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Privy Council lobbied over new 'institution'name

A BATTLE was this week brewing over the use of the name 'Institution of Engineers' following the proposed merger of the Institutions of Mechanical, Electrical and Incorporated Engineers.

Formal objections have been raised by the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Structural Engineers and the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers.

All have complained to the Privy Council, which governs the award of Royal Charters to professional institutions.

The letters to the Privy Council point out that the proposed name implies that the new institution represents the whole of the engineering profession.

'We believe that it would cause confusion, ' said IStructE chief executive Keith Eaton.

'This new institution doesn't cover the whole of engineering and to have a generic term like this would, particularly for the general public, cause confusion.'

ICE director general Tom Foulkes confirmed that the ICE had written to the Privy Council and to Science minister Lord Sainsbury.

'The proposed use of the (Institution of Engineers) name is both premature and inappropriate at this stage, ' he said.

The electrical and mechanical engineers institutions are expected to take merger proposal to their members in the first quarter of this year. If a positive vote is achieved the merger is expected to be completed in 2004.

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