IEEE
You are not logged in, please sign in to edit > Log in / create account  

Oral-History:Elizabeth Laverick

From GHN

Revision as of 17:33, 31 December 2008 by Mroth (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Contents

About Elizabeth Laverick

Dr. Elizabeth Laverick was born in Amersham, England, in 1925. She grew up in that village, and attended local schools, where she developed an interest in science. After graduating from secondary school, she worked for a year as a technical assistant at the Radio Research Station in Ditton Park. Then she attended Durham University, specializing in physics and radio. Laverick trained in honors physics and was the only female in her honors classes. She received her bachelors degree in 1946. In 1950 she received her physics Ph.D., also from Durham University. After graduating, Laverick went to work for GEC Stanmore, doing microwave research. She then joined the Elliott Brothers firm, working on microwave instruments and directing radar research. Eventually Laverick became Technical Director of the company. In 1971 she left Elliott Brothers to become Deputy Secretary of the Institute of Electrical Engineers (U.K.), where she focused on Institute expenditures, the accreditation process for university engineering programs, and on helping IEE develop technical standards for electrical engineers. She has been closely involved with the Women’s Engineering Society, and was chair of the Institute of Physics’ Women in Physics Committee. Laverick helps plan International Conferences of Women Engineers and Scientists, and encourages women to enter the engineering and science professions. She is a Fellow of the IEE, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, and a Fellow of the IEEE.

The interview spans Laverick’s career, focusing on her years with Elliott Brothers and the IEE. Laverick describes her education at Durham University and subsequent employment positions in light of her position as a female engineer in a male-dominated profession. She explains her research in microwaves, radar, and guided weapons, as well as her management experiences within Elliott Brothers and the IEE. Laverick discusses IEE’s internal organization during her tenure as Deputy Secretary, and assesses IEE’s contributions to the electrical engineering profession. She recalls her work with the Women’s Engineering Society, and the Women in Physics Committee. The interview concludes with Laverick’s evaluations of the International Conferences for Women Engineers and of the overall position of women in the engineering and science professions.


About the Interview

Elizabeth Laverick: An Interview Conducted by William Aspray, IEEE History Center, March 22, 1994

Interview # 191 for the IEEE History Center, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey


Copyright Statement

This manuscript is being made available for research purposes only. All literary rights in the manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to the IEEE History Center. No part of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Director of IEEE History Center.

Request for permission to quote for publication should be addressed to the IEEE History Center Oral History Program, Rutgers - the State University, 39 Union Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8538 USA. It should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user.

It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows:

Elizabeth Laverick, an oral history conducted in 1994 by William Aspray, IEEE History Center, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.


Interview

Interview: Elizabeth Laverick
Interviewer: William Aspray
Date: March 22, 1994
Place: Hyde Heath, Amersham, England

Background and Civil Service Work

Aspray:

This is an interview on the 22nd of March, 1994, in Amersham, England. The interviewer is William Aspray, the person being interviewed is Elizabeth Laverick.

Laverick:

Okay. Well, as you know, I was born in this village in 1925. My father was a chemist, at that stage a manufacturing chemist, and my mother helped him with clerical work. I had a fairly conventional upbringing. I went to the local village school to start with, and then I got a scholarship to the local grammar school Dr. Challoner's, which was co-educational.

In those days in this country you studied general science. My school didn't offer biology, which is what most girls get trapped into, so I did general science up to the fifth form and physics and math in the sixth form, taking a higher school certificate, as it was called in those days, in physics, maths, French, and English. It's the equivalent to our 'A' Levels now.

Aspray:

Did you have hobbies when you were growing up?

Laverick:

I'm sure I did. They never seemed to be particularly concerned with engineering. I used to knit and sew, and that sort of thing rather more than engineering, and my sister and I were both encouraged to take up an instrument. She played the piano, and in fact became a piano teacher, and I played the violin, so we used to play music together.

Aspray:

And how were you as a student?

Laverick:

Yes, that was all very good because I used to fight for top of the class with two of the boys, and I had my fair share of being top of the class in most things. Funnily enough physics — because I took a degree in physics eventually — was probably my least good subject. I used to come about twelfth. My math was very good. Everything else was okay. Geography was poor, I didn't get on too well with the teacher. But I suppose I wanted to do well at school. That is something that's born in one — perhaps more so in girls than in boys, I don't know. But I usually got prizes at the end of the year. Most of the other pupils left after the fifth form, after taking the General Schools Certificate, but my parents were very keen that my sister and I should both have a career and be able to make our own way. My father felt very strongly about this, so I stayed on and did 'A' levels. I think there were only four of us in the class, three boys and myself, and we all took the same subjects. It was very different from today, when there are fifty or a hundred students in most sixth form.

Aspray:

And where did you go off to university?

Laverick:

First, I went to work for a year because there was an age barrier for going to university. My birthday is in November. If it had been in September I could have got straight in, but because it was in November I had to wait a year. So I went to work in the Civil Service at the Radio Research Station in Ditton Park, at Datchet, near Slough. I worked there as a Technical Assistant, Grade III. It was interesting, but they didn't encourage girls to do much lab work. They let me work in the laboratories one day a week to begin with, but that was unusual. Normally the girls tended to do calculation of results, plotting of graphs for the scientists, that sort of thing. I had to do a fair amount of that, but I also did some lab work. I think they were undergoing a change because it was the beginning of the 1939-1940 war and they started running lectures for the technical assistants about radio, and electromagnetic waves. So they started to encourage more of the girls to use the equipment available at that time for measurement of the ionospheric layers, and of sun-spot activity. So that was quite a breakthrough that year, and I think that must have been associated with the war. Yes, I went to college in 1943 — so it was 1942.

Aspray:

What was the function of that laboratory?

Laverick:

Basically the Radio Research Laboratory was a part of the National Physical Laboratory (a government laboratory), and most of its work was on things like direction finding, investigating the ionosphere, investigating sun-spot activity, and a certain amount of radio location. I suspect they were associated with the work on radar, although I didn't realize it at the time because of course that was secret in those days.

Aspray:

And did you anticipate when you took this job that you were only going to do it until you would go to university?

Laverick:

I had a fairly open mind about it. I knew that I could apply to university the following year, and indeed I decided it would be a good thing because I was pretty bored with the work sitting at the desk, and it seemed to me, looking at the other girls there, that I wasn't going to get very far. My parents wanted me to go to university. The careers master at school was also the physics master, and although I said I wanted to do math he talked me out of it and persuaded me that I would do better to take a physics degree.

