Quentin Leiper 2006-07 Weblog
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Quentin Leiper 2006-07 Weblog



The weblog records of Quentin Leiper, ICE President 2006-07

The weblog records of Quentin Leiper, ICE President 2006-07



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Quentin Leiper 2006-07 Weblog Document Transcript

  • 1. Quentin LeiperICE President 2006-7Weblogs
  • 2. Weeks one and two Canary Wharf Station and Green Park – both stations I’ve been involved in as a geotechnical engineer.Off to a great start Day 2 (Thursday 9 November 2006)Day 0 (Tuesday 7 November 2006) Carillion day. I spent some time responding to the wellThe formal handover started at 6pm, and I started my wishes I had received from friends and colleagues and alsoaddress at 6.30pm on the chime of the clock, nervous, but sent out a note to my Telford Apprentices to thank them forexcited and very proud. I delivered the address with the aid attending my address and to set them a first task. I will letof an autocue – not an easy task for someone accustomed you know how they get on.to speaking freely to slides – but the Presidential Addressis special. I completed the final words as the clock chimed Day 3 (Friday 10 November 2006)– a remarkable coincidence – and one which later raised Up at 5.45am to catch a train to Paris to visit ourcomments about the accuracy of my prediction to the Committee and members there. I took a call from oursecond! 111 Slides, 4 video clips and 7500 words is quite environmental helpline at 7am, and dealt with it just beforeexhausting, I am so glad I trimmed it down from the we entered the Channel Tunnel. Tom Foulkes was delayedprevious word count of 9800 words! at Waterloo and taken to Tottenham Court Road Police Station because of his “credit card toolkit” which police hadThe next task was to unveil my portrait assisted by Ben decided was an offensive weapon. I realise you can do a lotWilson who in his final year at school. He is keen to become of damage with credit cards – up until now it has only beena civil engineer and had asked to attend my address. John the bank balance which has suffered!Edwards (www.johnedwardsrp.com) was the artist. It isan amazing skill and I am delighted with the portrait After We were met at Gare du Nord, Paris by local associationthe unveiling, it was time to socialise and I spent the next Vice Chairman William Powles, who drove us to our hotel,two hours chatting briefly with as many people as possible, where we dropped off our bags before walking to a nearbynot easy when about 370 people attended the event. A restaurant, Le Bistrot Marius for a light lunch with the Localfantastic event, a fantastic day and a great demonstration Association Committee. Next stop was the Musée Du Quaiof the professionalism of the ICE events team, catering and Branly (www.quaibranly.fr). There we were given a mosthouse staff. Guests who had not visited OGGS before were excellent talk in French by Madame Danu Vanneyre, Chefseriously impressed by the building, its facilities and the de Programation Du Musée, and Monsieur Didier Braut,service. Chef du projet at L’atelier Jean Nouvel on the evolution of the project. Collection areas included an unpartitionedDay 1 (Wednesday 8 November 2006) geographical itinerary, presenting 3,500 artefacts from theUp at 7.15am to buy croissants, orange juice and fruit for four corners of the world.breakfast for the family. I went to OGGS for a briefing withOivind Grismo and Allyson Lewis from the Areas Team Local Association member Philip Garbutt provided afor my trip Paris on Friday. My second meeting at 10am “whispering translation” for some sections where Iwas with David Lloyd Roach, Director of Membership was finding difficulty in understanding the technicalwho brought me up to speed on our qualifications and presentations. Both presentations were excellent inmembership activities. At 11am I went on a tour to meet describing the development of the fantastic design byICE staff members. I was struck by their positive and happy international architect Jean Nouvel. The complexities of thestyle. At lunch time I briefly joined the regional Chairman’s design form had created real engineering challenges formeeting and addressed them briefly. I am very much looking geotechnical and structural engineers which of course wereforward to visiting the regions during my year of office. ably met by the civil engineers involved in the project. After the presentations we toured the museum – FANTASTIQUE!Following this brief encounter I went to the ThomasTelford offices and met their staff. On the tube I was asked Next I delivered my address in full, for a second time andfor directions by someone and it turned out he is a civil presented local association Chairman Christian Grandjeanengineer from the Czech Republic, so I suggested that he with his Fellowship Certificate and also a Presidential gift –visited the ICE at One Great George Street, handing him a a memento of Telford, our first President. There followedcopy of the NCE magazine in the process. We were joined about 30 minutes of questions and debate and I was onbriefly in discussion by an ICE member working for Scott the receiving end of some tough questions! I thought myWilson. What a coincidence that I should meet two civil readers might like to try a few too!engineers in this way on my first day! As well as a visit to 1
  • 3. So please feel free to add your comments on the following, industry who have fallen on hard times. It also supportsand I will pass them to our Engineering Policy team: impoverished students to study construction related subjects. Within minutes the 1250 attending the dinner1) Should the Institution encourage the government to had, between them raised approaching £20,000! Theincrease taxes on fuel, water and aggregates in order to auction of a mini car raised another £10,000. I was a guestreduce their consumption? of Bill Francis, past president of both the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Lighthouse Club…. Thank you Bill and2) Should the Institution promote a £10,000 tax for the Club for an excellent evening.detached houses to encourage people to live in blocksof flats - hence creating massive savings in energy and Day 7 (Tuesday 14 November 2006)materials? Dealt with my post and some papers. Meeting at 9am with Mark Broadhurst, Chairman of the Environment and3) What is the Institution and its members doing about Sustainability Board, and Engineering Policy and Innovationmentoring? Are we doing enough? Should we do more? If team members Andrew Crudgington (Policy Manager) andso – what should the Institution and its members do? Chrissie Pepper (Senior Policy Executive) to be briefed on the joint project we have to develop a sustainable developmentWe returned to our hotel at 11pm Paris time – a long but strategy and action plan for the civil engineering sector.“fantastique” day! Thanks to Robert Broatch for arranging This is a collaborative project with the Civil Engineeringmy first and most memorable presidential visit. A real Contractors Association, the Construction Industry Researchchallenge to our other regions and countries to match!). and Information Association (CIRIA), and the ConcreteGrateful thanks too for Christian as our excellent host, to Products Association. The objective of the strategy is toWilliam Powles for moving us to all the right places; to Philip help all those working in our sector to understand whatfor his whispering skills and his photography (and I am sustainability is all about and what (with simple guidance!)expecting to see some great photos!) My address starts with we can all do about it. Watch this space! I am delighted tothe words “good evening to the family of civil engineers” be asked to sponsor the project.– I really felt the family atmosphere and friendship in Paris –Thank you everyone! More meetings before lunch to discuss the developing plans for the Thomas Telford celebrations next year, the soon toDay 4 (Saturday 11 November 2006) be launched “down the drain” game for primary schoolsA public holiday in France to mark Armistice Day (11/11/45), and my own diary activities for the next month.Paris was full of people and Dorothy and I spent the day as Following lunch I attended the first Executive Board meetingtourists before catching our Eurostar train home. We arrived of the 2006/7 session. The substantive discussions were onhome tired, but still elated by the exciting week we had the 2007 budget (in preparation for discussion at Councilboth had. on 12 December 2006), the bylaw changes required to put the new governance structure into place (following theDay 5 (Sunday 12 November 2006) Council decision on this on 1 November) and a discussionA day of rest and needed! Time to catch up on household on the feedback from Council on our discussions with thejobs, play a little clarinet, see the children and relax. Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The protocol in these (indeed all) matters, is for the Executive Board to takeDay 6 (Monday 13 November 2006) soundings and prepare a discussion paper for Council toCarillion day back on the email system, so the 72 emails I debate.had written on the various train journeys over the weekendsped off into the ether and I turned my mobile phone on for Return home in time to play a little clarinet and meet upthe first time since Saturday to find 12 messages – luckily with friends for a late drink.not all required responses. The highlight of the day was ameeting with one of our young leadership groups to discuss Day 8 (Wednesday 15 November 2006)and initiate a special project for them based on the Business Carillion day.in the Community (BITC) Corporate Responsibility Index. I receive an email to advise me that the East of ScotlandLate pm train to London to attend the 50th Annual has now appointed a Telford Apprentice, Doug Forbes,Lighthouse Club dinner. And what an event! The so now we have 13! Welcome! Doug graduated from theLighthouse Club (www.lighthouseclub.org) is a benevolent University of Edinburgh in 2004 and last year started a PhDcharity which supports those in need in the construction in Construction Management at the University of Dundee. 2
  • 4. He is also going to co-ordinate the Scottish Demonstration infrastructure, then now is the time to consider enteringProjects - an opportunity to showcase innovation within the them for an award next year. I am sure that help could beconstruction industry. provided so that you can understand the format of the entries… mentoring by any other name!In the evening I meet up with the Reverend PrebendaryAndy Roberts, Team Rector of the Bridgnorth Churches My thanks and congratulations to the judges who have nowand rector of St.Mary Magdelene Church in Bridgnorth to judged the awards since their inception 9 years ago. Theydiscuss Telford celebrations being planned in and around are:Telford’s first church. ■ Professor Roland Paxton (PHEW) ■ Terry Girdler (English Heritage)I present him with a box of postcards of the Church as ■ Andrew Leadbeater (County Surveyors’ Society)a thank you for giving his permission to me to use a ■ Mike Winney (Editor-Emeritus of NCE)photograph of the church in my “Presidential Postcard”. Iam using these postcards to send a personal note to people Thanks too to awards secretary David Greenfield whoI come in contact with over the year. So far I have written coordinated the judging and provided those present with anover 40. My handwriting is not improving yet! excellent summary of the entries and winners and ICE’s Val Lawless, who provides administrative support and organisesDay 9 (Thursday 16 November 2006) the awards event and lunch in One Great George Street.Early train to London and just time to deal with some post Grateful thanks are also due for the event sponsorsbefore I meet with Ken Williams (Maintenance Supervisor) Network Rail, English Heritage and British Waterways andto discuss some alternative paintings and drawings for for the support and involvement of the County Surveyors’the President’s office. I go to places in One Great George Association.Street I’ve never been to before to look at options! At10am I meet with Roland Paxton, Vice Chairman of the ICE This event was a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate ourPanel for Historic Engineering Works (PHEW, remembered Institution’s involvement and support for such events.the name!). Roland briefs me on the “Historic bridge and I conclude the day with a meeting with Tom Foulkes and aInfrastructure” awards and this year’s winners. train journey home.Three excellent projects received commendations and two Day 10 (Friday 17 November 2006)projects won awards. Carillion day and a busy one. Two meetings (our Appeals and Sustainability committees)The two award winners were: and time to catch up on the day job. I was able to thankThe Fossdyke Railway embankment protection scheme in Jonathon Porritt, one of the external advisors on our BoardLincolnshire. This was an elegantly engineered “soft” and Sustainability Committee, for attending my address lastvery environmental solution… brilliant and the kingfishers week and handed him a full copy of the address and thewere saved too! accompanying slides (111).The Fritwell Railway Bridge assessment. This was a new Day 11 (Saturday 18 November 2006)and elegant method of analysing plate girder bridges. The Household, shopping, clarinet and hockey (we lost narrowly,method has saved client Network Rail millions of pounds. but enjoyed it).Both these projects and the commended “3” exemplifiedthe value of engineering knowledge and the benefits of Day 12 (Sunday 19 November 2006)sustainable solutions…. two of the key Telford legacies Cycle ride in the Wyre Forrest with the family and a musicI focused on in my Presidential address (have you read it lesson with my “music mentor”/ teacher Brad Robert.yet?).The Secretary to the awards, David Greenfield introducedthe projects and I had the pleasure of meeting with andpresenting the awards to the excellent teams responsiblefor their delivery. This was a fantastic event. We shoulddo more to celebrate our work as civil engineers andour excellent civil engineers of today! If you are workingon a project to refurbish or repair historic bridges or 3
  • 5. Week three delighted by a lovely letter from Professor Robert Mair who had attended my address. I finally got round to sending myDowning Street thanks to my new friends in the France Local Association.Day 13 (Monday 20 November) At 9.30am I met with a visiting delegation from theCarillion day. Sent off my first 2 weeks weblog. Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers led by their President, Martin Manuhwa. We discuss sustainability, the engineers’Day 14 (Tuesday 21 November) response to the Millennium Goals, our cooperationCarillion part day. Meeting with our graduate recruitment agreement, the African Engineers’ Forum, the potentialteam. for construction in Africa, skills shortages and the ways in which we can create mutual benefits for both ourTravel to London for an interview with Darell Smart from memberships. We have 85 members in Zimbabwe and ZIEICES (Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors) magazine. have about 100 members across all engineering disciplines.This was followed by a visit to 10 Downing Street, at the My next meeting was a discussion with Deborah Seddoninvitation of Cherie Blair. The Institution and the Royal (Education and Learning Manager) on ideas for the nextInstitute of British Architects have initiated and supported ACED/IStructE /ICE conference. ACED is the AssociationThe Green Wing project, working with a group of Year 11 of Civil Engineering Departments. The conference givesstudents (aged 15-16) from Cedar Mount High School, an the three bodies, plus other academics the opportunity toimproving inner-city comprehensive in East Manchester. discuss education matters. Education does matter! I will ofCherie had visited their exhibition in Manchester in course be promoting the sustainability agenda and will beOctober and was much impressed by their ideas and the interested to find out how well it is becoming embedded inway they presented them. The students were invited by our education of civil engineers.RIBA and ICE to take part in this unique project to designan environmentally friendly Prime Minister’s office and I sign my first membership certificate for David Richardresidence on Duck Island in St James’s Park, London. The Morgan, welcome David!resulting design gives politicians and the public a real More post and postcards and in the evening I am a guestinsight into what young people believe represents a suitable of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers at their annualcontemporary and sustainable residence for the Prime dinner. I meet with lots of their young engineers, includingMinister. 2 of their 4 “President’s apprentices”. The excellent after dinner speech by Mike Baunton of Caterpillar was aThe school students’ proposal was exhibited at the Labour splendid analysis of the real benefits and opportunities ofParty Conference in Manchester in October and again in St becoming an engineer.James Park this week. And what a fantastic project, withso many ideas! Their output was illustrated in drawings, Day 16 (Thursday 23 November)models, photographs and a film - and included plans for an Early start for a train from London to Wolverhampton for aunderwater cabinet room and a ‘panic room’, reflecting the 10am meeting on sustainability. Carillion day.students’ concern about security. Day 17 (Friday 24 November)I returned to the Institution to catch up on post and Holiday, Dorothy and I go Christmas shopping insignatures (certificates and some Christmas cards I am Shrewsbury. I fail to visit the castle and gaol… two of thesending out in my capacity as Chairman of the Benevolent projects, both refurbishments, which put Thomas TelfordFund). on the road to becoming the great civil engineer (pun not intended!).My next appointment was a Carillion one at the TateModern, where I attended the launch of our new TPS Day 18 (Saturday 25 November)consultancy. A great opportunity to meet up with great No hockey, our opposition had pulled out of the league.engineers, architects, clients, developers and promoters of Went to a lunchtime jazz event at the Black Boy inconstruction. Bridgnorth. Tried out the new “Bridgnorth Cheddar, cave cured” from the delicatessen…. It went down very well withDay 15 (Wednesday 22 November) the ale and jazz!Fruit for breakfast… I heard about Gordon’s 120 dinners!I did some reading and attended to more post. I was 4
  • 6. Day 19 (Sunday 26 November)More clarinet practice and, late pm a lesson… we are onsome Mozart at the moment. I learn that Mozart wrotetwinkle twinkle little star (at the age of 8!). Selected somegood apples to replenish the bags we leave at the gate forwalkers to collect. A friend comes to collect the last of thewindfalls for his horses. he takes a dozen enormous (andheavy) bags! Dorothy and I then rake and collect up the lastof the leaves. 5
  • 7. Week four Thank you to Alastair Andrew, General Manager and Bridgemaster and Barry Crawford for an excellentRegional visit to Scotland presentation and discussion.Day 20 (Monday 27 November) Our next visit was to meet with students and staff at HeriotCarillion day. Travel to London pm for retirement dinner Watt University. I summarised the main elements of myfor new Council Member Peter Jefferies and took the address (only one slide!) and showed a short video clipopportunity to have a meeting about the sustainable which shows why the sustainability agenda is so importantprocurement conference the Institution is holding in and demonstrates the big responsibility and opportunityFebruary and to catch up on my post and postcards. we, as civil engineers, have in delivering better and moreFantastic dinner with 10 of us and we raised £260 and 50 sustainable solutions.Euros for charity in the process. My Telford Apprentice, Doug Forbes, then delivered aNight sleeper to Edinburgh to embark on my first visit to a splendid presentation on what young engineers canregion. An experience! Bumps and squeaks abounded for and should do and we then all discussed the issues.a while and at times we glided so smoothly through the Contributions from James, Chris, Sophie, Peter, Alastaircountryside that I thought the train had stopped on one and George. I am impressed as to how switched on theseoccasion when I woke. students are. They were keen that sustainability targets were stretching and that the Institution and its membershipDay 21 (Tuesday 28 November) (77,000) showed leadership and exerted their influence inI was delighted to find the water was piping hot in the this area. Need I say more!morning and was able to make my breakfast meetingrefreshed. I reached the meeting early and met up with The party then travelled into Edinburgh city to meet withDoug Forbes, the Telford Apprentice for the East of Supervising Civil Engineers, the driving force of membersScotland Region. We were then joined by helping our younger engineers to become professionallyAlasdair Macleod (East of Scotland Chairman) and Drew Hill qualified. Our mentors, trainers and developers of the(Edinburgh Branch Chairman) who briefed me on my visit Telfords of tomorrow. I spoke about mentoring and Tomand the civil engineering issues in the region. Foulkes briefed everyone on CPD, training and development and our exciting plans for delivering engineering knowledgeFollowing a light breakfast (mainly fruit!) we set off for our to our members and society in the future (see my Addressfirst visit of the day to the Forth Road Bridge where we were and Council minutes for more details).given an excellent briefing on the case and urgency for anew crossing. Some tough questions and lively debate followed. We need more of these active and involved members! I wasInitially carrying just a “handful” of million vehicles a year, encouraged to learn that we could now reach 53% of ourthe bridge now carries 24 million exceeding its congestion members by email… are you signed up yet?limit every day. In addition the bridge is now carrying twiceits DESIGN live load of 2,880 tonnes (it’s OK, there is still In my final meeting of the day I joined the East of Scotlanda factor of safety of 2!).I was fascinated to hear that in a Regional Committee at their committee meeting. At its100 mile an hour wind, the bridge deck moves over 23 feet conclusion I was presented with a rivet from the Forth(sideways!). Bridge as a memento of my visit by Chairman Alasdair Macleod on behalf of the region and committee. Thank youMaintenance is becoming an increasing problem in both East of Scotland… and we were only half way through thecost and its severe impact on congestion. Two key issues are visit!surfacing and the cables. Axle loads and traffic volume havereduced road surface life from 25 to 8 years…and like other In the evening I was joined by Dorothy who had taken themajor suspension bridges there are emerging corrosion train from Wolverhampton and we had an hour to meetproblems (and strand failures), which need to be monitored up with Edinburgh University student son Edward for a fewcarefully. It is evident that some rapid thought and rapid minutes before changing for the Annual Dinner.decisions are needed to deliver a new Forth crossing beforelorry traffic is severely reduced and communities and Hosted by Chairman Alasdair Macleod and organisedcommerce on the north side suffer as a consequence. by Clive Kennedy, it was a splendid occasion. I present some awards, including the fourth Spirit of Telford Award 6
  • 8. to Ian Salisbury. Ann Faulds, Head of Transportation & weeks to enable the students to tackle a hurricane disasterPlanning Law at Dundas & Wilson proposed the toast to the recovery activity modelled on one in Honduras.Institution, to which I replied (17 minutes, and yes, therewas a sweepstake at one of the tables I later spoke with!). Great briefings, discussions, planning and training over two weeks enabled the students to take part in a one day multiI was of course promoting the value of engineering activity day, building and testing shelters, restoring waterknowledge, the sustainability agenda and the need to supplies, foraging and cooking disaster food (I describe theenergise, mentor and develop young members for the circumstances here, not the taste!). For the students it wasbenefit of the profession AND society. ”not like school”, “better than school” and “fantastic”, for the teachers as it was delivering the curriculum in a veryInternational footballer, sports commentator, writer and different, yet very exciting way.raconteur Gordon Smith responded to the toast to theguests, delivered by Drew Hill, Chairman of the Edinburgh The teachers turned multidisciplinary. Great teams wereArea branch. built. Commitment was 100%. What an achievement… what influencing skills and drive Brian had shown toDay 22 (Wednesday 29 November) persuade his head teacher to take such a risk. What visionWe set off at 9am for Edinburgh Airport to see the new that head teacher had shown. And what a success it has all57m high landmark control tower building. As exciting as been! Great for the school, great for the teachers, great forthe lighthouses of old and unsurprisingly, an award winner. the students and great for promoting engineering!In fact THE award winner in the Saltire Awards. The viewfrom the top is just stunning. On the sunny and clear day A geography teacher was speaking Spanish to students,we could see for miles and, with the two Forth crossings in who were enjoying maths without realising it! Fundsthe distance, looked down on the runways and taxiways. were raised for one of the villages affected in HondurasThe right tool for the demanding job of safely directing the (a commitment which is continuing) and above all else,aircraft, and an elegant and well engineered building. everyone had FUN.Late morning we set off for Carnoustie to meet with the And it is spreading, as good news does. There was more.Dundee Branch and be briefed on their schools initiatives. Angela Gardner explained how she took on the challengeWe were joined by representatives from local universities, to run the project at Pitlochry High School. She explainedCareers Scotland and local education authorities. the hard work needed to prepare and run the event and the essential input from engineers. She explained with passionThere was real WOW factor in the first two briefings from the excitement of the students and staff alike and the realJohn McPartlin who explained how school children were and measurable benefits delivered. She could have been aenthused by building and dismantling a purpose built 15 star actress playing a part, but she was not, she was tellingmetre suspension bridge, and walk over it all in a one hour it from the heart. And 20 more schools are now in planninglesson session! to take on the “Rapid Response Challenge”.David Kennedy from the Aberdeen Association of Engineers I was knocked out. It was humbling to see what had beenthen briefed us on their “Engineering for Life” festivals, achieved.once again energising and enthusing young people aboutengineering. By now I was pretty impressed and would have I immediately made a commitment to help spread the wordleft encouraged and amazed by the great mentoring skills and to help the challenge become national. Ideas from anyand efforts of our members. readers would help and please do spread the word to other schools about this… well worth a look. I’ve dropped anAnd then, and then… we went ballistic! email to NCE editor Antony Oliver about it too. I will also be getting together with Alasdair Macleod and his team to seeBrian McArtney presented the Rapid Response Engineering how we can help more.Challenge. An ICE and Carnoustie High School special!Teacher Brian McArtney, ICE members Alasdair Macleod Mentoring delivers results! What an achievement!and Ian Martin and John Smith (CIOB) have produced aneducational experience. Brian, with young secondary school The day was not over. Tired, but elated, we all went tostudents Ciara, Samantha, Jack and Danny (the resident Dundee to meet with members and students at Discoverycomedian!) explained how school was cancelled for two Point. 7
  • 9. We passed a full café as we approached the Point and I you (and I assume the Institution) doing?” I am asked. Isoon realised it was full of students (and members) enjoying suggest we all need to do something… lots of small brickstea and sandwiches before my presentation. Incredibly they in the wall! Thanks to Ross, Kate, Martin, Edward andall moved into and filled the lecture theatre. Natalie and Russell for your contributions to the discussion. I leave knowing that civil engineering has some future stars!I spoke for about 40 minutes (50 slides this time after aquick cut from the 111 in my address) and there followed We drove to Ayr for our next appointment. The Glasgowanother excellent presentation from Telford apprentice and West of Scotland Region had noted that the famousDoug and some lively discussion on training, mentoring and road builder John Louden Macadam was born 250 yearsthe sustainability agenda. ago this year and wanted to celebrate this with a plaque on the house where he was born.Thank you Neil for the link to innovation, and to Peterand Frances for your contributions. I enjoyed the event We met with Provost, Winifred Sloan, Chief Executive Tomimmensely and valued the contributions and the social and Cairns and engineers from South Ayrshire Council andengineering chats afterwards as we took on more snacks Institution members for lunch and some brief speeches priorand fluids. to braving the rain to perform the unveiling ceremony.The evening closed with a small group taking a light meal Coincidently, the owner of the flat above the Touristback at our hotel. An opportunity to thank Doug for joining Information Office on the ground floor of the buildingthe Presidential visit, Walter and Murray for the architectural arrived just as we had unveiled the plaque and invited thetour they provided for Dorothy and Tom Foulkes’ wife Sally party to tour the building’s interior. I was most taken byand the Dundee team for such an excellent and uplifting the curved wooden doors on the circular staircase: realday. attention to detail in design! We returned to Glasgow to change for the biggest Institution dinner in the world, as itDay 23 (Thursday 30 November) was claimed later in the evening.8.20am train to Glasgow. Tom Foulkes and I discussInstitution business. On arrival, we are met by Glasgow and Some 900 members and guests were in attendance.West of Scotland Chairman Alan Simpson and drop our During the pre-dinner drinks I was delighted to have thebags off at the hotel. opportunity to present Professor Hugh Sutherland with a ”President’s Gift” and a copy of my address (complete withDorothy and Sally head for the retail therapy apparently slides). Well, he had given me plenty of notes to read overrequired and Tom and I go with Alan to the Rankine the years I was one of his students! Back to the dinner. ItBuilding at the University of Glasgow. We are met by was a fantastic event and I admit to being slightly nervousProfessor Simon Wheeler, Head of Department and a fellow about addressing an audience of this scale.geotechnical engineer. I spent a great deal of my studentdays in this building, so it was a great pleasure to return to Our Regional Chairman Alan Simpson showed no sucha place with so many memories. nerves despite having the daunting task of addressing the haggis, which he did with fire and emotion…. an awesomeThis morning I was meeting with students and staff from performance! He has a talent which will provide him withCaledonian, Strathclyde, Paisley and Glasgow Universities as many Burn’s night dinners as he could wish for (a newand Stow College. I summarised my address in 10 minutes career Alan?). Perhaps that is the destiny of all the region’sand show one slide and the two minute sustainability video chairmen. The Glasgow dinner expects every chairman toclip. Next the region’s Telford Apprentice Alex Feretzakis do his duty. Alan performed his magnificently.stepped in to inspire the group with his enthusiasm abouthis experience and the career opportunities ahead. Soon Dr. Malcolm Reed, Chief Executive of Transport for Scotland, was proposing the toast to the Institution. ByThe floor was then open to questions and discussion now I was at ease and delivered the reply on behalf ofranging across world poverty and development work, the Institution. This time, in deference to the Glasgowmillennium goals, engineering course content, global audience’s preference for brevity, I spoke for probably onlywarming, sustainability and the need to enthuse and 10 minutes. I presented some awards, including the fourthmotivate all young engineers. Spirit of Telford Award to Ian Salisbury. After the meal I was able to relax and enjoy somethingThe final point was becoming a regular theme. “What are stronger than the H2O which had sustained me all evening 8
