AFBE-UK 2014 report and newsletter

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plan. Our new objectives are set out with a focus on making a lasting and permanent impact. With the support of PA consulting the AFBE Committee have been given an opportunity to discuss and examine where we are, where we want to be and how we can reach our goals.

2014 has been a year of exciting activities, big challenges and amazing successes at AFBE-UK. We started the year with matching mentors with Afro Caribbean boys between the ages of 13 and 16 in Croydon and ended the year with the most fantastic and inspirational gala dinner in Aberdeen. (For details of the Gala Event Refer to Dr Ollie Folayan’s Article on Page 4). Most of the articles in this report are taken directly from the programme for the Gala event on 24th November 2014 produced by AFBE-UK North. We could not resist adding them to this wusefulness of these articles which we think may be helpful to our readers.

So, “ What has AFBEUK been up to this year ?”you might ask. This report details our activities over the last 13 months (from November 2013). We hope this report serves as a means of generating interest in our activities and on how you can support us.

We plan to launch our Next phase strategy in 2015. For us having a strategy is a way to remain competitive and keep diversity implementation and management relevant within our industry. This will also ensure the status quo does not remain.


BUSINESS STRATEGY Over the years, the topic of diversity within STEM and in particular in engineering has gained more recognition within the engineering space. This has meant more conversations on the importance of diversity in business. More recently the debate has moved beyond the business case for diversity and towards how to implement or manage diversity initiatives. With the wealth of personal experiences within the AFBE membership and variety of backgrounds / disciplines that our members come from we believe AFBE can really make a difference in this space. In view of this we have spent this year taking stock, re-evaluating our activities and working out a strategy on how ensure that diversity implementation continues to remain relevant not just for women but for people of ethnic minority backgrounds. This has been achieved through developing a business

AFBE recruited 60 mentors and matched the last group of mentors in January 2014. Horizons (part of the Mayor’s mentoring programme) intention is to create an avenue for young Afro Caribbean boys between the ages of 13 and 16 to meet and be mentored by role models within the community over a 12 month period. The focus is on young Afro Caribbean boys because of their over representation in the criminal justice system and in the “Not in Education Employment or Training (NEET) group after the age of 16. AFBE was attracted to this opportunity because of the under representation of Black and Minority (BME) groups in science and engineering. We have partnered with South London YMCA and “Lives not Knives” to form the Horizons Mentoring Programme. The programme has had its successes as well as challenges. A few of the challenges include a few mentees being excluded from schools, unrealistically early high expectations by schools regarding transformation in the boys being mentored and staffing issues. Nevertheless we are excited about the overall feedback we have received from some of the teachers in the schools about the change of attitude and behaviour of some of the mentees. Through the programme AFBE has also

been able to provide five work placements for students at Oasis Shirley Park School in Croydon. In addition some of the mentees have had the opportunity to visit places with their mentors such as the science museum, Chelsea football club& City of London Towers (Two of these events were sponsored by MITIE). “How did I find the experience….? In honesty, I didn’t find it as fulfilling as I’d hoped. With my own background growing up on a housing estate in Inner London. I found being teamed up with this school surprising. It was quite suburban. With regards my mentee, he really didn’t want to become an engineer. He wanted to be an animator/draw comics/write stories. That came as a bit of a shock, and I had to work hard to get him engaged. Only by showing him engineering-related visuals and animations did I make him realise that engineering has a very wide bandwidth. Starting off with boys who were interested in engineering would really help. I was hoping I would find a bright young thing who just needed a chance, and perhaps I could offer that as an employer of apprentices. That said, I was happy that by the end my mentee had begun to realise that having extracurricular activities on his CV would make a difference - so I was able to help him understand the importance of that and good grades. More flexibility about when we could attend would be a great improvement, but I appreciate this is not easy for school to accommodate.” - Martin Radley, Director,Arup, mentored on Horizons


Through this programme AFBE has learned a few lessons which we hope to adopt in the development of future mentoring programmes. One of these lessons is the importance of early intervention; we found that the most successful mentor-mentee relationships were with the younger age group (13 year olds). This suggests that if attitude/ behaviour of young people are to be improved early intervention is a key determining factor. Other lessons include keeping the momentum of sessions going, the importance of regular interaction with mentees and the impact of out of school experiences and exposure to the world of work can make on young people.



“One of the things we were taught in training is that mentoring is very long term. So far I have found it very interesting and useful. The response from my mentee has been very good. At the moment trust is being built by ensuring all actions are looked into (like getting brochures on chosen professions etc.). Reliability is key and that is something I and all mentors I have spoken to, intend to keep on a high level. In fact general feedback from the Mentoring liaison officer at the school is that all the mentees are pleased with this programme. The very fact that engineering professionals are taking time to express interest in their development is resulting in a new type of enthusiasm which is a definite positive. The challenge is to get some tangible learning items that would cement the well-earned interest.” - Yinka Bankole, Chartered Process Engineer is a mentor on Horizons On 29th January 2015 we are having a drinks evening with all mentors involved. You are all welcome to attend. You can email us for details at info@ if you would like to attend.

At the end of 2013 I had the pleasure of speaking at the IET Business partner’s event on Investing in diversity. This was the beginning of a series of talks on diversity at various events including Stem Careers for All? Diversity in Engineering at the Higher Education Academy conference in Edinburgh, Beneath the Hard Hat at the ICE in Cheshire to name a few. I also delivered a motivational talk on my subject of Mobile Megatrends at Staffordshire University. All these activities and our continued involvement in other programmes such as the Queen Elizabeth Price for Engineering continue to make us relevant in this space. This year I was honoured to be invited to join the Board of Trustees for the Engineering Development Trust (EDT) and become a member of the Science Council’s diversity Panel. The EDT is the largest provider of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) enrichment activities for UK youth. A truly inspirational organisation that takes a holistic approach to enabling young people to consider engineering. One of the exciting programmes run by the EDT is the Industrial Cadets. Industrial Cadets is an industry led accreditation creating a quality standard for workplace experiences. Aimed at young people aged 11-19, designed to create a skilled and enthusiastic workforce. A video on the programme can be found here.


