As usual the year is flying by at an incredible rate while I have been gradually settling into the role of President, with the valuable support of Sarah Vasey and other Past Presidents. There are so many different aspects to consider and I have been learning more than I ever thought possible about training course provision, financial reporting, membership development, quality management, conference organisation, award nomination, local branch activities, property management and relationships with other organisations, to name just a few!

On 7th March, Past President Trevor Osborne received the keys to our new Head Office at 5 St Peters Gardens in Northampton. Over the past two years, Trevor has devoted an admirable amount of his valuable time to looking for and then purchasing a new home for the Institute, dealing with estate agents, failed bids, complex negotiations, surveys, refurbishment work and not least all of that annoying red tape. I would like to thank him warmly on behalf of the Institute for his patience and perseverance in getting this over the line. I’m sure that like me you’re all looking forward to seeing the fruits of his labour – a sneak preview is available in this issue.

Within Council, and on various Institute committees, we’ve been giving a lot of thought to strategy development over the past few months. The world is changing at a faster rate than at any time in human history, as witnessed by the evolving transition to low carbon energy, the digital revolution and increasing generational and political polarisation. In order for the Institute to survive, we must adapt to these external influences and we’ve been discussing a number of ideas that will help us build towards a sustainable future. Thankfully, from the perspective of our members at least, one thing that will never change is the thermodynamic tendency of metals to revert to their oxides!

Another important initiative that we have launched recently is to refresh the Institute brand, which has served its purpose but is now looking a little bit dated. The overall vision is to develop a fresher and more clean-cut look, while maintaining the gravitas of a professional body. A change in focus will be the use of photos showing pristine infrastructure, rather than rust and corroded components, to emphasise that our members do things right! We have commissioned the development of a new logo, branding and brand guidelines, and will be implementing these on our website, stationery and marketing material over the summer. This is never easy and it is difficult to please everyone but I hope that most of you will like the end result. The new brand will play a key role in our marketing and membership development activities.

One of the more enjoyable aspects of being President is getting to meet our members up and down the country. I’m very much looking forward to attending local branch events and already have confirmed dates in the diary to speak at Aberdeen, Midlands and London branch meetings. I’m not sure whether I will get away with giving the same talk each time but I can always try!