As a professional learned society, the Institution of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM) was established in 1959 mainly as a medium to facilitate the development of science and the various disciplines of engineering in Malaysia, apart from providing a platform for engineers to exchange ideas and information. As of January 2017, IEM has a staggering total of 40,734 members and their numbers continue to increase annually. IEM’s membership also comprises of various different membership grades with students making up the majority. Other membership grades include graduates, members and fellows.
Roles of IEM within Malaysia
IEM has mainly taken up the responsibility of representing engineers and the engineering profession both within the country and also on an international level. In Malaysia, IEM plays a vital role in the accreditation of engineering degree programmes within the country through its membership in the Engineering Accreditation Council (EAC). Working together with Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) and the Public Service Department (JPA) under the banner of the EAC, IEM ensures that the engineering programmes in the various institutions of higher learning in Malaysia are on par with international standards.
Apart from their role in education, IEM also assesses engineers for their professional registration. Engineers who seek to attain a professional engineer status have to undergo professional interviews with IEM which are based on their practical experience.
Moreover, IEM offers professional advice and consultations via representatives who volunteer in numerous working committees within government agencies. They provide technical input and feedback from an engineer’s perspective in issues such as natural disasters and also contribute to national development. Working with SIRIM as the Standard Writing Organization (SWO), IEM has the authority to draft new standards and amend existing ones. For instance, after the earthquake that struck Sabah in 2015, the SWO developed the Malaysian National Annex to Eurocode 8: Design of structures for earthquake resistance. This ensured a certain standard for the design of buildings in Sabah to take into consideration, the seismic loading requirement.
Last but not least, IEM organizes activities around Malaysia to provide training and development for engineers within the country. Some of these include evening talks, technical visits and courses related to engineering which are aimed to share information and experience among engineers and also to promote the use of new technologies along with the discussion of the latest standards.
For more information and details about their events and how you could be a part of IEM, stay tuned for our next article!