  • 10. while I toured the room with Dorothy chatting to friends oldand new. As with the Edinburgh dinner, I felt a welcome Tired, but elated, Dorothy and I head for the train home.and warmth that makes you appreciate the fellowship ofour Institution. Another fantastic day. I finish the day with a glass of Macallan, from a bottle kindly presented to me by Alex, and listening to jazz singer MelodyDay 24 (Friday 1 December) Diachun (Lullaby of the Leaves). A fitting close to a fantasticThe day started with yet another event I was privileged to trip to Scotland. Good luck with the bid everyone!attend. Together with committee members and membersfrom the Region, I was invited to a presentation from the Day 25 (Saturday 2 December)Glasgow team bidding for the Commonwealth Games Play clarinet and hockey. In the evening at the hockeyin 2014. Would I back the bid? Should the Institution? club we celebrate one of our young players who has justABSOLUTELY!! been selected for the England Under 16 squad. A great achievement, well done David Devey!Yet again this week I experienced a real WOW factor. Ourhost was Ian Bruce (Member), Head of Policy, Planning and Day 26 (Sunday 3 December)Projects at Glasgow City Council. He is leading a fantastic Play clarinet and some saxophone. I respond to blogteam (I note that I need to get a new dictionary with lots feedback on the web and deal with some ICE and Companymore superlatives in, everywhere I go as President I meet emails. Dorothy and I have a long and windy walk. Musicexcellence). lesson. Sorting shoes and shirts for next week (cleaning and ironing!).We were treated to a series of polished, professional andcomprehensive presentations which left me excited andenthused about the bid. What vision and clever thought hadbeen given to developing existing facilities and the legacyissues. Athletes, media, spectators and Glasgow citizenshave all been carefully considered… and the workinglives and commerce of Glaswegians will be enhanced, notdisrupted. My congratulations to the bid team.Rob Shorthouse, George Vincent, Martin Waters and EimearKelt were the excellent presenters. They described thecomplexities of the logistics, the “green” and sustainableapproach adopted, the incredible planning and indeedthinking and lateral thinking in delivering the facilities,transport, communications and accommodation (includingfood!). I was exhausted just by the thought of it all.Following the presentations, we visited the proposed site forthe athlete’s village. Again a great deal of thought has beenput into the use of the facilities following the games, if thebid is successful (be positive…when successful!). A greatopportunity to deliver regeneration in this city.The (11,000) athletes accommodation (all bedrooms anden suite facilities) will be converted back to housing. Sobedrooms become kitchens, bedrooms will become loungesand (the most fundamental statement I heard all day)bedrooms will be bedrooms!In summary, the team is inspired. Those of us present wereall inspired too. What an opportunity for civil engineers tohelp deliver a great games… so back the bid!www.glasgow2014.com 9
  • 11. Week five Who are EWB? I hope by now you have diverted onto theirRegional visit to Northern website for a few minutes of inspiration. Student driven, 16 branches and 1,400 members. Note here a shortage ofIreland engineers… and here are some who stick their heads abovePosted: 11/12/2006 the parapet and actually do something!! Employable or what! We discuss some ideas as to how the EWB awarenessDay 27 (Monday 4 December) level could be raised and I challenge Robin to help me putCarillion & ICE mixed day. Train to London. Useful time to some key people around a table to discuss these ideaswrite thank you postcards and catch up on emails. At One further and to develop more. Thank you Robin for takingGreat George Street I sign certificates and attend to more the initiative.post and emails. I just make it a little late to my dinner, a small group ofTom Foulkes and I then attend a Royal Academy of constructors, planning experts and lawyers, hosted byEngineering Luncheon with RAE President Lord Browne Andrew Hibbert of lawyers Pinsent Mason. We discuss theof Madingley and other Presidents and Chief Executives/ construction market, the problems which arise in contractsDirector Generals of the major engineering institutions. Lord and the importance of recognising and addressing technicalBrowne had called us together to discuss how we can make and contractual problems early. Engineers need to beengineering more central to society. proactive! Andrew asked what lawyers could do to help address the climate change and sustainability agenda. AHe challenged us to ask why we should do this and how we fundamental question, and one which will I believe lead toengineers could become catalysts in areas of the economy a business opportunity for the law companies who ask thiswhere it is developing in the future. In addition, how could and find the answer. Thank you Andrew.we attract the great engineers of tomorrow to join ourengineering professions and deliver the challenges we face Day 28 (Tuesday 5 December)- the very security of the planet! We debated the priorities Early start (6.30am) to respond to emails and then intoand set an action plan to start addressing them. the Institution before 9am for a series of meetings. First a briefing and discussion on the Council papers for ourThe first focus will be on climate change and energy. I meeting of 12 December. Then a briefing on my trip to thedo not want to steal the RAE’s thunder by writing too Northern Ireland Region and a meeting to discuss invitationsmuch detail just yet, so watch this space for further for the Annual Dinner. This will be hosted by the Westdevelopments! I have a good feeling that progress will be Midlands Region this year on 1 March.made. Then followed two more meetings. The first was one ofReturning to the Institution, Tom and I hold a brief meeting my regular “update” meetings with Tom Foulkes and theto update IMechE on the Council’s guidance on our closer second was a briefing on the Benevolent Fund from Williamworking initiative and received some criticism about my Kemp. I was chairing their meeting in the afternoon andaddress. This was followed by a visit to RedR’s offices to really appreciated William’s help in understanding the issueshand over the charity money raised last Monday. Note it in more detail. It is good to talk and the briefing turnedwas split between two charities. 2D minutes into a 3D picture for me. Excellent, thank you William!Back to the day job and then a brief meeting withour communications team about the Rapid Response I then joined the Benevolent Fund Committee for lunchEngineering Challenge. and chaired the meeting. What excellent work it does distributing over £600,000 to members, former membersMy final meeting of the day, at short notice, was with Robin and their dependants in need of our help. The beneficiariesCampbell. In the NCE Graduates Awards last week three of are ALL ages… so don’t forget to let your family know therethe six finalists had donated their prize money to Engineers is a listening ear and some REAL support. So many movingWithout Borders. That evening another six organisations stories. It was a humbling experience. Returned home too“signed up” and a further £12,000 was pledged! Robin was late and tired to blow clarinet.bursting with enthusiasm and came in to the Institution tolet me know. 15 minutes turned into 45 and I was gettinglate for my next event! 10
  • 12. Day 29 (Wednesday 6 December) Day 30 (Thursday 7 December)Left home at 6am for a flight to Belfast with Dorothy to The day starts with a visit to the Parliament Buildings atstart our visit to the Northern Ireland Region. We were met Stormont. A fantastic building and terrific value for £1.7by Regional Manager Wendy Blundell and whisked off to a million!meeting with members in senior positions and consultants,contractors and clients hosted by NI Region Chairman John We then go to Harland and Wolff for a briefing by DavidMcMillen. McVeigh on the docks, the cranes, the regeneration and the reinvigorated Harland and Wolff business. Ship buildingWe discussed students, skills, recruitment, attracting and has been carried out on the site since the 16th century.retaining staff. This was all in the context of a booming H&W can no longer compete in the “big ship” business, soeconomy and construction market in Northern Ireland. I they have turned to refurbishment, servicing and specialistwas delighted to hear the importance everyone placed on design and build work. There are so many parallels withmentoring, developing and motivating their staff. There the construction industry. Design excellence, prefabrication,was considerable discussion about qualifications and complexity is their core marketplace. So look out for thethe need to encourage more contractors to promote the jetty link in Liverpool, the James Joyce Bridge in Dublin, thebenefits of chartered status (AND HENCE PROMOTE THE Foyle Bridge and lots of offshore windfarms!INDIVIDUAL!!). The highlight of the visit was undoubtedly a trip up Goliath,There were concerns about those graduating with BEng one of their two giant cranes (the other one is Sampson. Idegrees who did not understand their route to Chartered guess you could have guessed that!). Lifting 840 tonnes andEngineer status. This also was one of the issues the spanning 110 metres between rails it is indeed impressivegraduates and students were to raise the following day. and the view from the top was incredible. Even the 50m wide, 350m long dry dock looked small.The next event was a trip to Maze/Long Kesh. We arejoined for this and the rest of the presidential visit by We thanked hosts Joris Minne and David McVeigh andTelford Apprentice Patricia McElduff. This of course was a dashed to our next meeting with Nigel Hamilton, Headplace of internment and imprisonment for many decades. of the Civil Service, and senior colleagues at StormontWith prisoners and internees long gone, it was now a Castle. We discussed the major (£16 billion) investmentregeneration site. A massive 360 acres for development into programme in Northern Ireland for the next 10 years anda stadium, housing, a reconciliation centre and business. the opportunities and need for civil engineers and civilKate McCulloch gave us a real insight into the living engineering in its delivery. We were all delighted to hearconditions, the development of the facility and the real that sustainability will be a fundamental element of thisstress everyone there was under. Staff, prison officers, the programme. Northern Ireland is indeed a vibrant andarmy and the “residents”. A moving experience. I cannot confident region!put into words my feelings. By now we were overrunning our programme and weThe phrase which came to mind really refers to the violence arrived a little late to meet up with graduates and studentsand actions which brought so many to the Maze, “man’s at the Belfast Sewers project. I gave a short summary ofinhumanity to man”. How can a sophisticated society breed my Presidential Address and then opened the floor to aso much hate and violence? Like many others, I do not discussion on the sustainability agenda and what we ascondone violence of any sort. Like many others, I wonder engineers can and should do. We all then went into workhow we can work together to avoid it. I feel helpless, but I group mode and were split into four groups to discuss fourguess we must all lead by example in our own lives and try issues of concern to the graduate and student members into influence others to do the same. Northern Ireland. We discussed:The regeneration of Maze/Long Kesh provides a greatopportunity for civil engineers and for the whole Northern ■ earlier qualifications/barriers to early qualificationIreland community. Thank you Kate. ■ G&S expectations of the Institution ■ ICE voting rights for G&S membersIn poignant mood, we all return to Belfast to attend the ■ governance of the InstitutionRegional Committee meeting. I say a few words and amstruck by the energy, enthusiasm and bonding of the A spokesperson summarised the thoughts of each groupcommittee. The evening closes with an informal meal with and there followed more discussion. Simon Wells, whomembers and committee. I meet a fellow kite enthusiast! chaired the meeting expertly, introduced David Spiers 11
  • 13. of Farrans who gave the group a presentation on the dinner. I was the only one who did not know that we wereBelfast Sewers project. £91 million of tunnelling, shafts all to dress as Father Christmas. Terrific evening; thankand pumping stations. All this talk of shaft sinking, you Captain Simon for organising it. Despite the goal lastground conditions, diaphragm walls, tunnelling machines week, I had been dropped a team (promotion I called it!)and settlement calculations was music to the ears of and enjoyed a 3-1 victory. Someone from the oppositiongeotechnical engineers! I remembered well my own purloined our three match balls, which left a sour taste.experience in all these activities over the years. Day 33 (Sunday 10 December)Thanks to the DRD Water Service for providing the venue Clarinet, household stuff and late Christmas lunch with thefor the meeting and for Roisin Stewart, the G&S chairman Bridgnorth Wine Club. We are not members, but are greatand her committee for organising the event and the visit. friends with several of the 12 members. Three of them (only one a member) had come to my address on 7 November.I challenge Roisin and Patricia to produce a briefing note The President of the club noted that after 18 years thereon the work group output and set Patricia the task of had only been a marginal improvement in their wine tastingcirculating this to the Telford Apprentices for them to skills. There is obviously a need for the club to continue itsconsider and add their own thoughts. Patricia will then educational programme!coordinate the production of a second 800 word briefingnote giving the “Telford” view. This will be the “Telfords”second task.The day concluded with the Annual Dinner at the EuropaHotel. A splendid occasion, organised by Nick Fletcher,which had over 760 applications for the 550 places! Yetagain we see ”innovation Northern Ireland”. For this dinner,the initial speeches are after the starter course. Roisin gavethe toast to the Institution; a very polished and confidentperformance. I responded to the toast and was then ableto relax and enjoy the evening. An excellent dinner, andanother opportunity to celebrate one of our most excellentcivil engineers. I was particularly delighted to present myfifth “Spirit of Telford” Award to Alan Strong, he had noidea that he had been nominated and that the NI RegionCommittee and the Vice President’s Panel had made theaward. The award met with acclaim from the 550 present.Thank you Chairman John, Regional Manager Wendy andeveryone for a splendid visit.Day 31 (Friday 8 December)Carillion day. I receive news that the Telford Apprentices’800 word briefing note has been accepted for publication inthe Institution’s proceedings. Congratulations Telfords!This was Task One, set on day two, to produce 800 wordson what young civil engineers can do to help deliver thesustainability agenda.I set Task Three. Sally Waters from the South West Regionis taking the lead on this one. More news on this later. As ahint, has anyone seen the film Flushed Away yet?Day 32 (Saturday 9 December)Clarinet, hockey, writing blog and hockey team Christmas 12
  • 14. Week six and Claire Tansley to submit an 800 word briefing note to our Institution proceedings. Unfortunately I only had timeSustainability and my first to stay for the first two presentations. Both excellent. The first was on engineering recruitment and developmentCouncil meeting and the second on the assessment of sustainability within engineering projects.Day 34 (Monday 11 December)Carillion day. Matt Humphrey and Alan McKay are producing a bestpm travelled to London to host a dinner to discuss corporate practice guide on the first topic by April 2007. Does yourresponsibility and sustainability with leaders of contractors, company value sustainability knowledge and/or train andconsultants and academia. My special guests were Julia reward people in this area? Is it a part of the recruitmentCleverdon, Chief Executive of Business in the Community process? Does your sustainability reputation actually helpand Sir Neville Simms. Neville had not been able to attend you recruit graduates and other staff? If not WHY NOT?my Presidential Address, so I presented him with a Spirit of The second project looked at the tools available and askedTelford award in recognition of his significant contribution if these actually do make choosing the sustainable optionin delivering the sustainability agenda at a business and a easier and cheaper. The message was that we need simplenational level. tools and guidance and we need to tune them to our own needs. Well done Alistair Geddes and Andrew Coen!Day 35 (Tuesday 12 December) This is great work and I look forward to the final output.Fruit for breakfast and the usual signing, postcards and I regretted not being able to stay for the presentation ofemails before my first meeting at 9am with Kim Woolger the 2007 projects by Beccy Taylor, Liz Meddings and Peterto discuss a presentation sack (sustainable!) for the Spirit Wilkie, but intend to invite them for a chat and discussion inof Telford Awards and presidential gifts. We then went on the New Year.to discuss the planning for a briefing and workshop day forthe Telford Apprentices at the end of January. A brisk walk back to the Institution for a meeting with Finance Committee Chairman David Hutchison, Senior ViceThese “Telfords” as I will now call the collective group are President David Orr and Director General Tom Foulkes.an enthusiastic lot. If any of them read this and send me Following this I dashed out to Strutton Ground to arrange100 words, I’ll drop them into my blog next time! That will for a takeaway for later that evening.check if they actually have time to read this too! Kim is Back in OGGS I managed 10 minutes at the Council buffetcoordinating the Telfords from OGGS (One Great George lunch before we all assembled on the stairs for the CouncilStreet). We also discuss ideas for a final report for next photograph. Terry Chambers has been taking the CouncilNovember and possible presentations to regional members photo for 30 years so he knew how to sort out 50 movingand of course G&S members. and chatting councillors, quieten them down and even getMy next meeting was with David Kerr, chairman of the them to smile on queue.Energy Board. Correctly titled, they are indeed energetic andvery delivery and output focussed. I am seriously impressed. Next we trouped into the Council room and I chaired myWe also discuss the new Energy Journal for which David first council meeting. 50 councillors, directors, observers andis the founder editor and Chairman of the editorial panel. the press. I had not chaired a committee this big before, butWe discuss the “challenges” of getting a new journal off had chaired the Rankine lecture, an event with 750 present.the ground and I share some of my experiences from the The difference was that 50 councillors, as Trustees, form theEngineering Sustainability journal. The papers for the first decision making body of our great Institution. My job wasissue sound terrific. to make sure we dealt with the business of the Institution within a reasonable timeframe, but also giving trustees theI dash from that meeting to Northumberland Avenue to opportunity to express their views. With 50 people who areattend the start of an “Engineers for the 21st Century” amongst the leaders and future leaders of our profession noseminar. Here I meet Heidi Parkes who manages the mean task!!programme, combining Forum for the Future’s (http://www.forumforthefuture.org.uk/) expertise with companies and Our first task was to elect the next President. No problemsome of their brightest and best to tackle the sustainability there. David Orr was elected with acclaim. You will recallproblems our industry faces. I had arrived in time for a 5 that Council voted to change our governance arrangementsminute coffee before the event started and in that time at the last council meeting. The main changes being toreceived a commitment from Matt Humphrey, Peter Wilkie reduce the size of Council from 25 to 15 general members, 13
  • 15. confirming one member from each region and providing better by improving design and construction throughrepresentation for our international areas. The discussion learning from structural safety problems and failures. Weon by-law changes exceeded my “estimate” by a factor of discuss how more contractors could engage and how the2…. but was entirely justified. Thanks Gerry and others! The scheme and its benefits can be better communicated. Werevisions sought by Council will give us a much improved have a plan!... watch this space… and if you have looked atrevision. As members, you will all be given the opportunity the sites and can offer some ideas to address help promoteto vote on them next year.. once the Council has approved CROSS and bring more case records in, then please let methe final wording. We also debated the budget, working know.with our neighbours and pre-19 educational initiatives, the“Flushed Away” game (I gave all Councillors a copy of the On the train home I write 20 postcards to thank those Igame, with a request to take it into a primary school and have met up with this week and last week. There are moregain some feedback on it). to write over the weekend! The Telfords are beginning to mentor me! …and Katerina(http://www.ice.org.uk/knowledge/newsdetail_ice.asp?New sets Task 4 to keep them busy over the Christmas break.sID=732&NewsType=ICE&FacultyID=5) Day 37 (Thursday 14 December)With a little more “AOB” than I was expecting, the meeting Carillion day. Fire alarm went off (set off by a contractor inclosed at 5.50pm and we all moved into the Smeaton room the building I suspect) so the day’s exercise was to climb 7for a celebratory drink to mark Patrick Griffin’s retirement. flights back up to my office.Patrick has been the Council officer for 10 years, runningthe DG/President’s offices and been a pillar of strength on Day 38 (Friday 15 December)all matters relating to the operations and processes of the Carillion day. Today was a “double” joint role for me as IInstitution’s Council and Executive Board. With a clutch of was jointly opening a new bridge over the River Severn withVice Presidents in London, I took the opportunity to invite Shropshire County Council Cabinet Member, Barbara Craig,them back to the presidential flat for a takeaway meal and in my capacity as Institution President. I was also there asgain some feedback on my performance. We also discuss one of the supporting team from Carillion, who had builtLord Browne’s initiative for the engineering institutions to the bridge. And what an elegant structure! 89m betweenget together to help Government to address and solve some abutments, with a central span of 48m it replaces a previousof the climate change problems we are all facing. bridge and is the main foot, equestrian and cycle link between the villages of Highley and Alveley. Some 80 localDay 36 (Wednesday 13 December) people, school children (including the winners of their ownDealt with my post and some papers. Meeting at 9.30am bridge building competition) and many of those involved inwith Rosanna Webb and John Green from McAlpine to the bridge project were present. The weather was mild anddiscuss the corporate responsibility agenda. Next Allyson our host Mark Blunt opened the proceedings, introducingLewis and Neil Bailey briefed Tom and I on our forthcoming Barbara and me to say a few words before the ribbontrip to South Africa in January. cutting. We were joined in this task by Sarah and Alex whoAt lunch David Orr and I meet John Baxter, Senior Vice represented the schools each side of the River.President of IMechE to discuss perspectives on the role of aPresident of a major institution. A new bridge in Shropshire and a new bridge over the River Severn is a significant event locally, so we were joined byAfter lunch I meet with Alistair Soane who briefed me County Councillors, District Councillors, residents (who hadon the work of SCOSS and the scheme for Confidential a say in the bridge design.. voting for their preference!) andReporting on Structural Safety (www.scoss.org.uk/cross). local MP Philip Dunne.Founder supporters include ICE and IStructE and it wasaimed at members of these institutions who have concerns Returned the 8 miles to work from home for the rest ofabout all aspects of structural safety. It has also proved the day. Congratulations to Project Manager Ian Smith forto be of interest to building control officers! The web site delivering such a splendid project! Barbara takes a copydescribes the scheme and incorporates the 4 newsletters of “Flushed Away” to take into the primary school she isthat have so far been published. Procedures are based on governor of. She promises to provide feedback from thethose of CHIRP, the UK confidential reporting system for the teachers and children.aviation and maritime sectors, which in turn is derived fromthe NASA aviation reporting system. Both these initiativeswill help our profession to help itself and serve society 14
  • 16. Day 39 (Saturday 16 December)Buy Christmas tree. Hockey cancelled, but on the plus side,I am able to drop into the Black Boy to listen to jazzmenKeith Nichols and Enrico Tomaso. I sup Shropshire Lad andtype blog!. Late pm I go to the Hockey Club to draw the“200 Club” prizes for the year. 117 prizes and quite a lot ofadmin to look after it all… so I will have plenty to do overthe Christmas break!Day 40 (Sunday 17 December)Check progress on my barn repairs and bring the treeinto the house now it is dry. Cook lunch and finish off theChristmas cards for those friends we do not see regularly.I prefer the charity donation alternative instead of sendingcards to people I see regularly. Clarinet lesson… must getback on the saxophone over the Christmas break. 15
  • 17. Week seven and eight I next met with 4th year Nottingham University student who is doing a final year project on measuring sustainability forChristmas carols and last projects. Feeling unwell (food poisoning yesterday), I had already postponed my pm meeting with poverty charity bossminute shopping Camilla Toulmin from IIED http://www.iied.org/aboutiied/ index.html) It turned out she was caught up in the flightDay 41 (Monday 18 December) delays caused by fog and was probably not going to makeCarillion day. Number one son returned from Edinburgh the meeting anyway. I travel home feeling sorry for myself.University for the Christmas holiday. Note term finished on6 December! Day 45 (Friday 22 December) Carillion day. Early meeting followed by clearing the decksDay 42 (Tuesday 19 December) (and emails) before the Christmas break.Carillion day. Day 46 (Saturday 23 December)Day 43 (Wednesday 20 December) Emergency Christmas shopping!7am train to London and time to catch up on morepostcards and some statistics. I am surprised to discover that Day 47 (Sunday 24 December)so far I have met with, or spoken to over 3500 people! In Christmas preparationaddition, I have travelled over 4500 miles (mainly by train). Icalculate my carbon footprint is equivalent to a quarter of a Day 48 (Monday 25 December) to Day 54 (Sunday 31tree so far. December) Christmas Day, Boxing Day and holiday!Meetings with Tom Foulkes and Anne Moir are followed by New Year’s Eve party.a presentation to and discussion with Deloitte and Toucheabout corporate responsibility.Late pm there is a rehearsal and the annual Institution CarolService at St Margaret’s Church., adjacent to WestminsterAbbey. The church is popularly known as the parish churchof the House of Commons. The front pew is reserved forthe speaker, so today it is left empty. Conductor AdrianDavis and a small choir of ICE staff and members led theenthusiastic congregation through the nine carols and, astradition dictates, as President, I read the last of the sevenlessons. Following the service, the Institution provided mincepies and mulled wine for those in the congregation wishingto share in the fellowship and extend a perfect evening.Day 44 (Thursday 21 December)Email, post and signing over 250 certificates for newChartered members and technicians. I recognised somenames, including two of the 2005/6 President’s Apprentices(Helen and Jonathon).Met with Ruth Hopgood, chair of GSNet (the graduates andstudents national committee) to discuss what their plansare for the next year and we came up with a few ideas asto how they might “market” themselves better amongstthe wider membership. GSNet (http://www.ice-gsnet.org.uk/contact/index.asp) comprises 18000 of our members…quite a force for change and an opportunity to deliver if itwants to be! 16
