ICE 200 is proving to be an outstanding platform to raise awareness of the work of the civil engineering community.
The opportunity to inspire the next generation of civil engineers and show them a rewarding and fulfilling career path is one we have grasped with both hands in south east England.
From Kent to the Isle of Wight to the Thames Valley, ICE members have been raising awareness, and reaching a whole new audience by promoting ICE 200 and the work that our everyday superheroes do to keep the region moving.
Our branch chair in Kent and East Sussex, Sue Threader, has entertained and informed more than 500 people with her inspirational and accessible talks, including a presentation on how many civil engineers it takes to make a cup of tea.
Pitch 200 has given our members the chance to explain a complex engineering concept in 200 seconds in as quirky a way as possible. The winner of our heat, held jointly with the London Region, was Skanska graduate engineer Emma Watkins, who used a bow and arrow to explain the installation of her new pedestrian bridge at Waterloo Station. Good luck to Emma for the final in London in November.
Talks and presentations
We have been thrilled with the interest in our talks and presentations, and the chance this has given us to raise awareness of the amazing work that our civil engineering community undertakes. The people hearing our talks, joining our Explore Engineering walks, and watching our 200 People and Projects films, extend far beyond the civil engineering community.
In April, we inspired more than 300 children and family members to get involved in science, technology, engineering and maths at the Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium. As well as hands-on activities, events included a talk from Libby Jackson of the UK Space Agency, and a presentation from Bloodhound, the team behind the 1,600km/h world land speed record attempt.
Seeing the involvement from the younger generation makes me believe we have a vibrant, intelligent and innovative future generation ready to become tomorrow’s problem solvers.
But we are engaging with today’s problem solvers too. ICE vice president Rachel Skinner spoke to the newly established Transport for the South East as we help it develop its regional plan through to 2019, while our South Branch engaged 30 exhibitors and 200 delegates in its most successful “Working in the Wet” conference ever.
We also had a chance to celebrate our own successes at our Engineering Excellence Awards in July, themed around the ICE 200 Invisible Superheroes and introduced by “Water Woman” Brittany Harris. From smart motorways to cycle paths, and leisure centres to flood alleviation schemes, we toasted the real-life examples of civil engineers transforming lives in the South East.
It is now vital that we build upon the success of ICE 200 in 2019 and beyond.
- Nathanael Pickett is the ICE 200 representative for South East England