STILL MAKING ENGINEERING HOT! In March 2014 over 700 young people were in attendance at Your Future Your Ambition hosted by Cisco’s Connected Black Professionals network at the Emirates Stadium. This programme is set up to inspire predominantly BME young people between the ages of 7 and 12 to consider careers in STEM. The Making Engineering Hot project team was at the event and delivered workshops to over 100 young people. It was a very exciting experience and we hope to continue our involvement in this very unique event. We were also at Harris Academy Crystal Palace Careers day to inspire young people and have conversations on career choices and options. Looking back at 2014 it has been an exceptionally successful year for us. We hope to continue to make a difference. We need your support through volunteering, donations and contacts. We look forward to your support in 2015!!



170 guests gathered at the prestigious 5* Marcliffe hotel on the 24th of November 2014 for an evening of celebration and inspiration. Theme was “Raising Business Leaders” and guests at the event consisted of business leaders, oil and gas professionals, representatives of

professionals institutions like the ICE, Energy Institute and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and students OF Robert Gordon University and the University of Aberdeen . The AFBE-UK Scotland Gala evening involved an exciting array of items aimed at empowering the audience to achieve. Keynote speeches were delivered by Bob Keiller, WGPSN CEO and by Patrick Clarke, Director of UK Power Networks. Excellent food was served and the entertainment at this very positively charged event was provided by Bongo Dave, an African percussionist and by a contemporary dance group from nearby Banchory called Ka$t. Over £800 was raised for Archway, a local charity which supports young people and adults with learning disabilities. Overall the feedback from the event was very encouraging. Dr. Ollie Folayan, the Aberdeen-based chairman of AFBE-UK Scotland, said: “We were overwhelmed by the level of support we received from business leaders and oil and gas professionals working across the industry. “The evening proved to be a fantastic success, while I would like to personally thank Bob and Patrick for their talks - both of which were very informative and inspiring. They emphasised the importance of having core valves and adhering to them, while stressing the importance of gaining practical, handson experience.”

Bob Keiller, chief executive officer at Wood Group, said: “It was a pleasure to speak at the gala; AFBE-UK is an admirable organisation that empowers engineers to achieve. This provides great benefit to the oil and gas and other industries.” Patrick Clarke OBE, director of network operations at UK Power Networks, said: “The AFBE-UK Scotland gala was a very inspiring event. I was impressed not only by the calibre of people I met, many of whom held high positions of responsibility; but by the diversity of

the team which - in contrast to the engineering environment in London has a healthy mix of male and female engineers. Well done AFBE-UK Scotland on the progress made in the last three years.” The event was only one of many programmes and events hosted by the Aberdeen-based AFBE-UK Scotland in 2014. The Scottish arm at the beginning of 2014 had 5 key areas of Focus:



Real Projects

2 Events planned for the Year

Lunch and Learn

l March 2014 (in association with SPE Aberdeen) l October 2014 l Careers Fair l Careers Workshop

Style introduction the Oil and Gas/ Engineering Industry. 6 sessions: l Drill/Well Completions l Topsides l Well performance l Project Management l Technical Safety l Subsea

Schools Outreach

End of Year Event Gala

Fund Sourcing

l Involvement in STEM programmes

Engineering and Business

l Business Case to be prepared for our key programmes prior to applying for funding

l Liaise with Youth Projects

l Bob Keiller CEO WGPSN l Patrick Clarke Director UK Power Networks l Marcliffe Hotel l 24th November 2014

l AFBE Aberdeen website

In March 2014, AFBE-UK Scotland partnered with the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) to host the first Transition workshop of 2014. Around 30 students who attended the event held at Robert Gordon University were each interviewed by a team of professionals from the AFBE-UK team. This was followed by a mock assessment centre exercise in which the students in groups of five worked on a case study. Edwin Ekpiri, General Secretary of AFBEUK Scotland and a Reservoir Engineer at BP states that “Many students, home and international have never been interviewed and do not have the skills required to demonstrate their competencies in an interview. AFBE-UK Scotland identified this gap and initiated “Transition” to help students take advantage of the vast experience of our members as they start off in their careers” A second Transition event was held in October 2014 at the University of Aberdeen. To see a video of the Transition event click here.

AFBE-UK Scotland identified the need to connect with our members and particularly our student membership throughout the year and not only at the main events. This and other considerations led to the creation of RealProjects. As the name implies, the programme is primarily pinned on the premise that lectures based on latest developments in the oil and gas industry are delivered by seasoned professionals to a keen audience. The programme is also aimed at creating a networking environment between students and professionals whilst “real industry” experiences are been shared. The content of the lectures has strategically been chosen to focus on oil and gas developments due mainly to the thriving industry in the Northeast of Scotland, particularly Aberdeen. The following key areas were identified: geosciences, reservoir, drilling/completions, well engineering/integrity, production, subsea, controls, materials, topside, process, technical safety and project management. The speaker is solely

responsible for the contents of his or her talk. The first of these series was a talk on well completions by Faisal Khan a well completions engineer at BP on the 27 th of March. Five other sessions have been held since by professionals at varying experience level. We find that in addition to these sessions being interesting in and off themselves; it is introducing AFBE-UK to a broader and more diverse audience. As part of RealProjects, AFBE-UK also hosted two risk assessment courses in 2014. The first course held at TOTAL’s Offices on Wellington Circle was taught by Dr Mark Dodsworth, a technical safety consultant with over 25years experience in the engineering industry. The course which focussed on the various stages of Risk Assessment including the six-stage Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) process was held on the 26 th of April 2014. A second course was held on Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA) was held at the Shell Woodbank Office on the 8 th of November 2014. It is our belief at AFBE-UK that the bedrock of every engineering

organisation has to be the desire to raise the next generation of engineers and AFBE-UK is no exception. Many of our members are now actively involved in STEMNET and similar programmes and we intend to continue to encourage this. AFBE has made contact with a number of local mentoring programmes in Aberdeen with whom we hope to have meaningful collaborations in future. Other events that AFBE-UK has been a part of include the African Summerfest in which 4 local charities were supported and the Shell National Content Development Initiative. So much has been achieved in the last three years and none of it would be possible without the sacrifice and dedication of the BME community in Aberdeen. We already have begun the process of planning for next year and we hope our team continues to grow. Bring on 2015!