  • 18. Week nine and ten report. It is a very open ended project, which the students tackle with considerable skill and energy! I hope theyNew Year and ECuk enjoyed it! By 11am I am elsewhere in the King’s Buildings delivering a lecture on sustainability to the third year whichDay 55 (Monday 1 January) includes a dose of Telford and some comments about myNew Year’s day focus for the year. At noon I return to the computer labs to answer questions on the 4th year project for the rest of theDay 56 (Tuesday 2 January) day. Great fun.Carillion day. Plus responding to emails for ICE Day 63 (Tuesday 9 January)Day 57 (Wednesday 3 January) Carillion day. I return to the computer labs to be availableCarillion day. to answer more questions and at 11am meet with Dr. Simon Smith to discuss the agenda for the IndustrialDay 58 (Thursday 4 January) Advisory Board (IAB), which I chair (and have done since itsCarillion day. inception). After finding time to start marking the forth year students first output, I then chair the IAB. Industrial input isDay 59 (Friday 5 January) so important to the universities. It is also very beneficial toCarillion day. companies and those giving their time to mentor and teach/ coach the students (and staff!).Day 60 (Saturday 6 January)Hockey, clarinet and life at home. Day 64 (Wednesday 10 January) Carillion day. I take the train to London and catch upDay 61 (Sunday 7 January) on emails. Late pm I meet with Engineering Policy andClarinet, packing, and quite a bit of the day travelling to Innovation team member Chrissie Pepper (Dr.) to discussEdinburgh by train. Engineering works make the journey an article on sustainable procurement we are jointlyover 6 hours (6.75 hours door to door)…longer than by writing for the Irish Construction Times (I wonder if theyair, but I feel better for it and got some work done. In will publish?). At 5.30 pm I join other British Geotechnicaladdition, I tidied up my word and excel filing and my emails. Association members for tea and a chat and then attendI discovered I had filed 6000 emails in my various Carillion their evening meeting in the Telford Theatre. The meetingfolders and 4700 emails in my ICE folder. Resolve to delete was a presentation on the new specification for pilingmore as I go along this year. I had been deleting all the and embedded walls, delivered by Tim Chapman, Tonyrubbish and (I thought) the emails I did not need to retain! Suckling and Alex Kidd to a packed theatre. The new specification is a fantastic example of collaborationDay 62 (Monday 8 January) and was delivered in only 18 months, an exceptionalCarillion day. Lectures and design course at the University timeframe for such a comprehensive document. Theof Edinburgh. The day started with a briefing to forth year presenters were part of a much larger team and gave duestudents for their 2 week geotechnical design project, credit to those (some present) who had developed andwhich I have been running with Professor Mike Forde for written earlier specifications (standing on the shouldersabout 8 years. The project is based on them developing a of giants!). The speakers later promise a briefing note onscheme for a casting basin for an immersed tube tunnel. the new specification will be submitted to the Institution’sI act as the client and the students start by identifying the proceedings panel and the possibilities of a full paper weresustainability and technical risks and then go on to develop discussed too. We enjoy a beer and lots of geotechnicalsome schematic options. An immersed tube tunnel is discussions late into the evening.constructed by prefabricating tunnel units in a casting basin,floating them out into the river and then placing them in Day 65 (Thursday 11 January)a dredged trough and joining them together. Simple! Not Carillion morning. Institution pm. I join the Regionalso simple in fact… these prefabricated units are over 100 Chairmen’s meeting for the afternoon. I sign 150 certificatesmetres in length, 35 metres wide, 12metres high and weigh and deal with post.over 30,000tonnes. The casting basin site is excavatedthrough contaminated land, over 12m of very soft clay (Cu In the evening I meet up with Camilla Toulmin to discussfrom 15 to 40KN/m2 for the technical amongst you), gravels sustainability and poverty issues. Camilla works at a veryand chalk (an aquifer). They have 4 hours to provide initial strategic level internationally in this area. See weblink onguidance to the client and two weeks to produce their full day 44, week 7. 17
  • 19. Day 66 (Friday 12 January) The day concluded with finalising the draft of the IrishArrive at One Great George Street entrance at the same Construction Times article and a meeting with Marketingtime as Professor Barry Clarke, so we take a coffee in the and Comms Director Anne Moir.café bar. I decline the full breakfast he suggested! Notingthat he does not have one either! Barry has stepped in at The train home was diverted, so I arrived later than planned.short notice to represent the Joint Board of Moderators A very full and interesting week!(who are they? you ask) at the ECuk review. More on thislater. If you are a Chartered Engineer of any one of the 35 Day 67 (Saturday 13 January)engineering institutions, then you will value that Chartered Clarinet, hockey (we won our first league game of theEngineer status. ECuk are the accreditation body which season with a winning goal in the final 2 minutes) and aensures that an appropriate standard is maintained by those birthday party.institutions licensed to award chartered engineer status. Day 68 (Sunday 14 January)My first meeting of the day is a briefing from Membership Long walk, packing for my Presidential visit to South Africa,Director David Lloyd Roach on the ECuk review visit. I more clarinet and some sax and dinner with friends.am impressed by the thorough way David and his teamhave prepared for the review (essentially an audit). Mynext meeting is with Ellen Ryan, who looks after the JointBoard of Moderators. We discuss the forthcoming annualmeeting between the 4 Institution Presidents and theJBM. The JBM is a joint body, comprising the Institutionof Civil Engineers, the Institution of Structural Engineers,the Institution of Highways and Transportation andthe Institute of Highway Incorporated Engineers whichaccredits university courses in civil engineering disciplines.Essentially, the JBM helps to ensure that university coursesdeliver an appropriate standard and range of education toenable graduates to become professionally qualified. Thiswork creates real value for the Universities and society inestablishing and maintaining standards and as a mechanismfor exchanging best practice. The additional value to theICE is that graduates from accredited programmes ofstudy automatically meet the academic base for one of ourprofessionally qualified grades of membership. Were youaware that your subscriptions are supporting this excellentwork? It is one of the many ways in which the Institutionsupports and mentors education, educators and students.At 11am I welcome the ECuk and Society for theEnvironment review teams and leave them to their work.Peter Hansford (vp) and David Lloyd Roach lead theInstitution team, along with Barry Clarke (JBM), RaymondCoe (Professional Development Panel chairman), Paul Venn(Professional Reviews Panel chairman) , Andrew Roberts(Technical Reports Panel chairman), Sharon Geraghty-Bellingham (Senior Manager, Admissions and Processes) andZoe Cunningham (Audits and Projects Manager).Next I join the GSNet conference/committee. This is chairedby Ruth Hopgood and full of bright and enthusiastic people.They were having fun AND adding value. I was able to stayfor a while and chat to most everyone over the light buffetlunch. 18
  • 20. Week eleven and twelve Watermeyer and Andrew Baird and their wives for dinner and to discuss the NEC (New Engineering Contract) eventsSouth Africa planned for the next two days.Day 69 (Monday 15 January) Following some well attended NEC events in South AfricaCarillion day. last November, it was felt that some briefings from “Mr. NEC” would help to promote a greater understanding ofDay 70 (Tuesday 16 January) the NEC procurement route, especially after the launchCarillion day. Left office just before 3pm with Dorothy of the new NEC suite of contracts last year. Martin’s firstto drive to Heathrow Airport to catch the night flight to presentation was earlier in the day at the Development BankJohannesburg, with Tom Foulkes and his wife Sally. This is of South Africa. We heard that it was very well received.my first substantial Presidential Visit. A long overnight flight,slept badly. The weather was sunny and a very pleasant 24 degrees celsius. By 9pm it was dark and we sat in the restaurantSouth Africa has a population of 44 million (UK 60.6), a life listening to and watching a lightening storm and intenseexpectancy of 42.7 years (UK 78.5), median age of 24.1 (UK rain.39.1) and an infant mortality rate per 1000 live births of60.7 (UK 5). Day 72 (Thursday 18 January) 6.30am start to drive to a “Captains of Industry Breakfast”Gross Domestic Product is $12,000 per capita (UK $30,300) hosted by the Construction Industry Development Boardand 30% of the whole African continent. Unemployment (cidb) in Pretoria (60km away). Before the event starts weis 37% and 21.5% of the adult population have been meet up with Martin Manuhwa, President of the Zimbabweestimated to be HIV positive (2004 figure). Institute of Engineers and Peter Morris, ICE country representative for Zimbabwe who had made a special visitThe Institution has 437 members in South Africa. to meet up with us and who were also attending several events with us. Avid reader(s) of this blog may recall that weDay 71 (Wednesday 17 January) met up with Martin in London on 22 November 2006.Landed at Johannesburg’s Oliver T Tambo Airport at 10am(South Africa time, 2 hours ahead of the UK) and we were The event, attended by about 60 invited guests, wasmet by Country Representative Andrew Baird. Andrew splendidly chaired by Ronnie Khoza, Programme Manager:dropped us at our hotel, where we rested for a short time, Procurement & Delivery Management for cidb. Afterhad lunch and then set off for our first activity. This was an Ronnie’s welcome Mr Ntopile Kganyago, the Deputyafternoon cocktail party at the UK Trade Commissioners Minister of Public Works delivered an address reflectingresidence, in a district called Hyde Park. on the very vibrant construction industry in South Africa, identifying the concerns about skills shortages and stressingWe were welcomed by host and Trade Commissioner Brian the importance to the nation of successfully deliveringGallagher and I had an opportunity to respond and also the stadia for the 2010 Football World Cup, which is atook the opportunity to mention Telford, his birthday and massive opportunity to promote South Africa and its recentour forthcoming celebrations, the reasons for our visit and successes worldwide.my own focus areas for my Presidential year. Our third briefspeaker was Neil McCloud, President of the South African Dr Martin Barnes then spoke for some 45 minutes on “TheInstitution of Civil Engineering (SAICE). UK experience in procuring large construction projects”. The talk started by describing the confrontational nature ofThe assembled company included senior construction construction contracts in the UK 10 to 20 years ago:people from Government, consultants and contractors. ■ Working with unreformed contracts, basically the same asThe event provided an excellent opportunity to learn about the Standard Civil Engineering Contract of 1860!South Africa, their booming construction industry, their ■ Always choosing the lowest tender for the work (wouldskills shortages and some of the more disquieting statistics you do this with your heart surgeon?)I have given above. It was also a great opportunity to ■ Using bills of quantitiesestablish contact with the Institution members and SAICE ■ Separating design from constructionmembers present. ■ Paying engineers on fixed % fees (more cost, more fees). ■ Ignoring risks, rather than managing/mitigating them andIn the evening we met up with Dr. Martin Barnes, Ron ignoring the needs of stakeholders 19
  • 21. ■ And lots of other things which now seem silly (Martin’s Next it was my turn to say a few words, which started words!). with Telford and then went on to close with the three issues I am focussing on in my presidential year. MentoringThis approach resulted in lots of conflicts, claims and and developing young engineers really struck a chord….disputes, great uncertainty of costs and time, an inefficient as it had in all our discussions so far this trip. Over 100industry, unhappy clients and poor industry reputation. He people were present, of which about 70% were Institutionthen went on to describe the early development of the NEC members…. a fantastic turn out. I really do feel a part ofsuite of contracts (which he initiated, wrote and developed) that family of civil engineers I referred to in my address. It isand the findings and impact on the UK construction really great to meet so many people with such a passion forindustry of the Latham and Egan reports. civil engineering! We returned to our hotel tired, but elated. I finally get toHe explained the benefits of the collaborative approach talk to Dorothy about her trip to Soweto.engendered by the NEC contracts which were designedto improve management of the design and construction Day 73 (Friday 19 January)process. He describes its benefits, such as its flexibility, its Early start to avoid the traffic congestion and we go to theability to manage problems and get rid of tensions and VW/Audi conference centre, where an NEC users groupdisputes and the way it rewards good management and meeting is being held (in the auditorium, no kidding!). Thecollaboration. venue had to be switched at the last minute to cater for the demand created by Martin Barnes’s presence… and ofA most excellent presentation! There followed some lively course the interest in NEC in South Africa. This is the firstand informed discussion, which both Tom and I took part joint ICE/SAICE event, which I have the honour to open andin. NEC has been used for some 15 years in South Africa, so welcome delegates. Tom and I then have to leave for ourmany present were able to describe their own experiences. next event, leaving NEC panel member and another NEC guru, Andrew Baird to deliver the workshop with MartinA little later than planned, we set off for our next event, an Barnes. Andrew was focussing on recent developmentsinformal gathering and luncheon with the JSD Committee and the NEC3 Supply Contract and Martin was lookingat Johannesburg Country Club. JSD stands for Joint at strengths and weaknesses of NEC3, “Dealing withStructural Division and is a joint committee of the SAICE and compensation events” and the “Accepted Programme” (allthe Institution of Structural Engineers. Following welcomes NEC speak!).and a brief presentation by me, Tom and I signed a similaragreement with SAICE on behalf of the Institution, which Ron Watermeyer (again!) transported Tom and I to thewill provide similar benefits to both our organisations and SAICE headquarters for a meeting with SAICE President Neilour members. Once again we gained an insight into the McCloud and other senior members and officials to discussconstruction marketplace and its related issues (mainly our agreement and ways in which our organisations canassociated with skills shortages, especially of civil engineers). best learn from each other and work together. A fruitful and friendly meeting. We were handed a copy of theAfter an excellent lunch (I politely declined deserts and SAICE Infrastructure Report card for South Africa: 2006,chocolates!) we travelled with Ron Watermeyer to the modelled on our own State of the Nation Report, and, likeNational War Museum in Saxonwold. We arrived in good our report, well received by politicians and influencers.time to wander around the museum for 40 minutes, Sharing knowledge and mentoring were again core tododging a couple of rain showers in the process. our discussions. Much was made of Professor Jowitt’sBy 4pm ICE and SAICE members (some belonging to after dinner speech at their annual dinner in November. Inboth) assembled for a tea and networking session. particular his singing (true Boer accent apparently, not badHere we met up with student Maxwell Vavana, who is for a “Scot” someone said. Not bad for a Yorkshireman Ia one man marketing enthusiast for civil engineering. thought quietly!) AND his guitar playing. No one mentionedAlthough we have not gone through a process to select his Brunel lecture!!... but fortunately we had received higha Telford Apprentice, the local committee were keen for praise for that already. Well done Paul…. You have createdMaxwell to get involved in Apprentice activities where a great impression. A real demonstration of how we canit is appropriate…a suggestion I happily agreed to. At serve engineers and society in the international arena.4.30pm we all queued to get into the lecture theatre tohear Martin Barnes deliver his third presentation in 2 days! Discussions and sandwich lunch over, the ever dependableRon Watermeyer chaired the lively question session and Ron took us to the airport, just in time to catch our flight todiscussion. Durban. 20
  • 22. We had been in Johannesburg for less than 48 hours. A for engineers to solve! Following the site visit, we touredfast moving and exhilarating experience. Many thanks to the vast harbour which is one of the great commercialCountry representative Andrew Baird and Ron Watermeyer portals for southern Africa, not just South Africa. In thefor their great organisation, their friendship and company… evening Tom and I are joined for dinner by Rob Young, Neiland of course, all those lifts! McCloud (president of SAICE) and our wives. A splendid conclusion to the Durban visit and a great opportunity toShort flight to Durban. We settled into our hotel and further cement relations with SAICE and one of our keyprepared to meet SAICE and ICE committee members in members.the early evening. Rob Young (surfer extraordinaire) wasour host and welcomed Tom, our wives and me to the Day 75 (Sunday 21 January)gathering. He then invited me to speak, so speak I did, Travelled to Capetown, where we were met by localfor probably 20 minutes, drifting at one point into “tube member Keith MacHutcheon. We went to our hotel ona manchette” grouting and compensation grouting. This Capetown’s magnificent waterfront development. Wediversion was caused by member Jim Metcalfe, who in reached the hotel early afternoon and were about to takeearlier times had been a young engineer on the Backwater a quick look at the shops before taking a late afternoonDam. As all you geotechnical engineers know, this was trip to Table Mountain. Lucky or what?... after queuing forthe first use of tube a manchette (TAM) grouting in the 40 minutes we caught the last cable car up the mountainUK. Soletanche (Bert Godden I think) had designed the before it was closed due to high winds. The cloud rolledgrouting scheme to repair a leaking clay core in the earth over the tabletop like a carpet… spectacular. We were tolddam. I had read up on this project in the late 1970s since to stay close to the cable car and after some 20 minutesI was the agent for NGS (Nuttall Geotechnical Services) the siren sounded for us all to go straight back down, whileon the second occasion TAM was used (at Coulter Dam, the cable car could still operate. It was indeed windy at theLanarkshire). We were a small contractor, so I set out, kept top and the views were absolutely SPECTACULAR. A 360records and charts, worked out bonuses, made tea, drilled degree view of the city and its environs. Well worth the 20and manufactured many of the TAMs and repaired many of minute we were able to spend up there.the packers myself. Great experience. Yet another splendidevening to talk about civil engineering. I wonder if we get Managed 130 minutes on the clarinet during the week, 80like fishermen with the jobs expanding as the drink flows! minutes down on my usual target!I think not! The talk and the buffet kept us going untilbedtime. Day 76 (Monday 22 January) Another geotechnical day. Keith introduced us to ShirwellDay 74 (Saturday 20 January) Kipps who was to be our “engineer of the day”. ShirwellA geotechnical day! Our hosts, consulting engineers Goba took on a tour of the Cape, picked us up at 9am andprovided us with technical briefings and a site visit to the drove us to Chapman’s Peak Drive. This was the locationnew Durban Harbour Tunnel project. Nearing completion, of another great geotechnical challenge (we geotechnicalthis project is the first use of a slurry boring machine in engineers do not have problems!). Following one verySouth Africa. We went across the harbour channel to visit serious injury and a death from rock falls, the road hadthe south shaft and walk down the tunnel. A fantastic been closed for two years while potential solutionsexperience to see the diaphragm wall shaft and the tunnel, were explored. At one end of the spectrum was thewhich is now completed. The temporary works alone would “do-nothing” solution… either keep 5km of the roadhave provided any engineer with sufficient challenges and permanently closed or accept the risk of further fatalitiesan experience of a lifetime. Durban is one of the busiest (accepted as an unacceptable option). Closing the roadports in the world, with a boat entering the harbour every would considerably impact on the tourist trade and a20 minutes… so any project to widen and deepen the spectacular vista for those taking that route from Capetownport entrance was bound to challenge civil engineers and to the Cape of Good Hope. At the other end of thegive them the opportunity to demonstrate engineering spectrum a protective concrete box was proposed. A muchexcellence. safer option, but one which cast thousands of tonnes of concrete into the hillside and wrecked the views.The new dredged channel goes below the existingtunnel, which takes all the Durban sewage under the port Shirwell and his team had other ideas. It was recognisedentrance to disposal. Ground conditions were a mix of that catch fences were used in alpine regions to protectgranular materials and clays, causing problems with the against rock falls and avalanches (of snow!), so it wastunnelling machine and slurry cleansing. All in a day’s work asked if such measures could be effective in this location. 21
  • 23. The team developed an elegant engineering and risk based 6. ICE shares knowledge, though meetings (10,000 aapproach. A sophisticated GIS model of the slopes was year, have you organised one yet?), conferences (nextdeveloped and 40,000 “virtual rocks” were thrown down one on sustainability, which I chair), special namedthe slopes to identify trajectory, bounce, gully routes and lectures (for example the Brunel Lecture, delivered bythe forces which needed to be restrained by the fences. This Professor Jowitt in some 20 locations worldwide)data enabled the fence position, orientation and size (3m or 7. ICE provides a training and development framework,6m) to be designed. In all, 1500m of fencing was designed especially for the younger members. Mentoring,and installed and in one area of very high risk it was mentoring, mentoring!! We must all do it.necessary to construct 50m of covered concrete protection. 8. ICE influences government and business (for example,All this was designed and constructed in 15 months… with the State of the Nation Report).the project being completed in 2003. To hear the design 9. ICE recognises engineering excellence, through itsstory first hand from Shirwell was a privilege. A week later awards. Promoting people will promote and enhanceDorothy is still talking about the jointed restraint posts and our reputations as civil engineers. Raising our profilethe coil sprung netting…. All designed to absorb the energy in society is one of our members’ demands! We haveof falling debris and rocks. Those interested in learning asked them.more about this award winning project should refer to the 10. ICE and all its members have a pivotal role andInstitution Proceedings! opportunity to help deliver the sustainability agenda (which includes climate change in my book). This isBuoyed by my second injection of geotechnical excellence a terrific opportunity for civil engineers to lead! Wein three days, we travelled on to say hello to the penguins cannot achieve this as individuals, but through ourat Boulder, Simonstown, on our way to one of the most institution, we can, and I quote Ghandi: “make thatsignificant points on earth…the Cape of Good Hope, the change we want to see in the world “.meeting point of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Another Can you add more?remarkable location. My closing remark to some of the presentations I have givenIn the evening we met with committee members of the this past week is the relevant one here:Western Cape SAICE and further discussed joint activities.One point was raised about subscriptions, since South If ALL our 77,000 members did just ONE thing every day toAfrica no longer enjoys a significant discount following help deliver the sustainability agenda, to promote the valueharmonisation of the 600 plus rates we used to apply of engineering knowledge and to mentor others (at homeworldwide… an administrative nightmare, even with too!), then collectively we would deliver over 84 millioncomputers. A good point for both the Institution and actions every year!SAICE. Our members often do not understand where theirsubscriptions go and what real value their support helps to I suggest we just get on and do it!deliver in schools and universities. It is patently not just theNCE magazine. I would like to have had the time to debate The pessimist says the cup is half empty, the optimist saysthis further. My quick ten Institution benefits are: it is half full. The visionary says that we are halfway to the next cup.1. MICE is a valued qualification and competence standard recognised across the globe. Which one of these people do you want to be?2. ICE helps set and monitor educational standards in universities and colleges. Day 77 (Tuesday 23 January)3. ICE promotes the profession in schools (e.g. the The end of our visit. What an interesting and amazing Flushed Away game just launched)… our future experience. We have met some wonderful people and engineers! wonderful engineers. A tiring but exhilarating experience,4. ICE promotes the profession in universities and with added geotechnical too. colleges and supports undergraduates (who get free membership) We have all had a fantastic visit. Tom and Sally travel home,5. ICE helps to develop engineering knowledge, through while Dorothy and I stay on in Capetown for a few extra days. research funding, creating networks and through its publications. Note this and other points in this list are Day 78 (Wednesday 24 January) to day 82 (Sunday 28 society benefits too! I hope all our members feel that January) they also have a responsibility to society. Writing blog, being a tourist, playing clarinet and travelling home. 22
  • 24. Week thirteen Panel meets to review nominations for vice presidents and to make recommendations to Council… the decisionApprentice Day and North making body for our Institution. I’m afraid you will have to wait for a Council decision on this before I can reveal more.West regional visit I was able to return to the Apprentices event in time for theDay 83 (Monday 29 January) feedback session on their task, which had progressed well.Carillion day The two teams (supported by our two Mentor of the Year winners, Steve Everton and Isabel Coman) generated ideasDay 84 (Tuesday 30 January) and have a plan to deliver two 800 word briefing notesEarly start for the train to London. Arrived in One Great designed to help members understand how to be mentorsGeorge Street in time to see off some post and sign a and what to look for as a mentee.few certificates before a brief meeting with Anne Moirand Kim Woolger to discuss the Telford Apprentices’ Day. At 5.15pm we all go to the library for the launch of theThe ‘Telfords’ were spending a day finding out about the Telford 250 website. Head of Knowledge, Mike ChrimesInstitution and working on another task. I kicked off their entertained us with some anecdotes from Telford’sday at 10.15am with a brief introduction to the programme engineering and personal life and gave a demonstration ofand some comments about my trip to South Africa. I this splendid site. If you want to know more about Telfordthen briefed them on the task for the afternoon (Task 7 and all the activities planned to celebrate his 250th birthday,on mentoring) and left them to their presentations and then go to www.thomastelford250.org/discussions on three key Institution issues: The day closed with a small Telford Apprentices dinner and■ engineering strategy more discussion on the involvement and contribution young■ membership and engineers can make in society, mentoring, the tasks and■ UK regional organisation many other things.Following a brief meeting with my PA Clare Gray to catch Day 85 (Wednesday 31 January)up on post, actions and diary, I met with Malcolm Shirley, Early walk into OGGS and cleared my post and someSecretary to the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of actions for a couple of hours. 9.30am meeting with1851. Malcolm had kindly offered to brief me on the Keith Logan (Head of MIS) to talk about the contributionexcellent work of the Commission. Why, you might ask? digitisation has made to the efficiency of the InstitutionIn fact, as President, I have the honour to be one of its and in the way it helps us on the sustainability front. ICommissioners. The Commission was set up to plan and had not realised that over £7million of subscriptions havepromote the Great Exhibition, which was a resounding now been collected “on line” in the past 4 years. Do yousuccess. When its affairs were wound up, there was a pay yours on line? Over 10% of us do. Did you know thatsurplus of £186,000. A Supplementary Charter established you can now get a receipt (essential if you are one of thethat these considerable funds (can someone work out lucky 40% of members whose company recognises thea present day value?) be used to “increase to means of benefits of supporting their staff in this way). This is muchindustrial education and extend the influence of science and more efficient in terms of paper… no sacks of subscriptionart upon productive industry”. The commission purchased cheques! 57% of members are now in electronic contact87 acres in South Kensington. The land included the sites of with us (or could be!) and in 3 years over 30,000 addressthe Royal Albert Hall, the Victoria and Albert Museum and changes have been processed electronically! Just imagingImperial College. Much of this land has subsequently been the staff time this used to take!passed to the Government. The income generated, whichis about £1million per year supports industrial fellowships, I next have a meeting with Anne Moir to discuss activitiesindustrial design studentships and research fellowships in and events over the next month and this is followed by ascience, engineering and the built environment. If you or a briefing on my Presidential visit to the North West Region.friend might benefit from some of these awards, then visit Finance Director Brian Murkin is joining Dorothy and I ontheir website at www.royalcommission1851.org.uk the visit. I have a few presentations and chairing duties!My next meeting was one of my regular updates with At 11.30 am Tom and I meet with Engineers IrelandTom Foulkes and this was followed by the most important President John McGowan and Director General, Kevinmeeting of the year, the Presidential Selection Panel. The Kernan. We discuss skills shortages, best practice, 23
