A REVAMPED ICE homepage is revealed today, signalling the advent of a 'one stop shop for job-useful engineering knowledge' on the ICE website.
From today members can use one of 15 'engineering clubs' to source invaluable job-specific information such as design guides, codes of practice, government consultation papers, and ICE briefing sheets.
The clubs are effectively a repackaging of the professional interest networks launched last year (NCE 4 October 2001), but the ICE hopes that an improved front-end to the website will stimulate greater user interest.
The 15 clubs represent the full breadth of civil engineering, ranging from hard engineering to subjects such as environment and sustainability, health and safety and management issues.
A separate area of the website tackles contracts and disputes.
Members are likely to be most interested in each club's 'knowledge map', which uses a windows-style directory structure to guide users to relevant information, either within the ICE website or through links to other sites.
Each club also contains all relevant ICE briefing sheets, information on ICE board members and the board business plan, and offers a regular stream of the latest news and developments within that field.
Club also offer a discussion forum where members can share knowledge and best practice advice. Each forum will be monitored by a nominated member of the appropriate ICE board to ensure that posted questions receive a reply and to stimulate debate.
The ICE has also set up a forum for contracts and disputes, and has issued a discussion opener to get the ball rolling.
Members with experience of the problems faced in practically applying NEC or ICE conditions of contract are urged to log on and enter the debate.
'The experience of people who have used these conditions of contract and have faced any problem or difficulty in practice, can be a good source of learning for all of us, no matter how experienced one is.
'Please let us know of your experiences, as well as any suggestions on the way in which you solved the problem, ' the ICE asks.
The ICE homepage has been updated in response to comments in February's online member survey. From today there will be an updated look and feel to the homepage, with drop-down bars for easier site navigation, a latest news section and more prominence to the 'my ICE' site tailoring service.
In another development, the ICE library now has its own domain name: www. ice. org/ library. The library section has also been enhanced, by permitting users of the catalogue to store registration details as a 'cookie'.
These changes are just two in a series of enhancements to the website being planned for 2002 following feedback from the survey.
INFOPLUS Comments regarding the new homepage should be e-mailed to marianne. jones@ice. org. uk.
Comments on the engineering clubs should be e-mailed to john. bennett@ice. org. uk.