SEMINAR, CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS AFBE-UK has enjoyed warm reception from key players in the Oil and Gas Industry and the community at large. At the 2012 End of Year Gala, AFBEUK Scotland hosted the Scottish Government Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing, MSP. “My door is open” said Mr Ewing as his expressed support for AFBE-UK’s program in Scotland. This was followed by a very interesting talk by Mr Bill Yuile, MD of Apply Altra on the Opportunities and Challenges of North Sea Oil and Gas. “Every opportunity is a challenge, every challenge, an opportunity”, said Mr Yuile as he eloquently articulated

“Every Opportunity is a challenge and evenry challenge an opportunuty”

the advancements made within the industry and difficulties encountered. Mr Yuile who has worked in the industry for over 40 years also said that the industry needed an image makeover. He said that for too long the oil and gas industry has been viewed as crude,dirty and unsophisticated and it is time this misconception is addressed.

In 2013 AFBE-UK Scotland hosted Mr Hugh Rees (Energy Institute Chairman), Dr John Hargreaves (MD Peak Global Consultants Ltd) and Dr Mark Igiehon (Senior Advisor, CP Governance & Assurance Projects & Technology, Shell Global Solutions International B.V). Mr Hugh Rees gave a talk on “Working on a massive Project” based on the Schiehalion QUAD 204 project. This was followed by a talk by Dr John Hargreaves on Keeping Old Platforms running in which he discussed means of process optimization and debottlenecking. The evening ended with an overview on decommissioning by Dr Mark Igiehon.


I recently attended a training course at the University of Cambridge on Hydraulic Modelling for Fire Protection Systems and on the third evening of the course, our hosts took us on a walking tour of the University which I thoroughly enjoyed. Chronophage (Greek for time eater), which moves its mouth and appears to “eat up” the seconds as they pass, occasionally blinking in seeming satisfaction. The creature’s constant motion produces an eerie grinding sound that suits its task and that feature is a dramatic reminder to its audience of the inevitable passing of time and a reflection of life’s irregularities. In John C Taylor’s words, “basically time is not on your side. He’ll eat up every minute of your life, and as soon as one has gone he’s salivating for the next’’.

The highlight for me was the Corpus Clock1 *( inset) mounted on the walls of Corpus Christi College. This clock invented by John C Taylor attracted much public attention when it was unveiled in September 2008. The dominating visual feature of this hypnotically beautiful yet haunting timepiece is a beastly insect called the

I stood there imagining the effort that had gone into every detail of this amazing piece of engineering as the tour guide revealed that a whopping £1 million had gone into creating this wonder, involving 200 people and 6 new patents. I looked around at the hundreds of bright students milling close by. “Great Britain’s future engineers, scientists and inventors”, I thought, “Truly Great indeed”. My assumption based on this one-point calibration, that Britain’s engineering future is surely secure, could be forgiven amidst such prodigious scientific talent. As I go on to show however, this positive outlook is not grounded in reality and I can explain why.

The Engineering UK 2014 report2 on the state of engineering carried two overriding messages: firstly, that Britain is great at engineering with world class engineers who make a vital and valued contribution to the UK economy, as well as helping to mitigate the global challenges of climate change, ageing population and the reducing supply of vital living resources. Secondly and crucially, that the UK at all levels of education lacks the current capacity or the growth rate needed to meet the forecast demand for skilled engineers. It is projected that between 2010 and 2020, engineering companies in the UK will need about 87,000 new skilled employees per year. The UK currently only produces around 51,000 people qualified at the required skill level and this is without taking account of engineers sought by other sectors. Evidence that the demand for engineering talent greatly outstrips supply can also be seen in the sizeable wage premium for people holding engineering degrees - a premium that has grown over the last 20 years and is, ironically, good news for graduates in a world of falling wages. Engineering skills underpin the UK economy and there is no gainsaying the substantial contribution of engineering to the UK economy. Turnover here was £1.1 trillion in the year ending March 2012, accounting for 24.5% of the turnover of all enterprises in the UK, which by comparison is 3.2 times more than that of the retail sector. It therefore comes as no surprise that despite the continued economic fragility of both the UK and European economies, engineering employment in the UK has remained relatively strong. There is no lack of recognition of the need to address the shortages and deliver

the workforce that the UK so vitally needs to remain globally competitive, economically sustainable and socially cohesive3. If the UK is to meet future demand, there has to be a dramatic increase in the supply of young people studying the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. This can be achieved by providing better career information, work experience, enrichment and enhancement activities to students and by ensuring there are enough trained teachers. Such activities are required for positive influence as most young people have no experience of what a STEM career is actually like. Events such as fairs, ambassador schemes and activities in schools help give a greater understanding of what people working in STEM jobs do. An outreach to young people must also be inclusive, drawing into the fold talent from all sub-cultures within an increasing diverse population. One such initiative is the Making Engineering Hot campaign (MEH), a UK wide programme initiated by the AFBEUK to promote engineering among young people in under-represented communities. MEH partners with the likes of the STEM Network (STEMnet®) to create a positive perception of engineering among young people in schools by presenting it in an exciting, vibrant and informative way. MEH also provides access to engineering work placements, and runs workshops and mentoring forums where young people are made aware of the skills and academic requirements for a career in engineering. Since 2009 the programme has reached over 1000 students between the ages of 13 – 18 in parts of England and is working towards extending to Scotland and other parts of the UK4.

The MEH initiative and other similar programmes go a long way to support the long term recommendations of the aforementioned report which include a need for STEM careers inspiration for young people and for support to teachers in delivering information that helps students understand the range of modern career paths and the value employers place on STEM subjects. These recommendations should be implemented sooner rather than later, more so because our competitors are not resting on their oars. In 2012, China committed £7.2 billion of its education budget to achieving worldclass status for just 100 of its 3000+ universities and come 2017, more than £2 billion will have been invested in Germany’s “Excellence Initiative”. Japan, South Korea, France and Canada are also investing selectively in leading institutions to boost their international competitiveness and this is very evident in recent figures which have seen UK universities slip down international rankings5. In conclusion, the pressing need for a buoyant UK engineering and manufacturing sector is strongly linked to the need to prime the talent pipeline by inspiring young people about engineering and giving them a strong academic foundation so as to tackle leakage and quality issues throughout the pipeline. The encouraging news, as research and practice has shown, is that through concerted collaborative action, we can positively influence young people, their influencers (teachers and parents) and more broadly, the general public. The one thing to bear in mind is that just as the Chronophage teaches, time is not on our side.

REFERENCES 1. The Corpus Clock. Available: http:// 2. EngineeringUK (2013). Engineering UK 2014 Synopsis, recommendations and calls for collaborative action. Full report available at http://www. 3. Royal Academy of Engineering econometrics of engineering skills project (2012). Jobs and growth: the importance of engineering skills to the UK economy. London: Royal Academy of Engineering. P7-13.

