MERGER OF the ICE and Institution of Mechanical Engineers came a step closer last week when both institutions agreed to hold a joint Council meeting next September.
The meeting will focus on the realities and benefits of a single merged institution representing 140,000 engineers.
The two institutions are also to adopt an open book policy so they can examine each other's fi nances as part of a pre-merger due diligence exercise.
But the ICE stressed that a merger had not been finally agreed.
'It's absolutely wrong to believe that the decision has already been made. There is no intention to go to convergence yet, ' said ICE past president Colin Clinton.
He said that the recent vote, in which 51% of ICE members and 72% of the IMechE favoured a merger, gave a mandate to explore closer working (News 18 August).
Over the next year the two institutions will hold joint committee and special interest group meetings and create a 'Young Engineers' Alliance'.
Each institution has set aside £100,000 over the next year towards the cost of these ctivities to cover venue hire and administrative costs.
An ability to influence central government will be a key factor in deciding whether a merger will go forward.
Council member Stephen Larkin commented that the Graduates & Students National Committee (GSNC) felt that the there was a 'sense of inevitability' over the merger and expressed surprise at how quickly plans had developed.