ICE PRESIDENT Mark Whitby was this week called to account for using his title while expressing personal views in a letter written to the Times newspaper.
Council called on Whitby to make a statement after a row erupted over a letter written to the Times on the financial crisis at nuclear generator British Energy.
In the letter Whitby made clear his opposition to the building of new nuclear power stations at the expense of further investment in renewable energy.
This view is at odds with those of many ICE members (Letters, NCE 12 September). And the ICE recently urged the government to build new nuclear power plants in its submission to the Policy & Innovation Unit's consultation on future energy policy.
Council challenged Whitby that his letter should have put a balanced view, representing the ICE as a whole. It also questioned whether any president should be allowed to write a personal letter in their capacity as president of the Institution of Civil Engineers.
Whitby replied: 'I believe it is essential that this Institution has a plurality of view, but I do believe that the president should have a view and this cannot be the view of everybody.
Whitby was supported by several Council members, including territorial member for the Midlands Rob Greenwood. 'We will be controversial. We must be heard, and we must be heard promptly.'