#011 – Ivan Mactaggart – INCOSE UK Past President

Ivan Mactaggart was INCOSE UK President 2016 – 2018




– INCOSE UK (to be renamed IfSE): https://INCOSEuk.org/

– Ivan’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ivanmactaggart/


00:00 – Introduction

01:59 – Experience and perspectives as INCOSE UK president.

04:36 – Priorities during his presidency

09:18 – INCOSE UK’s journey to be a Professional Engineering Institution and rename to the Institute for Systems Engineering (IfSE)

18:17 – Relationships and friendships formed in INCOSE

22:31 – Member to becoming the president of INCOSE UK

38:38 – Role of INCOSE UK in influencing engineering policy

50:10 – Ivan’s current work in rail

53:12 – Closing thoughts


– LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshuasutherland




00:00:00 Joshua Sutherland

And welcome to the Systems Engineering podcast. Today’s guest is Ivan Mctaggart.

00:00:06 Joshua Sutherland

Ivan is an innovative leader specialising in establishing cutting edge engineering capabilities from the ground up. He’s currently the head of engineering systems and digital for the East West Railway Company, which is building a new railway line running from the east to the West across southern England.

00:00:26 Joshua Sutherland

And we’ll be connecting.

00:00:28 Joshua Sutherland

Cambridge and Oxford together and I will.

00:00:30 Joshua Sutherland

Speak a little.

00:00:30 Joshua Sutherland

Bit about this in the episode, Ivan has had many senior engineering roles globally, including with MBDA and the missile company, and DSTL, which is a British.

00:00:45 Joshua Sutherland

Defence research organisation.

00:00:48 Joshua Sutherland

In today’s conversation, however, we’ll mainly be focusing on his roles he’s had with Inkosi UK, including being president in 2016 to 2018. And I think this is a good episode for understanding what it’s like to get involved with in Cody.

00:01:06 Joshua Sutherland


00:01:09 Joshua Sutherland

Just before the episode starts, reminded that if you haven’t signed up to the newsletter, you should do just go to joshuasutherland.com/newsletter and it’ll keep you up to date with the latest episodes and other things that you’ll find interesting. And there’s a free gift when you sign up, so you should do it.

00:01:29 Joshua Sutherland

And just so the free gift. So hope you enjoy the episode.

00:01:32 Joshua Sutherland

Great. So today’s guest is is Ivan. Ivan was the INCOSE UK president, 2014 to two. Oh, sorry, 2016 to 2018 and and also has a a long career in systems engineering, a range of different organisations in the UK.

00:01:53 Joshua Sutherland

Hi so welcome, Ivan.

00:01:55 Ivan Mactaggart

Good afternoon. Sorry, pleased to meet.

00:01:56 Ivan Mactaggart

You, doctor.



00:01:59 Joshua Sutherland

Would you be able to explain what it’s?

00:02:00 Joshua Sutherland

Like to be an INCOSE UK president and what? What you what it involved over you.

00:02:06 Ivan Mactaggart

Tenure. Well, I think, yeah, I I can explain from from my perspective, my point of view, I think the your tenure as President it’s it’s almost unique to you and and you have ideas that you want to try and execute during.

00:02:21 Ivan Mactaggart

That, that, that.

00:02:22 Ivan Mactaggart

Your tenure and each President has a different flavour of what they want to bring that was.

00:02:28 Ivan Mactaggart

Clear to me when.

00:02:29 Ivan Mactaggart

When I was present at the elect.

00:02:31 Ivan Mactaggart

And I’ve been very fortunate enough to have been exposed to council before being president-elect, because I been for you know, I’ve been honoured to be being elected by the ENCODE the UK Advisory Board as its chair for for two years prior to that. So I had an inkling of the ways of working and got an insight to a number of presidents and how they they were working, Mike.

00:02:52 Ivan Mactaggart

And Wilkinson, Alan Harding. And I think Richard, who was, you know, my immediate predecessor.

00:02:59 Ivan Mactaggart

And you know you you get so that that the two years as president electrical like gives you an opportunity to start thinking about. OK, I’ve got two years now. What do I really.

00:03:07 Ivan Mactaggart

Want to do?

00:03:07 Ivan Mactaggart

What I what? Where do I? What can I do to try and move us forward as a as a learned society?

00:03:13 Ivan Mactaggart

As that institution.

00:03:14 Ivan Mactaggart

So I can kind of probably go around what?

00:03:16 Ivan Mactaggart

My thinking was and.

00:03:18 Ivan Mactaggart

What I I.

00:03:20 Ivan Mactaggart

Wanted to try and do and and and leave thought that those those that have succeeded me since.

00:03:28 Ivan Mactaggart

Some of which is, you know, I mean we’re we’re seeing it going to some exciting new.

00:03:32 Ivan Mactaggart

Things now that that.

00:03:34 Ivan Mactaggart

You know, we’re kind of hopes of mine.

00:03:36 Ivan Mactaggart

But you, you.

00:03:37 Ivan Mactaggart

See the likes of Kirsty Wallace and and Ian Gibson and now Malcolm Thomas and you know, go forward. Andrew Pemberton. What they are going to see happen in their.

00:03:48 Ivan Mactaggart

What had happened in your errands?

00:03:49 Ivan Mactaggart

And and Malcolm’s presidency and and. And what was then happened again, Andrew?

00:03:54 Ivan Mactaggart

It’s you. You can see how we really are moving forward as a learned society and it’s.

00:04:01 Ivan Mactaggart

For me, very.

00:04:02 Ivan Mactaggart

Honouring and very humbling actually to look back and and and have been one of those that’s been fortunate enough to be asked to, you know, help move the organisation forward.

00:04:13 Ivan Mactaggart

And of course you don’t do it alone. You know you’ve got a there’s.

00:04:16 Ivan Mactaggart

An incredibly gifted set of people that fits on the Council, you know.

00:04:20 Ivan Mactaggart

And and I was very, very fortunate with those that that supported me in that time. Yeah, it’s it’s it’s not a not a it it it sometimes feels a lonely.

00:04:29 Ivan Mactaggart

Place but it but.

00:04:30 Ivan Mactaggart

Actually it’s you.

00:04:31 Ivan Mactaggart

You’ve got a lot of support there.

00:04:33 Joshua Sutherland

That that’s great to.

00:04:34 Joshua Sutherland

Hear. And what did you sort of view?

00:04:36 Joshua Sutherland

As your priorities to to get done when you were President.

00:04:41 Ivan Mactaggart

Well, my my view was that we were on the, you know.

00:04:44 Ivan Mactaggart

We we wanted.

00:04:45 Ivan Mactaggart

To sorry, let me go back a bit. Maybe that includes he had been driving for some time and real desire to.

00:04:54 Ivan Mactaggart

Really ramp up its membership and.

00:04:58 Ivan Mactaggart

That that needs certain foundations to to, to be in place.

00:05:03 Ivan Mactaggart

I think we were seeing a good trajectory for encode the UK. I think during Richard’s time, which Beasley we got over the 1000 member mark the first time and we may have even been the first chapter to get over that thousand after looking.

00:05:21 Ivan Mactaggart

But for me it it was well, OK, look, if you really want to kind of do that kind of thing and it it is, it is about maybe joining your membership.

00:05:30 Ivan Mactaggart

Or or whatever.

00:05:32 Ivan Mactaggart

You need to change the way that you might be thinking because it’s not an insignificant task and so for me that meant right, we really need to understand what our business is.

00:05:45 Ivan Mactaggart

And that might sound obvious as a learning society, it’s obviously a progression of discipline and the support people in it, but it’s not actually that obvious when you start to unpick it.

00:05:56 Ivan Mactaggart

We were, we were very stable organisation. We had a very stable financial platform, you know, huge, huge thanks there to Peter Lister, who who was still first director. You know, when I became president and had been finance director for about 15 years by the by the time he eventually decided.

00:06:15 Ivan Mactaggart

Something else has to do this.

00:06:17 Ivan Mactaggart

You know, he he left us a shoe very, very stable platform. We weren’t really not worried too much about.

00:06:24 Ivan Mactaggart

I’m on the penny financial health.

00:06:27 Ivan Mactaggart

But where did? Where did we invest? You know, where are the best places to invest? What do we really know about what we would do and where were we where we were?

00:06:34 Ivan Mactaggart

Committing those funds to me wasn’t particularly clear.

00:06:39 Ivan Mactaggart

And having come from a bit of.

00:06:40 Ivan Mactaggart

A in the past, having done a bit of.

