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ICE Elect 2009: Northern Ireland candidates

Elections to ICE Council are once again underway; making it that time when members get their say on who should help lead their institution.

There are 9 vacancies to be filled. 3 of these are for regional members representing Northern Ireland, the North West and South West to be elected by Corporate and Technician Members with voting rights in those regions . There are 3 candidates for the 1 Northern Ireland regional member vacancy.

NCE asked the candidates some questions on the burning issues. Find out their views in the following profiles.

David Cleland

David Cleland

David Cleland

Professor, Queen’s University


Kevin McShane

Kevin McShane

Kevin McShane

Director, RPS Group


Bill Gowdy 

Bill Gowdy

Bill Gowdy

Head of waster water, Northern Ireland Water

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Being part of the team that established Northern Ireland Water Limited from the former Water Service.  The transformation required many changes in culture, structure and staff changes and was successfully launched in April 2007.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the profession?

Combating the effects of climate change, promoting sustainability and impressing upon the government the way by which we as civil engineers can help change the existing infrastructure.

 What do you consider to be the greatest innovation in the history of engineering?

The greatest innovation in the history of engineering must be the treatment of water for drinking. Water treatment transformed society, saved countless lives, and continues to do so. 

 Which do you think is the most important infrastructure project currently underway and why? 

There are many important infrastructure projects underway across the world delivering water and transportation services to help communities.  However, the most important project within the UK is the huge project for the London Olympics.  Costing billions of pounds, the project will deliver all the infrastructure needs for the Olympics and provide a huge beneficial legacy for local communities.

 What single thing would you want to improve about ICE?

I would like to see more of the ICE in the media, eg as the first contact for views on engineering, infrastructure, disaster relief matters, etc. In this way, the ICE would become much more recognized by the public providing a professional and unbiased opinion.

What do you think ICE should focus on in influencing government?

The important and vital role to be played by civil engineers to face the challenges of climate change.

How do you think all the engineering institutions could work more closely together?

By presenting a joint approach to government in matters of mutual interest and by promoting joint seminars and conferences.

What one impact do you think Council can have on how the Institution is run?

The members are the Institution and the most significant impact the Council can have is to ensure that the views of the members are clearly understood and taken account of in all decisions.

How would you persuade more graduate engineers to become qualified?

Graduate civil engineers have many opportunities to work in different countries and in different areas of engineering. Qualified ICE engineers will have the respect given to a member of an internationally respected institution, and have a huge network of resources and help available to them.

How would you promote the value of CPD?

In whatever capacity a civil engineer is working, up to date training and experience is vitally important to ensure that the best possible professional approach is being taken.  CPD allows those for whom we carry out the work, to see this professional approach and provides them with confidence and assurance of the best possible outcome.

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