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Highway engineers reject ICE merger

INSTITUTE OF Highway Incorporated Engineers (IHIE) last week rejected a proposed merger with the Institution of Civil Engineers.

A majority vote by IHIE Council ruled that members would be better served by continued independence. It opted not to put the proposal to its full membership.

The decision appears to underline the on-going confusion and doubt over the credibility of the ICE's membership requirements - despite a recent overhaul to boost the status of all grades of member.

IHIE president Ian Bradfield said: fiMany IHIE members felt that in the past they were treated as second class members.

Regardless of recent changes, the perception is that the ICE has not changed. fl He added that many IHIE members had reported bad experiences trying to join the ICE in the past. The feeling that fithey didn't want me then so why should I join them now? fl prevailed, he said.

The apparent low conversion by ICE Associate members to Incorporated member, he added, showed that the ICE had not yet convinced engineers of its policy towards incorporated members.

However, ICE vice president Colin Clinton dismissed the notion that ICE Incorporated members were treated as second class. But he accepted the Institution may have fitaken its eye off the ballfl lately with regard to maintaining their profile.

fiI would suggest that the promotion of the Incorporated member needs to be boosted, fl he said. fiThe ICE may have lost some focus. We have to look upstream and raise the profile of the Incorporated engineer. fl In a separate development, Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) president David Blockley dismissed the prospect of a full ICE/IStructE merger arguing that the ICE's entry requirements were too low (see cover feature, page 14).

Clinton countered by saying:

fiWhatever we offer has to be attractive at all levels of membership. One of the main remits of ICE new communications director Anne Moir will be just that. fl

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