4. Making Engineering Hot 2012 Careers Day Video on AFBE-UK website. http:// 5. Katherine Sellgren. (2014). UK universities slip down international rankings. Available: Jide Okwujiako is a Graduate Safety Engineer currently working at Wood Group PSN; Jide is also an active member of the AFBE-UK in Scotland. Jide’s background is in Civil Engineering / Structures and he also holds a Master’s Degree in Safety and Reliability Engineering from Aberdeen University. Jide is a STEMnet Ambassador.


CROYDON CONSTRUKT INSPIRES THE NEXT GENERATION One of AFBE’s objectives is to showcase successful initiatives developed by individuals within our network. I had the opportunity to attend the final event of the Croydon Construkt pilot programme in October 2014. Croydon Construkt came to the attention of AFBE through Sakthy Selvakumaran who signed up to be a member of AFBE in 2013. Sakthy is also a mentor on

the Mayors Mentoring Programme. A fantastic role model, Sakthy is a female engineer specialising in Civil and Structural Engineering. She is part of Laing O’Rourke’s Engineering Excellence Group and one of the 2013/14 ICE President’s Apprentices. Croydon Construkt was the brainchild of Sakthy Selvakumaran, and was developed with SAY Co-Founder/ Director, Paul Matthews. SAY(Serious About Youth) is a youth focused organisation based in London with aims to inspire, guide and support young people to gain the life and social

skills needed to live fulfilling lives and progress successfully in the ‘real world’. ‘Croydon Construkt’ was developed as part of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) President’s Apprentices Scheme to inspire young people in Croydon by giving them a taster of the construction and engineering industries, and highlighting the diversity that a career in these industries can offer. During the week-long programme, 22 young people aged between 16 and 24 received skills training at Croydon College, were mentored by current apprentices from Laing O’Rourke and Mott MacDonald in conjunction with SAY. The week’s work centred on participants planning and building a mini version of a real life structure – Cannon Place - and included an introduction to engineering design, planning and costing. They were also shown Building Information Modeling (BIM) - a process that involves creating and using an intelligent 3D model to help with project design and management.

The culmination of the week came with an evening networking event at Cannon Place which I attended. I thoroughly enjoyed attending this event and left feeling inspired by the programme and the young people who presented their work. AFBE would like to congratulate Sakthy and Paul of SAY for a fantastic programme. We at AFBE would be looking to see how we can get involved in the future.


NOT JUST A FLASH IN THE PAN BY DR NIKE FOLAYAN (PHD, CENG, MIET) CHAIR, AFBE-UK LONDON I have often heard people use the expression “Not just a flash in the pan”. In truth I have used the expression myself to describe something that happens more than once, is not short-lived, leaves a lasting impression and more importantly has long term impact. This year, AFBE has spent time looking inwards at the long term impact of her programmes. One of these programmes is mentoring. Mentoring and networking development are key tools for achieving personal growth and career objectives. They are of particular relevance for organisations like AFBE (from a wide range of ethnic minority communities) who may experience limited access to support networks and mentoring. In 2013 AFBE along with two other not for profit organisations; South London YMCA and Lives Not Knives formed Horizons as part of the Mayors Mentoring Programme spear headed by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson. The purpose of the programme is to match young boys perceived to be from disadvantaged community groups with mentors over a 12 month period. For

AFBE the objective of our involvement was to inspire these young people to choose a different path and aspire to careers within engineering (where possible). Mentoring can make a real difference to the ability of an individual to succeed long term. Evidence suggests that mentoring is most valuable to both the mentor and the mentee when it is not a flash in the pan but is based on building trust. Trust is built through a careful process of not just getting to know each other but a good understanding of each other (by the mentor and mentee). With the variety of engineering education programmes for young people to choose from , It is easy and even reasonable to assume that a big launch, big event, even a single Make Engineering Hot event will make a lasting impact. However there is evidence to suggest that many young people get swallowed up in the excitement of big campaigns. For AFBE these big events are crucial because they offer a stepping stone to a lot of opportunities that young people can explore. On the other hand , these big events sometimes discourage some young people who may have otherwise been interested in engineering . To make long term impact requires perseverance, repeating the message over and over again, not just to excite

young people but to get them to buy into the idea and to network regularly with real life role models. In 2007 I joined a local mentoring programme in London as a mentor to 13 year old Colin (real name withheld). Colin is a bright boy with a love for numbers and full of ambition to become a bus driver. Keen to engage Colin on the subject of engineering, I asked why Colin was choosing to become a bus driver. Colin explained that his uncle is a bus driver. Colin didn’t have a Plan B and had not thought about what he really enjoyed or what he wanted to achieve in life. With mentoring, support from teachers, the local community and family, Colin is now in his second year at College with ambitions to become an electrician. Though the story does not always end up with a young person in STEM ,It is fair to say that meeting a real life engineer gave Colin the information he needed to make an informed choice, to think about his future and to map out a plan on how to get there. In other words, real success of engineering promotion initiatives must be measured by not just the number of young people choosing to study engineering at college/ university/ apprenticeships but by the those who go on to lead lives as successful engineers. Such long term impact is what AFBE aspires to achieve through its programmes not just for young people but for engineers at various professional stages. This holistic approach is what AFBE seeks to promote. The idea of not just Making Engineering Hot! or Transitioning into work but realising the end product of a young professional engineer flourishing and making progress on Real life projects in an industry that is open , welcoming and progressive.


In our daily lives, we embark on journeys – whether they be commutes, short road trips, long haul flights or otherwise – and most of the time, we make definite plans for the journey with the overly meticulous go as far as ticking off a neatly typed checklist to ensure they have covered all basis required to be adequately prepared for their trip. Planning and preparation are integral, not just to relaxing and enjoying the journey, but also to avoid costly mistakes and bad experiences before one arrives at one’s final destination and our careers are akin to making that journey, albeit with different types of stakes in mind. After making a career choice, the obvious next step is to actively pursue career opportunities but it is often the case that young graduates and other individuals who are new to any specific job market often overlook the essential aspects to be covered in facilitating a good kick-off to that new career (such as having a detailed resume / CV, researching interview skills and understanding what qualities the employers will be looking at before making an offer). As such, many prospective candidates who may be suitably qualified to fill a role remain on the job searching path, either because they have failed to make a good enough impression about themselves to get their feet in the door. And this is what the AFBE aims to address by running the Transition events to prepare young individuals for progression from student life to the world of work. The

