The IRE Rules

Institute of Refractories Engineers Founded 1961
IRE Rules
IRE Rules

RULE BOOK (as revised June 2006, amended September 2007)

The name of the organisation shall be The Institute of Refractories Engineers.

To foster and promote the skills and science of refractories engineering, and to raise the standard of training, experience and ability in this field of engineering.

To promote, elevate and maintain the character, status and interest of members of the Institute.

To circulate information, facts, ideas or suggestions as may be useful to members.

To promote education and training amongst both members and prospective members, with a view to raising their status.

To encourage the exchange of ideas and experience between members to their mutual advantage.

To bring together engineers and persons involved in refractory engineering practice in their own and employers interests.

The organisation is a non profit making body and the entire income is applied solely towards the promotion of these objectives.

Membership is at the sole discretion of the General Council.

i) The Institute shall consist of members that form a broad spectrum of the refractories industry, and associated industries. Thus personnel from all of these areas will be considered for membership.

ii) The grade of membership to which each applicant shall be admitted shall be the decision of the General Council alone. Appeals against the decision of the General Council may be made, but admission to the grade of membership offered shall be withheld pending such an appeal.

iii) The General Council shall, without obligations to state reasons, have the right to refuse membership to any person. However, nobody shall be refused on the ground of race, sex, religion or political affiliation.

iv) All applicants shall complete the application form or apply by giving details in an appropriate correspondence. The application should include an advanced payment of the relevant subscription for the year and the relevant administration fee before such an application will be considered.

v) Applications correctly received shall be submitted to the General Council at their next meeting following such receipt.

vi) All persons elected to membership shall be notified in writing by the General Secretary. Their membership shall commence from the date of confirmation of their election by the General Council.

vii) A certificate of membership shall be issued to each member, which shall remain the property of the Institute.

viii) A register of all members shall be kept, and for the purposes of this register and for the issue of certificate of membership, the General Secretary shall act as Registrar of the Institute.

ix) The General Secretary shall be empowered to remove from membership any member whose subscription for any year, has not been paid by the end of the first quarter, of the following year. Any such person so removed from membership may apply to the General Secretary for reinstatement in the grade of membership he formerly held and he shall be entitled to admittance on payment of outstanding subscriptions.

x) There shall be the following classes of membership:


Shall be persons who the General Council consider have given service of exemplary merit to the profession of Refractories Engineering and to the Institute of Refractories Engineers


Shall be members whose full time occupation at the time of application shall be in the refractory Industry or associated industries and who have a minimum of 10 years experience, including any relevant training

Associate Members

Shall be persons whose full time occupation at the time of application shall be in the refractory industry or associated industries, but have less than 10 years experience.


Shall be such persons who are engaged in a recognised training scheme, apprenticeship or higher education course, that includes significant content of the skill or science of refractory materials engineering.

Honorary Members

Any member of the Institute who retired from active employment for any reason, after their sixtieth birthday, who has been a member of the Institute for a period of 10 years or more and who has given exemplary service to the Institute. may have their name submitted by their branch to the General Council for consideration for Honorary membership. Such membership shall be granted entirely at the discretion of the General Council.

Retired Members

Members who have retired from active employment after their sixtieth birthday and who have been members of the institute for 10 years or more.

Resignation of members

Any member having paid all money due to the Institute may resign his membership on giving one months notice in writing to the General Secretary of his intention to do so. (Subscriptions paid in advance are not refundable)


The subscription will be determined by the General Council annually taking into account the Institute’s financial state. Any changes in the rates shall be submitted by the General Council to the Annual General Meeting for approval. Subscriptions shall be for the year ending December 31st. For any applications received and approved after July 1st in any year, the subscription shall be half the annual subscription ruling at that time.

Retired members may, on application to the General Secretary, benefit from discounted fees provided that they have been a member for at least 10 years prior to retirement. The subscription rates will be determined by the General Council annually



i) The Officers of the Institute appointed by the General Council shall be the President, the Senior Vice President, the Chairman of the Executive Committee, the General Secretary and such other officers as they may from time to time deem necessary.

ii) The Chairman of the Executive Committee will be appointed by the General Council; he together with the General Secretary shall nominate a maximum of 4 members to serve for a period of 2 years on the Executive Committee. The nomination of these members is to be approved by the General Council who may at their discretion extend the period of service on this committee. The committee will nominate a Vice Chairman from its membership. The President and senior Vice President will also be invited to be members of the Executive Committee.

