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Into affinity


Progress towards a 'superinstitution' seems to be gathering pace, albeit with little input from the membership at large. The listed benefits (NCE last week) seem nebulous without significantly more explanation. We must wonder why there are expectations that such an organisation will succeed where the Engineering Council or the defunct CEI or their predecessors have not.

Only one Council member noted that several countries already organise engineering professions under a single banner. I am privileged to be a Fellow of both the HKIE and Engineers Australia, as well as the ICE. I have to say that, as a civil engineer, and without an iota of criticism of the other multi-disciplinary institutions, I feel closest affinity to, and best served by, ICE.

Will this international experience be thoroughly researched as part of our assessment process? With a seemingly unrealistic autumn 2003 deadline imposed, it seems doubtful.

The membership will depend on the objectivity of the select committee in preparing a balanced assessment on which we might vote. Doug Oakavee's position is clear, but it would be good to know where the checks and balances lie in the committee before we proceed with such a large expenditure.

And would I want to associate with the disbanding of several hundred years of history, traditions and customs?

Probably not.

Nick Swannell (F), 27 Home Close, Chiseldon, Swindon, SN4 0ND

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