core objective of Transition is to provide an avenue for prospective interview candidates to identify errors they could potentially make at various stages in the job search. Naturally, the candidates either devise methods of enhancing their prospects from the feedback they are provided, or take on board “tips” passed to them by the professionals with whom they interact during the event. Aberdeen, the energy capital of Europe is home to two reputable universities; the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University (RGU). Every year, around 30,000 (home and international) students drawn by the quality of teaching and research in both Universities visit Aberdeen and it is here that the Transition programme began. A typical Transition workshop is split into 3 activities: a CV review wherein the quality of one’s resume is assessed by industry professionals and direct feedback is provided to the individual; a mock interview which provides the candidates an opportunity for a “dry run” in answering competency-based interview questions posed to them by a panel of assessors; and an assessment centre

which avails the candidates work in a team to solve a problem. The structure of the event is such that an individual can identify why he/she had probably not made the interview shortlist, or fell short of expectations at an interview / assessment centre. With the current trend in Human Resources Acquisition & Talent Management, it has become a common practice to assess an individual’s ability to work in a team, manage time & other colleagues’ expectations, or emerge as a leader from a leaderless group. The assessment centre provides an excellent avenue for such evaluations to be made; the AFBE aims to provide real-life challenges to the candidates in order to assess their decision-making abilities under pressure.


Edwin Ekpiri is a Reservoir Engineer at BP, Dyce Aberdeen and he currently serves as the General Secretary of AFBE-UK Scotland. Edwin graduated with 1st Class Honours in Chemical Engineering. Edwin then went on to complete a Masters Degree in Petroleum Engineering at Imperial College London. Edwin is currently undertaking a PhD in Enhanced Oil Recovery using Smart Well Technology at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. Edwin is a contributor to the Transition programme.

AFBE Scotland has successfully run five Transition events at various venues in Aberdeen. So far, over 150 students and entry-level professionals have had the opportunity to be part of this preparatory process, which has yielded positive results for some of the attendees in terms of interview invitations and securing jobs. Transition has therefore become a popular event amongst university students in Aberdeen, as it provides a confidence boost to prospective interview candidates and it is hoped by the AFBE that Transition will be yet another phenomenal export from Aberdeen to other parts of the UK.


Philip is the AFBE’s Transition Events Coordinator. He started his career at KPMG advising clients in the Energy sector on Tax Compliance / Regulatory matters and Business expansions / structuring. Philip subsequently took up a research role at the Corrosion and Protection Centre, University of Manchester, collaborating with a team of researchers to advise National Grid UK regarding ageing assets. Philip has over 5 years work experience providing professional / advisory services to Energy clients. He holds a PhD in Corrosion and Materials from the University of Manchester.

GETTING INVOLVED Some of the benefits to being a member of AFBE-UK are: Recognition: As a member you will gain recognition among your peers, leading and influential industry leaders and others. Mentoring: You have the opportunity to be assigned to an industry mentor or to be a mentor to others. Networking: There are lot of networking opportunities because we have several annual seminars and networking events where we bring people from within our industry together. Influencing Change: AFBE-UK continues to gain recognition within the engineering industry, and we are starting to have a voice in influencing change in international development and issues relating to BME communities in the UK. Through our Making Engineering Hot Campaign you can help inspire the next generation of engineers. This will give you greater influence within your community as you provide career options to young people. Sharing your Experience: You can share your experiences in an informal environment, give and receive advice from other members. We have many members with varied levels of experience from different areas and fields.

Connections: There are many opportunities to meet high profile engineers and industry leaders through our bi-annual advisory board meeting and annual seminars. Careers news/Information Portal: We provide our members with any information we have about opportunities and vacancies within our industry. These and many more are just of a few of the benefits of membership. Wherever you are and what ever stage you are in your career. AFBE-UK can help you and you can help AFBE-UK. There is an annual subscription fee of £30 per annum for engineering professionals and £5 per annum for students.


Lord Alan Sugar: 'I have never yet come across an engineer who can turn his hands to business.' It was about three years ago in an episode of the BBC reality TV show, “The Apprentice” that British Business heavyweight, Lord Alan Sugar caused a stir in the engineering community when he sent a candidate packing not so much on the grounds that he had underperformed but because he was “an engineer”. “I have never met

an engineer who could turn his hand to business”, said Alan Sugar. The suggestion was that something in the make-up and/or training and experience of the candidate was an obstacle to the creative thinking and doggedness required to thrive in the world of business. “Clever guy but no good here”, seemed to be message and many were understandably taken aback. We too were surprised by this. Was this simply the type of anti-intellectual sentiment often expressed among those who act primarily on gut-feel and instinct? Was this evidence of scars

held by an experienced business man who has been disappointed in the past by highly numerate and articulate socalled “first-class” candidates with no common-sense? Does he have a point?

either science or engineering at an undergraduate level at university. This explains the reactions that followed that episode of the apprentice some coming from leading entrepreneurs.

It is fair to say that much of Engineering as it is practiced today in the major operating companies and “design houses” otherwise known as EPCs (Engineering Procurement and Construction companies) consist afterall, of highly prescriptive processes in which company procedures and industrial standards are strictly applied. Deviation from recommended practices is viewed with suspicion. Processes are often very exact and systematic with little room for blue-sky imagination and creative thinking. In a manner of speaking, engineers just follow procedures. Is this what Lord Alan Sugar had in mind when he suggested that Engineers might struggle in business? It must be…

James Dyson an engineer by background and an inventor and successful businessman strongly disagreed with Lord Sugar pointing out that 15% of FTSE 100 companies have engineers on their board. Dyson also continues to be one of the leading voices highlighting the importance of engineers to successful businesses. The textbook definition of engineering is “the application of scientific, economic, social, and practical knowledge in order to invent, design, build, maintain, and improve structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes”. The term “engineer” is derived from the Old French word ingeniare which means to ‘contrive or devise’. Hence the idea of an engineer in business makes sense provided engineers are viewed primarily in this light i.e. as problem solvers and innovative thinkers. Engineers have a detailed appreciation of the state of the art technologically but can work beyond existing design rules to create new applications and provide innovative solutions to new problems.