The Chairman of the Executive committee will serve for 3 years but may be re-appointed by General council for a further period.

The appointment of Chairman shall be effective as at the first meeting following the Annual General Meeting. The outgoing Chairman shall remain a member of the Executive and General Council until the subsequent Annual General Meeting.

iii) The positions of the Vice President and Senior Vice President shall be considered by the Executive Committee whose recommendations will be considered at a full meeting of the General Council.

The Senior Vice President shall succeed automatically to the office of President the following year. Branch committees may offer nominations to the Executive Committee for the election of Vice President. The total number of Vice Presidents elected will not exceed five, including the Senior Vice President. Vice Presidents will serve for a maximum of five years but may be re-elected for a further five years at the General Councils discretion.

iv) The appointment of the auditors and other officers shall be approved annually at the Annual General Meeting.

For the avoidance of doubt, no position held whether as an officer of the Institute, a General Council Member, or in any other capacity what so ever and in respect of which fees or honoraria are paid or payable, shall constitute a contract of employment by the Institute, and it shall be condition of acceptance of such position of the Institute that the person or persons as appointed shall enter into such contracts for service as the General Council shall from time to time require.

v) The General Council of the Institute shall consist of a delegate from each branch, twelve elected members, five immediate past

Presidents and the appointed officers of the Institute. The elected members shall serve for at least one year and not more than three years without re-election. Four elected members shall resign each year but may offer themselves for re-election.

The branch delegate would normally be the branch chairman or secretary but nominated substitutes may be used if required. They shall serve for one year only, but can be re-elected by the branch to serve a maximum of 3 consecutive years on Council

vi) Past Presidents shall be a member of Council for a period of five years immediately following their presidential year without re-election.

vii) Visiting Members other than Branch Delegates may attend by invitation of the Chairman but they shall not be entitled to vote.

viii) Where the General Council considers it to be the advantage of the Institute they have the right to co-opt members onto committees which report to the General Council, any member so co opted shall not be entitled to vote.

ix) Persons accepting office as Members of the General Council shall both be able and prepared to attend all Council meetings and Council shall be empowered to request the resignation of Council members who do not attend regularly without good reason.


i) The financial year of the institute shall run from April 1st of one year to March 31st of the next.

ii) Bank, Building Society accounts or investments may only be opened in the name of the Institute.

iii) Withdrawals shall require the signature of the Treasurer and one other from two nominated members of Council.

iv) Institute accounts shall be presented for auditing to the duly appointed auditors who are elected each year at the Annual General Meeting.

v) The duly audited accounts shall be presented each year to the members together with their notification of the Annual General Meeting.


i) The business of the Institute shall be managed by the General Council governed only by the Rules and Resolutions of the General Meeting. They shall cause minutes to be made of:

a) All appointment of officers.

b) Names of General Council members present at each meeting of the Institute.

c) All resolutions and proceedings of all meetings of the Institute, General Council or Committees of such Council.

ii) Without prejudice to the foregoing general powers, the General Council shall have the power:

a) to delegate, subject to such conditions as they may think fit, any of their powers to the Executive Committee e.g. Finance, Education, Training, Institute membership, Conferences, Recruitment, Journal Editorial etc

b) to employ staff or contractor for any purpose within the aims of the Institute. The decision to create a post or fill one that falls vacant shall be taken by the General Council, but the Executive may proceed up to, but short of making an appointment between Council meetings. Selection and interviews are the responsibility of the Executive as are the salaries and conditions of employment. The minutes containing confidential information will be circulated to Executive members only. General Council will be informed that the issue was discussed.

c) To establish a system of examinations in relation to qualifications for Institute members.

d) To recommend the cautioning, suspension or expulsion of any member of the institute subject to paragraph “Rights to Membership”.

e) To authorise the formation of regional, overseas and affiliated branches of the Institute and to draw up the rules to govern these branches.

f) Subject to rules in force, and to resolutions of General Meetings, to do all such other things that the General Council shall from time to time consider conducive to the interests of good management of the institute affairs.

