Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Institution of Mechanical Engineers' heritage website
The Story of IMechE
1847 Inaugural meeting of the IMechE
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers is created, ‘to give an impulse to inventions likely to be useful to the world’. 56 engineers and manufacturers meet at the Queen’s Hotel, Birmingham. George Stephenson is elected first President. IMechE bases itself in Newhall Street, Birmingham.
1851 First London meeting
The year of the Great Exhibition marks IMechE’s first London meeting.
1856 Whitworth's Presidency
Joseph Whitworth’s Presidency of the Institution marked a big upsurge in membership. The engineer himself used the occasion to advocate standardization and decimalization in measurement, and even in coinage.>
1877 Move to London
After many years of considering it, the Institution moves to London, with a rented headquarters at 10 Victoria Chambers, Victoria Street.
Institution constructs Storey’s Gate headquarters, later known as 1 Birdcage Walk. A Graduates’ section for younger members is created and immediately makes its mark with the first paper on automobiles read before the Institution.
1913 Graduateship exams
The Institution commences its own graduateship examinations in a drive to improve and control the training of mechanical engineers. The tests are not entirely technical; general knowledge papers tested candidates reading of Chaucer and Tennyson.
1921 First local branch
The first IMechE local members’ branch is created in Birmingham.
1924 First female member
Verena Holmes becomes the first woman to be elected as an IMechE member.
1945 James Clayton Lecture
First James Clayton lecture, IMechE's premier award of its type, is authorised by Council. Frank Whittle presents ‘The early history of the Whittle gas turbine’ to a packed house.
1947 Formation of the Automobile Division
Merger with the Institution of Automobile Engineers, creating the Automobile Division.
1969 Formation of the Railway Division
Merger with the Institution of Locomotive Engineers, creating the Railway Division.
1997 First female President
IMechE's 150th anniversary year and first female President,
1998 Formula Student
is launched, one of the Institution’s most popular events. Teams of students design and build a single-seater racing car, which then faces three days of endurance tests and scrutiny by professional engineers and industry experts.
2006 First female Chief Executive
IMechE’s first female chief executive, Ruth Spellman, is appointed.
© 2013 Institution of Mechanical Engineers. IMechE is a UK registered charity number 206882