This is because there are far too many shining examples of engineers who have succeeded in business over the years, for Lord Sugar’s statement to ring true in all contexts; Examples like Sir Robin Saxby (BEng Hon FIET and FREng), the chartered engineer who founded, ARM Holdings, the world's leading semiconductor intellectual property supplier and Cecil Howard Green, a British-born American seismographic engineer and philanthropist with a masters degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who bought the company, which became Texas Instruments in 1951 demonstrate that engineers can run thriving and lasting businesses. In Australia, a Leading Company survey showed that of the CEOs who head ASX100 companies, 35 studied

The common perception of engineering as a profession for eccentric boffins and or as a trade for “fixers” has resulted in a demarcation between the creative world of business and the seemingly regimented and risk-averse world of engineering but this should never have been so. The fact that many OECD countries have moved from a largely manufacturing economies into hugely influential financial market-dependent ones has also meant that the place of the engineer in the marketplace is

As we discuss this divide between business and engineering, I am reminded of an MEH visit to a school in Thornton Heath, Croydon made about six years ago in which members of our team sought to share their experience in the engineering industry with a number of a 15-year-olds. At the back of the class sat a teenager who paid very little attention to the career talk and at the end of the presentation walked up to team to share his words of wisdom. “Engineering is not for me”, he said. “It’s business all the way”. somewhat diminished. It is however pertinent to note that this chasm exists mainly in Western nations; in countries like Brazil and China the larger businesses are run by engineers. This is one of many misconceptions of the engineering profession and there is a need to address these wrong perceptions especially among young people making career choices. Perception as they say is reality. AFBE UK is a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to promote engineering as a viable career path amongst young people in the UK with a special emphasis on young people of black and minority ethnic (BME) origin. AFBE-UK has chapters in London, Nottingham and Aberdeen. One of our key initiatives at AFBE-UK is called the Make Engineering Hot (MEH) campaign in which our members go into schools and speak to young people about engineering. This programme has now reached almost 1000 young people.

The young man saw no connection between business and Engineering and he is not alone in that perception. Had he gone on to listen to the presentation he probably would have learnt about the many examples of professionals who are either practising engineers or from engineering backgrounds now working for and running successful businesses. Engineers are detail-oriented, analytical and trained in systematic problemsolving. Engineers therefore possess basic qualities that make them good candidates for the top. It is with a view to helping engineers challenge the norm that the AFBE-UK Scotland End of Year Gala Dinner focused on the achievements of two prominent engineers who have made their mark in the world of business. Bob Keiller, CEO of Wood Group PSN is a civil engineer who has gone on to become an entrepreneur. Bob is the Chief Executive of one of the UK's largest engineering procurement and construction (EPC) companies. The event also featured Patrick Clarke OBE, a successful electrical engineer who is now Director of the UK Power Networks.

THE APPRENTICE IS LOOKING FOR NEW CANDIDATES! They want to attract a wide range of potential candidates for the next series, so if you feel you fit the following brief we encourage you to apply to the show. A good candidate will: • Have the confidence to take part • Have an interest in the world of business and the seed of a business idea • Be 18+ The application process is now open and closes on January 26th 2015. To apply please go to

MEMBER PROFILE BY RONYE EGBORGE BENG, MSC, DIC, FGS, CGEOL, CENG, MICE, APMP, COREN, MBA (OXFORD) With more letters after his name than in it and as many impressive achievements at a relatively young age, the AFBE-UK Gala writing team caught up with Ronye Egborge (Engineering Director, Reef Subsea) to discuss his engineering journey and his experience at AFBE-UK Scotland. Ronye was one of four members who attended the first AFBE-UK Scotland meeting in Aberdeen and has continued to support AFBE-UK’s efforts to promote engineering amongst young people of all backgrounds and retain talent within the industry. The interview was conducted by the equally talented Joy Egborge who is an exemplary engineer and a member of AFBE-UK Scotland. Joy: Tell us about yourself background, education, career? Ronye: I am currently the Engineering Director with Technocean Subsea and prior to that I worked as an Engineering

Manager with Subsea 7. My background is in Civil Engineering and I have a Masters degree in Engineering Geology from Imperial College; My Subsea career started in Technip as a Geotechnical Engineer in 2001 after which I left Technip in 2005 to join Acergy as a Senior Geotechnical Engineer prior to joining Subsea 7. I am also a Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Civil Engineers, a Chartered Geologist and a European Engineer (EUR ING). I have a lovely wife and 3 lovely kids and am a big fan of Manchester United. When I am not watching football in my leisure time, I am playing table tennis Joy: What inspired you to become an engineer? Ronye: I enjoyed mathematics and physics in secondary school and this naturally led me towards the Sciences and Engineering. I think it was my fascination with bridges and how they were constructed that really inspired me to read Civil Engineering. Joy: What lessons have you learnt in your career? Ronye: I have learnt a lot of lessons in this field and the top ones on my list are that you need to be trustworthy, reliable and dependable. Also, always think of how you can do things differently to get a different result. I have similarly learnt that you should never begin with what you think to be the answer, always ask questions. Joy: You recently completed an MBA at the University of Oxford (and graduated with Distinction) – Did your background in Engineering help? Ronye: My background in Engineering was very useful on the MBA programme. Engineers are known for having

excellent analytical, commercial and project management skills. We are often conscientious about quality, safety and continuous improvement and these attributes and acquired skills help us to standout. Engineers also have the ability to make independent evidencebased judgements these skills were key to writing good essays during the MBA programme; particularly in the finance and economics modules which are quantitative and in the operations modules which require HSEQ and project management skills. The ability to weigh up the pros and cons of alternatives and provide reasons for one’s choice are keys traits engineers posses. These were vital for the MBA programme and particular useful in my projects. Joy: Tell us more about these (MBA) projects? Ronye: I completed two projects as part of my MBA programme. In the first project, I wrote a strategy report to take a company into China looking critically at the Chinese Shale Gas industry and PESTLE environment. The University of Oxford has a Global Opportunities and Threats Oxford (GOTO) action-oriented and problem-solving community which is geared towards addressing some of the most complex issues the world faces. My second project was a GOTO project looking into the problem of ICT training to public schools in Nigeria vis-à-vis the large and very young population. By accurately defining the problem, I developed a Private Public Partnership business model for the delivery of ICT training to public schools with a focus on access and quality of training at a fraction of the costs. I am very pleased to say that both projects were graded distinctions by the examination board of the University.