00:06:43 Ivan Mactaggart

Business. Turn around.

00:06:44 Ivan Mactaggart

And in in in the retail motor industry and.

00:06:47 Ivan Mactaggart

In the sort.

00:06:48 Ivan Mactaggart

Of retail construction industry with a couple of very well known brands.

00:06:54 Ivan Mactaggart

One of the things I was very clear on there is you had to understand pretty much where all your money came from and where it all went.

00:07:02 Ivan Mactaggart

And that gives you an opportunity to then look and go, right, OK, where are the opportunities for us to look at maybe doing things differently? What what can we bring in in terms of things that systems engineers will will value and want to invest their money or their if they’ve gotta pay their own membership or their company’s money, if the company supports that membership?

00:07:22 Ivan Mactaggart

There’s gotta be something for them in it otherwise.

00:07:25 Ivan Mactaggart

Why do it?

00:07:26 Ivan Mactaggart

The other thing was to try and sort of create opportunities for people to volunteer to do.

00:07:32 Ivan Mactaggart

Things that, that, that.

00:07:33 Ivan Mactaggart

You heard about enough to want to go and spend their spare time doing.

00:07:38 Ivan Mactaggart

Or or indeed.

00:07:40 Ivan Mactaggart

And convince their employers that it would be very, very much being employers benefit to to get engaged with. So you know that that was kind of my underpinning saying I wanted to be in a position where I I handed over a platform, you know, I mean I work in infrastructure and.

00:07:54 Ivan Mactaggart

At the moment, so if you take one infrastructure, I wanted a really solid set of foundations.

00:07:59 Ivan Mactaggart

That we could then.

00:08:00 Ivan Mactaggart

Leap forward on.

00:08:03 Ivan Mactaggart

The the key thing in doing that to me though was is there was one thing above all that we would have to achieve at some point.

00:08:10 Ivan Mactaggart

That we had to do, but we had to add the business since first because it was part.

00:08:14 Ivan Mactaggart

Of the journey.

00:08:14 Ivan Mactaggart

And that and that was we had to become a professional engineering institution in our own rights to be licenced in our own right rather than being affiliate. That was really clear to me. And it was clear to me, you know, we did some great work and I think Mike Wilkinson led this.

00:08:30 Ivan Mactaggart

In his time of of becoming an affiliate and offering members the opportunity to to become chartered and.

00:08:36 Ivan Mactaggart

That that, that was a significant event and and there was always the desire.

00:08:42 Ivan Mactaggart

In Mikes Council and and in Allana’s and just, you know, those between Mike and myself, she wants to eventually make that step and become a fully licenced member of the Engineering Council and a PIR, right?

00:08:58 Ivan Mactaggart

But you you have to achieve some certain things in order for the Engineering Council to to get through their their their, you know their their quite.

00:09:11 Ivan Mactaggart

And rightly rigorous procedure, and one of those is actually having a phone business.

00:09:15 Joshua Sutherland

Yeah, I’m not right be vigorous.

00:09:18 Joshua Sutherland

It’s important in the sense you.

00:09:20 Joshua Sutherland

Don’t want people just setting up institutions that have an approval on their they’re not.


Yeah, no.

00:09:27 Ivan Mactaggart

Yeah, yeah, yeah. What are three criteria is, you know, having for business on standing firm, on stand your risk from financial footing. You have to prove all those things. And I’ve been lucky enough that I’d.

00:09:28 Joshua Sutherland

They’re not worth you.

00:09:42 Ivan Mactaggart

I helped to steer through and I say helped. You know he and Preston was the professional development director at the time. Unfortunately couldn’t attend our reaccreditation as affiliate one year and I had.

00:09:55 Ivan Mactaggart

The incredible support of.

00:09:56 Ivan Mactaggart

Of Lynn Davis and the you know, professional development manager at DOT, the I and and those folk.

00:10:02 Ivan Mactaggart

To to help me, but we we, we, together, steered through the reaccreditation and during.

00:10:08 Ivan Mactaggart

That that reaccreditation the Engineering Council sends one of their people, they send a a chair of a licencing panel there, and after backing out, was invited to.

00:10:20 Ivan Mactaggart

Apply to join the Engineering Council as a quality Assurance Committee member, which actually did and then served for six years. In fact, I only stood down earlier this year as April of this year that I finally stood down from that, but it taught me.

00:10:34 Ivan Mactaggart

All the things I needed to know, all we needed to know in in cosy to be able to make that leap. So you know, I was chairing licencing panels of some of the big institutions. I won’t name them because of confidentiality. But you know, I was chairing, you know the the I was the panel chair for one of our major institutions and a couple of the smaller ones.

00:10:55 Ivan Mactaggart

As well. So it gave me a really good insight.

00:10:57 Ivan Mactaggart

To what we had to do.

00:10:59 Ivan Mactaggart

That because I was leading the the challenge, if you like, to the institution trying to get through and then coupled with the work that Kirsty, Rachel Wallace then did, who succeeded me as President and who did all the hard yards from the cosy point in getting us through. She was president by lesson. We actually put the licencing through. So for me it was about getting the foundations.

00:11:20 Ivan Mactaggart

Right. And allowing that step to happen, if that’s what the Members wanted to do and the Council wanted to do.

00:11:29 Ivan Mactaggart

You know, and that and that then Kirsty led and did pretty much all we were actually did pretty.

00:11:35 Ivan Mactaggart

Much did a.

00:11:35 Ivan Mactaggart

Lot of the legwork in writing all of our processes. You know, I helped to review that and then working with the the Institute explosives, the Expo to to have a joint model that.

00:11:49 Ivan Mactaggart

The the reason for going to joint model is when you’re smaller institution, it’s difficult to prove to the Engineering Council you’ve got a bandwidth from the volunteer pool to support all the things you need to do. So the engineering Council put a proposition to us that we might want to think about a joint board and and we duly did that. We sat down, we thought about it. We thought it was.

00:12:10 Ivan Mactaggart

The idea and and and ultimately it was and it’s led to, you know, Kirsty Bannister. That’s where I was with Kirsty when we attended the Engineering Council for that, that that review and and I have the assessment of our application and.

00:12:24 Ivan Mactaggart

It it was quite, it was quite rigorous. It needs to be I what I was like as a chair. So, but, you know subsequently.

00:12:33 Ivan Mactaggart

You know Kirsty was able to announce at the conference that.

00:12:36 Ivan Mactaggart

Year that we.

00:12:37 Ivan Mactaggart

Were now at last Pi and then Ian took that further forward. So you know for me it was.

00:12:46 Ivan Mactaggart

Can I get us to somewhere where we can start to build these things up? And the reason it’s important, Josh, the reason it is really important to be Pi, it’s not just about.

00:12:59 Ivan Mactaggart

Professional registration to members, which is incredibly important and as a real driver for people wanting to be a member, you know, engineers want that recognition they want to, they want to achieve that gold standard, which is, you know, the registration process, whether it’s incorporated, chartered or, you know, engineering technician for that matter. Engineers want to do that. It’s it’s, you know.

00:13:19 Ivan Mactaggart

Accolade given by your peers, but what it does for the institution as well is it gives it a voice that you don’t get unless you are one of the last school licensees.

00:13:31 Ivan Mactaggart

And what we what we’ve been able to be since is you know we we now have a voice in the national Engineering Policy Centre that is coordinated by the Royal Academy for Engineering and that brings all of the PI’s together to give a collective voice for engineering. So we we we’re.

00:13:46 Ivan Mactaggart

Now on that table.

00:13:49 Ivan Mactaggart

And so you, you and and you know the next step of that is then right to look how do we then take our small institution and make it this this thing that.

00:14:00 Ivan Mactaggart

But really is, you know, we all see ourselves as that, that full frontal systems enter in the UK. But the reality of it is, is there are still far more systems engineers sitting in the IT or other institutions than are in Code UK will seems to actually move. And I think the next step.

00:14:16 Ivan Mactaggart

But you know Ian Gibson picked off and he’s still leading under under Malcolm stewardship now and we’ve seen the vote go to the to the Institute for Systems Engineers will come up.

00:14:26 Ivan Mactaggart

And again you.

00:14:26 Ivan Mactaggart

Know it’s not about cutting my ties and cosy far from it. It we we can still cement.

00:14:31 Ivan Mactaggart

That we’re still part of that global network.

00:14:34 Ivan Mactaggart

But what that does is it enables us to to generate even more benefit for a UK member. We can start looking at fellowships, which is slightly different to the way in Cody does it in the UK. You can apply a royal charter. You you the potential is to see chartered systems engineers.

