Parker (pictured) is an acclaimed industrialist and former president of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Currently chairman of the Pennon Group and the Laing O’Rourke Group, and a director of Carnival Corporation, Parker has chaired five FTSE 100 companies, as well as the court of the Bank of England from 2004 to 2009.
From County Down, Northern Ireland, he studied naval architecture and mechanical engineering at the College of Technologies and Queen’s University Belfast. He holds a number of honorary degrees, including a DSc (Engineering) from Queen’s University.
SOE chief executive Bruce McGill said: “We are absolutely delighted that Sir John has agreed to be our new patron. His considerable knowledge of engineering in all its forms will be incredibly valuable to the society going forward.”
He added: “Beverley has supported the society through a period of significant change and has helped strengthen SOE as an engineering institution. On behalf of the board of trustees, volunteers, employees and everyone associated with SOE, I would like to thank Beverley for her support and contribution.”
Parker has backed campaigns for increased diversity in engineering and, in 2018, conducted The Parker Review – a report showing a lack of gender and ethnic minority representation at FTSE 100 companies – to raise awareness of the issue.
He said: “Engineering in all its forms adds significant value to the economic wellbeing of our country. Operations engineers are also in the frontline of delivering critical services that keeps the economy moving. I am honoured to become the patron of the Society of Operations Engineers and am particularly supportive of the encouragement the society provides for the careers of young people.”