AIME, Our Parent Organization

Behrooz Fattahi, Aera Energy, SPE/AIME, and Michele Lawrie-Munro, AIME

Everyone in our industry is familiar with SPE and its contributions to the industry. But not many know that SPE has a parent organization: AIME, the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers.

AIME was established in 1871 in Wikes-Barre, PA as the American Institute of Mining Engineers. In 1904, AIME became one of the founder societies along with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE, later IEEE) to form the United Engineering Society. In 1912, the Iron and Steel Division was created, and in 1918, the American Institute of Metals joined AIME, and the new organization, while still AIME, was called the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers. In 1922, the petroleum division of the AIME was formed.

AIME continued to grow in the U.S. with foreign affiliation until 1956 when AIME officially became the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers. During the 1950’s, the petroleum membership of AIME grew rapidly warranting the formation of SPE as the petroleum industry’s professional society in 1957 with a membership of roughly 12,500.

In 1973, AIME started the process of decentralization, and, as a result, SPE became a separately incorporated entity in 1985. Today, AIME is a federation of four not-for-profit professional societies – the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE with 110,000 members), the Association of Iron and Steel Technology (AIST with 15,000 members), the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME, 14,000 members), and The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS with 12,000 members).

AIME operates under a foundation model, governed by an eight member Board of Trustees, two appointed by each member society. An Executive Director manages its operation. The presidency of AIME rotates among these four societies. Its mission is to support its Member Societies, through exercising fiscal responsibility, distributing funds, facilitating interaction with the larger scientific and engineering community, enhancing collaboration among the Member Societies, and honoring the legacy and traditions of AIME.

AIME's vision is to become a relevant and valued partner to our Member Societies. AIME’s principal activities include funding projects and programs through distributions and grant opportunities, provide forums to share best practices and facilitate collaboration amongst the engineering and scientific community, and present awards and scholarships that honor the AIME legacy and recognize outstanding members and promising students of its member societies

Specifically, AIME funds eight grant programs, offers five scholarships, grants 25 awards, including Honorary Membership, as well as participating in 14 joint engineering society award programs, including Hoover Medal and Alfred E. Noble Prize. AIME awards recognize members of the four societies for their technical contributions, professional excellence and leadership, extraordinary and dedicated service to colleagues, and public service. AIME facilitates sharing learnings and best practices, access to grant resources, and participating in interdisciplinary collaborative efforts.

Today, AIME is viewed as a prestigious professional organization supporting the development of the next generation of engineers and scientists. It holds membership in the United Engineering Foundation, American Association of Engineering Societies, and Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives. Through these memberships, AIME provides the petroleum, steel, mining, and materials industries the visibility and the unique opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration and exchanges within the global engineering and scientific community.

AIME depends on individual members and staff of its constituent professional societies to achieve its mission. Through its governance structure, AIME will continue to be a relevant and valuable partner by fostering effective communication and good will among its member societies.

  1. Behrooz Fattahi holds Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Engineering and in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University. He works as the Learning Advisor for Aera Energy LLC, an affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil companies. He served on the board of the Society of Petroleum Engineers International (SPE) as the Director of the Western North America Region, Vice President-Finance, and as the 2010 SPE President. He currently serves as an officer on the board of AIME, and will be the 2014 AIME President.
  2. Michele Lawrie-Munro is the Executive Director of AIME. Her recent experience includes managing operations as well as leading multidisciplinary, collaborative efforts. In addition to the not-for-profit arena, she has used her management and marketing skills in the public and private sectors for telecommunications and professional services firms. She has been involved in research, leadership development and recognition initiatives, and been a liaison on systems requirements. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado.