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A new branch is born
- Friday February 19, 2021
It all began with a series of regular meetings in a café in Doha, among a group of like-minded, enthusiastic individuals. They had a one-point agenda; to set up a branch of the IHE that could reach out to the highway engineers in Qatar and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. An IHE branch that would be the first outside the UK and could facilitate engineers in the Middle East (ME) attaining professional recognition and increasing their competence; providing the latest knowledge and research in the field, and making a mark on the quality and delivery of engineering services.
It was an ambitious undertaking. We started in September 2019 with a group of five volunteer founding members and created a blueprint to move forward. After the world was struck by COVID-19, our inaugural session planned for April 2020 was cancelled and we moved to video meetings to continue our march forward.
We concentrated on building a membership base, started conducting our webinars and reaching out to publicise the newly formed IHE-ME branch. In June 2020 the new branch was represented on the IHE Council following its vice chair’s election, giving a better opportunity to integrate with the IHE.
The core committee running the IHE-ME includes:
- Chair – Ali El-Jaber
- Vice chair – Pankaj Saini, KEO
- Vice chair – Syed Khalid Mahmood, Parsons
- Hon secretary – Mian Irfan, Parsons
- Hon treasurer – Muhammad Usman Sheikh, Parsons
‘It’s a great opportunity to be part of the first overseas branch of IHE. We are very keenly looking forward to developing an IHE base in the Middle East. We have made some progress but there is still a lot to be done to fulfil our vision for IHE-ME,’ said Pankaj Saini.
Syed Khalid Mahmood said: ‘I am confident that together we will be able to make the Middle Eastern branch venture an effective engineering institution; imparting knowledge and helping engineers scale new heights of professionalism in the MENA region.’
Currently the branch is in talks with IHE HQ to support and collaborate with regional universities as we continuously strive to bring more value to our services for the highway engineers across the Middle East; facilitating them in their professional development.