New IOM3 president: Jan Lewis

Paul Boughton
IOM3, the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, has appointed Jan Lewis as its new president. Jan, 41, takes up this new voluntary two year role, succeeding Barry Lye.

A chartered engineer, chartered environmentalist and chartered geologist, Jan Lewis holds a BEng (Hons) in engineering geology and geotechnics. He has been a member of IOM3 since 1991, with active involvement at local level with Minsouth as past president and treasurer before becoming a fellow and national senior vice president.

Since 1990, Jan has held a variety of positions with the leading engineering and environmental consultancy Wardell Armstrong. He is currently regional director in charge of the firm’s London office and is also responsible at board level for sustainability, environmental management systems, and corporate social responsibility. Typical overseas mining and natural resource projects in which he is involved include exploration assessment, due diligence, competent person reporting, auditing and feasibility studies, with commodities ranging from metalliferous ores to diamonds and coal. His involvement in land and property projects in London and the south east typically relate to the reclamation, redevelopment and transaction of brownfield land and the direction of multi-disciplinary teams to discharge planning conditions.

“I feel extremely proud and privileged to be taking up the role of IOM3 president,” said Jan, “and I’m also aware that I’m doing so at a time of great challenge and change. Although international mining is more active than ever as global demand for natural resources increases, UK SMEs and academia face uncertain times as we face cutbacks in building programmes, infrastructure projects and research funding. For many people at the moment it’s about survival and making the best of things. Yet there are still opportunities. The IOM3 has an important role to play particularly in support of the Materials Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTNs) and the impact of materials to influence societal challenges on a global scale.

“Being such a broad church also gives us a big advantage. It was a big step for the Institute of Materials and the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy to come together in 2002. But having that breadth of scope and knowledge is a major strength. I’m convinced that we can do far more, not only to promote the materials cycle and develop further in areas like product design and waste management, but to join up and strengthen our whole message so we add to our role and significance.

“One of my themes will be managing change. We need to meet the challenges of how to increase membership, involve younger people and make professional qualifications relevant in an increasingly competitive market. It’s early days of course, and we certainly don’t know all the answers I can see some excellent opportunities for the Institute to become ever more relevant in a rapidly changing world.

“I succeed Barry Lye who will be a truly difficult act to follow. He has done a tremendous job over three years to develop our international links, enhance communication with the membership and encourage younger member participation. I am very fortunate that he will be taking on the newly formed role of chairman of the international advisory board to continue to drive our international involvement.

“As far as environmental issues are concerned, I would like to use my presidency from a position of personal knowledge and expertise to advance sustainability and corporate social responsibility. The mining industry has done a lot to become more sustainable, but there’s much more to do. It’s perfectly possible to address environmental issues at a reasonable cost, and for governments, mining companies and local communities to work together well for their mutual interests. This will be an important and continuing debate – especially in emerging countries.”

As a major UK science and engineering institution, IOM3 has an individual membership of over 18,000 professional people. It represents a combination of scientific, technical and human resources that link industry, government, research and the academic world. Its activities encompass every stage of the materials cycle from exploration and extraction through to processing, forming, finishing, application, recycling and land reuse. It exists as a leading authority in the worldwide materials and mining community to promote and develop all aspects of materials science and engineering, geology, mining and associated technologies, mineral and petroleum engineering and extraction metallurgy.

Barry Lye said: “it has been a privilege to be President of IOM3 over the past three years and I am truly delighted that Jan Lewis will be taking over from me. I feel sure he will continue to move the institute forward and to serve the best interests of the membership. I look forward to continue working with him in the future and wish him every success over the next two years.”

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