'In September 2002, I wrote to all members of Council, regional chairmen and honorary secretaries, and the three executive secretaries, asking them to consider and propose candidates for selection as vice president for the 2004 session.
The Presidential Selection Panel is chaired by myself and comprises the immediate past president, succeeding vicepresidents and three members elected by Council.
The panel this year included vice presidents Doug Oakervee, Colin Clinton and Gordon Masterton, past president Mark Whitby, and Council members Annette Dentith, Brian Flynn and Peter Cameron (who did not attend meeting).
Details of the nominations received were distributed to all members of the panel prior to the meeting. Panel members were also provided with a list of all current and previous members of Council, ICE Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Honorary Fellows of the ICE.
At the meeting a long list was prepared which included all the nominations received from all who had responded prior to the meeting - including individuals who had not served on Council - as well as potential candidates identified by panel members from the lists of Council members and Fellows.
Before going further it was agreed that this list had a satisfactory mix of candidates to avoid a situation where four presidents in succession might have, for example, a consultancy background.
The detailed information available on each candidate was then considered by all the members of the panel and a preliminary grade assigned. This involved a considerable amount of discussion and debate before we arrived at the short-list.
I was pleased that we achieved a consensus in all cases.
A short-list of seven was drawn up for vice president succeeding.
Once all the candidates on this list had been discussed and agreed all panel members voted and a rank order resulted.
From the same list the procedure was repeated for nonsucceeding vice presidents. Again after discussion of each individual, voting was carried out and a rank order achieved.
It was agreed that I would approach the relevant individuals and I am pleased to report that both first choice candidates accepted after due consultation.'