Being war-time, there were various war-time bursaries to encourage young people to go into science and engineering. I actually applied for one in science, i.e. physics and radio, and I applied to go to Durham University as my first choice. They said they weren't sure — I was a bit late applying — and they might not be able to get me in and I might have to go to Kings College, Newcastle, and take electrical engineering. I was horrified, because I really didn't know much about it, and it all seemed large stuff and rather frightening. So I was quite relieved that I got into Durham to take physics with radio, which was a special war-time course.

Durham University

Aspray:

What was attractive about Durham?

Laverick:

Well, the careers master came from Durham, so he knew a lot about it, and it is a very old university, run on the same lines as Oxford and Cambridge. I think he felt that I would be very lucky to get into Oxford or Cambridge, so he recommended that I put Durham down first. My parents, I think, would have liked me to go to London. But the colleges in London were all evacuated, and I would have ended up in Bangor, so that put them off. They were fairly happy when I settled for Durham. I'm glad I did, because it has the Oxford and Cambridge collegiate system, which other universities did not have. It's a much smaller and a much friendlier university, and Durham City itself is a very interesting place. I didn't realize it at the time but it was a complete change of environment as far as I was concerned. I had never known anything about mining villages, was not used to seeing children running around bare-foot in the streets, and that sort of thing. So it was really a great broadening of my experience.

Aspray:

What was the character of your course of study? That is, what was emphasized? What was expected of the students? Was the training particularly theoretical or experimental?

Laverick:

We did four afternoons of lab work for three hours each. So that's twelve hours of lab work a week, carrying out experiments. We spent an average of ten hours a week, perhaps a bit more, on lectures. The first year we had to take mathematics as well, and then in the second and third year we expanded into radio, which was quite a new thing. The physics professor, the head of the department, was very strong on optics, so we learned a lot of physical optics, and that fitted in quite well with electromagnetic theory. So I think I was quite lucky there. During the final year, the experiments were very much more of a challenge. It wasn't a matter of looking up what somebody had done before and knowing the answer you were supposed to get. The experiments were more like small projects, if you like. When I went into my third year, I was the only female student at that point studying honors physics. Because it was war-time all the male students had to leave to do their national service. Being female, I was allowed to stay on and complete my degree, and I was joined by three or four ex-service people, who had just come out of the armed services and who were encouraged to go back and finish their final year.

Aspray:

I see.

Laverick:

So they were all rather mature compared to me. There were only about four or five of us, which I think was probably why at that stage the experimental side became much more project-oriented, and we became more or less directly under the head of department.

Aspray:

Did you feel that the training was good?

Laverick:

I have to think back. From the point of view of a physicist, yes, it was quite good. As an engineer you would expect to do more training, using machines, etc. But because there was radio in this course we all had to learn to solder and build up circuits for the electronics side of it. Actually, I had learned to solder anyway when I was at the Radio Research Station. We also took a course of engineering drawing. So, yes, I thought it was quite good for those times, but we're going back a long way.

Aspray:

Yes, I understand.

Laverick:

I do think that you could do quite well in exams by having a good memory and being able to reproduce a lot of notes. That has changed quite a lot now. There was much criticism of that, certainly in this country. As students we rather looked down on people who got first class honors. We thought they just had jolly good memories. Particularly when we didn't get them ourselves!

Aspray:

And how were you as a university student?

Laverick:

Well, originally it was quite a challenge because of course I was up against much stronger competition than at school. But in the first two years I fought my way back to competing with the top four, which I was quite pleased about. When I went on to my third year I think the professor said I might have had a chance of getting a first, but in practice I didn't. It was a top second.

Aspray:

What were the career opportunities for people trained in physics at that time?

Laverick:

Employment opportunities were quite good. Most people got suitable jobs, which is more than happens nowadays. I had decided not to go back into the Civil Service, which I could have done. That was largely because by then I was fairly serious about getting married to another student, and the Civil Service in those days wasn't that good as a career for married women. You had to sign a paper agreeing you would go wherever they posted you and I thought, well, this isn't much good. You know, if one's married, one needs to try and work where one's husband is. Nowadays I would add, "or vice-versa," but in those days you worked where your husband was.

I did apply for two or three jobs at the end of my course. One was with Hoover, and one with the Scientific Instrument Research Association. I didn't get either of those. I don't remember quite what else I applied for, but in any case I was offered the opportunity to do research for a Ph.D. at Durham. I thought that was probably a good idea anyway because in those days women physicists were unusual, and I began to feel that perhaps if I had a doctorate I might be rated as highly as the male B.Sc. But I think everybody that came out got jobs, usually in industry. The better ones stayed on and did research, and possibly stayed in academic life. That seemed to be the way things went in those days. While I was doing my research I did get married, so after getting my Ph.D. I stayed on an extra year working as a research assistant while my then husband came back and finished his degree. Then we both started applying for jobs, and we were both offered jobs by GEC at their laboratories in Stanmore. It seemed a good idea, to both be working in the same place, so that's where we ended up.

Aspray:

What was your Ph.D. research?

Laverick:

It was concerned with dielectric measurements at audio frequencies using a differential transformer.

Aspray:

Did you continue with that work later on?

Laverick:

No, when I started my work as a research assistant at Durham I was working with Dr. Prowse, who was also my tutor for my Ph.D., and his specialty was breakdown of gases at microwave frequencies, That's when I started working with microwaves which of course I continued when I went to GEC Stanmore.

GEC Stanmore Defense Work

Aspray:

Can you remind me about the businesses that GEC were in at the time?

Laverick:

GEC have always been in a wide variety of businesses, but the Stanmore laboratories were specifically set up for defense work. The work there was very much concerned with radar and guided weapons. I went in on the guided weapons side, working on microwave aerials for a large naval weapon called Sea Slug.

Aspray:

Did you find that work satisfying?

Laverick:

Yes. It was satisfying from two points of view. Firstly I had a complete project of my own, which was a real life project, and I knew that this part of the weapon system, a microwave aerial, depended on me. Secondly, this was in the very early days in those laboratories so I was involved with planning and setting up some of the aerial measuring equipment. Eventually I was given a technical assistant to help me and then I built up a little team, and I quite enjoyed that. The other reason I enjoyed it so much was that we were all recruited within two or three years of each other, and we were all young, mostly graduates, and much of the same age group except for the senior team that had come in to set the laboratories up. So it was quite an exciting time. Because it was largely government funded work there was plenty of equipment available, and I wasn't hard up for oscilloscopes and the like.

