The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), was present at last week’s Monaco Yacht Show to manifest its symbiotic support of and for the Professional Yachting Association (PYA) by signing a memorandum of understanding, sat down with Lulu Trask to discuss this mutually beneficial relationship.

The reason behind the partnership is clear: to provide and promote routes for superyacht engineers to obtain professional qualifications and recognition. Michelle Richmond, IET director of membership and professional development, outlines that beyond the mandatory Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) qualifications, professional recognition demonstrates commitment and “puts superyacht engineers on par with the wider engineering workforce.”

The superyacht industry is known for being a few steps behind its counterparts and this is where the IET is hoping to add another level of support to those engineers in this yachting bubble. “Quickly evolving technology means engineers are dealing with systems rather than a specific technology and the IET supports this integrated approach,” explains Richmond, whose background lies in chartered engineering, radar design, satellite communications and 3G technology.

"This is the ideal opportunity to promote careers as technical yacht crew to women."
- Michelle Richmond, director of membership and professional development, IET

Along with meeting owners’ expectations of shore-based connectivity, Richmond is confident the IET can help with this industry’s cyber security issues (the IET is, in fact, working with the government on this at the moment). Moreover, the IET’s routes to become a chartered manager align with the superyacht industry’s HELM skills which, Richmond states, “gives them other career options and helps employability”.

But there is one area that the IET really believes it can help yachting, and that’s with the growth of female engineers in the sector. “This is the ideal opportunity to promote careers as technical yacht crew to women,” explains Richmond, whose background itself is an impressive manifestation of what women can achieve in the engineering sector.

At the end of the PYA Headline Sea Changes Forum on 24 September, 2015, the IET and PYA signed a memorandum of understanding, signifying a new phase for yacht engineers. Superyacht engineers are encouraged to approach the PYA and IET for further information about professional recognition, during which the IET takes experiential learning into account – a huge benefit for those engineers in the superyacht sector.

For further information, visit the IET website.

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