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What if your work helped create a truly global organisation?

Based in Beijing, his role is to develop and execute strategies that expand the IET’s operations in China by building partnerships with the government, private sector and associations there.

“I feel like we’re building something amazing in China and it’s great to be a part of that,” he says. “I get to work with colleagues all around the world; interacting with all the different departments in the UK as well as my own amazing team here on the ground in China.”

“I feel like we’re building something amazing in China and it’s great to be a part of that”

Paulo considers himself the middle man, connecting IET experts in the UK and China to “make things happen” and grow the IET’s presence in the country. His time is split between bringing resources from the UK to the IET China and working with the team to build long-term partnerships with universities, associations, government institutions and businesses.

“The IET has been planting seeds throughout China for many years and now’s the time to start growing them in order to better support our Chinese members,” he says. “We’re currently nurturing a small garden, but in time I hope this will become a huge forest.”

Creating a truly global organisation

Paulo considers one of his main responsibilities to help the IET become a truly global organisation and is excited to work towards bringing IET China in line with the IET’s 2030 strategy, which will help the organisation have an even bigger global impact.

“China is already a very important market for the IET, which receives more than 35% of the papers from Chinese authors. There are more than 1.2 million new engineers graduating every year and China is now home to some of the most advanced and innovative research in engineering in the world.  China will be key to meet the IET 2030 targets.

“Thanks to such an active market, our strategy is to partner with research institutes, universities, and associations to organise call-for-paper events as well as developing new journals together.”

Some of his first steps are to bring more of the IET’s resources to China.

“I spend a lot of time strengthening the bridge between the IET in the UK and China and looking at ways to transfer and localise the products, services and resources we offer. This is why having a local team is so important, because they have a deep knowledge of the Chinese market and understand what needs to change to best fit its needs,” Paulo says.

“Things have to work quite differently here, we need to be considerate of Chinese law and this means we sometimes have to think outside of the box,” he explains.

“In order to turn the IET into a truly global organisation we have to make some changes to how we operate,” he continues. “For us that has involved making changes to internal processes to factor in cultural differences. In addition, my team is using its knowledge of how China works to address the specific requirements and challenges those in the Chinese engineering and technology world face.”

Developing products for Chinese audience

One project Paulo is particularly proud of is the development of a new product called Standards in a Foreign Language (SIFL), which is professional registration in a foreign language. This is currently being trialled by 100 Chinese engineers.

“This is a product fully in Chinese – so an engineer will be able to go through the whole process of becoming a Chartered Engineer (CEng) in Mandarin.

For the pilot phase, we’ve needed to translate everything back into English to be reviewed and approved by the UK Engineering Council and we’re also training up lots of Chinese volunteers to become local professional registration advisors (PRA) and assessors.

The long-term objective is to fully localise this approach and only translate a certain percentage of applications for quality control purposes.”

“This is a really exciting project and one we’ve seen quite a lot of demand for. It’s still in the pilot phase but we’re very excited to roll this out wider in the future,” he says.

But IET China is far from a one trick pony – Paulo and his team are currently discussing what new products they want to bring to China over the next 12 months as well as how they can expand many of the existing services it already provides.

“It’s about expanding existing products and services, and bringing new products on board. It kind of feels like being in a start-up, albeit one with a lot of support behind it, and that’s a great place to be,” Paulo laughs.

Deep impact

“One of the things that’s so exciting about this job is that the impact we can make is extremely deep,” he continues.

“We’re working with organisations and associations that are very powerful in China, setting up engineering standards and consulting for the Chinese government to help them with the rules around international engineering qualifications and professional registration.

“The ultimate goal is mutual recognition of professional qualifications, enabling Chinese engineers to be recognised for their skillsets internationally and be able to work more easily in other countries and vice versa.

“This may take many years, but I know that the work we do now has the opportunity to influence millions of engineers in China in the future,” he concludes.