WHILE THE UK engineering industry has been debating the creation of a single institution for civil, mechanical and electrical engineers, Egyptian engineers have already set up a British 'super' institution office in Cairo.
ICE country representative in Egypt Dr Gamal Abu-Taleb met the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) in London last week to finalise the initiative.
The 'British Engineering Institutions' (BEI) office will open in September and will receive 50% funding from the UK Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), with the rest spread between the three institutions.
The 80-strong BEI is a mix of expatriate Britons and Egyptians with levels of membership ranging from graduates to fellows.
ICE country representative in Egypt Dr Abu-Taleb has spent the last three years working on the initiative and was involved in bringing the ICE's Brunel lecture to Egypt in 2002.
'I hope to develop an awareness of the professional benefits of joining the Institution - particularly as part of an international network of engineers, ' he said.
The Egyptian Society for Engineers cannot offer chartered engineer status but does provide membership following a career appraisal.
'It's not about replacing the Society, but adding to it. The world is now one big village and everyone needs to work together, ' said Dr Abu-Taleb.
He added that he would also target universities to encourage students to join the ICE.
The Institution is assessing Egyptian degrees courses for accreditation.
The BEI office will provide continuing professional development courses and offer a library of journals and engineering books for members. It will also act as a focus for conferences in the Middle East and North Africa.