Joy: What do you like most about being a member of AFBE-UK? Ronye: There are many things I enjoy about being part of the AFBE family and I believe the all-encompassing reason is the fact that we are able to positively influence the lives of many young people from different backgrounds and different communities. Through initiatives like real projects, transition events and our “Make Engineering Hot” campaign, we have actively encouraged young individuals to pursue engineering a viable course to study at the University level. Joy: What advice would you give to a young person starting out in the Engineering Industry? Ronye: Listen more and talk less. Have very good interpersonal skills. Attend a drama class or make an attempt to understand how you are portrayed and seen by others. Regularly seek 360 degree feedback from others and see constructive criticism as an opportunity for improvement.



“The way to look at it is, for every 20 applications, you may get one interview”


Whether you are searching for a job as a graduate or as an experienced professional, it can be a very odious task which requires patience, determination, perseverance and a bit of luck. There are a number of factors to take into consideration when looking for a job, some of which are sometimes outside our control. The most important thing is to ensure that for those factors within our control, we make sure we dot all Is and cross all Ts. The first step for a job seeker (if at graduate/trainee level) is to decide what you want to do. This helps you streamline your search and know where to look. Once this is sorted, you can go ahead to finding a job. Below are a few tips to help with this exercise; •

Research and identify companies which provided or require the services in which you offer.

Check that recruitment agencies you send your C.V. to actually handle vacancies relevant to your area of interest.

A few recruitment agents may just send speculative applications with your CV but do not have the requisite knowledge to defend your application.

Visit relevant recruitment fairs, as this can help you to explore the career options that are available and to find out more about prospective employers.

Recruitment fairs are always a good opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with recruiters from organisations in which you are interested. It is a good avenue to drop your resume, ask HR personnel what they are looking for in candidates and possibly meet and establish relationships with current graduates or senior managers.

Regularly monitor careers pages on websites of companies that you are interested in and sign up to receive notifications if possible.

out! The cover letter is like a formal way of introducing yourself to the individual reviewing your CV. Make sure you express yourself concisely, but highlight how your skills and experiences match those required for the role. It is important that there are no grammatical errors in your application; most recruiters are not very forgiving, especially when they have many other applications to review. •

When applying in response to an advert, read it carefully and tailor your application to suit the requirements of the vacancy

Recruiters often use key words to filter applications, and if your application, no matter how good, doesn’t contain those key words, it may not make it past the first screening process. Ensure that the activities shown on your CV demonstrate the competencies that are required for the position, as stated in the job advert. Make choosing your CV for interview easy for the recruiter. Once you have been called for the interview, you can shed more light on your experience.

Most companies now advertise job openings and process applications directly from their websites. You should do some background research on the company before you apply. For opportunities within a particular sector, look through industry-specific publications for recruitment adverts Consider sending your C.V. with a cover letter directly to companies that you are interested in, outlining what you can uniquely offer as an employee. When making an application, keep in mind that there are several other applicants, so your CV must stand

Keep a positive attitude with all your applications and never give up. If you only get 1 interview after sending 10 applications out, don’t view it as 9 failures, see it as one success!

Before I got my first job, I made over 400 applications and I know individuals that did more. The way to look at it is, for every 20 applications, you will get one interview. This will change as you get more experience in your industry but you must always persevere and push yourself. No one will do it for you. One last point I will leave you with is that joining societies such as the AFBE and others within your industry can be of immense benefit to your career, even early on. These societies, through their events and activities provide you with the opportunity to network and meet professionals in your industry. Personally, the AFBE has enabled me the opportunity to develop cordial and personal relationships with senior colleagues in the industry who give me sound career advice and help me to set development goals. Good luck with your job search.


Uchenna (Uche) Onyia is an engineering professional with 5 years of engineering experience in the oil and gas and manufacturing sectors. He is currently a reliability and maintenence engineer with previous experience in flow assurance and process engineering. Uchenna has Master’s degrees in Subsea Engineering and Petroleum Engineering from the University of Aberdeen and Heriot Watt University respectively; and a bachelor’s degreee in Chemical Engineering and an active member of AFBE-UK.


What is “Transition”? As Dr Ollie Folayan (Chair, AFBE-UK Scotland) describes this episode of events, “it is like being a student and learning about Engineering in a way that brings one’s often boring and abstract lectures to life.” AFBE has always been committed to organising these engagements for new entrants to the engineering industry who are keen to propel their careers. The 25th of May 2013 provided these aspiring engineers with a great opportunity to hear two very accomplished female experts in the field deliver vocational lessons on employability, competence and career development. The first talk was given by Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne and a practiced engineer who has always been a great proponent of the AFBE. She delivered her talk on “From Engineering to Politics” from the point of view of a woman, whose life has been driven by twin aims of political progress and engineering change, taking the audience through her first real engagement with the industry, and the essence of understudying the values in complex organisations, especially in terms of personal development and diversity. Her firm view was that engineers should always have the resources required to deliver the right service and she shared her career experiences acquired from working around the globe – the UK, the US, Canada & Nigeria – as well as

the particular challenges of building a telecommunications network for MTN in Nigeria, a job that exposed her to the social value of delivering engineering services and how important social and political infrastructures are to the service of an engineer. Delving into her own personal journey, she spoke about experiencing her father’s disappointment when she chose to study engineering over medicine and how, 20 years later, she experienced the joy of handing her father a mobile phone in Nigeria upon completing the MTN network setup and hearing him proudly tell her that she’d made the right decision. This underlined her concerns about the current underdog status of Engineering in the UK educational curriculum, particularly considering the evident contribution that technology makes to the quality of life and even more so when she realised how much her engineering background brings real perception to her current career in the UK public sector. It was very interesting to note from her talk that there are only a handful of previously practising engineers in parliament as one would think it important to have public workers with the assets of experience and evidence based analysis.

Chi Onwurah Member of UK Parliament Newcastle upon Tyne Central

The talk concluded with a question and answer session which, among others, revealed that there are ongoing collaborations with the current government in this regard, in discussing the possibility of giving protected status to the professional title “Engineer” in the UK, to raise its profile and lay more emphasis on engineering within school curriculums. Her closing remarks addressed the huge skills shortage in the sector, in spite of the general unemployment rate and the role which the government now plays in encouraging engineering companies training young graduates. As a woman who graduated at a time when engineering was perceived to be a dead discipline, Chi Onwurah spoke from the perspective of a strong advocate for initiatives to support investment in the profession including proposals to revive the UK manufacturing industry).

