Like all professional societies, ICorr needs to take regular stock of how well it is serving the needs of its members. At the same time, the Institute has ambitious plans for future growth, with a target of achieving 2000 members by 2020. With this in mind, earlier this year the President Sarah Vasey asked me to chair a Membership Development committee, on which I have been joined by Young ICorr Chair Chris Bridge and ICorr Past Presidents John Fletcher and Bill Cox. Our remit was to review the perceived benefits of ICorr membership and to propose ways of enhancing what we can offer our members in order to sustain this growth.

Following much consultation and lively debate, we have put together a summary of the main benefits of ICorr membership, which will appear shortly on the website. We will be using this as the basis for a sustained marketing drive, both within the UK and overseas, with a particular focus on students and early career professionals. This demographic is clearly key to the future of the Institute but has suffered a slight decline in numbers in recent years, which needs to be addressed as an urgent priority. One important initiative will be to strengthen our links with materials science and engineering students in UK universities by arranging automatic ICorr student membership registration for selected undergraduate courses. We will also be putting in place measures to retain these members once they have joined the workforce, for example by connecting them with successful initiatives such as the Young Engineer programme.

The central theme that has emerged quite strongly from our discussions is that you get out what you put in. The benefits of being an ICorr member increase dramatically the more you get involved, whether it be attending local Branch or Division meetings, joining a committee, attending a training course, carrying out professional assessment reviews or organising a conference. So I would encourage all members to consider how you could get more involved in the various activities of the Institute. Together we are greater than the sum of our parts!