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Role of the ICE

News: The question

?New Institution of Civil Engineers president Mark Whitby has big ideas for a major in-house shake up. He has questioned the role of the ICE Council and even the president himself.

What would you like to see happen?

It is about time the ICE got some real teeth and pulled itself into the real world. We complain about our poor status in the public perception while the Council is spending time discussing interior decoration. Civil engineers and their Institution need to be seen and heard in the media on a whole raft of issues - leading the politicians of this world.

Mike McConnell, 38, senior chartered engineer, Belfast

Certainly el presidente is on the right track. Other bodies - both public and private - have to prove that they provide best value, and Mark Whitby is only suggesting that the ICE brings itself up to date. The president should be more like a 'civil engineer of the year' than a potential member of the House of Lords. Council should be dealing with big issues, not housekeeping, and why the hell are they not accounting for their time - as every other manager and professional should?

Dave Morrish, 50, Stafford

While driving to work this morning I heard three references to 'a report published by the 'Institute' of Civil Engineers' regarding the need for spending on flood defences to double. This is the first time for years - if not ever- that I have heard mention of the Institution on national radio. The public profile needs to be much higher on current issues which directly affect the people of the UK and the rest of the world. Perhaps with more recognition we could even demand higher salaries!

I welcome anyone trying to shake off the grey image of the Institution but hope that it is done considerately and respectfully of those who made it what it is today.

When making wholesale changes and having a clearout we should be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater!

Brian Rousell, 29, site agent, Dartford

Make becoming a member less complex and time consuming. The ICE is excluding many talented, successful engineers who feel they cannot contribute to the Institution, because they are not members.

For example, I know an engineer who has been headhunted into a senior, very highly paid position responsible for managing a large chunk of the UK's railway infrastructure: he has achieved this in spite of having a young family and a working partner. This engineer is certainly talented, and definitely successful but has no time to navigate the convoluted route to membership.

The ICE has much to gain from the talent and experience of engineers like this and they should be granted membership today.

How? Have them proposed by 10 members and then admitted.

This would give the ICE a role in many more engineers' lives, bring new talent to the ICE and maintain a stringent peer check on those joining.

I would propose the engineer in my example - except that I am not a member either!

Jim Bell, 34, general manager, London

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