I was privileged to attend the Site Engineer of the Year award ceremony at Great George Street last week with one of my staff who was nominated for the award. It is rare for engineers from our part of the UK to see the fantastic facility that is available to them at the ICE headquarters with its historical heritage, library and great hall.
I expected the speech from the new President-elect, Mark Whitby, to inspire and fill nominees with hope for the future of our industry. I was to be disappointed. He started by reminiscing about working for contractors, when it would appear his greatest achievement was as part of a team manipulating trade unions during proposed industrial action.
He continued by inviting the nominees to become members of the Institution and reaching the top of the tree by becoming consulting engineers.
While it is advantageous to join an Institution that has the interests of the industry at heart, surely these views are Victorian.
In our forward thinking, partnering industry, the top of the tree is the project manager working with a mutual respect for all at every level. In my view the most effective project managers come from contracting backgrounds and the contractor leads the most effective design-construct teams.
Steve Marshall, 132 Benfieldside Road, Shotley Bridge, Co Durham, DH8 0RT