g) The General Council shall meet as often as they consider necessary to properly conduct the Institute’s business. Any Branch committee or any member of the General Council may require the General Secretary to call an Extraordinary Meeting of the General Council, provided only that they satisfy the President that the matter to be raised is such urgency that it cannot be left until the next Ordinary Meeting of the General Council. A quorum for the conducting of the Institute’s business at all meetings of the General Council shall be not less than two of the Institute’s officers (paragraph 5) and six members, either elected, Branch delegates or Past Presidents.

h) In the absence of the President, all meetings of the General Council shall be conducted by the Senior Vice President and in the case of the absence of both, then such other person as those present shall agree and such persons shall have the full authority of the office assumed for that meeting.

i) All propositions and amendments thereto shall be decided on majority vote. Each Officer, Member of the General Council and eligible Past President who is present shall be entitled to one vote. The chairman shall have one additional or casting vote in cases of equality of voting.

j) The proceedings of the General Council shall not be invalidated by any vacancies amongst their number or by any defect afterwards discovered in the election of such Council. Provided only that if their numbers are permanently reduced to four members or less, they shall only act to fill such vacancies, or to call a General Meeting of the Members.

j) The Executive Committee shall meet as often as they and General Council consider necessary to properly conduct the Institutes business. A quorum for conducting the Institute’s business at all executive meetings shall be four members. In the absence of the chairman the meeting will be conducted by the vice chairman, in the absence of both then such other person as those present shall agree, will act as chairman.

Each member of the Executive Committee shall have one vote, in the event of an evenly split vote the issue would be referred to the General Council.


Uses of initials to indicate membership should be as follows:

Fellows:       F.I. Ref. Eng

Members:      M.I. Ref. Eng

Associate Members:      A.M.I. Ref. Eng

The cessation of membership for whatever reason will result in an ex-member losing the right to use the Institute’s letters after his name.


If any member shall be accused of any dishonourable, improper or unprofessional conduct on grounds which the General Council after investigation shall deem sufficient for his expulsion or suspension, an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Institute shall be convened to consider such accusation (of which he/she shall have 14 days clear notice). Such members after he/she has had the opportunity of explaining his/her conduct will be expelled if three quarters of the members present and voting on the question (there not being not being less than 10 members present) be in favour of expulsion. The expelled member shall immediately forfeit his/her privileges in the Institute without further claim or calls or for any money to be paid to the Institute but he/she shall remain liable to pay any calls or other money outstanding at the date of expulsion.


i) General Meeting

a) The Institute shall in each year hold a General Meeting in addition to any other meetings in that year and shall specify the meeting as such in the notices calling it. Not more than 15 months shall elapse between the date of one Annual General Meeting of the Institute and the next.

b) Extraordinary General Meetings shall be called at any time the General Council shall decide it is in the interests of the Institute, or by any ten members at any other time as such ten members shall show the Council good cause in writing why such a meeting should be held.

c) The General Secretary shall notify all the members of the institute with 14 days clear notice of the Council’s intention to call a General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting. Such notification to include the Agenda of such meeting, notice of changes in Rules of the Institute proposed and names of all the persons nominated as members of the General Council of the Institute.

d) Items of the agenda of any General Meeting shall be agreed by the Institute General Council. Such items can be brought to the notice of the General Council by Council Members, and any Branch Committee, or by any group of ten ordinary members of the Institute. Irrespective of any General Council decision in respect of any such matter brought to their notice, any Branch Committee or group of ten ordinary members shall retain the right to ask for such matter to be included on the Agenda of any General Meeting provided that a required notice of 28 days is given in writing to the General Secretary of the Institute.

e) Each Fellow, Member, Associate Member or Honorary Member shall be entitled to one vote at a General Meeting and such vote may be made in person or by proxy. The proxy must be a member who is entitled to attend the meeting in their own right.

f) Members not attending such General Meeting and not arranging proxy votes shall be deemed to be in agreement with decisions taken at such meetings.

g) A quorum at an Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting shall be ten members present at the commencement thereof.

ii) Ordinary Meetings

a) The Institute shall hold such ordinary meetings of the whole Institute or Branches thereof, for the dissemination of ideas, information or knowledge by means of lectures, demonstrations, or visits to establishments for the reading and discussions of papers, and the promotion of personal and friendly intercourse between its members.


i) Each Branch shall elect annually in April a Chairman at a General Meeting of all Branch Members duly notified to members in writing 14 days beforehand. Under section 5, paragraph 4, each branch shall be entitled to one seat in General Council and this may be the Chairman, Secretary or any other member elected by the Branch at its Annual General Meeting

ii) Each branch shall elect an Honorary Secretary and Committee to assist the Chairman in the running of the Branch. The size of this Committee shall be the prerogative of the branch themselves, but shall not be less than five members and the Chairman.

iii) Branches will organise and hold lectures, works visits and social functions as their Branch Committee may decide. Notification to hold such meetings should be given to the General Secretary normally in the form of an Annual Programme by the tenth of July. iv) Branches shall not consider application forms for membership, but shall forward such to the General Secretary for consideration by the General Council.

