An ‘enthusiastic user of technologies’ presented with honorary IET Engineering Fellowship

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In more ‘world’s going to hell in a handcart’ news, one of the largest global engineering bodies has announced sometime-seat-swivelling former vocoder-pop-tune-lover, Will.I.Am, is to receive an honorary fellowship to its ranks.

With over 163,000 members in 127 countries, and keen to represent the diverse modern interdisciplinary nature of engineering, the IET has given this year’s awards top billing to a man it describes at best as “an enthusiastic user of technologies in both his professional and personal life”.

In a sector desperate for marketing and promotion – and rightly so – this probably seemed a good idea to someone in the back offices of the IET. So instead lets look at the other honorary fellowship awardees and their astounding list of actual world-changing engineering achievements:

2017 IET Honorary Fellows:

Dr Dolores Byrne OBE

A non-executive director at Sellafield Ltd – one of the UK’s trickiest engineering challenges – and also at Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), Byrne is a chartered engineer and has served as a VP and trustee of the IET and is currently chair of the IET Impact Engineering fundraising campaign.

Having held senior executive positions in private and public sector engineering and technical services organisations, until 2010 she was managing director of innovation at QinetiQ as well as having been a board member of the Skills Council for Science Engineering & Technology (SEMTA), as well as other public sector boards.

Dr Hermann Hauser KBE

Born in Vienna, Austria, Hauser received his KBE for his contribution to entrepreneurship in the UK as a serial innovator and technology investor for over 30 years – playing a vital role in the growth of Cambridge’s cluster of high-tech companies.


A founding director of many companies, including Acorn Computers and ARM Holdings (one of the UK’s leading listed tech companies), he launched one of the UK’s first major venture capital funds, which has funded and supported more than 100 young companies.

His own report in 2010 led directly to the establishment of the Catapult Technology and Innovation Centres, which are helping the UK’s ability to commercialise scientific research.

Professor Polina Bayvel CBE

Currently a professor at in the department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at University College London, Bayvel has made major contributions to the investigation and design of high-bandwidth, multi-wavelength optical communication networks.

Having built a world-leading research group in the then new academic discipline of optical fibre communications systems and networks, her research focused on maximising the speed and capacity of optical fibre communication systems, and the fundamental studies of capacity-limiting optical nonlinearities and their mitigation.

William Adams [Will.I.Am]

Boom Boom Pow. Chief creative officer/other novelty mascot type roles at 3D Systems, Intel, Coca-Cola sustainability offshoot EKOCYCLE, and now Atom Bank.

Presides over a number of terrible product designs, including an iPhone camera case, a smart watch and a fashion line – most of which have disappeared off the face of the planet without trace.

Should probably be a bit embarrassed about being in the same room as these people.

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