Wed | Jun 19, 2019

Engineers’ Angle | The role of the JIE

Published:Sunday | June 10, 2018 | 12:00 AMDwight Ricketts
In this September 2014 photo, then minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Transport, Works and Housing, Dr Morais Guy (right) and the president of the Jamaica Institution of engineers Dr Noel Brown unveil the JIE's slate of activities forEngineers' Week 2014.

The Jamaica Institution of Engineers' (JIE) mandate is to promote and encourage the general advancement of the engineering profession; the practice and science of engineering; and to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas among the members of the institution and its public.

The JIE is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary under the theme 'Engineering Our Future Through Celebrating Our Heritage'.

It is within this context that it continues to engage all stakeholders, including practitioners in the built environment, allied association, financial institutions, academic and accreditation bodies, in order to provide technical assistance about the standard operations procedures and policies.

Over the years, the JIE has initiated several activities geared at capacity building including its flagship event, the Engineering Week, held during the third week of September.

For 2017-2018 council year, the JIE has embarked on a number of initiatives aimed at attracting key industry players.

One of its major initiatives is a strategic partnership with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund, where the JIE will provide mentorship programmes targeting primary schools within select underserved communities.

The JIE has also forged partnerships with leading local universities and select community colleges for internship during the summer period. Additionally, it continues to establish and strengthen relationships with regional and international entities.




The renewal of the more than 100-year-old building code is being championed by the organisation and its members. While the JIE anticipates the passing of legislation to introduce a new building code, work continues with the development of the application documents.

What is generally referred to as the building code is actually the Building Act and the application documents. This will outline the standards and best practices which are to be adhered to by the relevant professionals and the public at large.

The new building code will relate to existing and new buildings, residential, plumbing, electrical, energy conservation, sewage, fire, fuel, and property maintenance codes.

The building code will, among other things, offer regulation to building works and change to building use; promote cost-effectiveness in the construction of buildings and other infrastructure; and require that buildings provide sanitary facilities, easy access and adequate amenities for members of the public, including persons with disabilities.

The profession is not free of individuals who call themselves engineers, which is quite unfortunate. The Professional Engineers Registration Board is the entity that has the responsibility to register engineers in the relevant field of expertise to practise engineering in Jamaica.

A registered professional engineer is so trained and authorised to provide professional services. However, professional engineering services is not considered critical either as a cost-cutting measure or by sheer ignorance.

This new partnership with The Gleaner is a demonstration that the JIE is committed to the engineering professionals and the public.

The JIE intends to provide stimulating discussions on topical issues so that it can heighten the awareness of our work.

- Dwight Ricketts is the president of the JIE. Send questions and comments to, or You may also leave your comments for the JIE's Technical Committee at our Facebook page: Jamaica Institution of Engineers --JIE.