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First ‘Shaping the World’ lecture to be given in December

The ICE has confirmed it will be kicking off its “Shaping the World” lecture series in December, in partnership with Heriot Watt University and consultant MWH.

The lectures will focus on resilience, will be free of charge and held annually.

The first lecture titled “Getting into Shape”, will be held on 1 December at ICE’s One Great George Street headquarters, and will be delivered by ICE past president Paul Jowitt, who is professor of civil engineering systems at Heriot-Watt University. MWH Global strategy director David Smith will also speak and ICE senior vice president David Balmforth will chair.

“Getting into Shape” will focus on the crucial importance of infrastructure resilience for the developing and developed worlds. The lecture will look at vulnerability to a range of natural and other threats, the role of engineers in maintaining and creating resilient physical infrastructure, where the financial burden falls, and how we can better prepare for the future.

“Shaping the World” is raising funds for the lecture series and other activities via an appeal for donations which was launched last October. The initiative aims to bring together the best civil engineering minds across the globe to help alleviate the effects of challenges such as population growth and climate change. The intention is to ultimately ensure future infrastructure is resilient, adaptable and available to all. This will be through a number of projects themed around knowledge, influence, professionalism and inspiration.

The appeal has already attracted donations totalling £1M, and is funding other projects in addition to the resilience lecture series. One is Shaping Hong Kong’s Future - a report to be presented to the Hong Kong government exploring the issues surrounding low carbon living for a high density environment beyond 2030. The appeal has also paid for a new business centre at the ICE’s headquarters where ICE members can meet and share knowledge. The aim is to develop the space into a state of the art hub that facilitates debate and discussion on a wider scale.

Earlier this month, Princess Anne, who is the initiative’s patron, appealed for further support for “Shaping the World” at a dinner with senior representatives from the civil engineering and construction industries, consultants, grant making trusts and non-government organisations.

  • To get involved go to or contact
  • To attend the lecture or watch it online, go to or contact

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