  • 25. knowledge sharing, registration and benchmarking. It was sustainability was being integrated into civil engineeringan excellent meeting and yet another opportunity to build courses and then we went on to discuss the Bolognaon our existing relationship with Engineers Ireland. Agreement and its impact on engineering qualificationMy next meeting is at Whitby Bird, with some young across Europe. This is a big issue. We are at risk of beingengineers and former president Mark Whitby. We discuss left behind in a European system which potentially seesthe Institution, institutions generally (shapes and sizes, our educational process as lacking. The education systemvolunteer involvement and serving society), sustainability leading to a Masters’ degree is currently “3+1” (3 years for(what the Institution is doing, what the marketplace is bachelor degree and a one year top up to masters), or thedoing) and energy (from nuclear, wind and dynamic integrated 4-year MEng. In Europe the education base is ademand to light bulbs). Mark remains as forthright as “3+2” approach. A “structured year in industry” could behe was when our President back in 2001-2. Part of the used to fill the gap, but this would need university supportreason for my visit was to gain a better understanding of and assessment. This appears to be a solution favoured bythe sustainability issues of the nuclear debate…so I was some academics and would, I suspect suit some employersin listening mode. It is so easy to bandy about dramatic too. But, and there is a big but! This cannot be achievedfigures, and I do not have sufficient knowledge in this without extra resources to enable the universities to supportarea to weigh in for a discussion. So I prefer to have some and deliver!information which will allow my analytical mind to gainunderstanding and to balance the various issues. I am Those extra resources need to be funded.promised some technical papers and information which will In an age of skills shortages, should we be trying to raisehelp me to do this! the skills and engineering excellence of our graduates? Will UK plc benefit? Will employers and graduate engineersI do some Carillion stuff, then take a train back to Wolves. benefit? A resounding YES to all three! ICE has recentlyI met Professor David Anderson (Civil Engineering, Warwick responded to the House of Commons Education & SkillsUniversity) on the train, so we swapped notes and chatted Select Committee on this very subject.before applying ourselves to trains (in his case) and emailsand the computer (in mine). Should we as ICE be doing more? What are the other institutions doing? If anyone is reading this, perhapsDay 86 (Thursday 1 February) you might like to comment! Thank you to Prof GrahamPresidential visit to the North West Region. I train to Thompson, who is head of U of Man School of Mechanical,Manchester to be met by regional chairman Peter Aerospace and Civil Engineering, for making such anHallsworth, Ian Whyte and others. Ian is our host for the impassioned case.“Meet the President” event at the University of Manchester.Telford Apprentice James Wallace has also joined the group We were then taken on a tour of the facilities andand will be with me (in a working capacity!) for the two workshops in the department by Paul Nedwell. Thanks Paul.day visit. We walk to the university and I kick off the sessionwith a short video and a presentation before opening up We next had some free time, so Finance Director Brianthe debate on sustainability, education and other questions. Murkin and I explored the city centre, seeing the mix of newJames too gave a short insight into his role as a Telford and old and recognising that Manchester had indeed beenApprentice. The debate with the students as usual, was the a major city for hundreds of years.best bit of the session. Thank you Dan for the timekeeping,Colin for the question about promoting civil engineers and At 6.15pm we had a briefing meeting on the next day’scivil engineering in society. Colin was appointed Marketing events and we then walked to the CUBE for the GraduatesDirector for all our 77,000 members during the course of and Students “surprise evening of entertainment andthe discussion! There were also notable contributions by refreshment”.Thomas, Lisa, Richard and Gavin. It was a fun event anda lively group comprising students from all 4 years of the And what an evening of fun it was. We had a big quiz runcourse. Jade Hundziak kindly gave a vote of thanks and in a most professional manner by Chairman’s Apprenticepresented me with a Manchester University 1824 clock… Ben Hodgkin. One element of the quiz was a matcha fantastic memento of the visit and something which will between me and Telford Apprentice James Wallace. Let’scontinue to remind me of the session and the visit. just say I came second! The teams all had colours, so I was in the purple team. As it turned out this was appropriate….Next we adjourned for a sandwich lunch and debate with We started well and then had a purple patch, coming inuniversity staff. Initially the discussion focussed on how amongst the teams lower down! The event would make 24
  • 26. a great team building activity for any company. We all also a former mayor of Trafford covered the politicalmade new friends, there was a friendly, but competitive dimension in securing delivery of sustainable urbanedge, we all learnt something and we all had a great regeneration.laugh (not always at my expense!). What an energetic and ■ Roy Newton, Team Leader for the Greater Manchestervibrant group of young engineers… as I recounted to the Joint Transport Team described the JMJTT strategy for440 at the dinner the following night. The future of civil benefiting Manchester (business and communities)engineering, our Institution and quiz show hosts is safe in through a package of integrated transport measures,their hands! A long, but exhilarating day. which included road user charging. This is the sort of topic where engineering solutions and politicsDay 87 (Friday 2 February) interface!Time to meet up with some graduate engineers and ■ Walter Menzies, CEO of the Mersey Basin CampaignSCEs. Our day started at Laing O’Rourke’s Birley Fields looked at the role of water and waterside location inoffices. After a brief introduction to the session by our economic and social regeneration.host Andy Crompton, LOR’s NW Business Leader, Ispoke on the subject of engineering excellence and the Four excellent presentations! Walter also managed to covervalue of professional qualifications. James also gave his water usage, sustainability and the real benefits of theperspective on professional qualification and told them Institution in his presentation too. Lots of tough questionsa bit about being a Telford Apprentice. I naturally also followed for the speakers’ panel, with a fair amountcovered the value of Institution involvement and the of discussion on integrating transport properly and thevalue of ICE membership (BOTH are just as important!) mechanisms which would best deliver this. Thank you Jon,and the corporate responsibility/sustainability agenda. I Eric, John C, John Mc, and Andrew for your contributions.was already aware that LOR are amongst the leaders in “Time to put our foot down and do something” saidpromoting engineering excellence (the value of engineering Chairman’s Apprentice Stephen Whitham whose questionknowledge) and the development of their engineers. We rightly challenged the panel to suggest what we shouldall agreed that more competent engineers were better for all do now to make a real change. This brought out realour companies, our clients and society… and better for the passion from the panel which left us all in no doubt that weengineers themselves too since they will deliver more and could all do much to follow the advice of Nicholas Stern,their competence and skills are more highly recognised. whose report recommended us all to “take action, and toFollowing this bigger “meet the president” session, I was take action now” on the climate change agenda.able to chat individually to small groups of engineers abouttheir own experiences. The discussions continued over lunch, after which we were whisked away by Michael Bailey. It was a lovely dayI could have stayed for hours, but we were due at Beetham for a walk and Michael, ICE member and Trustee of theTower for a quick tour hosted by the Hilton Hotel, which Museum of Science and Industry at Castlefield. Michaeloccupies the first 24 stories of this 48 story building. The first took us to see the site of the first cast iron beam spanviews from the 23rd floor were fantastic. We looked down in the world. He then showed us the Stephenson Bridgeover city buildings, the Coronation Street set and all the over the River Irwell (1830, red sandstone arch bridge)Manchester road, rail and canal links. In the distance was and then took us into first railway station in the world. Itthe airport and we just make out Jodrell Bank in the mist. was built for the Manchester-Liverpool line and providedFor safety reasons, we were not able to take such a big separate facilities and entrances for first class and secondparty to the top floor of what is apparently the tallest class passengers. There followed a rapid walk throughresidential block in Europe. A pity, since on a clear day you some of the 17 galleries of the museum (the restoredcan apparently see Snowdon, some 80 miles away! timber frame warehouse was the highlight for me), a short stop for tea and then what I can only describe as a bridgesWe returned to the first floor where I was chairing a extravaganza.. I have never seen so many bridges in suchPresidential Forum on sustainability. close proximity. They all took either pedestrians, roads Four speakers set the scene: or railways over what must have been the most complex■ Dave Colbert, Regional Transport Advisor for the transport interchange of its day. I can remember neither Northwest Regional Authority spoke on demand date nor designers, for which I apologise. If any readers are management and land use in the context of the interested about the details, then Michael, the master of Regional Spatial Strategy. his subject, will provide all these as well as the development■ Dr. Pauleen Lane, Board Member of the Northwest history which goes with it all. One bridge is for sale for a Regional Development Agency, university lecturer and pound, should you be interested in owning one. A fantastic 25
  • 27. structure, but one I fear which is likely to need millions We are a big and strong family with a real sense of purposeof pounds to put back into use. Thanks to the museum and service.managers and staff (principally Robin Holgate and SeanGaffeney) and special thanks to Michael for such a splendid Day 88 (Saturday 3 February)tour. Train back to Bridgnorth. Tired but exhilarated. I unpack, rest awhile, play clarinet and go down to the hockey clubIn the evening Dorothy and I attended the North West for a beer.Dinner. Another splendid event. While we dined, we I discover that my team had won 11-0 last week! We hadlistened to the lovely sound of jazz saxophone and either lost or drawn all our games before Christmas, despitepiano. North West Graduates and Students Committee a young and energetic team (except me). The passion wasVice-Chairman Chris Middlebrook gave the toast to the there, but the goals just did not come. After Christmas weInstitution. Peter Hallsworth, the NW Chairman gave an won our first league game. This week, with me absent, theyexcellent speech and I was presenting prizes and certificates win by 11 goals! Is this telling me something?in recognition of the great mentoring and projects in theNorth West. See the ICE NW website for the details of all Day 89 (Sunday 4 February)the winners. The Merit Award was awarded to the Leven Blogging, clarinet, a long walk with Dorothy and a friendViaduct project at Ulverston in Cumbria. An elegant and and my first trip to my local for 3 weeks. All my batteriesinnovative solution for a 460m viaduct deck replacement recharged!completed in half the time set out in the tender. A greatdemonstration of teamwork and civil engineering skills.The Award, the top award for the NW, recognises andencourages excellence and imaginative concepts in civilengineering practice in the NW… just the thing we shouldbe doing to promote our excellent civil engineers and civilengineering.James Wallace continued to contribute to the presidentialvisit by reading the citations for some of the awards. It reallyhas been fun having him on the visit, so I hope he feels thathe has benefited from the experience. It is not everyonewho can stand in front of 100 students, 60 graduates andstudents, 60 more engineers and 440 members at a dinnerto make speeches and engage in discussions (and quizzes!).James did a great job. I hope that his involvement will haveencouraged many young engineers to compete for the rolenext year. The NW had such fantastic candidates that PeterHallsworth decided to take on 4 of them as Chairman’sApprentices (Stephen Whitham of Gifford, Ben Hodgkinof Faber Maunsell, Jenny Smith of Mott MacDonald & JonYates)Well done Peter. All 4 and James have big personalitiesand are obviously names to look out for in the future inengineering AND in the Institution.Following dinner I was able to relax and enjoyed theopportunity to meet with and chat to friends old and new.Late to bed!The end of the visit. I did not see Peter again that eveningto say how much I had appreciated and enjoyed it. I willspeak to him and drop him a note of thanks. Like all mypresidential visits so far I remain just so impressed by theenergy, actions and friendliness of all the members I meet. 26
  • 28. Week fourteen (Marketing and Communications Director) I return to my office to sign even more certificates and prepare for theSustainable procurement conference.Day 90 (Monday 5 February) The conference was indeed a full and fantastic day. ThereCarillion day. I note that a quarter of my presidency has were 11 presentations interwoven with questions andnow passed. discussion and the usual breaks for coffee, lunch and tea. The presentations were excellent as you might expectDay 91 (Tuesday 6 February) with such an illustrious group of speakers and we debatedEarly train to London. Once at One Great George Street procurement challenges, strategy, tools, guidance andI cleared some post and signed yet more certificates (for sustainability in practice. See the link to the flyer for morenew members and company training schemes). At 11am I details of the presentations. We are hoping to publish somehosted a meeting about CROSS, the Confidential Reporting of them. If you want to see where to start, you could doon Structural Safety scheme inaugurated by SCOSS (the no better than read “Procuring the Future” (http://www.Standing Committee on Structural Safety). See my blog sustainable-development.gov.uk/publications/procurement-(week 6 day 36) for more details. The meeting today was action-plan/index.htm), published by the Sustainableto discuss how more contractors might contribute to this Procurement Task Force. If you want to start making theconfidential reporting scheme. change to becoming more sustainable in your procurement, then start using the flexible framework (page 68 ofAlastair Soane, Director of CROSS, Jon Prichard, Director of Procuring the Future).Engineering Policy and Innovation and I were joined by ChrisWatson of Carillion, Richard Rook of Laing O’Rourke and Thank you Neville, Ian, Jonathon, Barry, Sally, David,Kevin Ward of Sir Robert McAlpine. We had a very useful Lorraine, David F, Geoff, George, Simon, David R, Allandiscussion resulting in a number of actions which should and lastly, but by no means least Nick Raynsford. It was ahelp deliver our objective for the meeting. I will report back conference not to be missed. The final round table sessionson the 5 specific actions as we progress! produced some excellent feedback, which Environment and Sustainability Board members Roger Venables and JonathanFollowing lunch I then joined the Executive Board meeting Essex will be consolidating into a short report for the Board.for the rest of the afternoon. There was a very full agendaand the meeting was expertly chaired by Senior Vice After the end of conference goodbyes, I join the Britishpresident David Orr. The substantive discussion was on the Geotechnical Association members for a cup of tearecommendations of the working group on our discussions before their evening meeting entitled “What constitutesabout closer working with IMechE. contaminated land”. It was a lively meeting (I confess I had to miss the first part of it) followed by the usual postIn the evening I hosted a dinner with the ICE directors meeting debate and geotechnical banter in the bar. Iand vice presidents. My objective was to discuss issues crunched back to the presidential flat through the sand andpertaining to the presidency and broader Institution issues. salt mix on the pavements.There was expressly no discussion on any Executive orCouncil matters. We debated the Telford Apprentices Day 93 (Thursday 8 February)and scheme, university links and how they might be Snow! So I carried my case as I walked through the slush onstrengthened and presidential tours (feedback from my the pavement. Great fruit salad for breakfast in the café barSouth Africa trip and objectives for future tours). as I watched the TV monitor telling me of all the transport problems and delays. Schools cancelled in lots of places andDay 92 (Wednesday 7 February) the radio programmes making a big fuss over it. I spendBreakfast in the café bar, where I meet up with John my first hour on the phone, upsetting one individual whoFindlay, a frequent visiting member who likes to drop in for I should have called back rather more quickly than I did.a coffee on his way to early morning meetings. John is a I apologise and then that call makes me late for my firstfellow geotechnical engineer, who like me, has held a very meeting of the day!much broader engineering role for some years. Sir Neville The meeting was theSimms and Dr Barbara Morton were also in for a coffee anddiscussion prior to the Sustainable Procurement conference ICE (www.ice.org.uk/homepage/index.asp)I am chairing today. Following coffee and a short meetingwith Senior Vice President David Orr and Anne Moir CECA (www.ceca.co.uk/homepage/index.asp) 27
  • 29. CPA (www.constprod.org.uk/pages/index.asp)CIRIA (www.ciria.org/)ACE (www.acenet.co.uk/index.cfm?page=1)Strategy and Action Plan steering group meeting. ChairmanMark Broadhurst had been a victim of the weather andhad not been able to get the train up from Cornwall, soIan Nicholson stepped in to lead the meeting. TelfordApprentice Paula Farshim also attended as a guest and,as you would expect of a Telford Apprentice, made goodcontributions to the discussion.Following the meeting I took the train to Wolverhampton.We had to divert via Northampton, so arrived some 40minutes later than planned. On the train I met GeorgeMartin of Wilmott Dixon, who had been one of thepresenters in the Sustainable Procurement conference. Wechatted for a while, then both turned to our computers forthe rest of the journey.Day 94 (Friday 9 February)Carillion day. Snowing again during the day, so I left theoffice at 4pm. Like many others, I found myself stuck intraffic and the trip home took four and a half hours. Atone point it took two hours to go two miles. Dorothy and Iwere dining with neighbours. Despite the snow and my latearrival, we had a great evening.Day 95 (Saturday 10 February)Lazy start to the day, clarinet, then a walk to town withDorothy to do the shopping. A heavy load to carry up thehill home! I am upset to find that three branches havebroken off my cedar tree…. snow load. One branch hadcracked noisily last night as another of my neighboursparked in the drive… he could not get up the lane to hishouse and had slid gently into my gate post. Worry not, thegate post is fine! I do more clarinet practice in the eveningto catch up on my target for the week. I am still trying toget a grip of the two Mozart pieces I started a month ago.Day 96 (Sunday 11 February)Clarinet, great walk in the warm sun for 3 hours. 28
  • 30. Week fifteen had presented my wife with flowers, card and gift and we will be celebrating at a Chinese New Year party on SundayICE Forum night. I return to the president’s flat, play a little clarinet and pop out for a light supper at 10pm.Day 97 (Monday 12 February)Carillion day. Day 100 (Thursday 15 February) Another milestone for me… 100 days! Fruit bowl forDay 98 (Tuesday 13 February) breakfast. At the weekend I had found that I have lost a fewCarillion day, but my first meeting this morning was at St pounds (in weight!) since becoming President! I have moreMary Magdalene, Bridgnorth to discuss our bid to put a post and signing to do (than anyone else I think to myself)commemorative plaque on the church to Thomas Telford. and then meetings with Clare to catch up on diary andLocal member John Brownlee has kindly taken on the correspondence and Anne Moir to discuss future speechescoordination role for this. We discuss materials, size, text and presentations.and location as well as the formal element of obtaining thenecessary approval and permissions (ICE PHEW committee At lunchtime I had a meeting with Ernst and Youngand from the church, it will require a “faculty” from the partner and ICE member Gerard Gallagher. Gerard is adiocese). The rest of the day was Carillion, except a few former Council member and probably, at 33, amongst theemails and phone calls. youngest of Ernst & Young’s partners.Day 99 (Wednesday 14 February) At 10am - 2pm I have a Carillion meeting about our 2006This was going to be a Carillion day, but I have an invite sustainability targets and this was followed by the big eventto the second meeting called by Lord Browne, President of of the day at 3pm, an ICE Forum meeting on procurement.the Royal Academy of Engineering, to discuss progress on The seminar debate was informed and led by Martinhis coordinated Institution initiative (see week 5, day 27). Barnes (NEC originator and guru and also President of theAn impressive meeting, things are progressing well! I take Association for Project Management) and Bob McGowanthe opportunity to clear emails and correspondence on (Chairman of the NEC Strategy Group and another expertthe train. Back at OGGS (One Great George Street) I catch in this and many other issues). The debate focussed on 3up on arrangements for the Telford Celebration Dinner questions:arrangements for 17 July following the AGM and Smeatonlecture on Thomas Telford. I suggest those wishing to ■ What will be the next big thing in procurement?attend might like to get their applications in early! This is ■ How can sustainability be best embraced injust the sort of event we should be encouraging graduates procurement?and students to attend (and helping them out by buying ■ How can sustainability be best embraced inthem a dinner ticket!). After going back to some Carillion procurement in developing countries?stuff, I pop in to see the Geotechnique Advisory Panel andlater share a drink and a chat with Chairman John Atkinson The contribution from our senior industry forum members(professor and erstwhile talented dinghy sailor. 35 years ago was impressive and the ICE team have a number of fantastiche crewed for Chris Edwards in the National 12 Fleet and ideas to develop. It was pleasing to see the genuine industrywiped the board in all competition for most of the years support for the NEC suite of contracts. Apparently it is inthey sailed together). Geotechnique is a remarkable journal, use on 30% of building contracts and 70% of infrastructurepublishing some 50 papers of the 250 or so submitted to projects in the UK…. A remarkable achievement inthem every year. It is THE geotechnical journal worldwide demonstrating the benefits of collaborative contracts.and its success depends on the fantastic volunteer time putin by the 12 panel members, who themselves are amongst The meeting closed on time at 5.45pm, allowing me tothe cream of today’s geotechnical engineers. I return to my meet briefly with the London region team who weredesk to clear more paperwork and decide to leave at about discussing my presidential visit in October. I then slip into8pm, only to find I was locked in. the Telford Theatre by the back door (OK, so it squeaked a bit!) to sit in on the British Tunnelling Society (BTS) meeting.It was of course Valentine’s Night and for once, there were 100+ people attended the lecture given by Ashley Poulterno evening events or meetings in the building. All the staff on Combe Down Stone Mines Project. The meeting washad gone home and the security man was on his rounds… I chaired by BTS Chairman Bill Grose from Arup. Bill closedreturned to my desk and escaped 30 minutes later! This was the meeting by congratulating the speaker on not only hisnot the best of days to be away from home! Worry not, I presentation, but also for the confident and expert way 29
  • 31. he handled the questions. Worthy praise for an excellentspeaker. As is tradition for tunnellers, we adjourned to thebar to recount all our previous successes and eat Cornishpasty or sausage and chips. The good old days on theJubilee Line construction were well remembered! Thetunnellers are a mix of professions from civil engineers,mechanical, electrical, ventilation, machine and plantmanufacturers and experts, precast lining manufacturers,fibre concrete specialists, instrumentation experts and pilingand diaphragm walling contractors. In fact, there are manymore professions, manufacturers and trades than I can listhere… a true cross disciplinary group. A fantastic networkand knowledge bank!One BTS member lambasted me because the sausages ranout… more were in transit, but not before the member hadleft. I understand that the matter will be raised at the AGM!I hope I will be able to attend future meetings, they are afantastic bunch… and so many old friends, in both sensesof the word.Day 101 (Friday 16 February)Carillion day, in London. Another fruit bowl breakfast inthe café bar. An hour on the phone on a combination ofICE and Carillion business and yet more post. I then have aCarillion meeting and spend the rest of the day on Carillionstuff.Day 102 (Saturday 17 February)Household, clarinet and hockey. With me back in the team,and 6 regulars missing, we lose very badly (9-0). Everyoneruns so much faster than me! In the evening Dorothy andI enjoy a performance of High Society by the local amateuroperatic society. A full house for their final performanceof the week. A great show, as always. A lot of our friendsand acquaintances are in the 45 strong (in both senses!)cast. I especially appreciate the music at these events and,as always, check out the clarinet and saxophone makes (LeBlanc and Selmer).Day 103 (Sunday 18 February)Short morning walk and popped in to say hello to our newneighbours across the lane who moved in during the week.Trip to the tip with cardboard, plastics and paper then blogwriting. Clarinet/sax lesson. Chinese New Year meal with adozen friends at the China Diner. Fantastic food. 30
