Yes, of course, the world needs engineers (NCE last week) but most of the technical problems and solutions have already been identified. What the world specifically needs is more engineers like Dr Scott Steedman who can motivate administrators together with administrators who take real responsibility.
UK Ltd would make a far better contribution to reducing the effect of natural hazards if it funded a rolling programme of teams of engineers (infrastructure in addition to structural and geotechnical) to go out to vulnerable areas before events rather than afterwards to check designs and standards. They must persuade administrators to put mitigation of the effects of natural hazards high on the Government agenda now. If not then the UN International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction will be recorded as a disaster itself.
Louis Solway (F), ICE team leader for the project to reduce vulnerability of urban areas to natural hazards, Cedar View House, Netherby Park, Weybridge, Surrey KT14 0AG