It is a great honour to be appointed as the 19th President of Institution of Incorporated Engineers, Sri Lanka for the session 2014-2015. As Eng. K. Ariyawansa transfers the symbolic medallion over from his neck to mine, I acknowledge the duties and responsibilities bestowed upon me.
Eng. K. Ariyawansa has conceived many excellent initiatives during his tenure as the President that will bring IIESL to the next order of professionalism and vibrancy. Under Eng. K. Ariyawansa’s leadership, with the assistance of the council and the support of our members, IIESL has reached significant milestones during the past two years.
I will endeavour to do my best ensuring that IIESL follows through with these initiatives and fulfil our vision to be the heart and voice of Incorporated Engineers. We all know Incorporated Engineers play instrumental roles in all sectors of the economy, including the built-environment, manufacturing, transportation, info-communication and other industries. Incorporated Engineers are important because we generate wealth for our economy and create innovations that enhance the quality of life of our people.
However, engineers, as in other professions, also face challenges. For example, engineers from the built-environment industry have to deal with professional responsibilities and adequate compensation for their work. Engineering companies have to deal with productivity and labour crunch. Engineers at large have to manage career development, recognition, compensation while maintaining a work-life balance. Like other professions, we, too, have to look at ways to enthuse bright young minds to take up a career in engineering. We need more Incorporated Engineers to sustain our economic growth.
With this as the background, IIESL will strategize our direction forward to remain relevant to the society and our members. I have been pondering over this for the past several months. ‘Game-changer’ or ‘Game-changing’ are simple words with profound definitions. It could mean a complete change of plan, meaning to conceive an entirely new plan; or it could mean keeping the existing plan, but introducing elements that bring about managed changes that could propel IIESL forward in a significant way. For me, I am going for the latter, that is, to fine-tune the plan and manage it for continuity and sustainability.
With the support of the IIESL council, I have identified four main thrusts during my term:
a. Preserve the core and acknowledge the existing - We have to remember how we initiated and the
core values that has brought us here today.
b. Reach out and broaden with depths into other engineering disciplines and industries. We need to
bring them into our fold to ensure IIESL remains relevant.
c. Engage the young members - We want them to keep that fire of passion burning in young engineers
and encourage them to remain in the profession in the long term.
d. Enthuse bright young minds into engineering – We need to excite the younger generation and
provide them opportunities to create objects that have engineering elements with their own hands.
With the completion of the IIESL Temporary Building which is located at Battaramulla this year, additional facilities will be added to serve our members better. The new secretariat office will improve service and efficiency. Other spaces will be used for members’ training and professional development and for members to interact, network and share experiences.
My committed council and I will navigate the course ahead and, together with your support, we will face the challenges ahead and bring IIESL to the next level. We will also focus on membership growth and membership diversity and will give the fullest support for the development of SAARC Diploma Engineers Forum.
I want to thank specially Eng. P.A.D.R. Chandrasiri who pushed me to join IIESL and as the regular advisor to me, Eng. Upali Gunawardana who was promoted me as a Fellow and appointed me as the Vice President for Membership to climb this ladder. I also thank all the Past Presidents who have advised me frequently.
At last solicit cooperation of all of yours towards the success of future activities of IIESL. I wish all the success.
Eng. Lt. Col. Pani Kavikeshawa