Membership of the association ie-net: learn more about them
Interview with Mister Didier De Buyst, Coordinator of the group engineers-experts of ie-net »
Can you tell us a bit more about the ie-net Society of Engineers and its areas of action?
We are a non-profit association founded at the end of 2015 through the merger of two existing associations.
One of these was the “Koninklijke Vlaamse Ingenieursvereniging” (abbreviated KVIV), founded in 1928, which brought together Belgian, Dutch-speaking engineers with a degree of “civil engineer” or “engineer-architect” or “bio-(or agronomist) engineer”. Holders of such a title, a title recognized and protected by law, followed a 5-year university curriculum at one of the Belgian universities (Dutch-speaking, but not exclusive) with an engineering or agronomy faculty (this concerns the following universities: Ghent University, Catholic University of Leuven, Free University of Brussels and also the Royal Military College – Polytechnic section). There is a multitude of specializations and disciplines in the training of civil engineers: civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrotechnical engineering, metallurgical engineering, chemical engineering, nuclear engineering, geotechnical engineering, computer engineering, etc. Some universities also award the title of “civil engineer physicist”, “mining engineer” or “naval construction engineer”. As for bioengineers, they can specialize in agri-food engineering, biochemical engineering, genetical engineering, etc. All of them can all put the abbreviation “ir.” before their name. This is also the case in the Netherlands. In Germany this equates to “Dipl.-Ing.” and in France to Ingénieur-Diplômé.
The other founding association of ie-net was the “Vlaamse Ingenieurskamer” (abbreviated VIK) founded in 1991. This brings together industrial engineers who have followed a 4-year curriculum at a college (for several years this training has been integrated in universities in the Dutch-speaking part of the country, but this is not the case in the French-speaking part). They can use the abbreviation “ing.” before their name.
Where are you active?
Our head offices are located in 2018 Antwerp, Desguinlei 214, in the “Ingenieurshuis”, a building constructed in 1988 especially for the KVIV. We are active throughout the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium (Flanders and Brussels). Our association has three main activities:
- defend the interests of its members,
- organizing courses primarily of a technical or scientific nature for its members and third parties (i.e. life-long learning), and
- support its members throughout their professional careers with a virtual platform for offers and demands for engineer jobs for the industry and non-profit sectors (administration, education, government, etc.).
Who are the majority of members of ie-net?
All of our nearly 8,000 members are engineers with the title “ir.” (engineers who have taken a 5-year university curriculum) or “ing.” (engineers who have taken a 4-year cursus), or who have received abroad an equivalent degree. We also have support members who are usually renowned scientists, e.g. physicists or chemists, and even a few lawyers. Our team has twelve full-time members to carry out all work. Some of our members, we estimate 5%, carry out full-time or part-time missions of judicial experts. That’s why we joined the EEEI. Their activities within ie-net are bundled in the Deelgroep ie-net Ingenieiur-Deskundingen (subgroup ie-net Engineer-Experts).
What are the conditions for becoming a member of ie-net?
You must have the title “ir.” or “ing.” or have followed a technical training abroad that is recognized as equivalent.
I see that ie-net is recognized by the Belgian Ministry of Justice. What qualifications are required to be recognized by the Ministry and what does this recognition entail?
We are recognized by the Federal Public Service (SFP/FOD) Justice to offer the “legal education” course which is mandatory to access the National Register of Judicial Experts, as the title of judicial/court expert has been recognized and protected by law for several years, and access to it is limited to individuals who meet various criteria, including that of attending legal training approved by the SFP Justice.
What are the areas of intervention of its experts?
They are involved in everything that has to do with engineering in the very broad sense of the word. We can cite the following examples: construction of buildings and infrastructure ranging from foundations to structure to completion and operation (air-conditioning and others), the design, construction and operation of chemical plants, conventional and nuclear power plants, gas, water and electricity distribution, etc. but also biomedical research, food production, food chain safety, etc.