THE INSTITUTION of Civil Engineers Executive Board was this week set to decide whether to proceed with plans for a merger with the Institute of Highway Incorporated Engineers (IHIE).
If backed, the proposal will be debated by the ICE Council at its next meeting. This will to be held in public at Civils 2002 at the Birmingham NEC on 11 June.
However, the IHIE council will also debate the issue at its next meeting on 22 June.
Subject to joint agreement in principle, the members of both institutions will be balloted for a final decision.
ICE President Mark Whitby has this week given the proposal his full backing. He said he hoped that it would pave the way for further mergers in the future.
'The IHIE is doing a lot of good work in areas close to my heart, ' said Whitby, citing Home Zones and urban design. 'While the Executive Board is a democratic body, I will be personally endorsing this move.'
'I am very concerned that in the past we, as civil engineers, have narrowed what we do and have created other professions by leaving them out. Our aim must be to reverse that now, ' Whitby said.
The ICE has nearly 80,000 members worldwide, while IHIE approximately 3,500. Membership and staff of the two bodies would merge if the proposal is approved.