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'Worldwide institution' plans abandoned

ICE news

PLANS TO create a 'worldwide institution of civil engineers' in partnership with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) have been abandoned.

The plan, revealed two years ago by then chief executive Mike Casebourne, aimed to give the ICE and ASCE's 200,000 members instant access to a range of information via the internet, a facility that it was hoped would attract half a million practising civil engineers worldwide.

The aim was to enable members of the partnership to work easily anywhere around the globe, using a new international 'gold standard' qualification to gain international professional mobility.

Both parties invested ú500,000 to progress the scheme, but fundamental differences between the institutions - the ICE has powers to accredit engineers whereas the ASCE does not - have proved insurmountable.

'The excitement generated then does not exist today, ' ICE vice president international Doug Oakervee told Council. 'We continue to make progress, but we have a long way to go to find detailed ways in which we can work together, ' he said.

The ICE is instead focusing its international efforts in China and Russia, where membership continues to grow. There are now more than 350 members of all grades in Russia, with a further 15 professional reviews carried out in Moscow last month.

Egypt is also identified as a growth area, and an ICE office was opened in Cairo at the end of 2002.

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