  • 32. Week sixteen their guests were present to celebrate their becoming incorporated or chartered members of the Institution andICE North West seminar a small number of more senior engineers were celebrating becoming Fellows. The ceremony was organised with theDay 104 (Monday 19 February) precision of a military parade. Following the introductionsTrain to London for a Carillion meeting followed by a brief by Membership Director, David Lloyd Roach, I shook 150meeting with Joe Noakes, a young graduate member from hands, smiled and handed over 150 certificates!the Environment Agency in Yorkshire. Joe had made contactvia a mutual friend, so I took the opportunity to check out The candidates were all called by name, crossed the podiumhis progress to chartered status. and pausing briefly for a handshake and a photo before the next name was called out. Following a brief congratulatoryTo fit in with my diary, he agreed to visit me on the speech from me, we adjourned for a celebratory drink andday of the communication competition and certificate a chat. By 6pm the last of the successful candidates had leftpresentations. I left Joe to join one of the tours of the and I returned to the President’s office to catch up on mailbuilding laid on for the successful candidates and sat in on a and reading for a couple of hours before retiring for thejudges’ briefing for the communication competition. Today night.was the final and three teams had already battled throughpreliminary rounds to face a “public meeting” audience Day 105 (Tuesday 20 February)to set out their reasons for building a wind farm in their My first task today was to deliver a presentation oncommunity. sustainability and some perspectives on my ICE role at Alfred McAlpine’s offices. By 10am I was on foot to OneEach team had to make a presentation to a public meeting, Great George Street to join the meeting of the Joint Boardoutlining their wind farm proposal, explaining why this of Moderators (JBM) with the presidents and directorlocation had been chosen and how the design and generals of its four constituent bodies which started atconstruction team were intending to minimise the impact 10.30am.on the community and the local environment. The four constituent bodies are: ICE, IStructE, IHT and IHIE.All the teams displayed a great understanding of the briefand delivered their presentations very well. In addition to John Hill, Chairman of the JBM chaired the meeting,the pressure of presenting the case in front of the judges, which is an annual event. I cannot praise the JBM highlythe audience were invited to take their role as residents, enough. The work it does to establish and maintain theseriously interrupting the presentations and later asking standards of civil engineering education in the UK and somesome tough questions of the team members. We heard of overseas educational establishments is immense and ofconcerns with house prices, bird disruption, visual intrusion, course predominately carried out by volunteers. The JBMlocation and other issues which the teams all handled with audits provide best practice exchange as well as providinggreat patience. an assessment and guidance role to ensure the various university courses deliver to engineers needed by society.By the end of the three presentations the audience was Unsung heroes all!well versed in the technical and social issues of wind farmconstruction and voted to support the scheme (with only John is shortly stepping down as its chairman, so it is a greattwo or three against the proposal!). The judges, Lionel pleasure for me to add my thanks and congratulations onZetter, President of the Chartered Institute of Public this blog to those expressed by us all at the meeting.Relations, Anne Moir, ICE’s Director of Marketing andCommunications and me retired to come to a decision on My next meeting is with Zeena Farook of Arup Leeds. Zeenaa winner. A difficult task when all the teams had done so is the NCE Graduate of the Year Winner this year and clearlywell. The winning team was Arup, from Wales, who were showed why she was the winner of the competition. It isinvited to the Awards night to collect their £500 prize. My rare to meet such an enthusiast and Tom Foulkes and I werecongratulations to the teams and indeed all the teams who impressed by her sheer energy and achievements. She has atook part in the competition…. A fantastic demonstration passion for promoting engineering and has contributed toof the skills of our engineers of tomorrow. Robin Campbell’s campaign on the Prime Minister’s website to promote the creation of a Government Chief Engineer.Forgetting lunch, I dashed to the next event, the certificate There has obviously been a great deal of interest in PMpresentation ceremony, where 150 new members and petitions with the road pricing campaign recently! 31
  • 33. Two more meetings follow and then I take a train back home. Judge’s House, an impressive Georgian residence adjacent to the courts now used for hospitality by WCC, where weDay 106 (Wednesday 21 February) discuses broader issues.Carillion day. We then set off for a tour of the Barford Bypass. A WCCDay 107 (Thursday 22 February) project constructed by Galliford Try. This was a £5.7million,Carillion morning, then a train to Wigan to participate in ICE NEC contract bypass, with a bridge over the River Avon whichNorth West’s seminar “What does Sustainability Really Mean” the local community had been hoping for, for some 20 or 30at the JJB stadium. Some 60 members attended this excellent years.event, which was expertly chaired by vice president RichardCoackley. Agent and ICE Member Danny Brown proudly (and rightly so) showed us round the site, explaining all the challengesPresentations were delivered by Jon Lovell, Sustainable of building over the soft soils in the flood plain and planningDevelopment Manager for the North West Regional and placing the bridge beams. Plenty of interest too forAssembly; Jo Bradley, Principal Officer, Strategic Planning geotechnical engineers with vibropiles, bridge piles and floodTeam with the Environment Agency; Bruce Blaine, Senior protection and storage works. The project was well ahead ofEnvironmental Manager with Peter Brett Associates; Catherine schedule and will be opened to traffic four months early byTurner, Senior Regeneration Manager for English Partnerships the time you read this blog. I noted that there are not manyand Eunan Higgins, Development Director with Birse Civils; of us who are able to build a bridge over a major UK river!and me. For some reason I was given two presentations. The congestion relief for the villagers will enable them to live a much better quality of life… all part of the sustainabilityThose present will judge the value of the event. I was agenda.seriously impressed by all the (other) speakers. Their drive andenthusiasm was self evident and everyone will have left with Our final visit of the day was to Coleshill Parkway anda multitude of ideas as to how they and their organisations Transport Interchange. This project will provide bus links andcan do their bit to help deliver on the sustainability agenda. parking to enable commuters and travellers to hop on a trainA splendid event! My congratulations to the organising team and be in the middle of Birmingham in 15 minutes. Someled by regional manager Alan Bulter. joined up thinking at last. The construction has caused no train delays, despite working 52 weekends with possessionsVisit www.carbonconnection-nw.info and www.sdchecklist- and there has been zero RIDDOR accidents. A testament tonorthwest.org.uk for some ideas! (Note the second site the client, designers and constructors. More geotechnical herediverts you elsewhere at the moment). too in the form of a reinforced earth wall, designed of course to BS8006, of which I was a member when it was publishedRichard gave Bruce and I a lift to the station, suggesting that back in 1996.due to traffic, it might be quicker for us to hop out and walkthe last 400 yards. He was probably right, but the torrential Thank you Chris and the WCC team for such a fantastic visit!rain started with 100 yards to go! I discover that Bruce isfaster than me! On to plus side, we both make our respective Day 109 (Saturday 24 February)trains with four and six minutes to spare! Joined the Alveley Band as a new member to help learn how to play with others and, frankly to improve my timing. ADay 108 (Friday 23 February) friendly group of people and I find I already knew some ofI am invited to Warwickshire County Council (WCC) for them. I am deputy to the second clarinet!a Presidential Visit. Chris Nason was my host and he hadorganised a full and interesting day. In the afternoon played hockey, scoring a goal before suffering a severe blow to my head and shoulder. AmbulanceI first met with John Deegan, President of the County called, but nothing broken fortunately. The lads let in aSurveyor’s Society and WCC’s Director Environment and couple of goals and we draw yet again.Economy and a number of his colleagues. I was then taken totheir Council Chamber, where I was delivering an insight into Day 110 (Sunday 25 February)ICE and the Presidency and discussing sustainability in a civil Suffered all day, but received some sympathy. Short walk pmengineering context. Some 40 members of staff were present to watch the hockey team play the game which was snowedand we engaged in some interesting discussion following off a couple of weeks ago. Without me, they win yet again!my 20 minute piece. I was then entertained for lunch in the 32
  • 34. Week seventeen that so few members were aware of SCOSS or understood its benefits. Encouragingly, work is in hand to address thisSCOSS and West Midlands and we are both keen to contribute.Dinner In the afternoon I joined Anne Moir and Vice President Jean Venables on the train from Euston to Birmingham. The 95Day 111 (Monday 26 February) minute journey gives us time to work on the train.Carillion day. Shoulder still painful. Typed with one hand.Dorothy drove me to work. Birmingham was the venue for the Annual Institution Dinner, this year hosted by the West Midlands and itsDay 112 (Tuesday 27 February) chairman Ed Gardiner. And what a splendid event it was!Carillion day. 380 members and their guests enjoyed a splendid meal followed by speeches from Ed, me and then Gordon Smith.Day 113 (Wednesday 28 February) Ed summarised the achievements of the region and set theMainly Carillion day. Train to London. My first meeting scene for the year ahead. I celebrated Telford, promoted thewas the Carillion Sustainability Committee, which includes value of engineering, made the case for the sustainabilityexternal advisors Jonathan Porritt (founder director of agenda and encouraged everyone present to mentor ourForum for the Future) and Julia Cleverdon (Chief Executive engineers of the future. Our final speaker, Gordon, providedof Business in the Community). the humour, usually in a self deprecating style and finished off by proposing the toast to the Institution.This was followed by another Carillion meeting onsustainability for a project before participating in a Special thanks to Steve Morgan for organising the event (fortelephone survey and then meeting up with John Hawkins. the sixth year!) and to our national guests for making theJohn is Group Manager for Contracts and Disputes at the trip to Birmingham.Institution. The purpose of the meeting was for him toupdate me on progress with developing the ICE/Engineers Day 115 (Friday 2 March)Against Poverty work on promoting better procurement Carillion day. Still struggling with a painful shoulder.practice to enhance social progress in developing countries.This is fantastically important work which your subscriptions Day 116 (Saturday 3 March)help the Institution to initiate and progress. Alveley Band from 9am. Only able to hold my clarinet for short periods. Met our conductor Ian for the first time.I hope you all feel we are spending your subscriptions What a remarkable skill it is to control, guide and coachwisely. In fact, I would hope you take pride in the fact that 30 players, all of different skill levels and playing some 14your subscriptions are used in this strategic way to help different instruments. I am the rookie. Congratulationscontribute to addressing world poverty in this way. to the young drummer who has just passed grade 5 with distinction! I do some paperwork at home then pop out lateDay 114 (Thursday 1 March) pm to watch my hockey team. In the evening Dorothy andEarly meeting about sustainability for a schools bid and I go out to the Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton to see thedealing with post before setting off just after 10am to Agatha Christie play “An unexpected guest”.IStructE for the annual President’s meeting with SCOSS andthe HSE. SCOSS is the Standing Committee on Structural Day 117 (Sunday 4 March)Safety. See previous references on day 36 (week 6) and Quiet day at home. Clarinet lesson and wrote blog oneday 91 (week 14). This too is an example of how members’ handed.subscriptions, in conjunction with IStructE members’ subsprovide a service to professionals, the industry and society.It was a lively meeting, chaired by Kate Priestley. SCOSSmembers present are all familiar names and indeed wellknown in and beyond our industry: Stuart Alexander; AllanMann, Alan Powderham and John Carpenter. You will recallthat Alan Powderham was awarded the Institution Goldmedal in 2006. Both David Harvey, IStructE’s President, and Iwere impressed by the work of SCOSS, but were concerned 33
  • 35. Week eighteen Regional Manager David Tattersall who drives Dorothy and me to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park for a briefing lunch. WeCouncil & Regional visits meet up with Chairman Marian Hogg, Les Goddard (vice chairman) and Apprentice Chris Jones.Day 118 (Monday 5 March)Carillion Day. First up is a meeting with Supervising Civil Engineers. What a positive and fantastic group of people! Do SCEsDorothy and I went the National Gallery for the Renoir feel valued for what they do? I hope so! Mentors are soLandscapes 1865-1883 Exhibition - a wonderful event! important, not only for the mentee, but also for the benefit of our profession and society. The Telford Apprentices areDay 119 (Tuesday 6 March) currently doing some work on mentoring. Their output isMeeting with ICEfloe chair Caroline Cleland and Teresa due at the end of May.Frost to discuss equal opportunities and diversity. Thecommittee are reviewing how the Institution is addressing We are given a short walking tour of central Sheffieldthese issues and will be making recommendations for on our way to the University. Dorothy is particularlyimprovements. appreciative of the opportunity to see the city where she was an architecture student 30 years ago. We are met byCouncil starts at 11.30am. Chairing Council is one of my 150 students for the evening debate ‘Can Civil Engineersmore challenging roles. There is a delicate balance between save our Planet?’ The short answer is yes, but only byfacilitating discussion and dealing with all the agendas items working in partnership. Also speaking were Stephen Brownin a professional, timely manner. from Yorkshire Forward and Ian Ball from Cambridge University, representing Engineers without Borders. BothVice presidents were elected for the next session (2007/8). were very impressive, it was a lively audience!Scott Steedman was nominated as future candidate for thePresidency 2010/11. Two new vice presidents were elected, Special thanks to Joanna Pullicino and Rhianna WilliamsDavid Hutchison, currently Chair of the Finance Committee for organising the event and to all the students who cameand Professor Barry Clarke, who is CIC chair for the North along. It was also good to see some of my colleagues andEast and a member of the Joint Board of Moderators. Both an old friend from university days Alastair, whose paper onhave served the Institution for many years regionally and Young’s Modulus is a must for real engineering enthusiasts.nationally. All vice presidents are subject to annual electionby Council. Day 122 (Friday 9 March) We are at the University of Sheffield where Marian HoggThe substantive debate was the IMechE discussion. Council chaired a discussion with staff on the Bologna Agreement.voted strongly in favour of closer and more proactive Fortunately Membership Director (and expert in this area)working with all other institutions, the correct decision David Lloyd Roach was able to talk us all through thisin my view. It was a healthy debate and one which educational minefield. The next Bologna meeting will be indemonstrated the strength of a large Trustee body. May.Once Council finished I rushed to the Telford Theatre to We drive to The Light in Leeds to observe progress on therun through the programme for the Dugald Clerk lecture. construction of an 8m high tetrahedron. 50 children wereThe lecture was delivered by David Kerr on Marine Energy. orchestrated by a group of ambassadors led by LyndonProfessor Chris Binnie chaired the lecture. The Civils Dining Cable. I was amazed by what can be done with hundreds ofSociety dinner followed. Congratulations and thank you sticks and rubber bands!David for all the good work you are doing for the Institutionand for society. The party watched the proceedings for a while before adjourning to Nu Bar for a Meet the President eventDay 120 (Wednesday 7 March) with graduate members and even more of the 100 localCarillion day. I travel to the Midlands to attend their Senior Ambassadors. I gave a short presentation and then took aManagement Conference. The topic is sustainability. few questions.Jonathon Porritt delivered an inspiring speech at the dinner. We returned to check on progress on the tetrahedron.Day 121 (Thursday 8 March) Lyndon had picked up a stick to use as a baton and likePresidential Visit to Yorkshire and Humberside - I am met by a conductor orchestrated the final lift of the massive 34
  • 36. tetrahedron to enable the bottom layer to be inserted. Oneof the upper tetrahedrons started to collapse. Everyoneheld their breath, the bottom layer was pulled away andthe main construction carefully lowered to the groundfor repairs. A second try and another section startedto collapse. More repairs and finally the structure waslifted and the bottom layer inserted. Success! What anachievement and what an exciting task for the children.On to Harrogate for the Y&H Gala Dinner and Dance.Gala it was and a great evening of celebration with theregional merit awards and Spirit of Telford Awards takingcentre stage. My congratulations to all the winners, allprojects are featured in a special NCE supplement, March15 issue. It is so important to celebrate the excellentengineers of today. It was a great pleasure for me to jointhe dinner guests in celebrating three Spirit of TelfordAward winners: Brian Dean, Colin Harris and Lyndon Cable.Chris Jones, the Y&H Telford Apprentice read out theircitations. The dinner concluded with a disco dance, withmuch of the music from my younger days. What surprisedme most was that all the younger engineers knew all thewords to the songs from the seventies!Thank you to the team for a fantastic Presidential Visit.Day 123 (Saturday 10 March)Dorothy and I met up with some old friends for coffeebefore taking the train home, arriving back tired but elated.It happens every time!Day 124 (Sunday 11 March)Mad rush to get the usual jobs done, quick walk and playsome clarinet before my evening lesson. 35
  • 37. Week nineteen innovative use of rainwater as thermal mass?). Mike Ward showed us how computer imaging was being used toEast Midlands Regional visit assist in pipeline route design… a far cry from my outdated experience!Day 125 (Monday 12 March)Carillion day Next we went to the offices of the Leicester Regeneration Company for a briefing on their strategy, plans andDay 126 (Tuesday 13 March) achievements. Exciting and visionary while still veryCarillion day community and commercial focused. David Beale gave us an excellent presentation and I particularly appreciated theDay 127 (Wednesday 14 March) fact that Councillor Roman Scuplak had joined us at theEarly train to London to attend a Carillion meeting meeting and was able to give us the benefit of his politicalbefore joining a meeting of the Disputes and Arbitration perspective and reinforce the vision of the Council. WePanel to discuss a complaint from a member. I leave the debated what contribution civil engineers could make andmeeting satisfied that the processes Council approved are acknowledged the existing considerable contribution insatisfactory and that they were being applied correctly. I planning, infrastructure and building delivery.sometimes think that members don’t realise that Council isthe decision making body for the Institution. A 30 minute drive took us to the University of Nottingham, where we were met by Bill Askew, Director of Studies atNext Tom and I meet with ETB acting Chairman Mike the School of Civil Engineering. We headed for coffee andHowse and Chief Executive John Morton. We have an a meeting with senior staff. What is the collective term forexcellent meeting and I hope to be able to provide some professors? Pride might work with lions, but has a sense ofvery positive news on the ETB’s strategy and governance arrogance which is not appropriate. An education wouldsoon. be too self evident, so I suggest an eminence. We debated university/institution issues, mainly around the BolognaTom and I walk back to the Institution in time for our next Agreement (see last week!). Say no more!meetings. I was being interviewed for Building Magazineby one of their young engineers panel Carolina Lameiras. My next task was to give a short presentation and takeCaroline had interviewed David Harvey, President of the questions on the sustainability agenda. Some 80 studentsInstitution of Structural Engineers earlier in the afternoon gathered to listen. Thanks to Liam, Dan, Katie, Andrew,and then over an hour following the photo shoot, asked Ali and Jim for your contributions and questions. Topicsme the same questions. An interesting experience! You can ranged from road pricing, influencing Government, worldread the results of our hour long chat (interrogation!) in poverty, sustainability as a fad, waste, nuclear and problemsBuilding Magazine on 30 March. I shall read it with interest! with overseas students staying on in the UK to work afterI then took a train home. graduating. I really enjoy meeting with students, I hope the feeling was reciprocated.Day 128 (Thursday 15 March)Dorothy and I took the train from Wolverhampton to There was time before the evening event, so I joinedLeicester for the East Midlands Presidential Visit. We were Mick Mawdesley and Bill Askew for a coffee and chatmet off the train by Regional Chairman Nick Thompson, about students, research and France. We then set off forRegional Manager Malcolm Jackson and Telford Apprentice the Djanogly Arts Gallery for the evening event. In ourJoe Roberts. It was a lovely sunny day, so the planned walk discussions we had discussed Brompton bicycles, so Mickthrough the city centre to Pick Everard’s offices was a real gave us a demonstration of the bike and how to unfold itpleasure. Dorothy is an architect, so taught me years ago and I took a short cycle ride (my first in an official capacity!).to always look up at the buildings, roofs and chimneys. At Council member William Kemp arrived at this moment andPE’s we had a coffee and met with staff and set up for a took a photograph of me.Meet the President event. I delivered a short presentationand then we had a period of discussion followed up by The evening event was initiated and organised by Telfordfurther email debate which I must get round to responding Apprentice Joe Roberts (with help from the Regional Team).to soon! We then met with a couple of PE’s engineers who It was a great idea. Supervising engineers were askedexplained their projects. I was particularly impressed by to bring along one of their graduates. There must haveWilliam Savage’s Sherwood Energy Village project…. Some been 80+ people there. The topic was mentoring. I leadreal teamwork and innovative ideas (can I mention William’s off and was followed by Bob McKittrick (Director of Scott 36
  • 38. Wilson and a past President of the Institution of Structural Johnson, Major Projects Engineering Manager. I also tookEngineers) and Isabel Coman (Costain and ICE Mentor the opportunity to speak with regional secretary Adrianof the year 2006). Isabel had brought along a “sample” Maynard who had informed me about (and enthusedgraduate… so Chairman for the event, “Telford Joe” asked about) the Mikron Theatre Group who are putting on a playhim to say a few words too. Bob, Isabel and Jonathan were about Thomas Telford. See their website at for more details.terrific. We had a great debate. Some key points:■ All successful people have had a mentor Thank you Andy, Dave, Phil, Bryan and Matt for the tour■ Firms rely too much on their HR departments and briefing. I learned a great deal about the process,■ Isabel still uses her two mentors… and she always ammonia, power generation from the process and moves forward after a discussion with them! digesters. All now faithfully recorded as CPD!■ Mentors help you think more broadly■ Mentees are not clones of their mentors! We returned to the hotel to prepare for the evening and■ Confidential and trustworthy were two words which I was able to catch up with Dorothy, who had toured came out frequently. Nottingham, taken the tram (it is a great tram) and taken tea with the Sheriff of Nottingham. I put the finishingThe evening closed with a drink and some canapés. touches on my speech and presentations for later in the evening and then changed for the pre dinner reception.Day 129 (Friday 16 March)Real ‘wow’ factor this morning. Our first visit was to the We were at the Nottingham Belfry and were joined byArchbishop Cranmer Primary School in Ashlockton. We about 220 members and guests. Telford Apprentice Joewere greeted and briefed by head teacher Debbie Yates- Roberts was the MC…. And what an excellent job heLinnell and science coordinator Sue Jackson. This was the did!!!! The highlight for me was to present two Spirit oflast day of Science and Engineering Week 2007 and the Telford Awards to Bill Askew and Professor Stephen Brown.whole school had a full programme every day. Debbie and Two excellent nominations. See the link for more details:Sue described the excitement and interest, and we thentoured the school to see the energy and enthusiasm for Tram to station, then train home. Dorothy and I were bothourselves. ICE Ambassadors Rachael and Tim King were in tired, but exhilarated after yet another fantastic Presidentialthe thick of it coaching the year 5s to build a tetrahedron. Visit. Thank you to Nick, Malcolm and team, Bill, Debbie,Well done to Harvey, Toni, Natalie and Daniel who chatted Bob, Isabel, Andy and especially Joe.to me as they were building. The whole school was buzzingwith enthusiasm. What, I asked, could ICE do to help? The Day 130 (Saturday 17 March)answer was that one of the most important things was to Quiet day at home.provide the ambassadors. Our young engineers coachingeven the youngest of students! A sure way to encourage Day 131 (Sunday 18 March)young minds to take up engineering as a profession. Cut grass and had a clarinet lesson. Time and a bad shoulder prevented me from doing much practice duringBy 10.30am we were off to Nottingham University, where the week.the faculty of Engineering with SETPOINT and ICE werehosting a fun design and build competition. The year 8 and9 student teams were tasked with building a structure frompaper, cardboard, tape and straws to hold a set weight. Afantastic team effort from all saw a mix of the weird andthe wonderful. I was able to meet with students and thevolunteer ICE Quest Scholars as they were starting out onthe day’s task before leaving them for a meeting with theUniversity’s Vice Chancellor David Greenway. The debatecentred on accreditation and other mutual issues. Bothorganisations serve each other in many ways, so an openand good relationship is essential!Next we drive to Derby for a Meet the President sessionand a site visit with Severn Trent. I met with Keith Richardsamongst others. A famous name! Our host was Andy 37
  • 39. Week twenty I ask for a briefing note from Lorna and the 4 ICE graduate members. A quiet reminder to Matt and Peter that ISustainability had elicited a promise of a briefing note at our previous meeting!!Day 132 (Monday 19 March)Carillion day My next meeting was with Peter Matthews, Executive Director of charity Engineers Against Poverty. ICE andDay 133 (Tuesday 20 March) IMechE helped to establish EAP in 1998/9 and formerCarillion day. Train to London pm to attend Thomas President Doug Oakervee is its Chairman. EAP works withTelford board dinner. The first Chairman, Bill Barr was in the engineering industry to help reduce and eventuallyattendance, so I presented him with one of my President’s eliminate global poverty. More specifically, they are workingGifts in recognition of his sterling work as the TTL chairman on influencing corporate and public policy, pushing tofor its first 10 years. Bill got the foundations right and get sustainability into higher education and working (withadded real commercial acumen in his time in this voluntary John Hawkins and his team) on improving procurement inrole. You may recall that Scott Steedman is the current developing countries and through aid bodies. We debatedchairman. some ideas as to how EAP could raise its profile amongst Institution members and beyond.Day 134 (Wednesday 21 March) In between all these meetings I worked at my pile of postFruit for breakfast followed by a couple of brief meetings and started to catch up on postcards.and lots of post. I met with member Mike Butcher overlunch to debate some issues he had raised before yet more I then joined the ICE London graduates and studentsmeetings until 4.30pm, when I went to Imperial College for construction competition. Chris Joyce and Owen Jones had‘The Geotechnical Experience of the Year’, it was of course organised the event which required teams to design andthe Rankine Lecture and Dinner. Professor Antonio Gens construct a model road bridge and thereby demonstratefrom the Technical University of Catelonia was the lecturer (and be judged on):this year. A brilliant lecture. I sat alongside the first Spirit ofTelford Award winner, David Hight and last year’s lecturer ■ Project planningProfessor Robert Mair. It was a late, but very enjoyable ■ Structural designnight. ■ Aesthetic design ■ Time managementDay 135 (Thursday 22 March) ■ Budget managementMore fruit for breakfast, followed by a meeting with Scott ■ Awareness of health and safetyWard, Head of Food and Beverage and Head Chef DavidWilkinson to discuss the dinner menu for a forthcoming The bridge had to span 1m, carry 1kg at mid span andevent. At 10am I was joined by Telford Apprentice Paula 0.5kg at 1/3 and 2/3 span and not deflect more thanFarshim and some colleagues for a discussion about 50mm.sustainability. It was amazing to see what was achieved in 90 minutes.More sustainability was to follow with a meeting of the You will have seen the results in the NCE magazine by theyoung Institution members who are Forum (for the Future) time this blog is published, so suffice to say that everyoneScholars. I was impressed by a Forum Scholars seminar back had a great deal of fun and probably quite a bit of stressin December (week 6, day 35) and had invited them to a (well, some of the bridges were under stress and thefollow up meeting. The “Engineers for the 21st Century” factor of safety in one case was just over one! Designed toproject they are on is now managed by Lorna Pelly, who spec!!). Congratulations to Chris and Owen, their band ofreports to Forum’s lead on the built environment Martin graduate helpers, the judges (led by bridge engineer RobertHunt. The engineers I met are all working on the following: Wheatley) and all the students who participated. It was a great night.1. Simon Blake, procurement2. Peter Wilkie, sustainable initiation of projects Day 136 (Friday 23 March)3. Matt Humphrey, embedding sustainability into More fruit for breakfast, followed by more post and business practice postcard writing. I then attended the Sustainability4. Tim Thorne, sustainability in undergraduate courses. Forum. The Forum, which reports to the Strategic Forum for Construction (SFfC) was formed in 2004 under the 38