00:14:52 Ivan Mactaggart

Going forward. So for me it and it wasn’t necessarily about achieving that RC or you know, I didn’t particularly think about too many oceans, but it was for me about.

00:15:03 Ivan Mactaggart

Putting that set of that sperm concrete foundations in there, that meant we could start to really achieve some significant things and get get the the institution recognised in the UK as an institution. That’s that’s perhaps not equal in numbers, but it’s equal in terms of.

00:15:24 Ivan Mactaggart

Status and standing.

00:15:26 Ivan Mactaggart

For systems engineers with the UK focus, but without.

00:15:29 Ivan Mactaggart

Breaking it up, international.

00:15:33 Ivan Mactaggart

That, that, that international link and you know again with Ian, Ian Gibson was instrumental in leading this, you know, during my time it’s renegotiating the MU that we did, we we had re encoded at that time which gave us a better return on the membership fee.

00:15:47 Ivan Mactaggart

You know, so it was that that was all about for me. It was, it really was about foundations, which I probably witted done.

00:15:53 Ivan Mactaggart

Long enough about now.

00:15:55 Joshua Sutherland

That’s really fascinating because often these sort of foundational pieces, you know, but literally the foundations of a building, we don’t see them, but of course are, you know, super important or the building collapses and.

00:16:05 Ivan Mactaggart

So I’m probably gonna miss actually, cause I should bring out another couple of things that I thought were absolutely fantastic that they have nothing to do with me. They were my ideas, if anything, probably I create a condition where they could come, if at all. But what’s also happening. So I was incredibly proud that he chose to do this during what I was John Holt coming up with the.

00:16:06 Joshua Sutherland

Seeing something?

00:16:28 Ivan Mactaggart

The guys that the there is a guy.

00:16:30 Ivan Mactaggart

Books that he has done and.

00:16:32 Ivan Mactaggart

That that series of.

00:16:34 Ivan Mactaggart

Books. Now he’s got bigger, more publications. You know, he started off with think engineering richest time and then had this idea of those like mini systems engineer.

00:16:44 Joshua Sutherland

Ohh the panic. Don’t panic but.

00:16:46 Ivan Mactaggart

Where they don’t panics and to have that launched during that time was, you know, it was an incredibly good feeling because it.

00:16:54 Ivan Mactaggart

You know, we, we we were at the significance of that was we were starting. We’ve really got a handle publishing and being able to publish our own stuff and how that worked and we could do that because we understood the money. We bluntly we understood the money, understood it better and and again thanks to Peter List his work.

00:17:14 Ivan Mactaggart

That we are able to do that so you know an incredibly great time to be involved, a fantastic time to be to be president. There were some hard arts, there were some really hard yards, you know, we had there were some.

00:17:29 Ivan Mactaggart

You know very.

00:17:30 Ivan Mactaggart

Very late nights around some of that, you know, I think some of the latest nights were probably post presidency when, you know, I was trying to help Kirsty with getting the process sets together to to apply for the Pi. But but you know.

00:17:44 Ivan Mactaggart

Yeah, I mean it.

00:17:46 Ivan Mactaggart

It was a fantastic time. I’m I’m.

00:17:49 Ivan Mactaggart

Very, very honoured to have been.

00:17:51 Ivan Mactaggart

President of encourage UK and I was very honoured to have been President in a particular time slot. I I was in.

00:18:00 Joshua Sutherland

That’s that’s really great to hear.

00:18:02 Joshua Sutherland

I think.

00:18:03 Joshua Sutherland

What what it sounds like there’s been a lot of, as you say, sort of foundational work that is aiming to get in cosy UK. Or should we be calling the Institute for Systems Engineering? Yeah. OK.

00:18:13 Ivan Mactaggart

We will be not quite there.

00:18:15 Ivan Mactaggart

But will be.


And you know.

00:18:17 Ivan Mactaggart

Looking forward to that being announced.

00:18:19 Joshua Sutherland

Yeah, I’ve got the the flyer, so.

00:18:22 Ivan Mactaggart

Yeah, I mean it’s.

00:18:23 Joshua Sutherland

It’s on this one.

00:18:24 Ivan Mactaggart

You know, I think it’s great news and and you know the work that that Ian Gibson and others, you know Don, you know to get us there. And Malcolm Thomas and you know Andrew.

00:18:34 Ivan Mactaggart

Will take you forward.

00:18:35 Ivan Mactaggart

And what we would say as well is that these guys are all great friends of mine. You know, they, they, you know, Richard Beasley, were a top bloke and a great friend, you know, was a guest at my wedding, a number of systems engineers that gets at my on my wedding 7-8 years ago. Eight years ago now nearly. You know Malcolm I see quite regularly we we’re working on the same project.

00:18:56 Ivan Mactaggart

At the moment.

00:18:58 Ivan Mactaggart

And you know Ian, Ian and I have our paths have crossed quite a lot since. And Andrew and I used to work together a WWE many years ago. So it’s a quite nice family and and it’s it’s, it’s fabulous, you know.

00:19:08 Ivan Mactaggart

Alan Harding and I.

00:19:09 Ivan Mactaggart

You used to touch one very, very regularly. And Mike Wilkinson life passed, crossed in professional life from time to time as well. So you, you.

00:19:19 Ivan Mactaggart

And and and that’s just the, that’s just the immediate past presence. It’s, you know, if I look at the, you know, John Holt has been a like it’s been a friend of mine for well over 10 years now. You know, along with Simon and John was the 1st.

00:19:32 Ivan Mactaggart

Person I really got to know when I joined in COSI and and in cosy. OK and I consider him to be a a very dear and good friend and and along with others. Hazel, Hazel, Alcock, who’s comms director, in fact Hazel and I was Hazel. Had an.

00:19:49 Ivan Mactaggart

Idea to take a.

00:19:50 Ivan Mactaggart

A panel session to IS and Dublin.

00:19:53 Ivan Mactaggart

Next year and has invited me to to be part of that.

00:19:56 Ivan Mactaggart

Panel so yeah.

00:19:57 Ivan Mactaggart

You know, it’s it. It’s it’s a fantastic.

00:20:00 Ivan Mactaggart

Thing to be and and you make.

00:20:02 Ivan Mactaggart

Huge amounts of friends around that table.

00:20:06 Joshua Sutherland

Yeah. Yeah. No, that that’s great to hear. So I think any person who was wanting to get involved with in kosu, OK, they would find it to be a a friendly and welcoming place.

00:20:16 Ivan Mactaggart

It it is it.

00:20:17 Ivan Mactaggart

Is it has been for me. I’ve I’ve found it, you know, to be a fantastic, fantastic organisation. It’s not where it’s challenges. Organisations have challenges, you know, let’s.

00:20:26 Ivan Mactaggart

Not. Let’s not everything is rosy. Every single day. There’s some tough things to do.

00:20:32 Ivan Mactaggart

You know, you know.

00:20:32 Ivan Mactaggart

When you are.

00:20:34 Ivan Mactaggart

And it will become more so with the IFC, to be honest, because the the the rules change the.

00:20:39 Ivan Mactaggart

Way that you.

00:20:40 Ivan Mactaggart

We’re we’re registered in the United Kingdom as a business changes. But you know, you you one of.

00:20:44 Ivan Mactaggart

The things you have to.

00:20:45 Ivan Mactaggart

Realise when you are President is you have a legal obligation for a duty and cancel the business. There is a legal accountability.

00:20:54 Ivan Mactaggart

You know you are a director.

00:20:55 Ivan Mactaggart

Registered at Companies House along with the president-elect.

00:20:58 Ivan Mactaggart

The immediate past president, the.

00:21:00 Ivan Mactaggart

Finance director and and and and and.

00:21:02 Ivan Mactaggart

The company secretary. So you.

00:21:04 Ivan Mactaggart

Know it is. It was.

00:21:06 Ivan Mactaggart

It was never lost on me that there was there was a degree of responsibility.

00:21:09 Ivan Mactaggart

That came with that.

00:21:11 Ivan Mactaggart

Not, not just about having a file and pushing systems engineering, you know? So part of the drive for the foundation as well as you know recognising as you yeah, quite frankly.

00:21:20 Joshua Sutherland

Yes, yes, yes, exists. And you’re also, so you’re you’re building on something that has been handed to you from another generation of a person. And we have a responsibility to care for that.

00:21:31 Ivan Mactaggart

Yeah, I mean, you know, tracing all the way back to Derek Hitchens, you know the very

00:21:34 Ivan Mactaggart

Very President, you know he, he.

