Set to have a major influence on the work are a group of four comms experts recently appointed to advise on the academy’s external affairs committee.
The line-up consists of Jeremy Greaves, vice president, comms & PR for EADS, Roger Highfield, director of external affairs at the Science Museum and Lynn Shepherd, group director of comms for Oxford Instruments.
Also included in the team of ‘non fellows’ brought in for their messaging expertise is Sir Roland Jackson, CEO of the British Science Association.
Dr Lesley Paterson, head of public engagement, said: ‘We want to capitalise on the environment we are in now, which is where you have the Government talking about a need for industrial strategy. They are listening to what our president [Sir John Parker] among others has been saying for the last two years and talking with us. The timing is perfect on this.’
The new drive was launched with a report claiming engineering makes a £481bn contribution to the UK economy.
It will run for the next 12-18 months, and involve a range of activity including the launch of a new mentoring scheme and the awarding of a £1m engineering prize.
Paterson said that the comms advisors had been brought in for their expertise and would be attending committee meetings, which is made up of senior members of the academy from across a range of engineering disciplines.
‘While our members are savvy when it comes to external relations we wanted that insight offered by an outside perspective to feed into committee, as well as bringing their own networks and media advice,’ she added.