  • 40. chairmanship of Ian Coull, Chief Executive of SloughEstates. The Forum’s role is to provide strategic advice onsustainable construction issues to Government and theSFfC. The meeting’s primary business was to discuss thedraft sustainable construction strategy. Jeremy Sumerayand Matt Janssen, both seconded from industry to DTI havedone an excellent job to bring the draft thus far. Followingconsultation, which they will facilitate, the final strategywill certainly achieve its aim to raise the bar and establishreal focus on what our industry should do to deliver onthe sustainability agenda. Ian now steps down as chair, soI hope members will join me in congratulating him and hisForum on the terrific progress to date and wish them wellfor the successful finalisation, launch and delivery of thestrategy.I train to Birmingham International for my last meetingof the day with Arup’s Chairman for Infrastructure DavidSingleton. We debate industry and institution issues and Itake away some actions! I return to the station grasping aprecious and quite remarkable “drivers of change 2006”document which looks at what the world will be like in2050. Chris Luebkeman, Arup’s Global Foresight andInnovation guru (guru is my word, his job title is GF and IDirector!) and his team have produced this incredible factand insight document. I arrive home in time to change and go straight out toour Hockey Club ladies’ night. A great evening with thewarmest bunch of people you could find anywhere. I doNOT intend to comment on their hockey skills. I’ve onlybeen in the club for 13 years, so may have missed them!Day 137 (Saturday 24 March)Alveley Band. They all go too fast for me. I am assured I’ll beOK soon. I then went home to do some jobs before goingto the jazz session at the Black Boy. I was a week early, sostayed anyway and wrote 30 postcards and ate a ratherlarge roll. No hockey because of my still sore shoulder. Inthe evening Dorothy and I go to see Becoming Jane at thelocal cinema.Day 138 (Sunday 25 March)I play some clarinet, have my lesson (a real injection ofenthusiasm, which was needed since my practice has fallenwell behind with this bad shoulder). I write blog and catchup on the usual household jobs. Finally get to cut grass at6pm. Finish blog at 10pm. 39
  • 41. Week twenty one sourcing; abstraction policy and the link (or lack of it) with sustainable consumption; the Engineers for the 21st century‘An Inconvenient Truth’ programme and next steps; Institution strategy and the role of our esteemed Companions. In transit to my nextDay 139 (Monday 26 March) appointment I meet and chat briefly with Martin McCannCarillion day. Travelled to London on the train…. a great the new Chief Executive of RedR . See their new strategyplace to catch up on emails. I attend an Environment Forum here shortly: www.redr.orgLunch hosted by MP Joan Walley. Ian Pearson, Minister ofstate for DEFRA is the guest. We debate climate change, My next meeting is with Alan McGill, project director forenvironmental issues and the sustainability agenda. the Prince of Wales’ Accounting for Sustainability and GeoffChatham House rules apply, but I can say it was a most Lane, director PWC, who is leading on the constructionengaging discussion and a great opportunity to listen to section of the research and report. The objectives of theand hopefully influence Government. Following the lunch project are to develop systems to help organisations toI dropped into the Institution to “hot desk” for a while measure more effectively the environmental and social costsbefore catching a train to Cambridge to attend THE event of their actions.of a really great week. I pledge support from the Institution (it is just the sort of high profile/influence project we should be supporting)I had been invited to attend an incredible lecture. I was and offer some ideas to assist. The launch event for thisprivileged to sit in the front row of 1000 seated in the ambitious project is in December 2007.Corn Exchange to listen to Al Gore delivering his “AnInconvenient Truth”. A stunning performance and a I have time to sign yet more certificates for companies whostunning lecture. The film was fantastic, the lecture on have a training scheme. Does your company have one? Ifanother plane! I was lucky enough to also be invited to the not, why not? Do you need help? If so please ask.post lecture reception and managed a few words with Al as Following a couple more brief meetings I meet Majorhe worked the room. If you have not seen the film and/or General Chris Elliot, President, Institution of Royal Engineers.read the book then you must do it NOW. Those of you who We discuss the programme for the evening meeting andhave read my Presidential Address, will remember that the then join 200 members of both our organisations in thefirst of my suggested actions is to understand WHY we have Telford Theatre to hear how we should be “Protecting fromto become more sustainable. Al explains it all. the effect of explosions – are engineers doing enough?” We had three terrific presentations from Chris Veale, LieutenantI get back to London after midnight. Colonel Laurence Quinn and David Haddon which were followed by some engaging debate. The meeting wasDay 140 (Tuesday 27 March) expertly chaired by my fellow President Chris, so my roleFruit for breakfast and time to attend to post and some was just to welcome everyone and provide a summary atpost cards. This week is professional review week in the end of the meeting. I was surprised and delighted toLondon so I have a quick word with some of the reviewers, see past president Sir William Francis (1987/88) catchingsome of whom I have known and worked with over many up on his CPD! We adjourned for drinks and canapés and Iyears. They are volunteers and do a great job supporting enjoyed the opportunity to chat to lots of people.our Institution and helping young engineers. This too ismentoring…. yet another way our members serve society so By 8.30pm I set off to meet up with about 20 reviewerswell. Steve Everton, Mentor of the Year in 2005 was one of who were staying overnight prior to their day’s work helpingthem. Thank you to all 400 reviewers across the Institution’s more members to become qualified. Everywhere I go I meetregions. I then sit in on one of the professional reviews as fantastic people, and this was no exception. Thank you Ray,an observer. I took two tightly written pages of notes. I was Stephen, Chris, Alastair, Paul, John, Gerry and all the othersimpressed by the candidate and the review team. I hope I met that night.I did not have an adverse effect on the candidate! Peerreview is an excellent way to qualify members. Day 141 (Wednesday 28 March) Yet more fruit! So far I have lost 3 pounds in weight sinceMy next meeting was with Institution Companion Sara becoming President. I cannot understand why! I deal withParkin. Sarah is one of the founding directors of Forum Carillion and Institution emails and then meet with thefor the Future. We discuss, and Sara questions, the British Geotechnical Association and the Thomas Telforddemand from companies for people with skills in and publishing team to discuss some ideas about developingknowledge of sustainability; the science of materials stronger links and developing the journals in this topic 40
  • 42. area. Present were Professor Mike Davies, Chairman of Lloyd Roach (Director of Membership) to meet with PaddyBGA and shortly leaving to become Dean of Engineering O’Rourke, Mike Robbins, and Caroline Blackman all of Laingat Auckland University in New Zealand, Hilary Skinner, O’Rourke, to discuss their ambition to promote engineeringVice Chair and soon to become the first lady chairman of excellence and to value professional qualification andBGA (well done and very well deserved Hillary!), Tim Fitch, competence of their engineering staff. LO’R already shareChairman of Geotechnical Engineering journal and Taylor much of this work (see their website)… which is to beWoodrow (just the man if you have a piling problem), Chris commended and we discuss how we can develop some ofRaison (consultant geo par excellence plus the initiator their great ideas further for the benefit of all members.of this meeting because of something he said to me!),Leon Heward Mills (Head of Publishing) and Ben Ramster Day 142 (Thursday 29 March)(Journals Editorial Manager) . We had a good discussion Carillion day. Train back to Wolves. I meet Sir Williamand I think have come up with some great ideas, particularly Francis again on the concourse at Euston. He kindly offersto involve and interest younger engineers in our fantastic me a lift to my office when we both meet up again atjournals for the benefit of ALL parties! You may not know Wolverhampton station. A knight and former president as athat I was chairman of the BGA when it was formed by the taxi driver! Can it get any better!“merger” between the ICE Ground Board and the BritishGeotechnical Society back in 2000, so I am particularly keen I note it is day 142. I am the 142nd president.to see strong links between our two organisations. Day 143 (Friday 30 March)My next meeting is with Kris Barnett, Director of the Carillion day. Dorothy and I went to the theatre in theBenevolent Fund who briefed me on the trustee meeting in evening in Wolverhampton to see a Noel Coward play.the afternoon. I am pleased to have such a comprehensiveset of papers which I was able to read over the weekend. Day 144 (Saturday 31 March)Before joining the Ben Fund trustees for lunch I pop into the Aveley Band from 9am to 10.30am. I am beginning toRegional Managers meeting for a few minutes. Lunch in the join in much more now and remain in awe of conductorBrasserie was excellent. The presentation and the food! This Ian for the way he coaches, cajoles and creates such greatis the place to bring your clients. music from 25 players. At lunchtime I go to the Black Boy for the jazz session. Singer Brenda Scott (from Edgbaston)I meet briefly with member John Cochrane who is just was just fantastic! She was ably supported by Paul Sawtellabout to retire from his role as regeneration director for (Stourbridge) who also gave us some splendid keyboardBritish Waterways. solos. I spend the whole session writing this week’s blog. Early evening I catch up with my hockey crowd before goingThe Benevolent Fund meeting is a difficult one for me. The home to cook supper.trustees are fantastic and the meeting proceeds well, butI find it difficult to discuss and decide on where best we Day 145 (Sunday 1 April)can help as a benevolent fund in some of the cases which Quiet day at home catching up on domestics and emails. Icome before us. A very humbling experience. None of us cut grass, which always makes it a successful weekend. It isrealise how well off we are! Some of our members and so dry it cuts easily. Dorothy has been walking with friends,their dependants fall or drift into impossible situations. so I pick them up and bring them all back for lunch.Sometimes the Benevolent Fund is the ONLY source ofhelp. Thank you to ALL members who contribute the £3per year to support those who have fallen into difficultcircumstances,,.., £193,000 was collected from our 77,000members last year and many members gave additionaldonations and legacies. Funds are such that the Ben Fundis able to dispense over £600,000 every year to those inneed. Beneficiaries range from young to old, membersand/or their dependants. The work the Trustees and staffdo is a REAL contribution to society. I feel humbled by theexperience. Thank you to each and every member whosupports this great cause.I return to my post and then (at 7pm) join with David 41
  • 43. Week twenty two class education sector to provide the skills to deliver it. We ranged from California to China as the case was made forEngineers Ireland, CDM and innovation, productivity and risk management. He finished off with a quote by Harold R. McAlindon: “World leadersRICS in innovation and creativity will also be world leaders in everything else!”. As you might expect, John’s underlyingDay 146 (Monday 2 April) theme was that engineers were the people who couldCarillion day tackle problems and deliver solutions. A splendid address, and a real demonstration or the value of engineeringDay 147 (Tuesday 3 April) knowledge and the engineer’s capacity to analyse andCarillion day. I play hockey in the evening against Old Wulfs. solve problems and to deliver solutions. The meeting wasMy first game for a month or more. Great fun. We draw splendidly chaired by Patrick Mulvihill and followed by a2-2. celebratory dinner. Our relationship with Engineers Ireland is strong!Day 148 (Wednesday 4 April)Early train to London for a Carillion meeting before my first Feedback from the full Great Hall CDM event was veryInstitution engagement of the day. This was a discussion positive. Thank you to Keith Clarke and Stephen Williamswith David Barker on his bio-engineering activities and for their fantastic work in this area and to Jon Prichard forresearch project which has been partially supported from chairing and summarising the evening.the Institution’s research and development fund.I next had a diary and actions meeting with president’s PA Day 149 (Thursday 5 April)and then dealt with correspondence and signed another Carillion day60 certificates. On this occasion the certificates were formembers who had transferred to Fellow. I recognised some Day 150 (Friday 6 April) to Day 152 (Sunday 8 April)of the names! Good Friday through to Easter Day. Great weekend!At lunch I briefly joined the International Policy Committee,chaired by Vice President Richard Coackley before walking100 yards down the road with Tom Foulkes to meetwith the RICS incoming President David Tuffin and ChiefExecutive Louis Armstrong. We debated our respectiveviews on professional bodies, international strategy, disastermanagement and many other issues over a lively 2 hours.Their work on a disaster management process is impressiveand we agree to share some of this emerging work with ourown fine work on the Millennium Goals and procurement indeveloping countries. An excellent meeting with this sisterinstitution!A meeting with Tom on ICE issues followed and thenI popped into the Great Hall to meet up with StephenWilliams who was preparing for the CDM event in theevening. I was very disappointed that I was not able toattend this launch event, but equally delighted to host thepresident of Engineers Ireland (EI) who was presentinghis presidential address to EI and Institution members.John McGowan indeed delivered an impressive addressand analysis entitled “Engineering, Ireland and the World:The competitive challenge”. He demonstrated the needfor good infrastructure and made the essential link toits promoting commerce, social cohesion and politicalstability. More specifically, he emphasised the real benefitsof efficient infrastructure and the importance of a world 42
  • 44. Week twenty three This has proved to be another great example of the contribution our younger members can make! Is it worthHighways and Geotechnical being a Telford Apprentice? I cannot answer this, but, if any of the apprentices are reading this, they might like toDay 153 (Monday 9 April) comment. I digress, so back to John Baxter. It was a greatEaster Monday meeting and he kindly shared with me some of his ideas which form the core of his forthcoming presidential address.Day 154 (Tuesday 10 April) I very much look forward to the event.Carillion dayIn the evening I hosted a meeting and meal to discuss some I enjoyed the lovely walk back to the Institution…andTelford activities in Shropshire at Thomas Telford School check out who is in the Café Bar. I meet briefly with(www.ttsonline.net), St Mary Magdalene Church and members of the Geotechnique advisory panel and theWolverhampton Grammar School. Ed Gardiner, Chairman British Geotechnical Association before my meeting withfor the West Midlands and Ben Maltby, Telford Apprentice, the Highways Term Maintenance Association. We discusswho are both actively involved in the planning and delivery HTMA’s strategy to address key environmental issues andof events were present too. We tested some of the brand the sustainability agenda. Naturally they wish to align theirnew Bridgnorth Bitter, which was excellent. Plans are well strategy with industry and sector strategies. The meetingin hand for the Church and the schools to host the Telford was initiated by a chance encounter with John Findlay inplay being delivered by the Mikron Theatre Company. We the Café Bar about 6 weeks ago! John chairs the carbonalso discussed progress with permissions and design for a footprint group for HTMA.plaque to commemorate Telford on the church which willbe unveiled in the summer. I return briefly to the president’s flat to drop my case off and prepare for a meal I am hosting with the vice presidentsDay 155 (Wednesday 11 April) next week. Back in my office I deal with post and sign yetEarly train to London. My first meeting was with Mike more certificates. I then join the BGA evening meetingGeffin, member and MD of Norwest Holst Civil Engineering. on “A Discussion on the Quality of Site Investigations”. AI was delighted that he had taken the initiative to set up a splendid evening meeting with excellent presentations (andmeeting. We discussed the Institution, skills, training and challenges from!) professors Chris Clayton and Barry Clarkequalification. I am expecting to see more NWH visibility and FPS representative Derek Egan.in the institution in the future! I loaned him a copy of AnInconvenient Truth. Day 156 (Thursday 12 April) Carillion day. I join in with and give a presentation to ourMy next meeting was at BP’s headquarters with their company SCE/graduates meeting and hear two excellentDirector of Engineering, John Baxter. John becomes the presentations from the graduates. Helen Whitmore (onePresident of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in of Gordon’s president’s apprentices) was there too to giveMay. We discussed our respective relationships with other advice… she became a chartered engineer at the lastInstitutions and industry bodies and he was particularly keen session and I was able to sign and present her with herto learn more about how our Telford Apprentices scheme membership certificate.was working. This gave me the opportunity to wax lyricalabout this excellent team of enthusiasts and the 8 tasks Day 157 (Friday 13 April)they have completed or are near to completion. Task 2 was Carillion day. In the evening we went to a play by thecompleted just over a week ago and the "Telfords" and Goldthorn Players in Wolverhampton, an excellent comedyNorthern Ireland input has received an enthusiastic response by Bill Naughton called All in Good Timefrom the membership team and its vice president PeterHansford. The issues they collaborated to provide a briefing Day 158 (Saturday 14 April)note on were: Clarinet, followed by a long walk with Dorothy down the Severn Valley. The sound of the Severn Valley Railway train■ Graduate & Student Expectations of the ICE pulling out of Highly station up the hill towards Bridgnorth■ Earlier Qualification and Barriers to Earlier reverberated all over the valley, competing with the song of Qualification the birds and the water rushing over the rapids in the river.■ Governance of ICE and voting rights for the Graduates and Students Day 159 (Sunday 15 April) Clarinet, blog and gardening. 43
  • 45. Week twenty four presidents at the president’s flat. £32.50 for a meal for all 6 of us was really good value!Exec., eco, people, plaques, Day 162 (Wednesday 18 April)pipes and port. Train from London to Newcastle with Andy Gooding who is accompanying me on the presidential visit to the NorthDay 160 (Monday 16 April) East Region. Regional Manager Stephen Larkin met us atCarillion day the station and we set off for the University of Newcastle for the first event. This was a challenge for the six teamsDay 161 (Tuesday 17 April) from three schools to produce a two minute weatherTrain to London. I bump into Pauleen Lane at Euston and forecast style presentation to show what climate change iswe travel together to Westminster, chatting all the way. and how it will affect us all. What great ideas the 15 yearPauleen is a Board Member of the Northwest Regional old students came up with! It was a fun afternoon and weDevelopment Agency, university lecturer and also a former all learnt from the experience. The President’s team camemayor of Trafford as well as being a mum and an Institution sixth… nevermind! Thank you to the graduates who camemember. She was in London to brief new members of along to help and mentor the student teams (perhaps myRDAs. I was on my way to my first meeting of the day with team would have done better if we had had one!). SpecialTom Foulkes. congratulations to GSNet chairman Kate Palmer and her committee for initiating and delivering this excellent event.Tom and I discuss some forward planning for events and the Katerina, the NE Region Telford Apprentice had sourcedRoyal Academy of Engineering and Institutions initiative on some excellent (and sustainable) prizes. I think the oneclimate change. There will soon be something I can report which caused the most amusement was the notepad blockon this. made from elephant dung!I next meet with Lucy Allen, who is on an EngD (EngineeringDoctorate) at the University of Bristol looking at systems We next went to the sustainable Devonshire building forthinking, complexity and sustainable development in the a guided tour by Professor Paul Younger. The building isconstruction context. I last met Lucy as one of the finalists remarkably energy efficient and panels in the reception areain the Science, Engineering and Technology Student of kept us informed on the energy generated and grey waterthe Year Award in 2004. This is a competition for final use.year students for which I have been a judge for the civilengineering sector since the Awards began 10 years ago. A 10 minute walk took us to Northumbria University whereLucy is very focussed, as she demonstrated a year or so ago we had a meeting with RIBA’s JonJo MacNamarra. The NEwhen she gained funding to spend a year studying in Japan. Region is shortly to join forces with RIBA and share facilities adjacent to the RICS offices in the university. JonJo gave usMy next meeting was a brief one with David Lloyd Roach a tour of the architects’ studios where we met and chattedon membership matters and also some statistics about the with a number of the students who were making good useNorth East Region in preparation for my visit there. of their holiday time to work on their projects.In the afternoon I attended the Executive Board meeting, Our last event of the day was to join the Fortuna onwhich was held in my favourite meeting room, the the Tyne in preparation for our boat trip and President’sBazalgette. The room has a lovely barrel roof, a fine Question Time session. We had arrived early so that I couldfireplace and a picture of the great man himself. Bazalgette have a practice with the band. And what a fantastic bandwas president in 1883 and was credited with adding 20 it was! The New Century Ragtime Orchestra was a 10years to the life of EVERY Londoner through the works piece jazz band with some 300 years of musical experiencehe initiated and completed. It was a lively meeting, with between them. I always check the clarinets and saxophonescontributions from everyone…. As you might expect from out and discovered that one sax was 88 years old and theyour representatives! We debated initial thoughts about our other two (one a Selmer, the Rolls Royce of saxophones)relationships with other institutions; 2008 subscriptions (to were both over 60 years old. The sound quality from theserecommend to Council), Equal opportunities and diversity, older instruments is remarkable.the RAE climate change project and a dozen other agendaitems. Our next meeting is at the strategy weekend led by By 6.30pm the graduates and students began to arrive andSenior Vice President David Orr next weekend. I spent the next hour or so chatting and drinking water asIn the evening I hosted a takeaway supper for the vice the Tyne tour took us downstream to the sea. The orchestra 44
  • 46. played and occasionally one of its members broke into adjacent to the Telford Bridge (built 1829 to 1831). Thesong. They were terrific. Following the buffet (no food for Telford Bridge was incredible. Wide and sturdy, built inme before I play or I’ll be even worse) and a spell on deck, local stone, it carried the heavy (in both senses) traffic ofthe musicians started their second “set” (get the jargon the A1 for decades before Morpeth was bypassed. Theright Q!) and soon it was my turn to join in. I leave others to refurbishment too was a delight! The footbridge wascomment on the quality of what was my first (and possibly supported by the stone piers of the original bridge. Thelast!) public performance…. It was a privilege to play with Telford Bridge was built as part of Telford’s improvementthis excellent group of musicians… and they were most plan for the Great North Road. The old bridge was narrowergenerous in providing me with support and hiding my errors and had low parapets, leading to congestion (even in those(well, they did go just a little faster than my fingers could days!) and accidents. Horses, carriages and travellers weremanage at times!). This session was followed by the judging often pitched into the river! Telford built a wider bridge,of Telford apprentice’s task 4, set by Katerina, which was with higher parapets. To recover the costs, a toll wasfor them to design a tee-shirt logo for an event she is introduced and the old bridge was blown up in 1834 (theplanning to promote civil engineering later in the year. With year Telford died) to stop traffic avoiding the tolls. We werehelp from the 70 people present (and the orchestra) we serenaded by Ann Sessoms playing the Northumbrian Smallpicked the winner. Well done Katerina. If I upset any of the Pipes both before and after the plaque unveiling ceremony.apprentices whose designs were not the winner, I will share Following the photo shoot and an interview with thethe blame with the NE GSNet team! This is called “working local press, we all went to the adjacent Morpeth Chantryin partnership with others”! Bagpipe Museum a “must” for any visitor to the North East. I have not realised there were so many different designs ofIt was a splendid evening and I enjoyed chatting to all of pipes and they came from all over Europe. Ann’s pipes werethe young members. This is always a real highlight for me as made by pipe master craftsman Robbie Greensitt. ThankPresident. Thank you Kate and the team for arranging such you to our excellent host Anne Moore, the custodian of thea great event! Thank you too to the Fortuna crew for such a museum and to plaque and event organiser Michael Taylor.great trip on the Tyne. Following a chat and buffet lunch, we all set off for theDay 163 (Thursday 19 April) Port of Blyth. There we were welcomed by Technical and8am and the day starts with a breakfast time session on Operations Director and Institution member Alan Todd.environment and sustainability. Following a coffee and Alan and Chief Executive Martin Lawlor gave us a splendidsnack we all settled down to allow members and guests to presentation on the history of the port and its developmentinterrogate the expert panel. And what an expert panel it and outlined its potential for the future. In particular, Alanwas! described the recently completed development of Battleship Wharf. It was quite evident that the Port of Blyth is one of■ Greg Lutton, Environmental Director at Cundall the significant drivers of the local economy and also that■ Professor Paul Younger, University of Newcastle of the North East. The way Alan delivered the technical,■ Adrian Hilton, Regional Climate Change Coordinator community and environmental aspects of the project■ Dermott Roddy, CEO, Renew Tees Valley Ltd. demonstrated excellence in all areas and to cap it all, the success of the project was underpinned by using the veryWe had a lively discussion and the experts really showed best of contracts…. NEC!!! Attention to detail in addressingthe breadth and depth of their knowledge. We spent most project planning and management and in particular in theof the session on climate change and energy issues before way noise and dust impacts were minimised demonstratedmoving into resource use (includes waste!!), procurement, the professional approach of the whole team.constraints and strategic issues. We finished off talkingabout practical measures and the need to identify business Following the presentation, we were taken on a tour ofbenefit and opportunity… for communities, clients and the port and even had the chance to meet the brand newbusinesses. A special thank you to the panel and to Brian £1.6million, 400 tonne dock crane. Thanks you to Alan andReeve, Stephen Larkin, Rob Banyard, Seed Chordy and, the team and especially Harbour Master Mike Halley andDuncan Cox and Ian Gray for their contributions. An crane driver Billy.excellent initiative from Chairman John Jeffrey and histeam! The final event of the day was the North East Annual Dinner. Yet another splendid occasion. Kate Palmer gaveBy 10.30am we were speeding (not literally) off to Morpeth an excellent toast to the institution. As usual, as President Ito unveil a plaque on a refurbished footbridge bridge responded… my 10th black tie dinner and my 55th speech 45
  • 47. or presentation. The great highlight of the evening was ofcourse the opportunity to celebrate people and projects.First the GSNet papers competition winner and then theStephenson Awards. The “S” awards are named afterRobert Stephenson (1803-1859), son of George. Robert wasborn in Newcastle and was of course the designer of TheRocket, which was also built in Newcastle. Stephenson ofcourse also was responsible for the High Level Bridge overthe Tyne, the world’s first box girder spanning the MenaiStraits and many other notable projects. He became MP forWhitby and President of the Institution in 1856. Details ofthe awards and winners are on the ICE NE website here:Day 164 (Friday 20 April)A day of travel and a special visit. Following the Yorkshireand Humber Awards, City of York sustainability officerKristina Peat had invited me to the ecoDepot. Since thetrain was taking us passed it, it seemed efficient to stop offto see this remarkable project. Read all about it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/northyorkshire/content/articles/2005/12/20/eco_depot_blog_1_feature.shtmlSee also Christian Vassie’s blog and follow the developmentof the project! Christian is a local councillor and has beeninvolved with York’s ecoDepot project from the start.Thank you to Kristina, Daniel and Simon for the tour anddiscussion.Day 165 (Saturday 21 April)Alveley Band in the morning. I am getting better slowly.Iain Masson has an amazing skill and ear…. Mentoring,coaching and enthusing 30 musicians of differing abilities(poor (that’s me) to fantastic (the other 29).I dash home for a while and then am off again to playhockey in our over Supervets team (the super refers to theage rather than the skill level). We travel with 8 players toplay local giants Barford Tigers.Fortunately they lend us three players, Pav, Ali and Rupe. Itwas a fast and hard game. Fortunately Pav and Ali addedmuch to the Bridgnorth midfield powerhouse of Robin,Steve and Martin. We won 4-1 and I was lucky enough tobe hovering near to the goal and popped a couple in.Day 166 (Sunday 22 April)Great cycle ride down the River Severn to the SevernCountry Park with Dorothy and a friend. We have a picniclunch and I puff back with tired legs. In the evening I have asaxophone lesson… my first for over two years. Although Ihave been playing it a bit, the clarinet has rather taken oversince it is much lighter to take on my travels. 46