Aspray:

So you continued there through the end of the war?

Laverick:

Let me see, no, I didn't go there until the end of the war because I was doing my research. The war ended while that was happening. So it was just after the war.

Career at Elliott Brothers

Aspray:

What happened next in your career?

Laverick:

Well, I got itchy feet. I wanted to move on. Somebody joined my team from a firm called Elliott Brothers, who were in Borehamwood, which was only about three miles away. I was really quite impressed with his approach to microwave engineering. He only stayed for a short while — he was attracted back to Elliotts. In telling me about his new job there and the people he was going to work for I got quite interested, so I applied to Elliott Brothers. The first time around, although I had a successful interview, I didn't get an offer because in those days there was an anti-poaching understanding between firms. I was told that they would have liked me, but GEC didn't want me to go. After about another year I thought, well, I've had enough of this. I suppose this is a bit personal in a way, but I had started working for somebody that I didn't have that much respect for, and also my marriage wasn't in a very good state, and I thought it would be a good idea to move out into a different firm. The second time I applied, I was offered a job in the research laboratory there, under Dr. Whitehead, who was the grandson of E.A.N. Whitehead, and quite an inspiration to work for.

Aspray:

I had the impression that Elliott Brothers was really a quite strong research organization.

Laverick:

It was indeed, and Professor Coales interviewed me, among others. He was the head of Elliotts Research Labs when I first went for an interview. It was very strong in research, and did some excellent work. There is still a great, sort of — well, it's like a family feeling about people who worked at Elliotts in those days. Some of us still keep in touch, we have the odd get-together, and it was a very happy place in which to work. Of course, it changed quite a lot over the years broadening out into development and manufacture, and several different divisions were formed. And the computing part took off, as I'm sure you know, because I think it's the thing that Elliott Automation was most well known for. The radar side, which is where I stayed, together with guided weapons did quite well, as did instrumentation. I went into the instrumentation side for a while, developing microwave instruments. I think that was probably where most of my technical publications arose.

Aspray:

What was the nature of that work?

Laverick:

It was quite broad really. I was looking at methods of measuring attenuation in particular, absolute as method of measuring attenuation, which I think the IEEE published for me. I was also developing microwave instruments; I started on work at four millimeter wavelengths which was quite new in those days, developing a range of components. Somebody whispered to me before I went, "I gather you're going to work on formula meters?" I thought, "Formula meters? Oh, my goodness, what are they?" I was really quite petrified. It was only when I got there that I found he had been saying "four millimeters." I also did quite a lot of work, on microwave ferrite components. Then I think we had another reorganization — Elliotts was great for reorganizations — and I moved on to the radar side, and that technically is where I ended up.

I stayed with Elliotts until 1971, but in Hiose seventeen years I moved onto the managerial side, away from the detailed technical side. I ran the radar research lab for quite a few years, which was great fun, and after that I went into general management. Eric Whitehead was the Chief Scientist, and I was Technical Director of the company at that stage. He once said he wished he could be the Technical Director, and I wished I was good enough to be the Chief Scientist. I think we were both in our correct positions because my role was more managing people and his role was really the inspirational one, having the good ideas and inspiring the younger engineers.

Aspray:

You had moved through a series of lower level managerial positions up to this post? Is that right?

Laverick:

Well, yes. Going back when the Radar Research Laboratory was set up I ran one of the sections in the research laboratory with a group of engineers — we called them all engineers, whether they were mathematicians, scientists, or engineers — they were all classed as engineers under me. There were two parallel sections in the research laboratory at that time. When the head of the laboratory was promoted, I was fortunate enough to be offered his post. To run the whole laboratory was quite a big jump because it involved looking after a circuit laboratory as well as the microwave area, and a small workshop and drawing office. This is where a more formal engineering training would have stood me in good stead. Because I had hardly ever used machines tools, and it's not the same learning about them as it is knowing that you've actually used them. I always felt a bit of a cheat because I had never used a lathe for example. Okay, I used electric drills and so on, but never a lathe or a milling machine.

Aspray:

What were the challenges of being a manager, a senior manager?

Laverick:

The challenge I enjoyed most was trying to get the most out of the teams of people under me, and to get them to work as a team, pulling together. I had what I suppose might have been later considered a slightly old fashioned approach to management. I think its coming back in, you know, none of this remote management. I was a great believer in teamwork and encouraging people to work together. This involved sorting out personality problems as well as technical problems.

I think the other big challenge was being accepted by other people at my level, who were all male. Obviously the people I worked for had accepted me — they had promoted me, and that was fine. But as I went up into the managerial level, I worked alongside a team of all male managers and although we all seemed to get on very well together, I was very conscious of the fact that they were a little surprised at having a woman there, and very determined that they were going to come out on top if there was any competition. I had always been very lucky with the people I worked with, but there was just that feeling, you know, that I had to continually prove myself.

Aspray:

Was there also that feeling with the people that reported to you, the males who reported to you? Were there problems with them having a female manager?

Laverick:

On the whole we got on very well. We always used to go out to the pub for lunch together, and so on, and they said I drove like a man, which they thought was good. Something I wouldn't approve of nowadays, but I did take quite some pride in my driving — I did a little bit of rally driving. I occasionally found somebody who didn't like being criticized by me, although I've always tried to be very positive and constructive with my criticism. I think that's very important.

Aspray:

Were there a set of financial skills or business skills that you needed to do this job?

Laverick:

Oh yes. One of the things I liked about Elliott Automation, as it became called, which was very different from GEC Stanmore, was that they encouraged their engineers to consider resources. You didn't have a load of capital equipment around for general use. You had to make your case to senior management for having a specific piece of equipment. Indeed, when I got to the stage of running a small project, I would have to work out my budget for that project, and put it up for approval. Elliott Automation was under Sir Leon Bagrit at the time. He was renowned for the fact (which I would certainly confirm), that he delegated responsibility and made engineers quite low down the chain take responsibility for how much they were spending. When I was on the instrumentation side, this included becoming involved with the sales and marketing activities. As head of the Radar Research Laboratory, I always had to complete the budget for the laboratory showing what projects I had that were funded, what the funding was, how many people I needed, and how much I was going to spend on materials month by month. I think the budgeting was for at least two years ahead in those days. I was also responsible for drawing up my own research programs for projects I wanted the company to fund, and these had to be balanced by so much work from the government. So I thought the training in financial and business skills at Elliott's was very good. It was on-the-job training. I didn't take an accounting course or anything like that. But I learned from the person above me. You would start budgeting in a small way, controlling your expenditure. Everybody had to fill in time sheets, of course, depending on what jobs they were on.

