Wardens, Past Masters, Members of the Court and Company,

I am deeply honoured by your trust in appointing me as Master Engineer for the coming year. I would like especially to thank you for the support I have received from so many as I look forward to continuing the traditions of the Company, its fellowship and social interaction, whilst positioning it for the challenges of the years ahead.

On that note my theme for the year is ‘Challenging Boundaries’. You may remember that this was the title of my Warden’s lecture, where the boundaries I envisaged as ‘challenging’ at that time were around the increasing complexity, connectivity and automation of systems, shifting the boundary between man and machine.

Little did I think that the challenges would extend to the disruptive effects of pandemic. Although aware that the green agenda would change our energy markets, I never foresaw the speed and scale of change brought about by the combined effect of aggressive climate change and war.

Some of these themes will feed into the technical programme for the coming year. For example, the impact of COVID-19 and environmental imperatives; the all-pervasive uptake of machine learning and Artificial Intelligence driving automation of vehicles, factories and the home; the use of digital twins enabling simulation and control of highly complex systems and manufacturing processes; and big data allowing us to synthesis new materials, manage highly complex systems, predict traffic in our daily lives and understand how our universe is unfolding. We stand on the cusp of dramatic change which will challenge the boundaries within which we work as engineers.

In this time of change, it is my great privilege to accept the role of Master for the coming year and to assure you that I will work to the best of my ability to promote the Company’s standing in the eyes of the City, encourage greater engagement of us all, satisfy our shared passion for Engineering innovation and excellence, and to continue to build a diverse and thriving membership for our Company’s future.

Thank you.

Master Audrey Canning
Master Engineer Audrey Canning at her Installation in Merchant Taylors’ Hall on 4 May 2022