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Back to the future

Isambard Kingdom Brunel is synonymous with great engineering.

Marking the bicentenary of Brunel's birth, a conference next July will celebrate his remarkable achievements and examine how they have been taken up and developed since his death.

The conference will highlight the crucial part played by engineers in creating a civilised society and aims to inspire young engineers with his genius.

Reflecting Brunel's multifaceted output, engineers from all disciplines are invited.

English Heritage chairman Neil Cossons will chair the event, which will consist of a day and a half of lectures and debates, with a series of high profile speakers including Network Rail chief executive John Armitt, Arup chairman Terry Hill, Millau Viaduct designer Michel Virlogeux and former transport minister Steven Norris.

The Brunel Bicentenary Conference is organised by the ICE and the Newcomen Society, the world's oldest learned society devoted to the history of engineering and technology, and is the highlight of a week-long celebration of Brunel's work. It will take place on 6-7 July 2006 and will be held in the historic Brunel GWR train shed at Bristol Temple Meads.

INFOPLUS Contact Dayle Long on (020) 7665 2313 or email conferences@ice. org. uk.

Brunel bicentenary week 3-9 July 2006 Monday and Tuesday Celebrations start in London with the ICE Triennial Conference: Safety, security and sustainability - can civil engineers rise to the global challenge?

Wednesday Historic rolling stock will be drawn by a GWR King Class steam locomotive, King Edward I, from one Brunel station to another - Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads. A celebration lunch will be served on board and the trip will be preceded by a grand reception at Paddington Station. On arrival in Bristol there will be a ceremonial laying of plaques at the historic GWR train shed.

Thursday and Friday The highlight of the week, the Brunel Bicentenary Conference, runs from Thursday morning until Friday lunchtime. A conference dinner will be held in the train shed on Thursday evening and Friday afternoon is set aside for the Brunel Trail, which includes visits to the SS Great Britain and the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

A visit to Airbus UK at Filton will also be arranged.

Saturday and Sunday Join members of the Newcomen Society to visit other historic engineering sites around Bristol.

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