering topics, the Institution endows two prestige lectures:
The annual MacMillan Memorial Lecture established in 1959 in memory of Hugh MacMillan.
The biennial Marlow (Scotland) Lecture established in 1964.
Both have attracted high profile speakers.
IESIS has a significant amount of Engineering papers and other materials in its archives. Since 2013, there has been a progressive programme of digitising all Transactions of the Institution from its earliest days so that these can be made available as a reference resource.
Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame
In 2011, IESIS launched a new initiative, The Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame, to celebrate Scotland's proud tradition of engineering and shipbuilding, and to provide iconic role models for young people before they make career choices.
The first seven inductees were announced by President Gordon Masterton at the Institution's annual James Watt Dinner in September 2011. As of 2019, there have been 39 names added to the Hall of Fame, 9 of whom were living inductees: Douglas Anderson (retinal imaging), Hugh Gill (bionic hand), Thomas Graham Brown (ultrasound scanner), Sir Donald Miller (electric power supply system), James Goodfellow (automated teller machine), Sir Duncan Michael (structural engineer and business leader), Craig Clark (satellite engineer), Naeem Hussain (bridge engineer) and Gordon McConnell (aircraft engineer).