Aspray:

What portion of Elliott Brothers, or Elliott Automation at this time, was the research division? What other divisions were there, and how large was research as part of it?

Laverick:

Well, this was radar research. There was also a Computing Research Laboratory. I suppose there were 40-50 people involved in each laboratory. The radar side was quite separate from the computing side, and those two activities happened to be at Borehamwood. There were other divisions at Rochester and Lewisham, and so on, involved in other fields. How big was it in all? I think you've got me there.

Aspray:

That's all right.

Laverick:

It was very much a growing thing, and as a team we broke into the airborne radar field, which was quite an achievement. At that time the government tended to favor Ferranti as their chosen airborne radar firm, so we were in competition with Ferranti. We managed to get some research projects from the radar Research Establishment at Malvern, and gradually we built up until we were doing quite a lot on the airborne radar side, including manufacture. There was also quite a lot of work modifying airborne equipment already in service.

Aspray:

Were all of the contracts for the government?

Laverick:

At that stage, yes I think they were. Yes. Initially some of the work was for naval equipment but mostly it was airborne. Then we started breaking into the army side. We did some small battlefield radars, which I was very much involved with. From that work sprang some commercial work on burglar alarm systems, which was great fun. I was quite pleased to be involved in doing some rather more commercial work. We also did some work on automatic aircraft landing systems and on equipment measuring aircraft landings.

Aspray:

Does that mean that the research agenda was driven by the government contracts essentially? Was there an independent line of research that was pursued by Elliott's, or did they simply do what was needed to work on government contracts?

Laverick:

No, we always found our own research projects as well. I wouldn't say funding was very flush, it had to be balanced up with quite a lot of government work, but we always had a certain amount on the instrumentation side. We had a microwave instrument division at that stage, so there was research work into instrumentation in the early days. And I think the work on automatic landing and on some radar systems wasn't government funded to begin with. It's going back a long time now.

Aspray:

Okay. What came next in your career?

Laverick:

Well, as I said, I became a general manager of Elliot Automation Radar Systems (later to become Marconi Avionic Systems) responsible for several division working on army and airborne radars and commercial security systems. That brings me to 1971. At that stage I was very much involved in the airborne Early Warning system later known as the Nimrod. Also we were putting in for some work on the Multi-Role Combat Airborne (MRCA) radar system jointly with Ferranti. The Nimrod program was a big feather in our caps, and we had gotten a contract for building lab models, and hopefully we were setting up to start trials. At that stage we met a hiccup in that the government department involved, or MoD, were keen for us to get support from Germany for this project, which was in competition with AWACS, as you know. We did our best, but we failed because we could not at that stage demonstrate flight trials. So the contract was discontinued (although later it was restarted of course). Now, that contract had particularly interested me because it was the first time we had used PERT techniques. Are you familiar with that?

Aspray:

No.

Laverick:

What does it stand for? I don't remember. Anyway, it was a control technique and involved breaking the work down into activities, forming a network using this we could work out the critical paths through the project and monitor it in terms of looking at which activities are failing to meet the required time scales, and reporting on, say, the top ten. It's disheartening in a way because you're always reporting on the activities where you've failed to meet your time scales rather than those activities which are ahead of schedule. But it was in the early days of using this technique, a very powerful management technique, and I was very much involved in it. So I was a bit upset that this contract was obviously coming to an end, or so it seemed. We had put our proposals for the multi-role combat aircraft project when I saw an advertisement in IEE news for the post of deputy secretary of the Institution. I thought, "Well, I suppose I've been quite successful in industry, in that several of the projects I've been involved with have gone forward into production." But I was very fed up about the present situation on the airborne radar side. I thought, "Perhaps it's time to have a change. I've got another fourteen years left to work." I felt that industry was a bit of a rat-race at that stage, and although I hadn't been a very active member of the Institution, I had been on Council for a year. I was on the Electronics Divisional Board for three years, and I went as their representative on Council for one year.

Joining IEE as Deputy Secretary

Aspray:

The council is the governing body for the IEE?

Laverick:

Yes. I was becoming conscious of the fact that it appeared difficult for engineers to make a sale or win a contract based solely on technical performance particularly if you were too honest about the results so far. Yet I believed strongly that one shouldn't mislead the customer. I was conscious of the fact that occasionally engineers were encouraged to exaggerate what they believed could be achieved. I am not referring particularly to Elliotts, but more generally. I felt that engineers were under a lot of pressure because the competition was so stiff, and perhaps the Institutions should be more helpful with advice as to professional conduct. Also I'd always been interested in the educational side of engineering. I had been involved very much with the apprentices when I was running the Research Laboratory, and I had always been interested in those engineers who were doing their training on day release. So the educational side of the Institution interested me. And I suppose I felt that the Institution could do more to guide engineers. I'm fully aware now that of course I didn't really realize how much the Institution did do. This is always the case; when you're a member you don't notice what they're doing. When you look into it you find that they're really doing far more than you think. I thought the job of Deputy Secretary would be an interesting challenge. It meant going up to London to work. I'd always sworn that I would never do that, but anyway, when I was offered the job I decided that I would take it, because by then we had failed to get the MRCA contract. I think I heard this the day before my interview, so I thought, "Right. That's that. Time for a change." So I joined the Institution as Deputy Secretary in 1971, and indeed finished my working life there.

Aspray:

What were your duties?

