More than 20,000 people visited the Invisible Superheroes exhibition at ICE’s London headquarters in 2018 to learn about how civil engineers have transformed lives through infrastructure.
The year-long exhibition, which attracted visitors from nearly 40 schools and universities, from all over the world, was one of the activities that marked the 200th
anniversary of the Institution. With a modern, comic-book look, it aimed to engage young people and inspire them to consider a career in the industry.
The highly interactive exhibition covers ongoing projects, such as Thames Tideway, as well as historical ones.
Visitors have been able to explore civil engineering through virtual reality, films, interviews, games and puzzles.
This is as well as meeting ICE Invisible Superhero characters – unsung heroes behind some of the world’s most amazing engineering projects.
Real-life Invisible Superheroes
ICE launched with 10 Invisible Superheroes
at the start of ICE 200, and more have been added by ICE regions around the world throughout the year.
The initial 10 were:
Superheroes who joined the campaign during the year included Dr Myra Lydon, as Doctor Sensora
, Amy Wright
as Bridge Star, and Translink engineers
as Captain Projecto, Titan Tracker and The Super Techs.
Four 'pop-up' versions of the Invisible Superheroes exhibition also took place around the world, at Belfast City Airport
, the Great Exhibition of the North, Wellington Cable Car Museum
in New Zealand, and at the Civil Engineer 200 conference and exhibition in Budapest
A ‘little-known gem’
Feedback from visitors to the free exhibition at One Great George Street has been overwhelmingly positive.
“The exhibition is well thought through and a great way to discover or introduce engineering as a profession,” said one testimonial.
Another visitor, who regularly takes students from Texas A&M University to visit ICE, described the exhibition as a ‘little-known gem in Parliament Square’, and said that it was “a great find for visitors to London looking for something out of the ordinary”.
The exhibition was also praised for appealing to everyone, not just engineers.
“ICE has a great exhibition room where engineers and non-engineers, of all ages, can learn about an assortment of current and historical engineering projects across the world,” said one visitor.
Another added: “Civil engineers really impact our lives. Roads, railway, tunnels, canals, bridges, energy, water supply and sewerage, buildings … all these areas are brilliantly and interestingly explained in this fascinating exhibition, which is just ideal for any young person considering possible careers.
“I’ve been a civil engineer for 50 years and I was fascinated. Will interest anyone from five to 95 years old.”