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ICE South West welcomed the Institution’s 154th President, Andrew Wyllie CBE, to Bristol over the 4 and 5 July 2019.
During a brimming two-day schedule, Wyllie met with a range of members from ICE South West to take part in meetings and roundtable discussions. This included the West England Combined Authority (WECA) session, which included WECA Mayor Tim Bowles, clients, policy makers and ICE members.
The session, which focussed on mass transit Initiatives including Bristol Airport, was followed by a roundtable discussion on smart city Infrastructure capability.
The roundtable event was held at the Burges Salmon offices in Bristol, which also played host to the regional final of Pitch 200. The much-awaited regional final was hosted by BBC broadcaster Dave Harvey and began with Wyllie’s Presidential Address.
During Wyllie’s visit, he highlighted the key principals that would ensure that ICE remains not just relevant, but essential, to our key stakeholders.
He opened his address with a brief history of how Henry Palmer, an engineer just starting out on his career, came together with other aspiring engineers to form the Institution of Civil Engineers over 200 years ago. Wyllie continued to state how ICE, two centuries on, is still here to improve the lives of the public through improved infrastructure.
While there was some reflection on the importance of the heritage of the ICE, the focus of Wyllie’s address was on the future, discussing how the fourth industrial revolution of the 21st century has brought with it a new era in civil engineering.
Wyllie explained how the fourth industrial revolution is characterised by a fusion of technologies, that’s blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres. It’s marked by emerging technology breakthroughs in a number of fields, including robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing and biotechnology.
To ensure the ICE remains a leading institution in the industry, Wyllie highlighted five key principals that are critical to its future success:
The second day of the president’s visit opened with the future stars of civil engineering, during which Wyllie, together with ICE South West graduates, students and apprentices, took part in a roundtable discussion.
This focused on the future of civil engineering and included presentations from some of the participants on themes including sustainability and the role of technology within engineering. This session was followed by a State of Nation session on housing and infrastructure, which was attended by academics, public and private sector contributors.
Miranda Housden, Director of ICE South West, said: “Andrew’s visit has been a fantastic opportunity to showcase civil engineering in the South West. Our roundtable discussion with the graduates, students and apprentices was extremely exciting and demonstrates how quickly the industry is evolving. We’ve had some great feedback about the direction members would like to see the organisation develop and we look forward to growing ICE’s presence in the South West.”
ICE South West would like to thank all volunteers and organisations involved in the president’s visit to the South West of England.
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