Laverick:

When I first went there, there were two deputy secretaries, and the duties divided up very neatly in that my opposite number was responsible for all the parts of the Institution that made money, in the finance department or in publications. They also did quite a bit of computing work in those days both for themselves and for other organizations. And I looked after all the departments that spent money, which I thought was excellent — Learned society activities, qualifications, technical regulations, local centers' activities, overseas activities. When I first joined I was asked to concentrate particularly on the local centers. My predecessor had been incapacitated and so hadn't visited the centers much. Initially I was busy learning what the Institution really did do and trying to apply my management techniques, because to my mind these different departments were all rather isolated. They didn't know what each other was doing, so I started having management meetings, with the heads of the departments coming together and talking to each other which I thought was an improvement. But I also went out and spoke a lot, during my first couple of years, to the different centers, spoke to members about what they wanted and how things were.

Aspray:

What is a center?

Laverick:

It's a sort of — I mustn't say regional, but I can't think of another word. The country is divided up into areas, if you like. Each area has its own committee of members who run activities for that area or center. Some of the centers were quite big, and would break down into sub-centers, and indeed into — the official term, "Areas." There would be elected committees of member voluntarily organizing programs at these different levels, depending on the particular interests of the members.

Aspray:

Was this a purely volunteer structure? Was there staff in these centers?

Laverick:

It was a purely volunteer structure, with a coordinating staff, a small department, at Savoy Place in those days. The centers could employ somebody to help with the secretarial work if necessary. At that time members got quite a lot of help through their firms. If they had a secretary available, she would do quite a lot of administrative work in return for a box of chocolates, for example. Sometimes the Institution paid for secretarial support; it depended upon how active the different centers were. Of course each center is represented on Council — that's still true today — so matters of policy, which were discussed in Council, would then be discussed locally and views from the grass roots, if you like, would be brought back to council. So the local centers were one of the first things I concentrated on. There were quite a few changes at that time in the structure. We set up our first regional office in Manchester, so that there were three or four staff people in Manchester who supported three of four centers grouped around Manchester. It was quite interesting that this is something developing further today under the new strategy document which you may or may not have heard about.

Aspray:

I don't know it.

IEE Educational & Policy Initiatives

Laverick:

Oh, well, there's a new strategy document — it's about the third one really in twenty years. It's entitled, "Into the millennium." There is a great desire to develop a more regional approach to our membership in this country, giving them more support so that they can be more active locally, possibly running training courses, and that sort of thing. It takes a long time for these ideas to develop.

The next big challenge was that the Institution was getting very worried about the standard of some of the degrees that were being awarded in electrical engineering. It was becoming quite variable. There had been a great expansion in this country in the number of universities, and the number of students. Partly because or that, and because the University departments wanted to build up, they were perhaps taking on students of lesser capability. There was a feeling that the standard of some of the degrees was dropping, The Institution decided to take what I think was a very bold course: to accredit courses. Of course it had to sell the idea to the universities. Most of them were very keen, actually, to be accredited particularly as the IEE was doing it at their own expense and were quite confident that their courses would be accepted or if not resources would be made available to that end. So, Universities didn't have to pay for accreditation. But the Institutions laid down standards to make sure that a second-class honors degree was acceptable as the minimum requirement for corporate membership of the Institution, plus training and so many years of responsible experience. This took quite a lot of my time as the qualifications department who were concerned with the accreditation activity reported to me.

This actually coincided with my opposite number leaving, and Dr. Gainsborough, the Secretary, doing some internal reorganization. He decided that the finance department should report directly to him in the future. I mean it was a rather important department. Our turnover was appreciable and it was important that we managed our financial affairs well, which indeed, on the whole, I think the Institution always has. In doing that Dr. Gainsborough decided to rearrange the responsibilities of his two deputies. He gave learned society activities to my opposite number, which to be honest I was very, very fed up about, because I felt that I had a cohesive group of people doing the conventional institution things, and my opposite number had a cohesive group of people whose main aim was to make money, provide internal services, and handle publications. I personally didn't agree with that change one little bit. But that's by the by. It happened. So responsibilities in terms of numbers of departments, had decreased, but Dr. Gainsborough felt that I needed much more time to concentrate on the accreditation side of things. So that was the next phase.

I thought accreditation was remarkably successful — not any credit to me particularly — I was only managing the staff people who were doing the hard grind and making sure it worked. Of course it called for a lot of input from members on the voluntary side. One had to have a well-balanced team of members visiting each university, including a number of industrialists as well as academics. They would spend quite a few days assessing the courses and the staff and facilities making suggestions in many cases for change. This needed a great deal of tact. I went on the first few accreditation visits myself, just to make sure that all was running well, but one didn't want too many staff present. It was much better that accreditation was seen to be done by the members themselves, which to all intents and purposes it was of course. So once it was on the rails I didn't go out so much myself.

I can't think of anything more on accreditation. It was an interesting phase. It still goes on. I think most universities now have second class honors degrees accepted. There were certain marginal courses. Computing courses were one of the problems. Computer Science and Computer Engineering — when was enough engineering included for it to be an acceptable qualification for an electrical engineer? And if not, what was needed? I think that may still be a bit of a critical area now, but of course I've rather lost touch.

Aspray:

I suppose it was especially difficult because the computing field was changing so rapidly at that time too.

Laverick:

Yes indeed, that's true, and we had the British Computer Society to consider. Nowadays the IEE and British Computer Society work much more closely together. In those days I think there was a feeling that we were each trying to win members from the same pool, and we tended to think of the British Computer Society as being for people who operated computers and programmed them, which activities were very different from nowadays. We thought the people that were involved in computing systems and so on, had to understand the system, and if it was an engineering system that meant that they had to be engineers, and they should join the IEE. I don't think there's the same competition now. We tend to work much more closely together, and the fields have overlapped.

Aspray:

Were there other parts of your position at IEE that you want to talk about?

Laverick:

Well, yes. There was another phase that I found fascinating. There had been a Research and Engineering committee, I think it was called — an odd name — I don't quite remember. It suddenly got resurrected, and I actually serviced it myself. It was resurrected to consider electricity generation and transmission in the United Kingdom. I, of course, didn't have any experience of electricity generation and transmission. The power side had always been a bit of a foreigner to me. But it was a challenge I learned quite a lot listening to people from the electricity generating board, and from the various electricity companies, all discussing which way the electricity business should go. We ended up submitting a paper of recommendations to Governments. That activity eventually led to the creation of what was called the Engineering Policy Board. I imagine it still is, but I'd have to check in my IEE diary — it might be called the Public Services Board. Anyway, the Institution's Engineering Policy Board started looking at policy matters, government White Papers, etc. that were relevant to engineers, and produced technical comment, for Government of whoever. This work continues and is very successful today. I was very much in agreement with this development; it was one of the things that led to my taking the deputy secretary job my feeling that the Institution should be doing more, should be publicizing the engineers' views on such matters. Well, you have a similar thing in the IEEE, don't you, because you actually have an office in Washington?

Aspray:

That's right, in Washington.

Laverick:

We don't actually go that far, although we do have people who go along and listen in to parliament, and do a bit of tactful lobbying, I imagine, behind the scenes, talking to Members of Parliament if it happens to be a government thing that's going on. I serviced that particular Board myself for a while; it was very, very hard work. It needed a lot of research on the part of the staff as well as on the part of the members of the board. That was one little seed, one little acorn that's grown into an oak tree that I'm quite pleased about and feel at least I had something to do with that growth. It was something that I believed very strongly in, and I think it is one of the most difficult aspects of the Institution's work. There is now a small department working on these things, and I understand it is flourishing.

The other aspect that I had to get involved in, which had always been very important to the Institution, was the technical regulations side. The Institution had always produced the wiring regulations for this country, which were non-statutory. They would be quoted as regulations which should be met by whoever "wires" a house or a factory, for example. In fact it covers caravans and ships, and so on. We had been going through a long period when we hadn't brought out a new edition, because we were trying to harmonize the regulations firstly within Europe, and secondly, internationally. The wiring regulations department was actually losing quite a lot of money temporarily because they had no sales, and the Institution investing a lot of money into this work. Eventually we published what was by then the fifteenth edition, which was quite an achievement as it was in a completely different format from previous editions, and was more or less harmonized with international regulations. We had quite a traumatic time, I suppose, getting this off the ground. I had a very good team of people working for me. We did quite well, I think and it has moved on since. In addition the Institution started to run courses on the fifteenth and now the sixteenth edition.

That of course brings me to the other side of things — continuing education, which we had tried to do more about after my first two or three years. It was something, again, I felt very strongly about, that we ought to be able to develop courses for engineers to update themselves. I know that you can update yourself by going to conferences and reading publications from the learned society side, which was fine. But I felt there was a need, and indeed the Institution felt there was a need, for running more detailed courses and encouraging engineers to update themselves. Again, perhaps we were taking a leaf out of the IEEE book, but these courses were very difficult to get off the ground, and the first ones that were really successful were to do with the wiring regulations. Now, I think that side of it has expanded quite a lot. It's eight years, nine years since I retired from deputy secretary, so I have been quite pleased to see how much more that side has developed with time.

One activity in which I was very interested was concerned with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). We developed quite a good working relationship with the DTI and they gave us contracts for projects associated with advanced manufacturing techniques in electronics. There was quite a lot of work going on in advanced manufacturing techniques on the mechanical side, and indeed, the I. Mech. E. involved with that. But the electronics side wasn't being covered. So the IEE was running a project for DTI encouraging small manufacturing companies to look at the application of advanced manufacturing techniques in electronics. We ran seminars up and down the country, inviting companies to come along and learn more about it, followed by detailed courses and technical visits. This started to develop while I was deputy secretary. Indeed, after I had retired from that post I stayed on as a consultant, in a self-employed capacity, running that particular project, up until Lord Young came into it [the DTI] and changed things. He combined the mechanical and electrical side together, disbanding the DTI department (Electronics Application) that we worked with, and so our work came to a stop. That was very convenient from my point of view because I wanted to be fully retired from paid work by then.

So my work at the Institution was quite varied and in many ways it was a very satisfying time being deputy secretary, although it had its own sets of frustrations. I always knew that industry was fairly political, and I suppose that I hadn't realized how political Institution work is. Thinking back I must have been quite naive.

Relations between IEE Staff & Members

Aspray:

I appreciate that comment! What was it like working in a volunteer organization? It must have been very different from being in a business organization.

Laverick:

Oh, yes, it was quite, quite different. When I first went there we were encouraged, and I encouraged my staff, to be fairly proactive. You always had to make sure the members made the final decisions, but certainly in those days one would come up with papers with lots of suggestions which hopefully would get taken up, but you had to know when to back down. I suppose that's one of the things that you might call political — perhaps the easier end to deal with. I think the Institution was very proactive when I went there, and is now becoming even more so. But at one stage it rather swung the other way. I don't know whether anybody has talked to you about this, but have you heard of the Finniston Report?

Aspray:

No, I don't know of it.

Laverick:

Well, Sir Monty Finniston, who was a very famous industrialist in this country was asked by government to take a look at the engineering profession. The government, the institutions, everyone was worried about the status of engineering in this country and the status of engineers. He (Sir Monty) brought together a team of high level people to make a study and come up with recommendations. All the institutions were involved, and people from industry, academia, other associations, and so on. He produced the famous Finniston report, which among other things recommended statutory registration of engineers in this country, which we do not have. The Institution was very involved in that, and indeed the Secretary at that time, Dr. George Gainsborough, was himself very involved, and a very strong believer in statutory registration. I'm not sure that all the members agreed with him, I think it was a very contentious subject. When he retired, it was just around the time the report came out. Although the Finniston Report achieved a lot, it didn't achieve statutory registration, and so the idea was dropped. The new Secretary was less proactive and staff were encouraged to make it clear that the members were running the Institution.

I think the balance between the staff and the membership is an extremely interesting problem. You can so easily get to the stage where the feeling is that the staff are running it, not the members. Then you realize as a member of staff that there is a limit to how far you can go. But I am a great believer in the staff being proactive. Members in general haven't necessarily got enough time to sit back and think things through. As long as they're presented with a fair picture and ideas by the staff it helps their thinking process, and then they have the opportunity to make the decisions.

I think the Institution is back in a more proactive situation now. We have yet another Secretary, so I've known four Secretaries so far. George Gainsborough's predecessor, Brasher, whom I met when I was a young member and who put the fear of god into all young members if they were cheeky enough to ask questions at AGMs! But he was a very good Secretary. He was very strong on the education and training side before the war. Next came George Gainsborough, who was Secretary when I went there. He came from the Scientific Civil Services. Then there was Howard Losty who was from the electronics industry and now John Williams also from the electronics industry — four very different people! Anyway, I think that concludes my input to the engineering profession except for — well, what do I do now? As a member I've got very involved with the IEE Benevolent Fund, which has fitted in quite well with my personal life because — do you mind me talking about this?

