The Ingenieurs Australia Society (IngAust Society or IngAust) is a professional society to enhance and promote Australian Professional Engineers within Australia and Internationally. It is formed as a society which will later seek affiliation with the Institution of Engineers Australia (EA), the mother ship for engineering professionals within Australia, as an occupational society with arrangements similar in concept to those used for the currently affiliated Technical Societies. The Society is being shaped by a number of Professional Engineers, some of whom are members of EA and of APEA (the Association of Professional Engineers, Australia which is a division of Professionals Australia). The Ing Aust Society plans to operate in a complementary manner to EA and APEA while not duplicating their roles.
Initial membership of IngAust is now being opened to Professional Engineers who wish to belong to the Society, including those who wish to help evolve the new Society as part of its National Committee.
Who is a Professional Engineer?
Professional Engineers are defined in Australia as those with a 4 year Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree from an Australian university and those with equivalent qualifications going back in history prior to 1980, all as certified by EA as Professional Engineers. In short a Professional Engineer is one who is a GradIEAust, MIEAust, FIEAust or one with equivalent qualifications and professional experience.
Membership Levels, Titles & Voting Rights.
There are three levels of membership of IngAust, namely, Members (free), Members (paid) and Fellows. Members and Fellows may use the exclusive International prefix title for Professional Engineers of “Ing.”, the abbreviation for “Ingenieur” which comes from the French language and is used to denote Professional Engineers in many countries around the world. Professional Engineers with a PhD may use the prefix title of “Dr.Ing.” as with International practice. Also, those with the Eur.Ing. prefix from the relevant European certifying engineering body, FEANI, are encouraged to use their Eur.Ing. prefix title. Non members of IngAust may not use the Ing. prefix titles. “Ing.” may be pronounced “Inge” while “Ingeni-eur” which comes from the same latin root as “ingeni-ous” may be pronounced INGE-n-YER.
Members of IngAust may also use the suffix title of PEng (abbreviation of Professional Engineer). Those who are also members of EA may upgrade their PEng suffix title to CPEng (Chartered Professional Engineer) once they have become Chartered through the EA Charter procedure for experienced Professional Engineers. A CPEng Professional Engineer must keep up with their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to retain their CPEng title. CPD is audited by EA on a regular basis. Similarly, those who are members of APEA may upgrade their PEng suffix title to RPEng (Registered Professional Engineer) and keep up with their CPD to retain it.
Thus a typical Professional Engineer belonging to IngAust and no other society would have titles such as Ing. John Brown, BEng(Elec), PEng. And one who is also a member of EA with their CPEng title would have titles such as Ing. Mary Jones, BEng(Civil), MIEAust, CPEng, NER.
The Member (free) level of IngAust membership is free of charge while the Member (paid) level is $120 pa and is for those Members who wish to contribute to the financial income of the IngAust Society with a regular membership payment. Those at the Fellow level have shown conspicuous service to the engineering profession or to the general community as Professional Engineers and the membership fee is $120 pa. There is no joining fee as such for any members.
Members at the free and paid levels may use the MIngAust suffix title and those at the Fellow level the suffix of FIngAust.
All members of IngAust have full voting rights within IngAust.
Australian Professional Engineers are able to practise professionally in many overseas countries due to the International standards work carried out on qualifications and professional experience by various bodies such as EA through the “Washington Accord”, for example.
IngAust is currently headquartered in Melbourne. Chapters may be formed in various locations throughout Australia as members become interested in conducting Public Relations / Learned Society / Community Service activities for Professional Engineers in their locations. The National Committee of IngAust handles the role of the watchdog on Professional Engineer standards in Australia working closely with EA and APEA as appropriate.
Why form the IngAust Society?
IngAust has come about as an exclusive society for Professional Engineers because, originally, Professional Engineers in Australia had three professional organisations, exclusive to Professional Engineers, to cater for their needs. This situation has now changed in recent years where each of these three original societies have combined with other groups for various reasons.
Engineers Australia has changed, as a major learned society, into catering for the three levels of the Engineering Team at the top end of the engineering workforce, namely, Professional Engineers, Engineering Technologists and Engineering Associates (ie Engineering Technical Officers). EA also caters for Engineering Technicians and Engineering Tradespeople as members within the various Technical Societies affiliated with EA. EA is no longer catering solely for Professional Engineers as it was when formed in 1919. Professionals Australia is now the professional industrial association for a number of technological and other professions and not just for Professional Engineers as when it was formed as the APEA in the 1940s. And the Association of Consulting Engineers Australia has changed into a body called Consult Australia catering for Consulting Practices for Professional Engineers and other built environment professionals as opposed to catering for individual Consulting Professional Engineers and companies as it did when formed originally as the ACEA.
As such there is no other body that properly caters solely for Professional Engineers of all ages to look after their overall interests exclusively and provide technical information and training as well as promotion, networking and fraternal meeting opportunities.
The IngAust Society is seen as the unifying society for all Australian Professional Engineers, regardless of which other professional organisations they belong to, if any, so as to help properly shape the destiny of Professional Engineers in Australia. This while Professional Engineers co-operate closely with other members of the engineering workforce, with other professions plus with consulting engineering companies and engineering companies at large.
Written by: Ing. Kelvin Lillingstone-Hall, FIEAust, CPEng
& Ing. Colin White, BE, FIEAust.
Updated: 12 November 2020.