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First woman ICE member honoured

1. dorothy buchanan 1821 v2 crop

The first female member of the ICE has been recognised for her contribution to the profession by having a room at One Great George Street named for her.

The former boardroom on the ground floor of ICE headquarters has been renamed the Buchanan Room after Scottish engineer, Dorothy Donaldson Buchanan.

Buchanan became an ICE member after passing the exam in 1927. One of her most notable achievements was helping to design the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle, UK, which was known as the George V Bridge when it opened in 1928.  

The renaming of the room is to coincide with the UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science in February which recognises the critical role of women and girls in science and technology communities.

ICE vice president Rachel Skinner welcomed the move by the ICE to better recognise and celebrate the diversity of key contributors to the ever-evolving story of exceptional civil engineering and civil engineers.  

“As the home of engineering it is our responsibility to celebrate the breadth of talent of all our members. While gender is just one part of this, I am truly delighted that we have chosen to commemorate the crucial milestone created by Dorothy when she applied – and was accepted – as the first female member of the ICE.  She is followed, of course, by thousands of women who are, qualified or aspiring ICE members all around the world.

“This recognition is just one way of showing that gender does not need to inhibit anyone’s dreams and is a small, yet very real, example of the ICE’s efforts to break down barriers to having a stronger, more inclusive and resilient industry that is fit for the future.”

The decision to rename the room resulted from a series of panel discussions held as part of the ICE Thinks programme.

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