  • 48. Week twenty five kindly hosted a visit for us to the Silent Valley to see the Silent Valley and Ben Crom Reservoirs. This is a fantasticPortrait, Exec study period water supply scheme which supplies water for most of County Down and a large part of Belfast. It was a lovelyand Watermark sunny day with a fine breeze. The valley and the mountains were spectacular and the history of the constructionDay 167 (Monday 23 April) fascinating. It was encouraging to hear that geotechnicalCarillion day engineering featured strongly. Hugh boulders 12ft in diameter had led the design team to believe that bedrockDay 168 (Tuesday 24 April) was at 60ft depth. But the cut off level proved elusive andCarillion day, but also responded to lots of Institution emails was eventually found at 190 ft! I admired the optimism andand drafted my presentation and speech for the Think ’07 perseverance of the construction team! The programmeconference next week. stretched from 6 to 10 years and the arbitration was held in the Slieve Donnard Hotel! The other thing which reallyDay 169 (Wednesday 25 April) struck me on our way to the Silent Valley was the dryCarillion day, but was in London and had been invited stone walls… so incredibly chunky and so many of themto the opening of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters surrounding small enclosures. Thank you Stuart for the tourSummer Exhibition. My presidential portrait, by John and the technical details and to Bill for organising the tourEdwards, is one of the exhibits. It is a fantastic exhibition (and, I think, the weather!).and will be visited by around 5000 people over the next .4 weeks, after which my portrait will be returned to One Day 173 (Sunday 29 April)Great George Street. I later held a brief meeting with Mike Travelled home, saxophone lesson and prepared for nextChrimes to discuss some historical artefacts which are being week.presented to the Institution. More of this in a future blog.Day 170 (Thursday 26 April) to day 172 (Saturday 28April)Worked at home then travelled to Northern Ireland for theExecutive Board study period. This year we reviewed thefirst Institution strategy and its delivery, which was initiatedby Adrian Long in his senior vice presidential year back in2002. The objective was to develop our Institution strategyfor the next 5 years. As you appreciate, Council is thedecision making body for our Institution and the ExecutiveBoard is charged with doing the ground work and bringingrecommendations to Council. It was a very productive 2days in terms of developing the strategy. The study periodwas held at the Slieve Donnard hotel in Newcastle, CountyDown… where the mountains of Mourne reach down tothe sea. During the leisure breaks, we enjoyed walks alongthe beech and I managed 3 short sessions flying one of mytraction kites. A number of the executive team membersalso enjoyed trying to control the four line, and quitepowerful kite.On the Friday evening we were treated to a musical delightwith Irish airs and music from the shows sung and playedby Watermark. Thank you Sharon (David Orr’s daughter,vocals and flute), Christine (vocals and keyboard) and Ken(Christine’s husband, narrator, link man and vocalist parexcellence).The study period finished at lunchtime and Bill Gowdy 47
  • 49. Week twenty six sessions were introduced by excellent presentations. Professor Colin Bailey (Uni Manchester) and RaymondJohn Cox and half way point Coe (Black and Veatch, the “customer” view) introduced the first session. Colin had some remarkable data andDay 174 (Monday 30 April) analysis. (I’ve asked him to submit it for publication in theCarillion day. I squeeze in a chat to undergraduates and a proceedings. I later sadly discover our proceedings havePresident’s Question Time. rejected his previous paper on the subject.Day 175 (Tuesday 1 May) Professor David Loveday (Loughborough), Peter Head (Arup,Mixed day. The Institution part of the day includes 3 brief a remarkable story about Dongtan) and Professor Rogermeetings (one on forthcoming visits) and loads of post Venables (Crane Environmental, CEEQUAL and Queen’sand certificate signing. Leave the Institution late for a University Belfast) were the presenters for this session.geotechnical chat and meal. I have lots of correspondence It was an interesting and useful debate in both sessions.about the Bellamy paper in the proceedings published last We could have spent a day on each of these subjects, butweek. Note that the views published in our proceedings academics pick things up quickly!... and we needed to getare not the views of the Institution! We publish papers onto the afternoon topics of accreditation and the Bolognato engender discussion and there will be the opportunity agreement. I left after lunch, having appreciated theto read alternative views in the forthcoming issues of the opportunity to chat to friends old and new.proceedings. Two more short meetings before I host an InstitutionI must commend the briefing note on page 51 of the Forum meeting with employers and academics. Theseproceedings to you all (reference: Proc. Institution of Civil Forum meetings help the Institution gain strategic adviceEngineers, Civil Engineering, 2007, 160, No. CE02). Jointly and support from senior members. Our topic today wasauthored by all the Telford Apprentices, lead by Alexandros industry/academic links. The key question was what couldFeretzakis and Doug Forbes, this is the first publication the Institution do to support and develop links to thefrom this excellent group of young engineers. This is the benefit of all (universities, employers, students, researchers,output from task 1. They were given two and a half weeks academics, the Institution and of course society). I make 3to produce it in a collaborative way and delivered on time tightly written pages of notes and we gain a real insight asand to specification. I was so pleased with their work that to the key issues and potential solutions. The membershipI sent it down to the proceedings for the editor to consider team, led by vice president Peter Hansford and directorits publication. David Lloyd Roach will take this valuable contribution back to their committee. All of us will benefit from the thoughtsDay 176 (Wednesday 2 May) and guidance of the Forum members.ffb. I am getting some comments about “fruit forbreakfast”! It works for me. It is usually all I have, but in The Forum meeting closes just before 6pm and I rush toNewcastle last week I added porridge and a vegetarian the Telford Theatre to run through the programme for thecooked plate…. hence the “amusing” comments! I sign evening Prestige Lecture. This was a joint Institution andyet more certificates: on this occasion for companies TRF Fellows lecture entitled “Sustainable bridges throughwho have approved training schemes. I then meet briefly innovative advances”. Transport Research Foundationwith membership director David Lloyd Roach to discuss Fellow Adrian Long delivered a brilliant lecture. Adrian wasmembership issues prior to my visits to Wales and the of course our President from 2002 to 2003. The lecture wasWest Midlands. I am joined by West Midlands’ Telford followed by a prestige dinner in the Council Room. Two ofApprentice, Ben Maltby. my apprentices, Doug Forbes and James Wallace joined us for the lecture and the dinner. In the tradition of springingAt 9.30am we all head for the Institution of Structural tasks on apprentices, James was invited to say grace. He didEngineers to join the ACED meeting with our two a good job!Institutions. ACED is the Association of Civil EngineeringDepartments. IStructE Senior Vice President Sarah Buck Day 177 (Thursday 3 May)and I both have a few minutes to present an overview of No breakfast! I went straight to Think ’07 to install andour Institution activities and then each chair one of the prepare for my presentation on driving sustainability intotwo morning sessions. These were the quality of design business practice and an industry perspective on the valuein the built environment and meeting the challenges of built environment professionals can contribute to deliveringembedding sustainability in design teaching. The two on the sustainability agenda. I bump into a former 48
  • 50. employee who is now working at a strategic level on this for Open your eyes, love, and go onGovernment. 300 people packed the church to pay their respects to aI return to the Institution to sign more certificates and great man, the motorway man. John we celebrate your lifehave a diary meeting with President’s PA Clare. I next have and will remember you.a meeting to discuss some strategic research issues inhighways. Day 179 (Saturday 5 May)I travel back to Wolverhampton intending to attend a Alveley Band. The practice was to prepare for the firstmeeting in Shrewsbury on Telford. Time and tiredness concert of the year. I will be in Cardiff, then Wolverhamptonleaves me deciding to go home rather than only catch the and finally Shrewsbury with my Institution hat on, so willlast quarter of the meeting. sadly miss the event. Blog and postcard writing.Day 178 (Friday 4 May) Day 180 (Sunday 6 May)Carillion day. In the afternoon I attend a service of Cooked lunch, saxophone lesson and music practice.celebration for John Cox in Wolverhampton. John washimself a colossus of roads. Agent for the first motorway in Today marks 6 months as President. My key impressions atthe UK, he had left school at 14 in 1934 (100 years after the the halfway point:death of Telford). He first joined a builders’ merchant andthen joined Bernard Sunley. During this period he attended 1. Our members are fantastic! So many ofevening classes to develop his engineering knowledge. By them contribute so much to support schools,1939 he was building airfields all over the place and moved undergraduates and young engineers… and toto Northern Ireland. He joined the Preston bypass project sharing that all important engineering knowledge.(later to become the M6) and managed the largest fleet of 2. The graduates and students are energised andearth moving equipment ever seen. He then became “Mr. enthusiastic, but sadly quite a few seem to drop awayMotorway Man” and built motorways all over the UK… M1, following professional qualification. We must retainM6, M9, M25, M74, M90 and many more. He rose up the their important contribution to our Institution andTarmac ranks to become a Tarmac Construction director. society.He contributed to our Institution and to the Institution of 3. The Institution is held in high respect wherever I haveHighways and Transportation (as IHT President in 1982). Sir been. Our contribution and involvement is importantWilliam Francis delivered the tribute to John… and moving and valued.it was. 4. Mentoring is happening all over the place, but some do not understand its benefits or what mentoringApart from all the remarkable achievements in our industry, really is.two facts stood out. The first was that he proposed to 5. Our members have delivered some magnificenthis wife Rosemary within 24 hours of their meeting. The projects and sustainability is core to that delivery.second showed his strength of character and compassion. 6. I cannot describe just how much fun this job is. It is aFollowing the tragic death of his son of a brain tumour real honour and privilege to be President.at the age of 24, he offered to donate his organs to helpsave the lives of others. Next, he initiated and established Statistics at the halfway point:the NHS donor register. 14 million of us now carry thesedonor cards. My card says “I would like to help someone to Meetings and events: 298live after my death”. All his life John helped and mentored People I have spoken directly to: 9,400others. Beyond it, he will still have an influence on millions Lunches and dinners 96, of which 10 were black tie, somewho hold these cards and will continue to help many many were sandwiches!thousands. I just feel humble. I shall always remember his Presentations: 59jovial and positive style. My thoughts and prayers are with Miles: 24,921, of which 11,666 long haul air, 1,150 shorthis lovely wife Rosemary and their daughter Christine. I haul air, 9,501 rail, 1,891 by car (about half in mine), 9 onwill close this day by recounting two lines from the poem foot (probably underestimated!)Christine read entitled “You can shed tears”: The poem Carbon footprint for travel and hotels: 1.51 trees,helps us to realise we should celebrate John’s life and Blog: more than 35,000 wordsrecognise the privilege of having met with him and enjoyedhis company:Open your eyes and see all that he has left 49
  • 51. Week twenty seven until 2010. This has meant that the 2006 students have seen their award rise to £2,000 per annum and the 2007Quest, Wales and Telford candidates can apply for an award worth £3,000 matching the annual fees of a course. A real incentive to apply toDay 181 (Monday 7 May) become a civil engineering undergraduate.Bank holiday day. Tidied barn after building workscompleted and played some saxophone. TV and radio presenter Kate Bellingham delivered an inspiring speech, recognising the importance of civilDay 182 (Tuesday 8 May) engineering and the opportunities the Quest scholarshipsEarly train to London. Post and signing yet more certificates. provide to students. Kate is a real engineering enthusiast.I have meetings with Margaret Adey of the Cambridge She trained as an engineer with the BBC before being luredProgramme for Industry and then Professor Tim Broyd into ‘show-business’ presenting TV and radio programmesof Halcrow and the University of Dundee followed by on science and technology, and is probably best known fora meeting with Senior Vice president David Orr. In the her 4 years on ‘Tomorrow’s World’.afternoon I meet with Tom Foulkes and have a briefing onthe Presidential Visit to the West Midlands. Until this year, she divided her time between presenting work and promoting engineering as a profession, mostIn the evening, I join the Quest 30th Anniversary event. notably as President of Young Engineers (the networkQuest scholars from three decades were in attendance. of engineering clubs in schools) and as Patron of WISEQuest Chairman, past President, Adrian Long welcomed (Women in Science and Engineering). After talking of theeveryone and set the scene and laid down a challenge. importance of confident and competent teachers, sheFrom its start in 1977, the Quest scheme has been decided devote a year to train to be a secondary schoolachieving its original objective – to support civil engineering maths teacher and is just 10 weeks away from Qualifiedundergraduates and members working towards their Teacher Status - a qualification to join her MSc in Electronicsdegree, developing their skills, or travelling, but most and honorary degree from the University of Staffordshire.importantly – encouraging the brightest and the best to stay Thank you Kate for your contribution.in the profession. This is really important for the future ofcivil engineering as we address the major issues facing the We also heard two excellent presentations from Questworld today, particularly climate change and sustainability. scholars.It is evident that we need young engineers, and excellent First was graduate member Sam Stephens, who studied atengineers more than ever - making a major contribution to Bristol University. In 2004 he received a Quest travel awardsolving these problems. to present a paper at a conference in Brazil. Next on was Owen Jones, a 2004 Quest scholar currently studying for anOver the years it has been interesting to see how the Quest MEng at Imperial College. Both demonstrated the benefitsaward has evolved. Since 1977, over 800 people have had of Quest funding eloquently.the benefit of an award from the Quest scheme, and manyof them are still in the civil engineering profession. That says The final presentation was from Natalie Curling, thewe are doing something right. Training and Development manager at Mott MacDonald Group who identified the business benefits gained throughThe number of awards increased from 48 in 2004, to supporting the scheme and the students. Telford Apprentice80 in 2006. This year there will be about 90 awards. A Alex Feretzakis was present, so “volunteered” to coordinatetremendous growth. Adrian’s challenge is to increase this to a briefing note from the last three presenters. Thank you190 over the next two years. Alex, and thank you for stepping forward to help more members share the fantastic Quest story. Thank you tooA development over recent years has been Quest’s Adrian for all your sterling work… and to Brian Crossley,partnering with employers - a great idea suggested by the previous chairman, who laid the foundations for muchAdrian. We have seen the number of companies grow from of the success we see today.9 in 2003 to more than 30 in 2007. At the same time, thevalue of the award has grown. Thank you too to Tim, Mateus, Maria and Lisa who are the Nolde Quartet for the excellent chamber music thatThe most recent development is the major contribution evening.by ConstructionSkills, the government-funded sector skillscouncil. They have pledged to provide funds for Quest 50
  • 52. Day 183 (Wednesday 9 May) work of EFOD, the voluntary ICE Wales sub group, set upCarillion day. I was interviewed for our company magazine six years ago to support those less well off than ourselves.which is marking the mid point of my presidency. The current project is to raise funds, £20,000 to construct a medical centre in Soroti, Uganda. Tears welled in my eyesDay 184 (Thursday 10 May) as John explained what they were doing and the needsEarly start to drive to Wales for my Presidential visit. they were addressing. The passion and enthusiasm wasUnfortunately the train times would not allow me to reach infectious. I immediately pledged my support for the fundCardiff in time to fulfil my first event. I was chairing the 9am raising cycle ride from Cardiff to One Great George Streetsession of the 7th Wales National Transport Conference. to raise funds. If you too or your companies can provideThe conference was organised by ICE Wales in conjunction some support for this worthy cause and to support thesewith IHT, CILT UK and supported by Constructing Excellence enthusiastic graduate members, then please get in touchin Wales and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. with John via ICE Wales.Institution member (fellow) Robin Shaw, Director ofTransport for the Welsh Assembly Government, gave the Finally, we heard of incoming chairman Mike Pearson’sfirst keynote speech covering minister Andrew Davies’ slot plans for the next year. I never cease to be amazed by theas well as his own. energy and enthusiasm of our young members and yet again see a great future for them and the Institution.Andrew has been a great supporter and regular speaker atthe conference in previous years, but was understandably The final “event” of the evening is to return to Cardiffdiverted by coalition talks for the Welsh Assembly following Bay in the rain for a meal with ICE Wales members…. Athe elections on 3 May. We heard about the joined up great evening, despite my umbrella taking a walk from thethinking and initiatives ( for example, Walk to Schools and restaurant.Smarter choice Wales) which has enabled Wales to bejustifiably proud of the way it has delivered for transport Day 185 (Friday 11 May)over recent years. Just dynamic! The first meeting was with Melisa Kitson, Chief Executive of Constructing Excellence Wales. Melisa outlined theNext on was Bob Brierley who described the work of objectives and achievements of ICE Wales, which had beenSEWTA, a consortium of 10 local government bodies who chaired by our very own excellent Denys Morgan untilwere working together to deliver a strategy for the whole recently. Denys seems to know everyone in Wales! CE areof South East Wales. The conference had started well! doing great work, so please look at their website.What a good example of Institutions working together forthe benefit of society. I was able to stay until lunch and Our next meeting was with Bob Brierley and Colin Eades ofthen was taken on a tour of some of the flagship buildings SEWTA who provided more detail about the integration ofand projects completed in Cardiff in recent years: I was transport plans in South East Wales. During this meeting,especially impressed by the Welsh Assembly building and Bob Gilchrist arrived with the Wales Centenary Bridge andthe Cardiff Barrage (I had worked on an unsuccessful tender two G&S volunteers to build the 12.2m long, 6.22 m spanabout 10 years ago!). suspension bridge. And what an impressive bridge it is! By the end of the summer over 2,500 school students will haveIn the early evening I attended the Wales Region committee. been involved in building it. Incredible and such a fantasticThe main business was to hear from the Graduates and way to promote civil engineering to the next generation.Students about their activities over the past year. And what The second bridge I have had the privilege to open thisan active and energetic group they are! Chairman Katalin year!Andrasi outlined their objectives and achievements forthe year and Adam Johnson gave a short presentation on Our next meeting was with some 30 fellow builttheir Scotland trip. I wish I had been invited! They visited environment and academic institutions. We debatedthe Forth Bridge, Edinburgh, the Falkirk Wheel and the sustainability, the marketplace and skills over a leisurelyForth and Clyde canal. Past president, Gordon Masterton sandwich lunch. I officially opened the bridge and carriedhad joined the trip at Falkirk and joined in with the serious out what was called a “Presidential test”.ale trail investigations and analysis. Special thanks to MrsSandra Purves of PHEW who had provided the Edinburgh In the evening was the Wales Region Annual Dinner. 330engineering tour. enthusiastic civil engineers and their guests celebrating their awards and hearing the words of Chairman Bob Slorach.We then all heard from John Farrow who described the The guest speaker was Mai Davies, the TV presenter and 51
  • 53. journalist who had kindly stepped in at 24 hours notice.Mai and Bob kindly coached me on the pronunciation ofthe Pont Cysyllte Aqueduct. It was a great event and I reallyenjoyed to opportunity to meet up with friends old andnew.Thank you Bob, Katalin, Telford Apprentice Tim O’Brian,Denys and the committee for such a fantastic visit to Wales.Day 186 (Saturday 12 May)Returned to Wolverhampton to join the Mayor, the City ofWolverhampton Buildings Preservation Trust and 30 othersat the 12 George Street open day. A splendid refurbishmentof a building which had previously been “at risk”. I thendrove to Telford’s first major bridge, the Montford Bridge,where I caught up with the West Midlands “TelfordTour” being led by Roger Cragg. The tour then went onto the Longton Aqueduct, the first use of cast iron for anaqueduct. Arrived home tired at 6pm.Day 187 (Sunday 13 May)Rainy day for Dorothy and friends to walk 12 miles inpreparation for a charity walk, the Bridgnorth Walk, onBank Holiday Monday. I played clarinet and saxophone andprepared lunch and for the next week. Late pm train backto London. 52
  • 54. Week twenty eight measurement.Council and West Midlands The afternoon is taken up by a 4 hour Council meeting. We debate and vote on subscriptions for next year; discussDay 188 (Monday 14 May) our annual report and some 16 other agenda items. ThisEarly start in the Institution after the 10 minute walk from is followed by a presentation by VP Scott Steedman on thethe President’s flat. I cleared some post and signed more engineering of Hurricane Katrina. A fascinating story and acertificates… a training scheme for the Public Works real demonstration of how engineering analysis can provideDepartment in Brunei amongst others. I worked with them solutions in disaster scenarios.on some road projects some 12 years ago. Day 190 (Wednesday 16 May)I spend the first half of the morning at the Geotechnique Train to Coventry to be met by West Midlands ChairmanSymposium in Print event. I had the pleasure of welcoming Ed Gardiner, Telford Apprentice Ben Maltby and Regionalthe 200 delegates to the Institution and the symposium. Manager Steve Feeley.The first keynote speech was by Professor Dick Chandlerwho spoke on geological origins and engineering properties Our first meeting is at Coventry University with universityof stiff sedimentary clays. This excellent start was followed department representatives from Coventry, Birmingham,up by two more presentations from Dr. Rameus Gallois Wolverhampton and Warwick. We discuss the differentand Mike De Freitas. Two more real experts, both providing entry cohorts and teaching methods of the universitiesenergetic presentations with a real WOW factor. I was able and the need for more practical experience for universityto chat to fellow geotechnical engineers over tea and then lecturers and more practical input in the teaching of civilhad to leave for other meetings. I suggest members read engineering.the report of the symposium. It was a very informative meeting. I was struck by theI next had a diary and correspondence catch up meeting passion to deliver educated graduates (from HND, HNCwith Clare Gray followed by a council briefing with Tom through to degree level) for society. Budget and otherFoulkes and a briefing on my forthcoming presidential visit restraints do not make this easy. The balance of researchto Poland. and teaching was one of the main problems identified. It was noted that experienced practitioners could notIn the afternoon I met briefly with Jonathan Jong. Jonathan possibly become university lecturers and professors. Thishad missed the presentation event for his membership was because the funding “system” demands that universitycertificate and wanted a photo and a brief chat. Next Tom lecturers have doctorates and can produce regular publishedand I went to the Institution of Structural Engineers with papers of their research work. Thank you Dr. John DaviesSVP David Orr for one of our regular meetings. The meeting and to Coventry University for hosting this event.was hosted by the IStructE President David Harvey, who hasbecome a friend as well as an Institution colleague. David We next travelled to Kings Heath on the outskirts ofis also a fellow of our Institution. We discussed registration, Birmingham for a half day seminar with Sustainability Westthe Royal Academy of Engineers climate change initiative, Midlands and the IMechE entitled “Engineering Solutions tothe ETB, the Bologna agreement, university funding, Climate Change Adaption”. Ed Gardiner chaired the eventtraining schemes, SCOSS and CROSS. and I gave the introductory keynote. We then heard from the York EcoDepot team and about Bilston Urban Village.Day 189 (Tuesday 15 May) Both were excellent examples of farsighted and visionaryBusy day, so I get into the Institution early. I find Tom is clients (York Council and Wolverhampton City Council) andthere too… at 6.30am! We both have busy days and much both presented some great engineering design and delivery.to do. I catch up with post and am then interviewed byEmma Crates for Construction News on sustainability. I After the tea break we heard about solutions and inhope the printed version turns out well! particular learnt how construction businesses were responding to the challenge of climate change withI have meetings with Tom and then Anne Moir (Director two great examples from Peter Braithwaite of Arup. Theof Communications and Marketing). I next meet with whole event was expertly summarised in 5 minutes byGemma Roberts a policy advisor with the Local Government Sustainability West Midlands’ Director John Sharpe. Over 60Policy Group… we discuss integration of sustainability delegates went away with a multitude of ideas and soundinto working practices and ideas about carbon footprint evidence that being more sustainable is better for clients, 53