IEE Benevolent Fund

Aspray:

No, not at all.

Laverick:

When my mother died — my father died first, and then my mother died, leaving my sister living in a house in this village, a very old house. Not big, but too big for one person, and with a huge garden, which took far too much looking after. It was the house I was born in. Obviously it wasn't very satisfactory, my sister trying to cope with it even if I was around the corner and could lend a hand. It took me all my time to keep my own place going. So we decided in due course that we would have to sell it. She is older than I am and it was essential that she moved into something easier to run. But we didn't want to see the property divided up into a little housing estate, which is the obvious thing that could happen. We decided we would like, if possible, to have a nursing home or a home for the elderly, and try and retain quite a lot of the garden, which my father was very fond of. So were we! It was a very wild garden, and my mother wasn't so keen on it because it was so wild, but my father loved it and used to spend all of his time in retirement pottering around in it. We did quite a lot of work on this as a nursing home project, and tried to interest various bodies that do this sort of thing, like Abbeyfield, who run homes for the elderly and other similar voluntary organizations. But in practice they couldn't afford to finance such a project and we were getting pretty desperate. We did actually get a company of builders to give us an estimate for what it was worth if we sold the land for housing, and we were offered a contract with them. But at that point somebody turned up who wanted to build a privately run nursing home. Eventually we went along with it and although we would have made a lot more money actually if we had gone along with the builders, we decided no, it was achieving what we wanted.

Of course, I got very much interested in nursing homes, looking at plans, and reading Abbeyfield reports, and so on, and it was put up as a nursing home as soon as I moved in here, and I took quite an interest in that, obviously. About that time I also got the opportunity to become involved with the Institution's Benevolent Fund, which has its own nursing home, which was being built the same time as ours, Rayners, as it is called. It is named after my parents actually, the nursing home. So I was able to compare the two. Then I got the opportunity to be the IEE London Center representative of the Benevolent Fund, and also chairman of the Case Committee, so I spend quite a lot of time now looking at the cases of members and their dependants in need. These are not only the elderly but also people who hit hard times widows, people with disabled children, that sort of thing. I find this intensely interesting work; it makes you realize just how fortunate you are not to be in need. So that is my main connection now with the Institution, through the Benevolent Fund, which I am glad to say does a tremendous amount of good work. Surprising, you know, how many people need help, particularly because of the recession. Also how many retired professional engineers have financial problems — well, it doesn't surprise me because I was in private industry, so I discovered how poor their pension schemes were compared with those of the Civil Service, or Post Office or indeed the IEE. One of the benefits I hadn't appreciated was that when I went to work for the IEE was that I moved into a good pension scheme, based on sixtieths, you know, being the number of years you have worked. My twenty years in industry I eventually traded in for three years at the Institution, which brought me in one twentieth of my pension, which says something about how poor the schemes were. Now legislation has been introduced and those schemes are rather better. There were a lot of people, of my generation, engineers, who are really on very poor pensions because of those early pension schemes in private industry.

IEE and Other Societies

Aspray:

Otherwise, how was the Institution as an employer?

Laverick:

The Institution as an employer, to my mind, was very good. I often think that the staff perhaps don't appreciate how fortunate they are. They have always felt underpaid compared with the market. The Institution has had their share of good people, I would say, and some of those people have gone, particularly when the City was booming, into jobs in the City at higher salaries. But nevertheless, the Institution does look after its employees. Both their pension scheme and the holidays are good. They introduced flex-time, which I think is a great advantage not readily obtainable in industry. You know, I'm bound to compare it with industry, and there's no question that they're a much better employer than private industry was, or I suspect, private industry is.

Of course when times are tough they've had to crack down and not take on more staff. The mergers, of course, with the IERE, and Institute of Manufacturing Engineers, I think have created a certain amount of stress, staff-wise. They're bound to because being the bigger partner, and the ones with more money, the IEE has always absorbed the staff from the other institutions. That, quite naturally, has meant absorbing staff at quite high levels, which is unfortunate from the point of view of people at lower levels because promotion prospects are thereby limited. So that's one of the problems with mergers. Currently it is suggested that engineers should have one big Institution. I don't think the Institutions are completely in favor, although they are working more closely together. Whether they will eventually merge, I don't know. It's very difficult to see it objectively from the members' point of view once you've been a member of staff because firstly, mergers in some ways can give staff more opportunities in the long run, I suppose, but the immediate effect is (as I said earlier) to reduce the opportunities for lower levels of staff to progress their careers. Secondly (this is perhaps a very personal view), it's difficult enough getting the departments within the Institution to focus together and to feel part of an autonomous whole. I think this would become even more difficult. I know different secretaries have different management techniques, and I don't know John Williams well enough to know his and how his is working out. But with one big Institution, I think the problems with cohesion at staff level are going to be infinitely more difficult, as is, indeed, the problem of managing it. Ideally, I suppose, I do believe it is the way to go, but it's got to be done very, very well if it's going to work. I mean big very often is not beautiful. It has great disadvantages.

Aspray:

Do you want to make a few remarks about other professional engineering societies? VDE, or IEEE?

Laverick:

I never really had anything to do with the VDE. I was a little bit involved with EUREL, a cooperative venture between European Electrical Engineering Institutions. Now, this is going back quite a long time, and could be terribly out of date, I'm really not up to date in how things are going in that direction. As for the IEEE, (of course I'm a Fellow, I'm honored to say). I've always found their publications very, very readable, particularly when I was working in industry on the technical side. It was one of the reasons I joined, to get their publications. Also I've always rather admired their continuing education program. I find it very difficult to know how successful they've been influencing governments, and so on. I always read the newspaper and look at Spectrum, but I feel the IEEE too remote from myself in this country. I suppose there's always bound to be a certain amount of competition between the two institutions, although they have a very friendly relationship. I've never supported the IEEE group in this country very much - largely because if you are working on the staff of an Institution, it's not much fun going to the meetings of another Institution in the evenings. And also, in a way they're in competition with one's own meetings. So it is difficult for me to be objective about the IEEE group in this country. I suppose I don't feel I'm a particularly good IEEE member in that sense.

Women in Engineering

Laverick:

I don't know whether you want to touch on the business about women in engineering?

Aspray:

Yes, that was my last topic.

Laverick:

You know the Society for Women Engineers (SWE) in the United States, I'm sure.

