There was a striking juxtaposition between your report on the dearth of municipal engineers and the debate on public relations training (NCE last week).
The point was made that municipal engineers tend to get 'ghettoised' into particular areas. Public authorities often have a tendency to put professional staff into watertight compartments.
On the other hand a civil engineer working in the private sector will commonly find that his interests expand to cover the work of allied disciplines, whether technical or administrative. In that case the outsider had to act as a bridge between the technical and contract departments to get a problem resolved.
We should always encourage engineers to take the wider view. On the particular issue of PR, our aspirations for improved status are lost unless engineers are entrusted to talk about our projects to journalists, financiers and members of the public. By all means let us take advice from the PR experts, but not abdicate to them.
MJD Keatinge (M).
Highbank, Marston Road, Sherbone, Dorset DT9 4BL