The Manchester Association of Engineers was formally established on the 14th January 1856. The original purpose of the Association was set down as :-
The bringing together of those engaged in the design, direction or superintendence of engineering works and operations, for mutual improvement and assistance, increase of acquaintance and for promoting frequent exchange of opinion on interesting questions constantly arising from the progressive nature of engineering.
This purpose is still maintained, but it has widened over the years to encompass the developing technologies and newer sciences. Membership is now open to those persons who, though not engineers, are concerned with these activities and their social impact professionally, or are otherwise interested in these subjects.
The association has a role to play in the development of engineers at all levels. The lecture programme is of a character to enrich the knowledge of the individual across many engineering disciplines. This wide knowledge is seen to be of value in the overall formation of an engineer.
The Association, one of the oldest such organisations, began with informal meetings held on Saturday evenings in a city centre hotel. It was formally established at a time when the Manchester area was recognised world wide as a leading centre of engineering, production and technical excellence.
The original group of foremen and draughtsmen employed by leading engineering firms was soon joined by employers, managers and educators who saw the benefit in having a local discussion organisation where matters of interest to all types of engineers could be discussed. It continues to contribute to the culture of a great city and the promotion of engineering as a career.