00:21:36 Ivan Mactaggart

He, you know, Bill Barlow and and and those guys that, that that came together to found it back then you know had that horse right so.

00:21:43 Ivan Mactaggart

Look, there’s something.

00:21:43 Ivan Mactaggart

Here that that we believe that.

00:21:46 Ivan Mactaggart

There’s a UK there’s there’s a compelling reason to try and create a.

00:21:50 Ivan Mactaggart

UK chapter here.

00:21:53 Ivan Mactaggart

And and and look at and you look at how it’s grown and adapted from like.

00:21:56 Ivan Mactaggart

From those beginnings.

00:21:58 Ivan Mactaggart

You know, yeah, there is a there’s a strong legacy and you know, I looked down that list of Presidents and.

00:22:04 Ivan Mactaggart

And and you know, I I I I feel that I’m in in hallowed company quite frankly. And sometimes wonder how the hell did I manage to get be in that company but it but you but I was and and and I’m.

00:22:17 Ivan Mactaggart

But, but you’re right that that legacy is, is is incredible actually. And and you think of what each President has done and move forward and how we how we grown it’s it it’s fantastic.

00:22:30 Ivan Mactaggart

What was your your?

00:22:31 Joshua Sutherland

Journey from presumably at some point you you joined in, cosy as a member and then you you rose to be the the the president. What? What is the the stepping stones you took?

00:22:42 Ivan Mactaggart

Well, it wasn’t planned that I can tell you it’s it’s. I joined in cosy.

00:22:50 Ivan Mactaggart

I’m quite late on. I actually came into systems engineering as we would understand it from an ecosy perspective quite late on actually. There’s only really in the sort of late 2000s around 2008, really where I can really came across it at that time.

00:23:08 Ivan Mactaggart

I’ve been really assistant practitioner of my my earlier academic thinking. Was our system thinking system practise and he’s still liking inform from that, but I I was a systems engineer at a WWE and.

00:23:27 Ivan Mactaggart

The responsible for the the leading the engineering component within living our soccer management within the AW at that time.

00:23:37 Ivan Mactaggart

And promoting systems engineering and systems are your processes and I was asked by our chief engineer.

00:23:45 Ivan Mactaggart

To take over our U CAP Rep spot from one of our senior engineers who was becoming who? Who’s gonna move on to become, I think head of.

00:23:56 Ivan Mactaggart

One of our engineering divisions at that time.

00:23:59 Ivan Mactaggart

She was gonna gonna and and.

00:24:01 Ivan Mactaggart

Fundamentally, as a group, they wouldn’t have had the the.

00:24:03 Ivan Mactaggart

The plan, what to do it?

00:24:05 Ivan Mactaggart

So Chief and you asked me if.

00:24:06 Ivan Mactaggart

I would take it off. It wasn’t really an ask. It was more of a talent, quite frankly. But it wasn’t something that.

00:24:12 Ivan Mactaggart

I was averse to.

00:24:14 Ivan Mactaggart

Bluntly, I was very, very happy to.

00:24:15 Ivan Mactaggart

Go and do that.

00:24:17 Ivan Mactaggart

So I, you know, I went from being a member lay member to being our Rep probably within a year or so of joining.

00:24:26 Ivan Mactaggart

I think I’d attended one conference by then or something like that, I said 2010. I think it was. I think first conference I went to.

00:24:35 Ivan Mactaggart

And then you know, I was asked to to to become the Ucab representative.

00:24:41 Ivan Mactaggart

And then when Chris Lamb, who was the UK chair at the time, again another, another long standing friend Chris Horse standing down from that role, decided to move on and stand.

00:24:54 Ivan Mactaggart

Down from that role.

00:24:56 Ivan Mactaggart

I was looking around for.

00:24:58 Ivan Mactaggart

You know, there’s a few folks that.

00:24:59 Ivan Mactaggart

Said, you know, why don’t you clear it?

00:25:01 Ivan Mactaggart

I’m I wanna speak if I get involved in something. I’ve gotta get involved in it and I kind of got involved.

00:25:05 Ivan Mactaggart

In in in the UK, quite quite a bit and and subsequently I was elected and and it was an election year it it wasn’t a dummy election. Yeah, it it was contested and probably quite close. Like I seem to recall. I’m.

00:25:20 Ivan Mactaggart

Not, not really.

00:25:20 Ivan Mactaggart

Sure. But yeah. Anyways, you know, I’ve.

00:25:23 Ivan Mactaggart

Elected as you catch it.

00:25:27 Ivan Mactaggart

Towards the back end of that time, selected for two year process and.

00:25:34 Ivan Mactaggart

Towards the back. In that time I moved I.

00:25:36 Ivan Mactaggart

Moved from A.

00:25:36 Ivan Mactaggart

W to the STL new change direction, new change career, and it’s time for me to move on. I wasn’t EU CAP work at the STL, but just one one of our other principals and.

00:25:50 Ivan Mactaggart

I really thought much about it other than, you know, being a bailing member and and and enjoying and still enjoying it.

00:25:58 Ivan Mactaggart

The two things then happened.

00:26:01 Ivan Mactaggart


00:26:03 Ivan Mactaggart

I was asked on my sort of first week in DST. Alright, it’s.

00:26:08 Ivan Mactaggart

A cosy UK stuff.

00:26:10 Ivan Mactaggart

You’re coming off saying that. What more can you do that it sounds like a thing we should be interested in.

00:26:14 Ivan Mactaggart

I said, well, we’ve already got.

00:26:15 Ivan Mactaggart

A Rep in there, you know Professor Bob Mahler. It was a time of staying up some.

00:26:20 Ivan Mactaggart

You know Bob.

00:26:20 Ivan Mactaggart

Mahal, one of those two.

00:26:23 Ivan Mactaggart

And it was well, you know, I.

00:26:24 Ivan Mactaggart

Said well.

00:26:25 Ivan Mactaggart

The presidential elections coming up.

00:26:28 Ivan Mactaggart

I I probably could have stab at that.

00:26:30 Ivan Mactaggart

Think do you know I might have some reasonable support that coincided with a couple of colleagues from the UK and folks who’ve been on Council cause it’s U cap chair. You’re a member of the Council saying look, why don’t you stand? We’d support you. And I said I thought, well, OK, alright. So I I said to to.

00:26:50 Ivan Mactaggart

It was our delivery chief in in DSL.

00:26:52 Ivan Mactaggart

So, well, Mars, I.

00:26:53 Ivan Mactaggart

Said look, this could happen. I’ve got.

00:26:54 Ivan Mactaggart

A bit of support I.

00:26:55 Ivan Mactaggart

I’ve I’ve got some good support within the the Advisory Board. You know, I think I’ve got a good start at this and he said well.

00:27:03 Ivan Mactaggart

What would you need? I said, well, I’d need X amount of days a year and I need to TS. It’s probably gonna come.

00:27:08 Ivan Mactaggart

To this this number.

00:27:10 Ivan Mactaggart

Anyway, he just said well, either go do it.

00:27:12 Ivan Mactaggart

And if you get elected, I’ll.

00:27:13 Ivan Mactaggart

Find the money and and and.

00:27:16 Ivan Mactaggart

That happened and.

00:27:17 Ivan Mactaggart

And and the rest you say.

00:27:18 Ivan Mactaggart

Is history, so you know.

00:27:19 Ivan Mactaggart

It was, it wasn’t planned.

00:27:22 Ivan Mactaggart

And and interesting as well is that I wasn’t ever sure I win the election. It was a.

00:27:27 Ivan Mactaggart


00:27:27 Ivan Mactaggart

Election against 2IN, you know, as myself and two incredibly strong candidates who both of them made incredible presence. I think you know David Venner, kinetic and and and Alan Merchant, who who had socks and optic.

00:27:43 Ivan Mactaggart

You know those those guys were you?

00:27:45 Ivan Mactaggart

Know they’re very, very good.

00:27:46 Ivan Mactaggart

Leaders. So it was, you know, it’s it.

00:27:50 Ivan Mactaggart

Far from giving in my mind, in fact, far from it. Yeah, I thought. Yeah. But, you know, if I come closer, that’s probably OK, you know? But no. Yeah. I’m. I’m.

00:28:00 Ivan Mactaggart

What happened happened and then, you know, I I found out. And the next day I sort of.

00:28:06 Ivan Mactaggart

Sat down with Emma Jane Taylor at Doctor I just headed sectarian. My mind no go like, what do I what do I need to know? Tell me a lot, you know. And. And and it was at that point I thought, right. Yeah. I need to go and understand all this a lot more. And and and and. Funny enough, I spent that Christmas then.

