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Stand up and be counted


Are you coming to Civils 2005- I hope so, because I am looking forward to playing my part, with you, in demonstrating the energy, creativity and sheer verve that exists in our industry that the wider public seems to have lost its appreciation of.

The show is four weeks away and I am getting really excited about it. We set out to create a place where civil engineers at all levels can meet, exchange ideas and create a buzz about the profession. And we have clearly achieved that.

We have over 200 exhibitors sharing their knowledge and innovations, a lively series of conference sessions, senior government ministers coming along, top designers speaking, and a whole programme of technical seminars.

NCE will be there, ICE will be there, the ICE president will be there. But most of all we will have Olympia in London full of civil engineers and their clients all sharing their enthusiasm for what they do. Thousands of you have pre-registered. The rest of you can too at www. civils. com.

Obviously I am going to say all this - because Civils 2005 is New Civil Engineer's show. But NCE is your magazine so Civils 2005 is your show too. It is your opportunity to celebrate your profession, your abilities, your skills and your achievements.

Every civil engineer says they want the status of the profession to be raised. It is now time to stand up and be counted.

New ICE president Gordon Masterton says in our profi le of him this week: 'What gets me angry is civil engineers that complain consistently about lack of status but do little about it themselves.' Masterton is planning to do a lot to help the cause this year but he will need some help.

Well, Civils 2005 is your chance to get out of the offi ce and do a bit of collective promotion of civil engineering. Any profession that wants to be taken seriously needs a platform from which to demonstrate its wares: This is it.

In case you are in any doubt about the need to create your own publicity I picked up this fascinating fact about Admiral Lord Nelson during last week's bicentenary celebrations of the Battle of Trafalgar. The man was an incredibly energetic self publicist; had to be to get on.

He was constantly writing to the newspapers telling them how great a sea captain he was, regardless of winning numerous battle honours.

Next year it will be 200 years since the birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel - the world's most famous engineer. Another set of remarkable achievements;

another studious self publicist.

Brunel's famous photograph against the chains of the Great Eastern is probably the finest example of Victorian spin.

Isn't it interesting that neither of these greats could rely only on a consistent set of winning results to garner the accolades and status they thought they deserved- They had to put themselves out there, make a fuss and shout 'look at me'.

We cannot all be Nelson or Brunel but neither can we sit in our offi ces and expect the public, politicians, and everybody else to celebrate what we do if we are not out there celebrating it for ourselves. Civils 2005 is your show, your opportunity to show off, to promote what you do and what you are. Put a date in your diary - Tuesday 22 to Thursday 24 November - to come along and join in.

Antony Oliver is editor of NCE

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