Next up was Jeanette Yuile, the head of SSW Technical Data Management (Europe) at Shell. It was clear from the moment she took the podium that this was a woman with a passion for growing people and who takes great pleasure in mentoring – or as she described it herself, imposing her values and beliefs on young people, hoping to kick-start their career. She shared ideas on how to get on in business and what young people need to think about in setting themselves up ahead of the competition, urging them to ask the key questions about their purpose, ability to contribute and marketability. For Jeanette, it is not just about being an engineer, as even engineers need to dream and set goals. She encouraged young professionals to always document their goals so that they could immediately start identifying their strengths. Development was highlighted

Senior Auditor, Upstream International Operated at Shell International Ltd.

as playing a major role in this ongoing process throughout one’s career and she was adamant that a person shouldn’t go to bed at night until they had identified something new they learnt during the preceding day. Great advice, indeed, but definitely not one for the insomniacs! Her message was clear and straight to the point: “It’s not just about what you’re doing at work, it’s about looking at your whole being, what you do when you get out of work and in your personal time?. It’s all about being engaged and making the following self-analysis: what trademark makes people identify your stamp? You have to identify this because you are always selling yourself as a product”. She then delved into what success factors are, identifying good attributes versus standard, carrying out regular gap evaluations of your perceived

“It’s not just about what you’re doing at work, it’s about looking at your whole being, what you do when you get out of work and in your personal time?. It’s all about being engaged and making the following self-analysis: what trademark makes people identify your stamp? You have to identify this because you are always selling yourself as a product”

advantages and the importance of the energy found in teamwork (nobody is perfect, but a team can be!). It was interesting to hear her take on perceptions and the 360 degree reality check, which is important when one considers that ethnic minorities in workplaces may still struggle with certain adjustments of perceptions. To give some direction, she advised her audience to stay reliable, flexible, committed and respectful within the team environment. Her other key discussion point was on the importance of networking and how this simply entails being open to communication with people. She gave great tips on picking mentors and managing successful communication within the workplace. This led on to the salient point she made about strengthening weak ties and realising that those close to you are not necessarily the ones to help you, as the so-called weak links are actually the most likely keys to success and must be nurtured. Young professionals were urged to map out their networks as much as possible, utilise their vision of the full picture and communicate all of it by telling others about that vision.

Finally, she shared her top ten tips for succeeding in her own career, including the ability to remain unfazed by authority; removing blockers; setting goals while watching out for the mind gap; never going against self-held values and beliefs (whatever they are); taking risks: being passionate; and remembering that saying yes helps give something back. As Jeanette puts it, “it is all about getting yourself noticed at being proactive, getting people to know why you are successful and celebrating your successes by letting others know about it. You do it best when you express a genuine interest in the people within your environment, remain honest, stay true to yourself and above all, laugh a lot as you go through your experiences!” Truly an enjoyable day at the May 2013 Transition event. The event demonstrates the core of AFBE’s goals – seeking unique opportunities to pilot young (and not so young) professional minds.


Emma Opara is a lawyer whose cheerful engagement with commercial legal practice began from her early days of working as a Barrister and Solicitor. Emma then transitioned to the oil & gas industry. Her current role is that of Deputy Contracts Manager for two Fugro operating companies in Aberdeen and when she’s not passionately negotiating contracts, she loves to focus on her other joys of singing and enriching people’s lives.

AFBE EVENTS 2013 – 2014

AFBE EVENTS 2013 – 2014







“My respect for AFBEUK increased even more when I learned that all AFBE-UK programmes and activities are funded by its members.”


I was impressed when I first encountered AFBE in 2012. It was one of its programmes;“Transition” which held at the Belmont Cinema in Aberdeen. As captured in the title; the “Transition programme” was focused on helping students and young professionals migrate from studentship into full-scale professional engagement. I gained enormous insight into what to do increase my chance of getting hired by a company. It also revealed other soft and personality skills that I needed to develop. In short, it emphasised the need to stand out from the way CVs are presented to the way cover letters are worded. Since 2012, I have attended other AFBE programmes such as: Real Projects, Reloaded, Pizza Night, CV workshops and more. In addition to what I learnt from these programmes, I find AFBE as a wonderful platform for networking; bringing young budding engineers and experienced professionals to a common ground where they interact and share views on career life and development. AFBE offers much more; its members are distinguished role models with personalities that inspire me. Simply put, they vibrate positive energy. My respect for AFBE-UK increased even more when I learned that all AFBE-UK programmes and activities are funded by its members.

“I find AFBE as a wonderful platform for networking; bringing young budding engineers and experienced professionals to a common ground where they interact and share views on career life and development.”

As a matter of fact, I see AFBE as a committed set of individuals with the drive and passion to re-engineer the younger generation who may be bound by circumstances that do not allow them make the most of their potential. These foresighted professionals (AFBE members) help to remove mental barriers to having a progressive mind-set. All of these qualities have inspired me to participate in all AFBE programmes. I think it’s fair to say that I like and respect the AFBE concept.

Dr Chinotu George recently completed his PhD at the University of Aberdeen. Chinotu’s Thesis titled “Geometry of surface and subsurface deposits and landforms in the Niger Delta” focused on the implication of landform geometries on reservoir characterization.

Members’ News •

Our London and National Chair, Dr Nike Folayan tied the knot with Dr Lekan Owodunni on the 9th of August 2014. AFBE-UK would like to congratulate you both!

Congratulations to AFBE- UK London Head of Research and Engagement Dr Ina Colombo on her appointment as Deputy Director of the International Institute of Refrigeration(IIR) in Paris.

AFBE-UK Scotland General Secretary Edwin Ekpiri and Blessing Odeje got married on the 21st of June 2014. Many Congratulations from AFBE-UK.

Congratulations to Dr Patrick Clarke OBE on being awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering by London South Bank University.

Please send any news you would like to share to us at

AFBE-UK is a registered not-for-profit organisation working towards advancing diversity within engineering through its programmes. AFBE-UK aims to challenge and inspire people of black and minority ethnic (BME) origin to make enhanced contributions in their respective fields, and also to add value to the community, using engineering as a platform. AFBE-UK is not exclusive to people from a particular ethnic origin, however it focuses on people that have and share an interest or experience in inspiring people of BME origin in our communities. AFBE-UK was founded in 2007, it is a network of engineers who enjoy what they do and seek to engage the industry and make a positive contribution to the community. These goals are achieved through our seminars, conferences, workshops and mentoring programmes. Current AFBE chapters are located in London, Nottingham and Aberdeen.