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I have recently retired from local government as a chief officer after practising as a civil engineer for over 40 years.

During this time I have seen the stature and position of the civil engineering profession notably decline.

When I first went overseas, civil engineers, usually chartered, held the senior positions in the public works department. When I returned to the UK some 16 years later, qualified civil engineers also held the senior positions in local government technical departments.

When I retired as a director of environmental services I was the only civil engineer employed by the council. My successor is an environmental health officer so now there are none.

I do not believe that civil engineers are less qualified or less suitable to be technical managers than they were in the past. But I believe that their worth is unrecognised due to the lack of effort by the Institution.

If you compare what it does to enhance the profession with the RICS, RIBA, or the BMA, you will see why. These continually bring their professions to public notice through the media and so raise profile and position.

I only hope that some progressive younger engineers will revitalise the ICE and take it kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

Roger Gill (F),

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