00:28:26 Ivan Mactaggart

Very sadly, I say an empty in an empty house around the dining room table.

00:28:36 Ivan Mactaggart

Reading the memorandum and articles of association registered at company House and all the other stuff like the MCU with with, with it goes and everything. Just want to understand how this how this thing works.

00:28:51 Joshua Sutherland

Yeah, yeah, I mean it. It does.

00:28:54 Joshua Sutherland

It’s certainly very healthy for the organisation that that, that these elections are contested and that there are great candidates there and that it is in.

00:29:01 Joshua Sutherland

Just, you know, searching around for somebody to do it, that actually people, multiple people want to do it.

00:29:07 Ivan Mactaggart

Yeah, we’ve, we’ve, we’ve been there a couple of times and and and that is that’s that’s the one of the you know.

00:29:14 Ivan Mactaggart

One of the things we we still got to resolve somehow is how do we get people?

00:29:19 Ivan Mactaggart

To want to stand we, we we do get people that do want to stand, you know, don’t get me wrong, we do. And even in some of the years where we’ve only really ended up with a single candidate there.

00:29:28 Ivan Mactaggart

Have been others that have looked at it.

00:29:31 Ivan Mactaggart

But there is, you know it.

00:29:33 Ivan Mactaggart

It comes with a lot of sacrifice, you know. You you you’re there for. It’s six year commitment.

00:29:41 Ivan Mactaggart

You know you’re 2 years as president-elect for two years as president. You’re there two years as the immediate past president. The burden goes down as immediate past president, honestly. But it but you still it there’s still an expectation and you’ve committed to the membership to do stuff you’ve committed to.

00:29:57 Ivan Mactaggart

Encode the UK.

00:29:58 Ivan Mactaggart

You’ve committed to the Council members to lead it effectively.

00:30:01 Ivan Mactaggart

The other thing is you’re committed to encouraging internationally to support various things. That’s part of the Memorandum of understanding. So it is not an insignificant.

00:30:14 Ivan Mactaggart

Challenge and it’s, you know, it comes at you know you you have.

00:30:19 Ivan Mactaggart

To you have to have.

00:30:20 Ivan Mactaggart

An ability of an employer that’s willing.

00:30:22 Ivan Mactaggart

To support it, you know, I think I calculated.

00:30:25 Ivan Mactaggart

But I would need something like 50 days and then actually wasn’t really. May I give 22 Franklin Harding there. He he did. He did a full on business case when he stood for president and very, very kindly shared with me some of the thinking around numbers when he thought. And and I wasn’t able to do that myself.

00:30:45 Ivan Mactaggart

So yeah, I think it calculated out I would need something like 50 odd days which would be split from some of my time. Some I’d need from from DSL, you know, originally.

00:30:56 Ivan Mactaggart

And then you know, we need to do conference attendance this TNS, this Council to attend. This was all pre sort of COVID and and certainly pre this kind of thing being regular formats but we we didn’t have vertical meetings back then we didn’t have the.

00:31:14 Ivan Mactaggart

Capacity to do.

00:31:16 Ivan Mactaggart

So you know, so I think it was something like.

00:31:19 Ivan Mactaggart

50 odd days.

00:31:22 Ivan Mactaggart

Lot of further travel there is an expectation from Ecosy that you’ll support IS or IW or both where you can. So that’s you know there’s a week in the states, twice a year or or a week in the states for IW and then.

00:31:37 Ivan Mactaggart

Generally like there there are unused and that have to go to all of them. But you know there is kind of an expectation you’ll you’ll get support to do symposiums and because you are you know you’re you’re representing encouraging UK and at that point being so there is kind of expectation for that.

00:31:56 Joshua Sutherland

And with that sort of representation, because there are all these members in the UK and they.

00:32:00 Joshua Sutherland

Need their guy?

00:32:02 Joshua Sutherland

Who? Who is representing them over there?

00:32:04 Ivan Mactaggart

Yeah, absolutely. And and and you know.

00:32:09 Ivan Mactaggart

Sometimes you kind of have to impress on other chapters and and and and press upon the centre. The central organisation that.

00:32:20 Ivan Mactaggart

That the the MU chapters, the international chapters.

00:32:23 Ivan Mactaggart

Are are, are, are a.

00:32:24 Ivan Mactaggart

Bit unique, they are very different from the way that you can.

00:32:30 Ivan Mactaggart

Or would lead an American chapter. Now that’s that’s kind of understood, but it’s it’s much better understood now. You know the employee certainly with the employment of the you know, my full time CEO, she’s office typed in that that that that they’ve got now. But I remember having conversations with an S.

00:32:51 Ivan Mactaggart

At one point with with someone who will very much remain known, this or someone listeners might may know who it is.

00:32:59 Ivan Mactaggart

You know, I was asked. Well, you know, why do you need to create money in the UK? Why do you need to do that? Everything down here? I well, no, it’s not so you know you are on the West Coast United States, you’re 8 to 10 hours behind us. You know. How’s that any use to somebody?

00:33:12 Ivan Mactaggart

Based in the UK on.

00:33:13 Ivan Mactaggart

A day to.

00:33:13 Ivan Mactaggart

Day basis, it isn’t, you know, so there’s certain things we have to provide the UK certain things our Members.

00:33:18 Ivan Mactaggart

Once in the United Kingdom, we have a relationship with different professional institutions in a different way that you do over.

00:33:25 Ivan Mactaggart

Drop the ship.

00:33:26 Ivan Mactaggart

It’s called professional engineer in the United States. It’s it’s, although it’s the kind of an equivalent. It’s done very differently in the UK to the the way it is the.

00:33:33 Ivan Mactaggart

United States so.

00:33:34 Ivan Mactaggart

The the the other thing is that in cosy.

00:33:37 Ivan Mactaggart

In the United States runs the taxpayers the chapters.

00:33:39 Ivan Mactaggart

For it, now we have to do our own.

00:33:42 Ivan Mactaggart

So you know, there’s the things you just have to do differently. And the larger you come.

00:33:47 Ivan Mactaggart

The more of that.

00:33:48 Ivan Mactaggart

You have to kind of have availability, availability.

00:33:51 Ivan Mactaggart

So sometimes, yeah there is.

00:33:53 Ivan Mactaggart

You know, once you get on it and it is, it is a meeting of friends. You know, I was incredibly luckily.

00:33:58 Ivan Mactaggart

Who have coincided with most of Gary Rodler’s time, for example, and and and Dave.

00:34:02 Ivan Mactaggart

Long time and and Alan’s longtime, of course, you know, during my on the chapter and in President and and they they they were very good relationships, but sometimes you gotta have a strong.

00:34:13 Ivan Mactaggart

Conversation, you know? Yeah.

00:34:16 Joshua Sutherland

And that sort of.

00:34:18 Joshua Sutherland

Public facing. So you know a a government minister or an MP or.

00:34:22 Joshua Sutherland

You know BBC News like these types of organisations when they, you know, they don’t know what systems engineering is and they think they need to speak to someone to to give a statement for a sort of news item and things. But to me, I think it is very important.

00:34:35 Joshua Sutherland

That the local chapters or the the country based chapters.

00:34:39 Joshua Sutherland

Talk in a language.

00:34:41 Joshua Sutherland

And use terms in a way that they are familiar with and can map you to yeah, into your Mechanical Engineers or or these other institutions.

00:34:50 Ivan Mactaggart

Yeah. And I think you you. So you hit on.

00:34:52 Ivan Mactaggart

A hit on a a thing.

00:34:53 Ivan Mactaggart

There that I think we.

00:34:55 Ivan Mactaggart

Need to embrace it sometime and and the the IFC concept will better enable this in my opinion which while there is I really thought of it, we’ve always struggled with how do we deal with matters of policy in the UK. And I don’t mean about encouraging your systems here.

00:35:13 Ivan Mactaggart

Policy but engineering policy in the UK, how do we get that influence? How do we how do we put our policy statement that comes from us as an institution rather than being seen to be the expression of the individual at present and the organisation that they come from? So we have to be on par with the rest of the UK institutions.

00:35:33 Ivan Mactaggart

To do that, so good leap forward. Yeah, we get invoice now through the through the national Engineering Policy Centre, of course with the Royal Academy of Engineering. But us as a collective.

00:35:43 Ivan Mactaggart

That means the president signs the letter with all of the other API presidents, and that’s a fantastic thing that’s really good. That’s the first bit of, you know, saying look, we have credibility, look, look who we are sitting with, who we’re talking with, you know this is the kind of influence we’re now loading. But if you really want to start.