The Branch Chairman or delegate present at General Council meetings considering applications may put forward the Branch’s views on particular applications. Overseas branches may also make their own recommendations to the General Council. v) All branches are expected to conduct their affairs within the objectives and rules of the Institute vi) General Council shall have the right to intervene in branch affairs taking into account the branch Chairman’s views. The General Councils decision in any matter shall be final. Financial Arrangements for Branches

i) UK Branches

a) The General Council shall allocate from the funds of the Institute a proportion of members’ annual subscriptions to contribute to Branches expenses. The grant will be based on the number of fully paid up members on the 30th of November plus a set amount as set by the General Council. This grant to branches will be made by 31st of March. The General Council will not accept liability for expenditure incurred on behalf of the Branch other than can be met from Branch funds except by prior arrangement with the General Council.

b) The Branch shall appoint a Treasurer, who shall maintain a proper record of all transactions.

c) Branches shall not accept financial support from anyone without prior permission from the General Council.

d) Bank accounts may be opened in the Branch’s name, withdrawals from which shall require the signature of the Treasurer and one other member of the Branch Committee.

Branch funds are for the running of the Branch within the aims of the Institute but all funds and equipment remain the property of the Institute of Refractory Engineers.

e) Branches’ accounts shall be for the year ending 31st March each year and Branch Treasurers shall submit a copy of such accounts duly audited by May 31st to the General Secretary and Treasurer. Failure to comply will result in the grant being returned to central funds and no future grants being made until the branch complies.

ii) Overseas Branches

Will be set up in the same way as UK Branches but will not receive funds as allocated to UK Branches. Central funds will be allocated to subsidise the extra postage incurred for distribution of the journal, in an amount to be allocated by General Council annually.

iii) Affiliated Branches

Affiliated Branches are those where a regional centre exists having membership greater than 150 subscribing members and where economic, logistic and other factors affecting the running of the branch are considered by General Council to favour this mode of operation, In this case there will be no funding from central funds. The affiliated Branch shall be responsible for collecting subscriptions from members and shall pay annual dues to the Institute in respect of each and every subscribing member of the affiliated branch.

All branches are expected to conduct their affairs within the objectives and rules of the Institute.


i) Calls

a) The General Council of the Institute may propose from time to time to make calls as it thinks fit upon members. Such calls shall only be approved by a majority of the members after a full postal ballot. A call can only be made for the furtherance of the continual financial existence of the Institute, for the direct benefit of the objects of the Institute.

b) Each member shall pay the amount of every call so made on him to the Treasurer at such time or times as shall be prescribed by the resolution.

c) A call shall be deemed to have been made at the time when the resolution making the call was passed. It shall not be necessary to send any notice of any such call other than copy of the proceedings of the meeting at which such call was passed, and such copy shall be deemed to be notice within meaning of these rules. Non-payment of the call within one year of the prescribed date shall be deemed to be a lapse of membership.

ii) Contribution of Winding Up

Every member of the Institute undertakes to contribute to the assets of the Institute in the event of its being wound up. This applies while he is a member or within one year afterwards, for payment of the debts and liabilities of the association contracted before he ceases to be a member and of the costs, charges and expenses of winding up and for the adjustment of rights of the contribution amongst themselves such amount as may be required not exceeding one years annual subscription.

iii) Voluntary Winding Up

In the event that a Branch of the Institute decides to ballot of its members to discontinue its function, the funds remaining after discharge of all debts will pass to the Institute. The General Council will be empowered to deal with these funds as it sees fit. In the event that the Institute by the postal ballot of its members decides to wind-up its functions, then after discharge of its debts and liabilities, the funds will be distributed equally amongst all those fully paid-up members.

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