We are the British Section of IESF (Ingénieurs et des Scientifiques de France) - formerly known as CNISF - Conseil National Des Ingénieurs et des Scientifiques de France, a society of science and engineering with a difference. We provide a unique connection to French engineering and science, at the same time enjoying French culture and style.
We host evening meetings in London when papers of general interest are presented on a wide range of topical issues in engineering and science with a French connection. The presentations are broadly based so that they may be of interest to all members and their guests. The business is conducted in English.
A reception and a dinner always follow the meetings. It is established tradition that spouses and partners attend these events, which form the core activity of the Section, so that the emphasis is as much on conviviality as engineering and science.
There are other events; in particular the President's Day and the Ladies Luncheon, when visits are made to places of special interest in London or around the Home Counties.
We organise two visits to France each year. These Voyages d'Études are highly popular, and again it is usual for spouses and partners to accompany the Members. The visit in the Spring typically lasts 3 days over a long weekend, whereas the main in September lasts slightly longer. They usually involve visits to historic buildings and sites of cultural, scientific and engineering interest - always, of course, combined with congenial company, good food and French wine!
Britain and France have enjoyed close engineering and scientific dialogue since Napoleonic times. The British Section of IESF, is one of the few established societies in Britain dedicated to fostering these links in the various fields of engineering and science. Although most of our membership is English, many of our speakers are French and we actively welcome applications from French nationals resident in the UK.
What is now the British Section of IESF was formed in 1919, by Engineers of the British Army who wished to maintain the links that they had established with their French colleagues during the war. In the intervening period the French counterpart organisation has evolved into IESF, which embraces a broad spectrum of engineering and scientific organisations throughout France and elsewhere in Europe. We continue to value our unique position as the British Section of the IESF and to develop our association with engineering and science in France.
Membership is deliberately kept below about 200 to maintain the highly personal nature of the organisation. It is mainly composed of Chartered Engineers or those with equivalent professional status in related scientific disciplines. All Members hold, or have held, senior positions in their respective professions. For further information, see the Membership page, or the web site of the parent organisation, www.iesf.fr