00:36:02 Ivan Mactaggart

Going to next.

00:36:03 Ivan Mactaggart

Level. You’ve gotta think about what as a as a UK engineering institution that represents systems engineering in.

00:36:11 Ivan Mactaggart

We can. What is the policy that we want to present to politicians, to the rest of industry, you know, do we have that central policy? How are we gonna create that? How do we think about how we might want to put specific systems engineering advice to a minister?

00:36:32 Ivan Mactaggart

You know, I I was very fortunate enough couple of years ago now to write to my local MP following something with the Royal Academy of Engineering and got airtime with Greg Smith up in Buckingham supporter and our engineering and almost test probably a little bit.

00:36:51 Ivan Mactaggart

But you’ve got to have that clear idea in your head about what your policy is, what what the systems engineers care about, what do they want to see government doing. And again, you, you you can’t do that from a point of view where you might seem to be something that’s just a a small boat or.

00:37:10 Ivan Mactaggart

Something that’s wrong entirely from the United States in COSY has incredible influence in the United States. Incredible interest in.

00:37:20 Ivan Mactaggart

Us this has.

00:37:21 Ivan Mactaggart

Got good influence globally, you know, you know.

00:37:22 Ivan Mactaggart

Don’t get me wrong.

00:37:24 Ivan Mactaggart

There’s there is.

00:37:25 Ivan Mactaggart

A delta, I think when it comes to wanting to truly influence.

00:37:31 Ivan Mactaggart

Engineering policy or trying to influence government to take a A policy and industrial policy far more seriously. UK trade industrial policy, yeah.

00:37:43 Ivan Mactaggart

And we need to, you know, we need to drive government to change that. It’s not something government really.

00:37:47 Ivan Mactaggart

Thinks too much about the.

00:37:49 Ivan Mactaggart

Department of Business we work on on whatever guys it is at any one time is in my opinion.

00:37:56 Ivan Mactaggart

Backward. In doing that, it seemed reluctant to want to do it. But you know, come on, you know.

00:38:02 Ivan Mactaggart

This is a notion of creators, you know, only startups we’ve got going on. We we could start up tonnes of things.

00:38:08 Ivan Mactaggart

With brilliant ideas.

00:38:09 Ivan Mactaggart

In this colour, it’s getting those startups to scale up and then into leveraging that that technology and building it here that we don’t really do well with kinds of topples off and and I speak from the experience of having been in one that that kind of.

00:38:21 Ivan Mactaggart

Went down that trajectory for a while.

00:38:24 Joshua Sutherland

Yeah. And then sort of providing that expertise to like if if your your average MP, I think they they have a law degree and you know that that’s fine. And but being that person who can whisper in the ear.

00:38:38 Joshua Sutherland

Advice, that is, you know, based on maybe our way of thinking or more systems engineering across.

00:38:43 Ivan Mactaggart

Some things coming. You know, there’s some. There’s some light in the tunnel towards right towards the end of my total presidency. I I was I I received a number of calls, personal calls, but nonetheless they were coming to me personally but albeit but.

00:38:58 Ivan Mactaggart

Because I’ve had exposure as, as in case UK president, let’s be, let’s be blunt.

00:39:03 Ivan Mactaggart

Asking me about, you know, what was what was my view on system thinking? How could we inject it into government? What examples could we say? Well, systemic thought was helping things, for example.

00:39:13 Ivan Mactaggart

And so those opportunities come, it will be, it will be great to see in cosy UK Institute for Systems Engineering start to develop those policies that say yeah see this is what we really want to see. This is how we want to see.

00:39:29 Ivan Mactaggart

Things coming into schools, I wanna start seeing systems and new modules in academia, those kind of.

00:39:34 Ivan Mactaggart

Things you know.

00:39:37 Joshua Sutherland

Yeah, that’s really good. And then you mentioned that DSTL were almost encouraging you to get to become president. What benefits, where were they seeing for that though, why would they?

00:39:50 Joshua Sutherland

Sort of want to invest essentially be paying.

00:39:53 Joshua Sutherland

Your salary, but.

00:39:54 Joshua Sutherland

You are off supporting in Code UK.

00:39:57 Ivan Mactaggart

So, DSR for for any listener that that might not know is the defence science and Technology laboratory. It’s it’s an agency within UK MOD and it’s.

00:40:08 Ivan Mactaggart

Kind of almost. It’s an internal critical eye on some of the stuff that MOD does. It also supports other government departments as well. I was looking up and work with our government departments in my in my relatively short time, though now it’s it’s it’s.


All about.

00:40:25 Ivan Mactaggart

The UK PLC in many respects so.

00:40:28 Ivan Mactaggart

DSL encourages and and as you sort of get more senior roles almost demands you to engage with academia with industry.

00:40:37 Ivan Mactaggart

They were the professional jurisdictions. They want you to be chartered if you’re an engineer.

00:40:42 Ivan Mactaggart

They want you to.

00:40:43 Ivan Mactaggart

Be charted, having it for, for operational analysis and things like.

00:40:47 Ivan Mactaggart

That they want you.

00:40:47 Ivan Mactaggart

To be that and there’s a couple.

00:40:49 Ivan Mactaggart

Of reasons for.

00:40:49 Ivan Mactaggart

That one that it demonstrates their support to you growing as an engineer, analyst or scientist.

00:40:56 Ivan Mactaggart

One of your profession.

00:40:58 Ivan Mactaggart

Secondly, it demonstrates to the UK PLC the competence of the workforce.

00:41:06 Ivan Mactaggart

If you have got nearly. If you if only.

00:41:08 Ivan Mactaggart

Your senior engineers.

00:41:09 Ivan Mactaggart

Your engineering fellows, whatever that all chartered engineers. It’s telling you something about the competence of like group.

00:41:17 Ivan Mactaggart

I’m gonna wait. You’d expect accountants to be chartered, wouldn’t you know? Some like. And that’s the expectation. So it it’s it’s it’s a way of saying back to the public and to the politicians whose money it is that, you know, we we are spending we, you know is invested in us. You know they’re paying us.

00:41:36 Ivan Mactaggart

And saying, look, you know you are hiring competent people here who are doing things on behalf of the nation.

00:41:41 Ivan Mactaggart

And we’ve got.

00:41:42 Ivan Mactaggart

Highly confident people doing this on behalf of the nation.

00:41:45 Ivan Mactaggart

And spending your tax panels.

00:41:48 Joshua Sutherland

Yeah, that that makes sense, so.

00:41:49 Ivan Mactaggart

Where is the.

00:41:51 Ivan Mactaggart

You know there is a give, yeah.

00:41:54 Ivan Mactaggart

For me personally, I mean.

00:41:55 Ivan Mactaggart

Obviously it it it.

00:41:58 Ivan Mactaggart

It exposed me to a whole whole number.

00:41:59 Ivan Mactaggart

Of things, frankly.

00:42:02 Joshua Sutherland

Yeah. And I think you could always apply this to to any, any field of endeavour that to be involved with your professional institution is likely going to lead to, to.

00:42:11 Joshua Sutherland

Do better things like oh, absolutely.

00:42:16 Ivan Mactaggart

Ask around sort of your.

00:42:18 Joshua Sutherland

Career. So. So right now you work in rail, but you’ve been in in defence and yeah, you mentioned automotive at the beginning of your career. Like, has that been deliberate or that you wanted to be in these different domains?

00:42:32 Ivan Mactaggart

It became deliberate. It’s become deliberate. It didn’t necessarily start that way. It’s become deliberate for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, let’s take the discipline.

00:42:47 Ivan Mactaggart

Of systems engineering.

00:42:52 Ivan Mactaggart

John will tell you sometimes, John hope that is well, we’ll put his. He’s told. You know those steps and and he’ll speak very passionately about systems and he’ll say it’s the application, the implementation of common sense and engineering. Only The thing is.

00:43:09 Ivan Mactaggart

It’s not that common.

00:43:10 Ivan Mactaggart

Hip hip. But there’s a lot of there’s a.

00:43:12 Ivan Mactaggart

Bit of truth in that, quite frankly.

00:43:15 Ivan Mactaggart

But it’s. But if you think about it, it’s systems engineering is not about one domain, it is relevant to every engineering domain you can think of any manufacturing business, production, business infrastructure, you know rail be a part of that infrastructure.

00:43:34 Ivan Mactaggart

It doesn’t matter what man-made systems you’re engaging with.

