Mick Sweetmore was sworn in as new SOE President, and members and regional centres were recognised for their excellence at the Society’s AGM in July.

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Current Head of Fleet and Transport at Merseyside Police, Mick outlined plans for his upcoming two-year term. He told the audience about his journey from commercial vehicle engineer apprentice to SOE President, via student membership and his first managerial appointment, aged 22. Mick takes over from outgoing President Howard Seymour (pictured below left), who was thanked for his leadership and support over the course of his term.

SOE AGM Shaking Hands

In his opening presidential address, Mick described how he will push for greater diversity in engineering, while further engaging with the young member network. He began his two-year term immediately, just days later hosting the Skills Challenge awards ceremony at Warwick University.


On her final appearance as SOE Patron, Beverley Bell CBE (pictured right) thanked the volunteers, staff and Trustee Board for their support during her three-year term. She will be succeeded as Patron by Sir John Parker.

Richard Belton (pictured below), Training and Education Director at S&B Automotive, was recognised for his services to the Skills Challenge bus and coach competition for technicians and apprentices. Richard has been instrumental in the competition’s success; his work in the testing week at the training facility in Bristol has contributed to the continued growth of the Challenge and has raised its profile throughout the PSV sector.

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Michael Ford won the BES Engineer Surveyor of the Year award, while John Denny collected his award as the Plant Engineer of the Year. David Young was then presented as the new Chair of the BES Professional Sector Council.

Hull & East Yorkshire, Northern, BES South Eastern, Ireland North and South Wales centres each picked up awards in recognition for their exceptional work in meeting SOE’s objectives over the last year.

Ian Jones, Ian Smith and Vince Sharpe – all at the end of their terms as Trustee Board members – were thanked by Mick for their contribution.