The James Rennie Medal

Our post today is written by Peter Hallsworth, CEng FICE. Contributor for The Structural Exam.

Peter Hallsworth picture

Eur Ing Peter Hallsworth BEng DipTE CEng FICE FCInstCES MIHT MAManE

Peter is a Member of the Institution Council and serves on several panels including the Professional Reviews Panel and the Fellowship Panel.

Peter became a Chartered Engineer in 1975 and undertook his first Professional Review in 1982. Since then he has undertaken just shy of 500 reviews of all kinds from Technician through to Fellow. He has been also running a Written Exercise Group based in Manchester and online for ten years, with several participants winning prizes every year.

Introduction to the James Rennie Medal

Every year the ICE awards the James Rennie Medal to the best Chartered Professional Review candidate from the year before. Nominations are made by the two reviewers who interviewed their candidate, with the final three shortlisted candidates presenting in front of a large audience and panel at ICE's headquarters in London in March.

How does someone get nominated?

As a candidate your objective and target should be to simply pass the ICE Examination but sometimes there are people who shine. As reviewers we get an opportunity to recognise those people and we (in true ICE fashion) fill in a form.

In essence we write a proposal supporting the individual and these are read by the Standards Panel during the period between your Chartered Professional Review and your result being released. This year there were nearly 50 recommendations and the Standards Panel passed ten to the James Rennie Panel. Our job is to select three to present their CEng presentation to the Institution on 22nd March in the Telford Theatre.

We interviewed our friend Nick Borner a while ago to find out the preparations he made leading up to his Chartered Professional Review. He was nominated for the James Rennie Medal back in 2015. You can read his interview here. He has lots of good tips for those preparing for their CEng MICE interviews.

One that we always recommend is to book a Mock ICE Review with us to get a 3rd party opinion on your report and interview, so you can make changes before you submit for the real thing.

About the Final

The presentation candidates make at the James Rennie Medal Final differs a bit to the one made at their Chartered Professional Review. It is not just to two reviewers but to a big audience of about a hundred followed by 15-20 minutes of questions. It is quite a challenge and those I have helped have sensibly made some changes to the presentation to bring out points to the bigger audience.

The questions are always challenging and sometimes come from experts who actually know the answer! One blunder we discussed a while ago is whether CDM Regulations apply offshore.

The James Rennie Panel includes several previous winners who recognise the skills in both engineering and communication and the final is brilliant to watch. We recommend all IEng and CEng candidates watch it – though IEng candidates are not eligible to be nominated. You will be able to watch online on 22nd March 2017 (details here), but do remember that these are the best out of over 1000 applicants globally and your target is simply to pass!

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