00:43:39 Ivan Mactaggart

Systems engineering can provide value.

00:43:43 Ivan Mactaggart

So the outcomes that that, whatever business it is you’re in or whatever industry you’re in, that can provide value to the outcomes.

00:43:49 Ivan Mactaggart

That are seeking.

00:43:49 Ivan Mactaggart

To. So for me it’s become a thing. I like to engage with complex problems harder the better the more it stretches my head, the better. I’m grey hair for a reason. I like to say.

00:44:02 Ivan Mactaggart

I’m what that means is sometimes.

00:44:06 Ivan Mactaggart

You know you if.

00:44:06 Ivan Mactaggart

You really want to test yourself as a systems engineer. For me, that means not just sticking to the same domain and say right. Yeah, I worked in atomic work with the function of six years and I worked on DSL works on all sorts of defence type things and other things I went back to a defence company.

00:44:21 Ivan Mactaggart

Then went to or not to the university to come out where I was introducing it from ground up. There’s nothing.

00:44:26 Ivan Mactaggart

There when we are.

00:44:27 Ivan Mactaggart

And then now into rail and my view is if if I have any good at what I do, I should be able to practise.

00:44:33 Ivan Mactaggart

This to a proficient.

00:44:34 Ivan Mactaggart

Expert level in any domain because.

00:44:39 Ivan Mactaggart

The concept of systems engine just makes sense.

00:44:44 Ivan Mactaggart

And and and that’s not now, that’s.

00:44:45 Ivan Mactaggart

What it’s been for me.

00:44:47 Ivan Mactaggart

And so my career has been about.

00:44:50 Ivan Mactaggart

Not necessarily climbing a promotional ladder in one particular organisation, and I absolutely think that’s a fantastic thing to do. For me it’s it’s been more about.

00:45:01 Ivan Mactaggart

How much better as a systems engineer can I be and an engineering leader for that matter, cause it it it extends to both by engaging in problem spaces where I actually really don’t know much about the the engineering side behind it. Yeah, I knew nothing about rail three years ago. I’m not sure I know much more really, right? I mean, I do, but you know.

00:45:21 Ivan Mactaggart

It’s there’s only so much you can really.

00:45:23 Ivan Mactaggart

Learn in three years.

00:45:25 Joshua Sutherland

Yeah, and and for that railway line, I guess to help the audience, this is a a railway line that sort of exists, but is has has gaps in it and you’re throwing them in.

00:45:36 Ivan Mactaggart

Yeah. So yeah, so it’s an incredible project and it’s incredible Systems project.

00:45:42 Ivan Mactaggart

We’re gonna link.

00:45:43 Ivan Mactaggart

We’re going to look at what are we going to link?

00:45:46 Ivan Mactaggart

Oxford and Cambridge.

00:45:47 Ivan Mactaggart

There’s something there’s incredibly compelling reasons to do so. If you wanna go look at East West Rail website, you can see it. There’s a reason it was in the last budget statement. It’s an incredibly compelling project to do to link these two centres of academic excellence, along with Milton Keynes and the Centre, which is was pre COVID, one of the largest Grand cities in the United Kingdom.

00:46:07 Ivan Mactaggart

I don’t, I’m.

00:46:08 Ivan Mactaggart

Not a tech around the area, OK?

00:46:11 Joshua Sutherland

And I was an undergraduate at Oxford, and I used to ride that bus from Oxford to Cambridge. And it’s a very terrible journey.

00:46:17 Ivan Mactaggart

And and so it’s a compelling thing to do and it and.

00:46:21 Ivan Mactaggart

In a different way to overall.

00:46:22 Ivan Mactaggart

Projects. This is not about actually rail movement and rail travel. It’s about releasing economic benefits.

00:46:29 Ivan Mactaggart

Bluntly, and that’s and that means that unlike a lot of infrastructure projects, actually a lot of government projects full stop, this has huge treasury support and and you can see that in the.

00:46:40 Ivan Mactaggart

Press you read it.

00:46:43 Ivan Mactaggart

It’s got so that that’s that’s a compelling reason.

00:46:46 Ivan Mactaggart

For doing it.

00:46:48 Ivan Mactaggart

What’s the compelling systems engineering reasoning? Well, as you. You kind of alluded to that.

00:46:53 Ivan Mactaggart

We’ve got an A bit of railway between Oxford and Bletchley that is under construction. The earthworks were were were mainly there from the old varsity line that existed up until the beaching costs the 6th. So nothing back. What we’ve been able to reuse the bits of railway we could we could use. We’ve put it. We’re putting a new station.

00:47:13 Ivan Mactaggart

In there and.

00:47:14 Ivan Mactaggart

You know HS2 just completed the works and the embankments and the bridges for the overpass of HS2IN in the area. We will cross over. We’re interface with so that that’s all that’s I’m I’m going and that will enter into service within the next year and a bit I think at the moment. So you got that thing.

00:47:34 Ivan Mactaggart

And that being delivered by East West Rail Alliance led by Network Rail capsule and it predates to sort of East West Rail Company sets up.

00:47:45 Ivan Mactaggart

You then build a.

00:47:45 Ivan Mactaggart

Bit, which is essentially Bletchley, to Bedford, the Master Vale line, it’s called it is a small commuter railway. It’s been beset by a number of problems. It’s been.

00:47:59 Ivan Mactaggart

It it’s had basal blossoming now for at least last year about going back into operation again issues with the the company that we’re looking after trains and things like that. So it’s it’s been kind of.

00:48:10 Ivan Mactaggart

A bit of.

00:48:11 Ivan Mactaggart

A mix match for the last year or.

00:48:12 Ivan Mactaggart

So and also it’s it’s it’s slow, it stops every station.

00:48:18 Ivan Mactaggart

It’s a bit sub optimal if you want to.

00:48:22 Ivan Mactaggart

Get a decent.

00:48:23 Ivan Mactaggart

Sort of link hit.

00:48:24 Ivan Mactaggart

But it’s existing operational railway. So you’ve got a bit that’s under construction nearly nearly completing on the back end. Looking through the service, but it is operational, OK, even though it’s not really been running trains for a year.

00:48:37 Ivan Mactaggart

Going back to rolling trains now, I think it started is the fact that has, I think restarted.

00:48:42 Ivan Mactaggart

And then you’ve got this bit from Bedford out to Cambridge, where there’s nothing the old Varsity line, mostly it’s been built over, so you can’t reinstate that. You can’t claim it. It’s not, and then you’ve gotta think about whether it’s, you know, we’ve we’ve had to look at root options.

00:48:57 Ivan Mactaggart

I think I’m sure there’s more. Look at that and look at these. Like, let’s see what all that stuff is. You know, I’m. I’m not here representing these trials, so I’m. I’m not really other than the systems engineering.

00:49:09 Ivan Mactaggart

So when you look at.

00:49:11 Ivan Mactaggart

What an excellent problem space for a systems engineer to be working. I’m I’m I’m blessed to have a small but very, very good systems engineering team. It’s it’s it’s head. The head of Systems engineering in my my the jigsaw there is a guy called Steve Turner.

00:49:31 Ivan Mactaggart

Who is the professional development director for Encoding UK?

00:49:35 Ivan Mactaggart

And you know, he he has a very small but very, very competent team along by, you know, having a partner, which is where most of the systems engine horsepower is done and again so. So yeah, it is a it is and I think Steve sees what I do which is you know when I actually joined us as the head of systems engineering and and now the head of systems and digital and.

00:49:55 Ivan Mactaggart

Another thing is that we’ve got a really good fantastic systems challenge that to be involved in.

00:50:03 Ivan Mactaggart

It’s it’s, it’s compelling, it. It does hurt the.

00:50:06 Joshua Sutherland

Yeah, yeah. I mean, there’s serious.

00:50:10 Joshua Sutherland

You know, interactions with communities and it it is not a pure technical challenge I imagine.

00:50:16 Ivan Mactaggart

No reason you know. You know, I don’t know. Fortunately, I don’t get that involved with with that bit that that’s not my particular job. We’ve, you know, we’ve got a a very gifted team that that work in that communications.

00:50:31 Ivan Mactaggart

And an interaction space. And they do that brilliantly. But you know, just you, you’re. You’re right. The If you look at all the interface points we have.

00:50:40 Ivan Mactaggart

You’re interfacing with.

00:50:42 Ivan Mactaggart

All of the major NS transport mechanisms, yeah, East and West Coast mainline, that’s just two rail ones then the M1, the A1M, the M40. You know we’re we’re meddling in. You know we’re we’re interfacing into the Network Rail area. So as I said.

