THE new president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has vowed to tackle the perception that engineering is a male profession.

In a new survey, the institution found that 66 per cent of the public associate the term engineer with men and 27 per cent said they associated the term equally with men and women.

According to the poll, 40 per cent of the public think the current image of engineering is deterring women from the profession, compared with 21 per cent saying it is deterring both men and women.

Group Captain Mark Hunt who yesterday became the youngest ever president in the institution’s 167-year history, has vowed to encourage greater diversity during his tenure.

Mr Hunt, said: “I want to use my year as president to demonstrate what engineers have to offer society, and to broaden public awareness of how engineers are improving the world we live in.

“I also want to help galvanise action to inspire the next generation of engineering innovators and work hard to encourage more diversity in the industry”.

Mr Hunt is the first Royal Air Force Officer to be president and succeeds Patrick Kniveton, of Rolls-Royce Marine Power.

Mr Hunt has been an engineer officer in the RAF for 20 years. He has a background in air safety and has served widely, including four tours in Afghanistan.

His comments come ahead of National Women in Engineering Day on June 23, a day dedicated to raising awareness and celebrating the achievements of women in engineering.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers, founded by George Stephenson in 1847, represents more than 106,000 mechanical engineers, in more than 120 countries.