WHEN IT comes to continuing professional development - CPD - 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder', says the ICE. So long as your learning is structured and moves you towards a particular objective it does not matter in what form information is received and digested.
'CPD is about planning what you want to do to enhance your career, improve your job prospects and make your employer more competitive, ' says the ICE. 'CPD consists of all manner of things - going on courses, attending seminars, structured reading, conferences, talking to colleagues and experts, and visiting exhibitions. It's about research in and out of the office.
It's very loose.' The ICE requires members to clock up five days worth of CPD a year, and it is very much down to the individual to gauge the value of their research, and hence its contribution to their overall CPD targets.
A day spent at Civils visiting carefully targeted exhibitors offers the opportunity to gather valuable knowledge on techniques, technologies, methods, approaches to design, construction and maintenance, legal and financial issues, computer software and construction industry hardware.
Pre-selecting chnical seminars to attend, or booking onto one of the six conferences running at Civils, will offer a different kind of learning opportunity, the ICE says.
Continued learning is important for all engineers, but especially so for graduates looking to become full members of the Institution, or to members moving up to the grade of fellow - both have to display CPD records.
What is great about multifaceted, action-packed shows like Civils is that they offer something for everyone, says the ICE's CPD spokesman. 'CPD is all about what you get out of your experience at the end of the day.
The key question is 'what did I learn-'.' Working out a hit list for your day out at Civils is a good way of ensuring maximum value.
Additional information picked up through casual browsing in between seminars or en-route to seeing particular companies and people will be a welcome bonus.
. Golder Associates project manager Martin Peterson will provide solutions to minimise construction waste . Cofra UK managing director Mike Drew will be manning the geosynthetics manufacturer's stand.
. Faber Maunsell director Richard Cooke will be talking about quick bridge construction.
. Roger Bullivant director John Patch will be speaking on 'Foundations for the Olympics - Roger Bullivant carries the torch'.
. Docklands Light Railway director for Transport for London Jonathon Fox will outline DLR strategy for the London Olympics.
. Department for Transport head of traffic management Mike Talbot will look at the implications of the Traffic Management Act.
. Department for Transport rail projects director Graham Dalton will reveal government priorities.
. Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs' fl ood management head of engineering policy Linda Aucott will give an update on the Water Framework Directive.
. Government's Waste & Resources Action Programme aggregates project manager Mike Watson will illustrate ways of using recycled materials.
. Mouchel Parkman's Roger Kent, Graham Kilner and Chris Jones will be detailing different aspects of work done for local authorities.
Maths buffs take note: Cleverclogs 2005 champion Ben Gibson will be setting three 'maths trivia' questions for visitors to Civils. Pick up Gibson's 'Cleverclogs Maths Champion Challenge' questions from, and return your answers to, the ACO stand. The names of those who answer correctly will be put into a tombola, with . Celsa Steel director Alex Small will examine how the shortage of skilled reinforcement detailers and site fixers is driving forward rebar cage prefabrication.
. Aperio director Simon Brightwell will have details of the latest developments in machine based surface and subsurface condition and inventory assessments.
. Vibropiling specialist Pennine's principal geotechnical engineer Ondrej Synac will have advice and information about deep foundations techniques.
. WSP asset services manager Andrew Martin will explain knowledge based asset integrity - a risk-based maintenance methodology.
. Ian Anderson of Riegl UK will describe how laser scanning is being used to provide rapid visualisation of surface contours.
. Corus principal engineer Chris Dolling will have advice on weathering steel structures.
. Tony Gee & Partners principal engineer David Beadman will discuss the geotechnical design of underground stations using Eurocodes 1, 2 and 7.
. SGB chief safety adviser Neil Murray and formwork product manager Stuart Bamford will explain the new Working at Height Regulations.
winners drawn on the afternoon of Civils' third day, Thursday 24 November. For those who want to take on last year's Cleverclogs champ in head to head competition, good news:
Gibson is surging up the Cleverclogs league and expects to be on ACO's stand at Civils to defend his crown in two weeks time.