00:51:02 Ivan Mactaggart

The West Midlands main.

00:51:05 Ivan Mactaggart

The area. Then you’ve got major rivers, granular canal as well. So there’s a whole bunch of environment things in there and we’ve gotta go across. You know, we’ve got interrupted Flood playing within across Bedford and then we’ve got to go to Bedford Town itself and, you know, huge challenges around how do we deal with going into Bedford, St. John’s increasing.

00:51:25 Ivan Mactaggart

City and we’re right next to a major hospital.

00:51:29 Ivan Mactaggart

How? How we’re gonna how we’re gonna handle that?

00:51:31 Ivan Mactaggart

You know, there’s some. Yeah, there’s there’s it’s some.

00:51:35 Ivan Mactaggart

You know, as as systems challenges go, it’s it’s fantastic one to be involved.

00:51:41 Joshua Sutherland

Yeah. And I would encourage any listener who hasn’t looked at a map of the UK, just look at where Oxford is and where Cambridge is, and then where London is and you look.

00:51:49 Joshua Sutherland

At the amount of.

00:51:51 Joshua Sutherland

Infrastructure that must be emanating out of London to the north and inland railway line. It’s crossing all of.

00:51:58 Ivan Mactaggart

That and again, it’s compelling in number of.

00:52:01 Ivan Mactaggart

Just because it’s not just about how you link.

00:52:05 Ivan Mactaggart

Up to the.

00:52:05 Ivan Mactaggart

Cambridge the potential there is to go. You. You can then engage with right at least the ports on the East Coast.

00:52:11 Ivan Mactaggart

You can get down into Wales, you know, down into Cornwall. So you you get a A you can enable it. Truly holistic, East West connection.

00:52:22 Ivan Mactaggart

By having this this, this, this railway, so it’s and that then you know that gives you opportunities to consider and you know decisions haven’t been made on this yet and you know but how you might bring.

00:52:35 Ivan Mactaggart

Bring freight well.

00:52:36 Ivan Mactaggart

Interesting. So you know.

00:52:37 Ivan Mactaggart

It’s there is.

00:52:39 Ivan Mactaggart

A really compelling case for railway it’s an incredibly exciting system challenge.

00:52:43 Ivan Mactaggart

To be involved.

00:52:43 Ivan Mactaggart

In and I’m lucky enough to have been originally asked to lead Systems engineering and insurance. You know, for for.

00:52:50 Ivan Mactaggart

The first year.

00:52:51 Ivan Mactaggart

And a half. And for the last.

00:52:54 Ivan Mactaggart

Almost two years now to to head up.

00:52:57 Ivan Mactaggart

Systems engineering and visual engineering and bring the performance piece in and and sort of we sports teams and and and safety for quite a while that start with the major again. So yeah, it’s been it’s a great. It’s a great time.

00:53:12 Joshua Sutherland

Thank you. So we’re coming up on time now, Ivan, are there any other remaining thoughts you have that you want to share with the audience?

00:53:19 Ivan Mactaggart

I I think you know I would encourage any listener that isn’t a member of encourage you to go and explore because UK encourage you. Just go and have a look, you’ll find a lot of like minded people.

00:53:31 Ivan Mactaggart

For those that are members.

00:53:34 Ivan Mactaggart

Get involved. Get get volunteered to do something.

00:53:38 Ivan Mactaggart

Fall into the bandwidth is is never without reward. You know it is incredibly rewarding.

00:53:45 Ivan Mactaggart

It is a great place.

00:53:46 Ivan Mactaggart

To sort of think about where you want to go in your career and and open your eyes you meet. I’ve met people who now I I consider to be very, very close friends.

00:53:57 Ivan Mactaggart

I’ve been blessed to, to sit alongside and to workshop and to to meet and talk with.

00:54:05 Ivan Mactaggart

Some really, really gifted engineers, you know.

00:54:09 Ivan Mactaggart

And to be exposed to some of their thinking. And that’s definitely have an impact on.

00:54:13 Ivan Mactaggart

The way I.

00:54:13 Ivan Mactaggart

Think so? My you know you whatever you volunteer for.

00:54:20 Ivan Mactaggart

Will be a really exciting thing to do. The other thought I think is the.

00:54:25 Ivan Mactaggart

One that for some reason.

00:54:28 Ivan Mactaggart

I always forget that that we enable to get going in my time, which was I think is the the the real key for system engine and any engineering organisation is is that we we we identified that the Dutch had a Dutch trapped had.

00:54:44 Ivan Mactaggart

A youth division.

00:54:46 Ivan Mactaggart

And David, Vern and who I mentioned earlier is is who is one of my rivals for for presidency at the time and and Kirsty Wallace, who succeeded as President.

00:54:59 Ivan Mactaggart

Hope that and and made that happen and and and enabled the. That’s what we called the early careers form to get going. And now that’s a big thing. And that’s all run by young, young early career systems engineers. It’s it’s not not a youth.

00:55:13 Ivan Mactaggart

Form for us.

00:55:15 Ivan Mactaggart

We recognise that systems engineering is such often a secondary or tertiary career.

00:55:19 Ivan Mactaggart

Work in the UK, but it provides a means for early.

00:55:25 Ivan Mactaggart

Career systems engineers to to get engaged and come and have a look and they have a voice in Council. You know, we wanted them to have the right from the outset. We said when we set this up, we’re going to give them a voice on the Council and they do that.

00:55:37 Ivan Mactaggart

And it’s good.

00:55:37 Ivan Mactaggart

So I encourage if you’re, if you’re listening to this and you’re involved in systems engine in the UK, get involved.

00:55:43 Ivan Mactaggart

In encoding in some way, whether it’s.

00:55:45 Ivan Mactaggart

Areas where it’s supporting professional develop with with Steve Turner you know and and promoting not just chartership incorporate engineer professional registration but the whole concept of certification and like getting involved in that get involved in our events teams get involved you know with all of the other activities we do outreach.

00:56:05 Ivan Mactaggart

Outreach is it’s back and you know, I mean it’s a fantastic thing to look at how we interact with with our organisations.

00:56:11 Ivan Mactaggart

There’s just so.

00:56:11 Ivan Mactaggart

Many things that that you can do in the technical side, you know, you volunteer to do things in the technical side, you get, you get.

00:56:18 Ivan Mactaggart

To work alongside John Holt.

00:56:20 Ivan Mactaggart

Who I think is, you know, certainly.

00:56:23 Ivan Mactaggart

One of the.

00:56:25 Ivan Mactaggart

Most influential systems engineers in this country, I think you know, you know, they’re all. But John has a particular a particular way of presenting systems engineering to the public, which I think is quite unique. Yeah.

00:56:38 Joshua Sutherland

It makes it accessible.

00:56:40 Joshua Sutherland

It makes it accessible to those who.

00:56:43 Joshua Sutherland

Don’t have a computer science degree or.

00:56:45 Ivan Mactaggart

No, they don’t. And and he, you know, he is if there’s a.

00:56:47 Ivan Mactaggart

Compelling reason to go and have a.

00:56:49 Ivan Mactaggart

Look at your home. You know, I mean, there’s a he wouldn’t want to be engaged and want.

00:56:52 Ivan Mactaggart

To do work.

00:56:53 Ivan Mactaggart

In a business where he works you.

00:56:54 Ivan Mactaggart

Know let’s be on this. So you know, just my message is.

00:56:59 Ivan Mactaggart

It is.

00:57:02 Ivan Mactaggart

It’s it’s not a right thing to say. It just changed your life in some respects, but it has in mind, you know, in many ways it’s, you know it. It’s changed my how I think about what I want to do. So it’s been a it’s it’s been an incredible experience. Incredible time.

00:57:17 Joshua Sutherland

Oh, well, thank you. Thank you, Ivan. And yeah, to those listening, please take the advice that Ivan has given us. And yeah, have a great career in in system. Thank you, Ivan.

00:57:28 Ivan Mactaggart

Thank you very much Joshua and whoever you are out there listening in. Thanks for listening and Josh is doing a great, great, great concert here. It’s fantastic.

00:57:37 Ivan Mactaggart

Thanks for calling.

00:57:40 Joshua Sutherland

Great. Well, I hope you enjoyed the episode and just a reminder to sign up to the newsletter on.

00:57:46 Joshua Sutherland

Joshuasutherland.com/newsletter and it will keep you up to date with the latest episodes and other interesting things, and there’s a free gift for you when you sign up. So see you. See you soon. Bye.