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Fold or stick?


Before contemplating mergers with institutions representing other engineering disciplines, the civil engineering profession needs to get its own house in order.

The nnecessary proliferation of so-called specialist 'sub-institutions' has led to senseless and expensive duplication where each of the ICE's boards has at least one other institution purporting to be more capable in their particular specialism.

It is time to bring the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Institution of Highways & Transportation, and their ilk back into the fold.

Compatibilities of membership grades are quite irrelevant as in practice it is only the EC(UK) qualications (CEng, TechEng and EngTech) that matter.

If employers agreed to pay the annual subscriptions for only the EC(UK) registration and one engineering institution, most would chose the major one - for instance, the ICE.

Employees would soon think twice about paying for the others out of income and the highly desirable amalgamations would soon occur.

This proposed rationalisation of the profession is nothing new. I remember Professor Tony Ridley making this the main theme of his presidential year over 10 years ago. Alas his successor had a quite different agenda.

Robert D McLeod (M), 10 Park Crescent, Liberton, Edinburgh EH16 6JD

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