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The new face of ICE Scotland

THE ICE has reacted swiftly and positively to the changes sweeping across Scotland's political landscape with the opening last March of its first ever permanent Scottish Office.

Formation of the Scottish Parliament was clearly the driver for this move and one of the main aims of the office is to form close links with the politicians, opinion formers and decision makers now congregating around the new seat of parliament.

ICE executive secretary for Scotland is Wylie Cunningham.

He has the job of making these new relationships happen and has just set out his post-devolution plans in Vision 2000, a document which he promises will be 'the start of a process not the finish'.

Vision 2000, he says, takes an important message to both the civil engineering community and to the new government in Scotland. The eight page document hopes to help ICE members understand Scotland's parliament and how it affects them.

But it will also give Scotland's 'key influencers' an understanding of the civil engineering profession, the role played by the ICE, and how it can be of relevance to them.

The document was published in August and has generated great interest from Members of the Scottish Parliament, with requests for more copies almost outstripping supply.

But quantifying the success of the project will not be easy. In the short-term improved press coverage and ICE involvement in MSP consultations will satisfy ICE communications director Alan Smith, a key player in the formation of the Scottish Office.

However, Cunningham's role does not end with politics. He also takes wider responsibility for the membership as defined by the ICE's Integrated Communication Plan for 2000 and beyond.

The plan hopes to 'equip, empower and motivate all members to promote their own profession and institution'. Cunningham is determined to discover why it is that 'in a profession that delivers solutions (engineers continue to) undersell themselves'. This he believes is fundamental, and will only be resolved by a complete reappraisal of the industry with open minds about the future.

Cunningham cites as examples the technological developments that are changing working environments, and moves towards 'portfolio careers' that will change working practices. What, he asks, will be the role of the professional body in 2020?

Scotland's 7,500 ICE members are, he believes, central to the effort required across the UK. He feels it is vital for ICE policy to be properly communicated across the region.

Boosting attendance at local meetings will be the key, Cunningham believes, building on the already positive desire of Scottish members to take a lead, not least those involved in the graduates and students committees.

Who's who

Gordon Masterton, chairman elect, Glasgow & West of Scotland Association Gordon Masterton is a director of Babtie Group. He became a director in 1993 and from 19951997 worked in the Far East establishing an office in Kuala Lumpur. Since returning to the UK he has led the group's work in bridges and building structures and advises on a number of PFI projects.

Masterton has been active with the Glasgow & West of Scotland Association almost continuously since 1981 and as a visiting professor at the University of Paisley is particularly interested in education and training.

He says that as chairman of GWSA his aim is 'to ensure the Institution recognises that its greatest strength is its membership in local associations and throughout the world'. He adds that 'we must continue to act in all members' best interests and particularly to deliver a service such that younger members will feel proud to be part of the premier civil engineering institution in the world'.

Alan Macauley, chairman elect, East of Scotland Association Alan Macauley is head of special projects at Edinburgh City Council and has been involved in major projects including Waterfront Edinburgh and the regeneration of 170ha of derelict land in the north of the city.

He is working towards the introduction of road user charging in Edinburgh, a project which is expected to generate £50M a year for transport investment in and around the city.

Making the Institution a 'vibrant and modern organisation' is Macauley's vision, and he sees this being achieved by 'making sure the works of the Association, its branches and specialist groups, are relevant to the needs of the membership'.

Macauley speaks positively of the creation of the ICE's Scottish Office and believes Cunningham to be 'already making significant progress in raising the profile of the Institution in Scotland'.

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