Aspray:

Yes, I do.

Laverick:

You know there's a Women's Engineering Society (WES) in this country, with which I've always been involved. Well, that's not true — I was much more involved with the Institute of Physics, and the IERE, originally, and then the IEE after the first, oh, I suppose eight years of my working life. Then I became aware of the Women's Engineering Society, through a meeting with a member who came out to Elliotts to place a contract, hopefully, for the CEGB [Central Electricity Generating Board]. She was told by the Telecommunications Divisional Manager, "Oh, by the way, we've got a woman engineer here, you must meet her." So we met, and I was fascinated to find somebody female in her position. I was even more fascinated to find that there was a Women's Engineering Society. I had two reasons for joining. One, to meet other people like myself that is, female engineers in different spheres of engineering obviously, and second because they did quite a lot of work to encourage more girls into engineering, something I had been doing locally through schools. So it was a good idea to join a society that had that sort of aim. The WES still has a very limited membership, I think they're only eight hundred strong. I'm sure there must be about ten thousand women engineers by now in this country, but women's societies don't necessarily appeal to women. Young women, and I felt the same, didn't see a need. I think it's only when you get a little bit up the ladder that you realize the need for some support for women particularly.

The Institute of Physics has done a lot for its women members. They set up a Women in Physics committee about ten years ago and asked me to chair it. When you chair a committee in the Institute of Physics it's a five year stint, so for five years I chaired this committee which actually got the women members together, and got them talking about their particular problems. Nowadays most of them are married, and have families, and are trying to have a career as well, whereas in my generation fewer of us were married. My own marriage, incidentally, broke up shortly after I moved to Elliotts. And fewer of us had families, even if we were married. So, you know, that creates a whole set of problems which the Institute of Physics, I think, was very wise to encourage their women members to get together and discuss. They produced various things like a career break package, with advice about what's involved in leading up to a career break — not necessarily a break to have children, although that's the major cause I suppose. They offer advice on things you can do, and decisions you have to make, and how you might try to keep in touch, how you might consider taking an updating course when you are ready to go back, or talk your employer into this, that, or the other. They've also done a couple of surveys of women members, (the second one came out last year) which have been quite revealing. The IEE has also done one, and I think they are in the middle of a second study of their women membership, but they don't actually ever do anything to specifically get the women members together.

Few of the engineering institutions do anything very specific for their women membership. Perhaps it's just as well because the Women's Engineering Society can try and fill the gap, if only they can persuade more women members to join. But the society is having more influence; we have got one or two members on to the Engineering Council and on some of their committees. We are commenting to government on matters to women engineers, but our resources are very, very limited.

WES has quite a role to play internationally, I think, and perhaps this is fresh in my mind because of my visit to Japan and the lectures I was asked to give there last year. This arose as a result of the International Conferences of Women Engineers and Scientists (ICWES) which are held every three or four years. This was started by the Society of Women Engineers in the States. They held the first ICWES in New York, I think in 1961. The delegation that went from this country was so impressed that they decided to hold one here in 1964, and then it became a sort of habit. It's a very informal organization. The conference just passes from country to country, and it's all done on a voluntary basis. In 1969 the international conference came back to this country, and was held at Warwick University. I was the organizing chairman which, when I agreed to do it, I didn't realize meant a two and a half year long stint of planning plus obviously being very much there at the time, AND running the Continuity Committee from when that conference ended until the next one takes place. The Continuity Committee is a small body of people drawn from the seven different regions of the world who make sure that these conferences continue to happen (which is proving rather difficult at the moment). Anyway, as a result of that I was invited to Japan to give this talk about women engineers and scientists world-wide, and it made me realize what a great idea it was that SWE had in running that first conference.

The aims of these international conferences are to encourage women world-wide, women engineers and scientists to get together, and to get to know each other, exchange information, and to examine how our technical programs can improve the quality of life in different countries. And our final aim is to increase the participation of women in these fields. The next conference is actually to be held in Hungary in 1996. There's been a big gap because at the 1969 conference the delegates meeting voted for Nigeria as the next host country. Nigeria made an oral presentation which they had to back up with a written proposal within six months, but it actually took them a bit longer. Unfortunately by the time it came through things had gotten so unstable in Nigeria that on the advice of the Continuity Committee and the Foreign Office, I had to say to Nigeria that there was no way that we could go there at present. At that stage Hungary came up with the idea that they would hold it if they could do it in the year that they were to have Expo, i.e.1996. So it's made a rather large gap. Japan had one delegate at ICWES 9, which was the one in Warwick. She went back and set up a forum of women engineers. They have got together with the scientists, and they are hoping to run the eleventh ICWES, which they hope will be in 1998, which would bring us roughly back into line. They're working on their proposal and on getting support at the moment. Needless to say, I feel very strongly that women have got to work together, not only to increase the participation of women, which I think is bound to have a good effect on engineering and science, but also to try and change some of the prejudiced attitudes which I think still exist. Certainly in Japan they do particularly the males. But it's not something that will change overnight. The Women's Engineering Society was formed in 1920, and they're still working on it.

Aspray:

Do you see progress?

Laverick:

Oh yes, yes. There have been several initiatives in which the Women's Engineering Society have been involved in this country. The Engineering Council and the Equal Opportunities Commission got together and did WISE year, which has since extended into the WISE campaign — Women Into Science and Engineering. The number of women students in engineering went up from an average of, I think about one percent to ten percent. It now hovers around about ten to twelve percent, depending on the university. But it seems to have leveled off there, and I think there's a danger that if you go too far too fast you start switching the youngsters off. They feel they are being pressurized so they look for alternatives. The recession hasn't helped either because a lot of girls take up engineering because engineering is in their family background. (It is in mine, incidentally, but I didn't know until I had got quite a long way down the path, but there is quite a lot of engineering on both sides of my family). Particularly engineering fathers who have been made redundant, or have seen their friends made redundant realize what's happening, as far as employment is concerned, and say, "I wouldn't encourage my children into engineering." Of course, the answer to that is, "Well, it's happened in the finance field since, and yet you encourage them to become accountants." You know, life is just more dodgy nowadays, whether you're an engineer or in any of the other professions. Anyway there is a bit of a leveling off at the moment, as far as getting more women into science and engineering is concerned. I expect we ought to make our way unless you have any particular points left to raise?

Aspray:

No, I think that's good. Thank you very much.