  • 55. business, communities and the planet! engineers and both have made such great contributions to both engineering knowledge and mentoring and developingOur final event of the day was a meal in the Bank young engineers. Keep checking Spirit of Telford website forRestaurant in Brindley Place with committee members more information! Thank you to all the sponsors, entrantsand some IMechE guests, including Vice President David and award winners… and thank you too to Steve FeeleyGreenway. We had some great discussions around and his team for putting on such a fantastic event.the table. By coffee time it was time to put the TelfordApprentice on the spot and give his view on how the Dorothy and I then headed off for the train to Londonapprentice scheme was working this year. David Orr is to attend an “at home” in Kensington Palace, hosted byconsidering how best to develop the scheme for next year, Sir Michael and Lady Peat. Sir Michael chairs the Princeso comments and analysis will be listened to! Ben identified of Wales’ Accounting for Sustainability project and wasthe benefits to him personally and to his company and also hosting a get together for steering group members. It wasemphasised how much it had helped him to understand a great opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss issuesbetter how the Institution works and how it represents its across all UK business sectors.80,000 members. We had an open debate with the clearmessage that we should not bypass the GSNet… in other Day 192 (Friday 18 May)words those young members who had already shown Ffb and met British Tunnelling Society Chairman Bill Grosscommitment and were making such great contributions to in the café bar. I then cleared some post and spent theour Institution and society. Message understood! If anyone rest of the morning judging the first round of the Britishelse has views on how the Telford Apprentice scheme is Construction Industry Awards (BCIA).working please send in a comment or two. Their task list onthe website (via my page) will be updated shortly. A great Following this I dropped in at the tail end of the Associatedevening! Societies meeting and had a couple of brief meetings before catching the train home.Day 191 (Thursday 17 May)Breakfast canal boat trip and question time with graduates The Institution has 14 associated societies. The Britishand students. Chairman Phil is reporting what I said on Geotechnical Association (BGA), with 1,400 members isthe web apparently. I did not see much of the canal, but one of them. You may recall I chaired the BGA for twoenjoyed the meeting! We started with coffee and a chat years about 6 years ago. The Institution provides £250kand then I responded to the questions, some of which support for these associated societies, essentially subsidisinggraduate members had emailed in. Thank you Simon, Tim, the individual member subscriptions. In return, they assistChris, Michael, Efren, Colin and Kate for the questions and us in delivering our learned society function. The BGA fordiscussion. example, has fulfilled the role of the Institution Ground Board since 2001. The Institution collects subscriptions,We then braved the rain and took a short taxi ride to the provides administration support and provides roomsThinktank at Millenium Point where the ICE West Midlands for meetings and events. I hope you appreciate yourAwards 2007 were taking place. The guest presenter was subscriptions are well spent… I think so! All members haveTV and radio presenter and personality Adrian Goldburg. the benefit of a wider selection of meetings to attend. TheAdrian and I toured the project stands and exhibition and BGA for example contributes to codes and standards andjoined the 150 members and guests for a buffet lunch (my has recently, with others produced a new specification for109th lunch or dinner!). There were all fantastic projects. piling and diaphragm walling. Their most popular meeting,We were treated to a short briefing by each team, which the Rankine Lecture attracts over 750 attendees everyturned them from two to three dimensional. Nothing beats year…as it has done for the past 10 years.passionate engineers talking about their work! Day 193 (Saturday 19 May)The awards ceremony was held in the lecture theatre. Band, work and Institution emails all day. In the eveningAdrian introduced the event and summarised each of the Dorothy and I attend a concert entitled “Elgar – the Musicprojects before the winners were announced. I made a short Maker”. A choral and orchestral concert. Absolutelyspeech and then had the honour of handing out most of magnificent!the awards, taking time for a brief chat as the photographswere taken. See the ICE West Midlands website for all the Day 194 (Sunday 20 May)details! I also presented two Spirit of Telford awards to Neil Emails, blog, eventually sax and clarinet practice.Dancer and Chris Nason. Neil and Chris are truly excellent 54
  • 56. Week twenty nine members. The formal part of our proceedings was to sign a cooperation agreement and a declaration supporting theMadrid and Barcelona existing recognition agreements we have with the Colegio. In Spain it is compulsory to be a member of the Colegio inDay 195 (Monday 21 May) order to practise as a professional engineer. The signatures,Carillion day opening friendship and photographs were followed by an excellent lunch. I am tempted by too many spicy sausages.Day 196 (Tuesday 22 May)Travel to Madrid. Rather dangerous and circuitous route taxi At 4.30pm, with lunch just completed, we then hadride to the hotel and then to our first meeting. an open session with Institution members, Colegio members and representatives from a number of keyCountry representative Jose Cordovilla met with Tom Spanish contractors and Techniberia-Asince (the Spanishand I and we were taken to the offices of the Asociacion organisation of civil engineering consultants). There werede Ingenieros de Caminos Canales y Puertos to discuss a number of short presentations followed by a questionthe training, development and qualification of engineers and discussion session which took us to 7pm. There wasin Spain and sign a cooperation agreement with them. considerable interest in the UK construction market, theWe met with President Miguel Aguilo, Secretary General PFI process and yet more debate about the training andRosario Martinez Vazquez de Parga and other members of qualification of engineers. There was some considerabletheir Board. Also present was Miguel Santos, who is the debate about the skills shortage and real interest in ourAsociacion’s representative in the UK. Miguel Santos works Quest sponsorship scheme. To close the evening, wein Lichfield and I had met him the previous week at the adjourned to a restaurant for more wonderful SpanishWest Midlands Awards event. cuisine.The Asociacion then kindly took Tom and me and our wives Day 198 (Thursday 24 May)out to dinner. We had a most entertaining and convivial Ffb and we were collected by Jose to visit Torre Espacio,evening, despite having to dodge the heaviest rain Madrid a 57 story building being constructed by OHL. This is ahad seen for years! The highlights on the menu were two of project with some real engineering challenges, not least thethe desserts: curdled lady and bacon of sky! impressive 4m thick post tensioned slab. Project Director Jose Luis Martinez described the engineering detail and theDay 197 (Wednesday 23 May) planning and logistics required to construct such a signatureExcellent breakfast (including the fruit!). Jose collected Tom building.and me from the hotel for our first meeting which was withInstitution members. We have just over 100 members in We leave in the pouring rain for a meeting at the BritishSpain and 9 of them had come from as far away as Bilbao Consulate with members of the Trade and Investment Teamto meet with us and join in with the days events. Once we before saying our “good byes” to Jose and taking a taxi toall introduced ourselves Tom and I briefed them on our the airport to travel to Barcelona for the second part of outcurrent Institution activities and aspirations, Telford 250 Spain visit.celebration activities and changes in the learned societyknowledge delivery. We then all discussed qualification Jose, if you are reading this, thank you so much for beingprocesses and complications with direct debit payments such an excellent host and for fulfilling your role as ourfrom the local banks. Susana was particularly interested Country Representative so well. My best wishes to you andin contributing to the diversity debate, so look out for her your wife for the birth of your son in 4 weeks time.name in the future! Tom and I met up with our wives at the airport and flew toOf our members in Spain, split evenly were those whose Barcelona. Our bags, along with those of some 20 otherjobs or family connections had taken them to Spain and passengers were left in Madrid. Two hours after landing,local Spaniards who had travelled to the UK for jobs or to Tom and I finally made it to the front of the “baggageattend university. handling” queue (perhaps baggage miss-handling might be a better expression) and were processed. We wereBy lunchtime (1.30pm) we were joined by members of assured that our bags would catch us up within 24 hours.the Colegio de Ingenieros de Caminos Canales y Puertos, We were not that confident! No-one knew where ourthe qualifying body for engineers in Spain. We met bags were. There was some small hope that they had beenwith President Edelmiro Rua Alvarez and other senior placed on the next flight… and imagine our relief when 55
  • 57. our bags suddenly appeared! We had lost our “free time”in Barcelona, but at least we could change out of our suits,which had become well drenched during the day.Day 199 (Friday 25 May)Ffb! Our last formal meeting of the visit was at theTechnical University of Catalunya. Our host was AntonioHuerta, Director of the Escola Tecnica Superior d’Enginyersde Camins, Canals I Ports de Barcelona. We met withmembers of the school of engineering (3000 students!)and once again debated the training and qualification ofengineers. Once again, there was considerable interestedin our processes and especially the ability to transferacross membership grades. We held a short meeting withInstitution members and then toured the structures andgeotechnical laboratories.The visit closed with a buffet lunch with departmental staff.Tom then headed for the airport. I was staying an extranight and took the opportunity to take Professor AntonioGens out to dinner. Antonio had delivered the BritishGeotechnical Association’s 47th Rankine Lecture in Marchof this year to 800 geotechnical enthusiastic BGA membersat Imperial College.Day 200 (Saturday 26 May)Dorothy and I spend the day as tourists before going to theairport at 4.30pm. Unfortunately our flight was delayed byseveral hours and we did not arrive home until 1am UK timethe following morning (2am Spain time!).Day 201 (Sunday 27 May)Clarinet catch up and lesson. 56
  • 58. Week thirty signing more certificates. I then had an up-date meeting with Tom Foulkes and yet more time to catch up on myPontcysyllte, E of E G&S, post.something wise I hear a marching band and dash out into the street to watch 6 army bands march past practising for the TroupingDay 202 (Monday 28 May) the Colour on Saturday 16 June. I counted clarinets (8 inBank holiday Monday. Dorothy took part in the Bridgnorth each band) and saxophones (2 to 4 in each band).Walk. 22 miles to the Brown Clee and back to Bridgnorth.She raised £150 for the Bridgnorth Africa Appeal. Train to Hatfield for an event organised by the Herts and Beds Graduates and Students. Chairman RichardDay 203 (Tuesday 29 May) Elliott welcomed us and kicked off the session with anCarillion day. introduction to the afternoon’s events and a briefing on ourMeeting with University of Wolverhampton PhD student ICE engineering Ambassadors. Richard defined who couldI am mentoring who is working on the business case for be ambassadors: anyone with enthusiasm who can inspiresustainability from an accounting perspective. young people about engineering! Once again I hear about all the great work promoting engineering and mentoringDay 204 (Wednesday 30 May) our potential engineers of tomorrow. I have asked him toTrain to London. Caught up on post and signing certificates produce a briefing note based on his excellent presentation.plus a few company emails. Diary meeting with President’sPA Clare, followed by a briefing on Interwise from Richard We then heard from Pauline Beszent about SETNET andArmstrong. The Interwise system allows members across SETPOINT and the benefits for businesses and organisationsthe globe to join in with lectures and meetings live… or getting involved in these ambassadors schemes. The ICEplayback meetings at a later date. I discover that I can listen Ambassador scheme is now fully aligned with SETNET.to and view the slides of my Presidential Address! Pauline was the employer sponsor for the next item on theMy next meeting is with geotechnical engineers Sarah agenda which was a presentation from the St Albans SchoolStallebrass and Dave Richards who have come in for a team which took part in this years Engineering Educationdiscussion about helping academics become chartered Scheme . This is a national scheme which provides schoolsengineers. Membership Director David Lloyd Roach also with some real engineering projects. The school teams arejoined in the discussion, which I think has helped both sides mentored by young engineers and supported by companies.improve their understanding of the issues. I hope to have In this case Terry, Jo and Richard set a challenge for Adam,more to report back on this later in the year. We need to Adam, Todd and Ben to design a sustainable transportencourage more academics to become chartered members solution for a park and ride scheme and the new footballand fellows. Thank you Sarah and David for giving your ground in St Albans. A, A, T & B did a great job andtime to help on this. delivered a great presentation on their project.I next meet with Professor Tim Broyd and colleagues from Terry and Paul then followed this with a presentation toHalcrow to discuss driving sustainability into business us all on the Graduates’ and Students’ activities and planspractice. After this I found a few minutes to pop in to for the next session. I have now forgotten them all! The 12the Engineering Sustainability journal panel and also the strong GSNet committee serves almost 2000 G&S membersResearch and Innovation panel. in the East of England.I returned to my post and then joined in with the SECED Kate Symons then spoke about her experience as a Telfordevening meeting. It was their prestigious Mallet-Milne Apprentice. Very timely as plans are developing for anLecture, delivered this year by Professor Robin Spence. A apprentice scheme next year. Kate is organising one of myMOST excellent lecture entitled “Saving lives in earthquakes: visit days to the East of England at the end of this month.successes and failures in seismic protection since 1960”. Afascinating subject and a real demonstration of the benefit The event finished with a few words from me and awe engineers bring to society. President’s Question Time session. A fun and informative afternoon for me. I hope everyone else enjoyed it! Yet againDay 205 (Thursday 31 May) I see great energy, effort and enthusiasm amongst ourFfb. Writing letters and postcards (now up to 333) and young members. The Institution really values the input from 57
  • 59. this group of apprentices! And we must not forget thoseother young members who have devoted many many hoursto supporting our Institution activities AND supportingsociety.Richard, thank you and your team for organising anddelivering such an excellent session… and my very bestwishes for your wedding day at the end of this month.Day 206 (Friday 1 June)Carillion day. I take a few Institution telephone calls too.Day 207 (Saturday 2 June)Dorothy and I went for a day out! I took her to themagnificent Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. We travelled viaMontford Bridge . It was a lovely sunny day although a littleunnerving walking across the three foot wide aqueduct towpath, with the canal on one side and a 39 meter drop theother (it is OK, there was a handrail!). I wish I had visited itbefore. It is well deserving of the World Heritage Site statusit applied for in 2005, the 200th anniversary of its opening.1,007 feet long and typically innovative, it is indeed one ofTelford’s greatest achievements. We lunched in the TelfordArms (where else?) and returned home via the Longtonupon Tern Aqueduct (hence keeping off the main roads as Itold Dorothy!).I recommend a visit to all members. Please also add yoursupport to British Waterways in maintaining it and in theirWorld Heritage status application. Returned home to cutgrass and cook a late (10pm) supper.Day 208 (Sunday 3 June)Blog, clarinet and some sax and more grass cutting. 58
  • 60. Week thirty one communications, the site work had started in July 2006. Chris described the project:M6 Guards Mill, Benevolent ■ 9.5km with 2 massive structures and 36kmFund & SW Visit of drainage, SUDS and 14 attenuation ponds, embankments, soft clays and 4million tonnes of imported fill.Day 209 (Monday 4 June) ■ The River Esk Crossing (reportedly the water can riseEarly train to Lancaster for a site visit to the Lower Lancaster 1.5m in 20 minutes) with its 4 spans and 1500 tonnesFlood Alleviation Scheme. ICE NW Chairman’s Apprentice of steel to launch across the river, 600 tonnes ofJon Yates met me at the station and took me to the reinforcement and 2000 tonnes of concrete.site. Once there I met with Graham Deakin, B&V’s senior ■ The Mossband Rail Bridge. An incredible planningmanager on the project and the three other NW Chairman’s and logistics challenge next to the West Coast MainApprentices, Ben Hodgkin, Jenny Smith and Stephen Line which, apart from possessions has a train everyWhitham. We were also joined by the Environment Agency’s 9 minutes. 144 1.5m diameter piles, 1050 sectionalarea sponsor, Phil Jones. flight auger piles, 4500 VCCs and thousands of band drains.Jon gave a short presentation on the £5m scheme, which ■ The continuous improvement team led by Shaneis to provide protection up to a 1 in 500 year flood to 800 which has shaved an amazing 21 weeks off an 81homes, 112 industrial units and the local infrastructure. week programme.He noted that the three previous major floods had been ■ Many environmental (watercourses, light and noise)in 1907, 1927 and 1977! To complete the project in 2007 and biodiversity challenges: otters, reptiles, herons,seemed a good idea! newts, salmon and planting.We then walked the project which comprised flood James, Steve and Chris then took us on a site visit and weembankments and walls. What cannot be seen now are the could see the scale and the pace of the project ourselves.metres and metres of soft clay beneath the defences which James was responsible for the Esk Crossing, due for thehad presented both design and handling problems (solved second bridge jack next week. He also showed us theby a combination of lime stabilisation and clever use of footings from Telford’s original bridge... what a great link! Iplant and handling techniques). I was impressed to learn of am full of admiration for GF Paul Pemberton, James and thethe following: team, led by structures agent John McNiffe.■ The site transport: mountain bikes! We then met with Malcolm Carter, another young graduate■ The site waste management plan member who was responsible for the Mossband Bridge.■ The value engineering register Piling expert and old friend Phil Derbyshire explained■ The collaborative approach the piling “challenges”… it was great for me to talk geotechnical! And wonderful to see Phil, who I workedEven the landscaping planting was carefully thought out with over 17 years ago. I do not do requests, but I willand local species adopted. This was a beautifully designed say congratulations to John Freeman, Phil’s son in law, forand executed project! Thank you Jon for initiating and passing his CPR review and becoming a Chartered Civilorganising the visit. Engineer recently. A really great day. Arrived home late.By lunchtime the apprentices and I headed for the station Day 210 (Tuesday 5 June)and took the train to Carlisle where we were met by Telford Early train to London. I was hosting a workshop for theApprentice James Wallace. James had organised a site visit Accounting for Sustainability project in the President’s officeto the M6 Guards Mill project… the missing motorway link from 9.30am to 2pm. I next had a couple of short meetingsbetween the M6 at junction 44 and the M74. Contracts about my visit to the South West region later in the weekDirector Steve Kennedy and Project Manager Chris Hayton and to catch up with my post.introduced us to this £174 million ECI project (EarlyContractor Involvement). Steve had been the bid manager In mid afternoon I was joined by Ruth Spellman, Chieffor the project and had been responsible for its delivery Executive of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Ruthsince the contract award in February 2003. Following the has been in post for about 6 months now and this was thepublic inquiry, early design and considerable community first opportunity for us to meet and discuss our activities 59
  • 61. and aspirations in more detail. Ruth outlined the IMechE’s (Edward Cullinan Architects), Keith Clarke (Atkins), Dr.new strategy, which has been developing over the past few Graham Owens (Steel Construction Institute) and Dr, Gilesmonths. Atkinson (London School of Economics). Also present was Nick Raynsford MP and CIC Chairman (and, I learnt lastWith half an hour to spare (for once!) before my next weekend, the climber of tall towers in Cambridge!).meeting, I took the opportunity to get some fresh air andtake my bags to the President’s flat. This would save me Earlier in the day Nick had become an Honorary Member oftrawling them around with me later in the evening. I arrived the IStructE. Well deserved, he is a great champion for ourback at OGGS just in time for my meeting with RedR’s New profession and our industry. Chatham House Rules applied,Chief Executive Martin McCann. Martin outlined RedR’s so I cannot report any detail. Michael Dickson will be pullingnew strategy and highlighted the importance of and value together a note about the meeting, which will be developedRedR deliver to their corporate sponsors. In the evening I into an action plan. It was great to see Graham Watts, Chiefenjoyed a flight on the London Eye with business colleagues Executive of CIC, who I had not seen for some years.and customers. Day 212 (Thursday 7 June)Day 211 (Wednesday 6 June) Train to Swindon with Deputy Director General and ThomasTrain to Haywards Heath for a Benevolent Fund meeting. Telford Managing Director Hugh Fergusson for the SouthAs President, I am chairman of the Trustees… yet more West Region President’s Visit.wonderful members who give their excellent experience andconsiderable volunteer time to supporting this wonderful Hugh and I were met by regional Chairman Chris Taylor andcharity. Regional Manager Barry Griffiths. We were taken straight to the “Steam” Museum to join in a Rail Industry GroupI was surprised to learn that 80% of the new support this event with schools. The event was organised by David Colesyear was to young members or partners and families of and fellow members of the SW Leadership Group of the ICEyoung members. We debate the needy cases, which is a with the aim to encourage young people into engineeringmost humbling experience. Many people experience tragic and in particular rail engineering. The day was supported bycircumstances. We are joined at the meeting by Telford STEMNET and Steam and many young engineers who hadApprentice Trina De Silva who has agreed to help in coming come along to set engineering problems for the childrenup with some ideas as to how we might reach more of the and the enthuse them about engineering. Also along weremembership and more of the needy. Widcombe Wrobotiers from Widcombe Primary School who represented the UK at the recent Lego Robotics EuropeanFollowing the meeting and a sandwich lunch (my 120th Finals in Norway. The school’s trip from the finals hadlunch or dinner as President!) we then went to Mill Close been supported financially by the SW Leadership Groupto see the properties (there are 32 of them). We were able companies and ICE South West.to look inside no.22 called Malay House which was beingupgraded and repainted. The houses had been designed The children demonstrated the skills which enabled themand built by a local builder Harold G Turner, a quality job to come away with 2 of the 10 awards at the final. It wasindeed. The oak floors were almost as good as new and great to see them and their enthusiasm for engineering. Itthe house was very light and airy. The grounds and setting was also great to see the way the 6 school teams presentmake it a wonderful place to live. What a good job our were enthused about engineering by our young membersmaintenance (Don and others) and gardening (John and and their companies. Just the sort of activity we should beothers) teams do! doing for society and our profession!I leave for London full of admiration for the work of We then drove to the Westbury Park Primary School tothe Benevolent Fund and its excellent staff and full of meet up with headmaster Alan Rees and Telford Apprenticeadmiration for those members in the past who funded the Sally Walters. Sally had visited the school two weeksdevelopment. previously to talk to them about what an engineer was (“a man who” suggested one child) and about designing drainsI walk from Victoria Station to the IStructE to attend an and sewers (interesting for children!). She also set them aindustry wide event to discuss “measuring the Sustainability task: to build an aqueduct using recycled materials whichof UK Construction”. The debate was chaired by past could span 300mm and hold a litre of water. I was thereIStructE President Michael Dickson. The presenters were to test the aqueducts and judge the competition. ThereProfessor David Fisk (Imperial College), Robin Nicholson were aqueducts of all shapes and sizes, some of which held 60
  • 62. several litres of water and some which held none. We had and infrastructure for the project) and Kedrick Davies30 different aqueducts and the winner was the one which (responsible for the space planning and development). Thelooked like the Telford one at Pontcysyllte . I was struck by project provides a new community for thousands in a safe,two things; the behaviour and courtesy of the children and well planned marine environment.the sheer excitement generated by the competition and thetesting. Well done Sally and thank you Alan and Westbury Tony described the history of the site (power stations andPark Primary. refineries) and the environmental remediation and took us through the sustainability assessment and approach to theOur next event was a brief meeting with Professor Colin project. This was followed by Kedrick who explained theTaylor, Head of Department for Civil Engineering at Bristol development of the site and the planning, which led to theUniversity who then took us on a tour of the magnificent current retail, leisure and housing layouts. We then hadBLADE Laboratories, severely impressive! The laboratory some time to walk around the “fishing village” and lockintentionally provides facilities for several departments, areas before setting off for our next visit at Genesis.enabling them to exchange ideas and techniques. Theearthquake testing laboratory, with its 3m square shaking The 30 mile drive took us to an active demonstrationtable was just one of the many highlights. A fantastic of how renewable energy and sustainable constructionresearch and teaching facility! materials and methods can be integrated into the mainstream construction environment. Genesis DirectorThis tour (including the geotechnical labs!) was followed by Ian Moore showed us the building and described thea display and two presentations of undergraduate research. construction, which included timber frame, straw blockWe then moved onto a discussion with staff members, walls, mud walls and many more features… take a look forgraduates and students, chaired by Alice Brook, Vice Chair yourselves!!of South West GSNet in the Knowledge Exchange Suite. Italked too much and spent too long answering questions. We then toured the finalists of the Genesis YoungAlice however controlled the meeting well and kept exactly Environmentalist of the Year Award and saw the 5 finalistto programme! teams who had been charged with developing a sustainable future for Taunton. The teams came up with some greatNext was an open meeting to debate sustainability ideas about the space, building design, energy, traffic andteaching and learn about some current research even the products for the shops. I was invited to say a fewentitled “Sustainability – Building and Maintaining Local words… easy when you see such impressive projects!Competence”. This event was chaired and led by ProfessorTaylor, followed by a few words from me. Off again. This time to visit Norton Fitzwarren Dam. This is a flood alleviation dam, and one of the very few dams to beWe then heard Professor Patrick Godfrey talking about built in the UK over the last 20 years.a systems thinking approach followed by contributionsfrom 3 of his EngD postgrads, Lucy Allen, Ollie Pearce and We were greeted by Dave Morton, the engineer and PeterCelia Way showed us the value of the EngD doctorate, Marsh, the constructor. The dam is 450m long and has awhere research can be carried out in the workplace for clay core and a sheet pile cut off and is designed to retainthe workplace… with the added advantage of academic 750000M3. Due to its size, it must comply with the 1973guidance and rigour. They all had great diagrams! Quite the Reservoirs Act and the design and construction have to bebest way to explain complexity and concepts simply. I look approved by an All Reservoirs “Panel Engineer”. The panelforward to their output! engineer is Institution Fellow Chris Binnie. In recognition of the standard of environmental design theThe evening ended with a fantastic dinner with the project has been awarded a designers “Excellent” CEEQUALcommittee, speakers and members at the Bordeaux Quay Environmental Award. I had carried out site investigationsRestaurant. The most sustainable restaurant I have been and worked on many dams as a young engineer, so it wasin…. and the food was delicious. We walked back to the a great delight to me to learn about and walk the projecthotel. with Dave, Peter, Chris and members.Day 213 (Friday 8 June) We returned to Bristol to prepare for the Annual SWFfb. Colin collected Hugh and me from the hotel and took Dinner. This was held in Brunel’s Passenger Shed at Templeus to the New Community site at Portishead where we were Meads Station. The biggest timber roof of its day I was told.greeted by Tony Kerr (responsible for planning, environment It was a fantastic event and yet another great opportunity 61
  • 63. to celebrate excellent engineers (6 Spirit of Telford Awards)and projects. Telford Apprentice Sally stepped up to themark yet again to read out the citations and introduced theexcellent engineers and project awards. Our speaker wasEngland star Graham Gooch, whose cricketing anecdotesand humour concluded the formal session before theband and the dancing started. Thank to Chris and the SWcommittee and regional team for organising a terrific visitfor me.Day 214 (Saturday 9 June)Arrived home at lunchtime. Cleared emails for Carillion andthe Institution. It was a lovely warm day, so we had a BBQin the evening. I was still sitting in the garden at 10.30pmsending emails over the “wireless” in the dark.Day 215 (Sunday 10 June)Clarinet and sax. Drove to Cheltenham to introduce thespeakers at a transport session at the Cheltenham ScienceFestival . The session was entitled Transport Revolutions –From Telford to Tomorrow. A lively event! 62
  • 64. Week thirty two one of our hosts, had attended lectures 2 decades ago. We met with members and students from the civil engineeringPoland school and I delivered a presentation on “Climate Change: Can Engineers Meet the Challenge?” which was followedDay 216 (Monday 11 June) by questions and a short debate. My presentation wasTravel to Poland, via Copenhagen. Flew over the fantastic translated into Polish (by Piotr Grabias), allowing me toOresund Crossing. Arrived late, so Country Representative pause between sentences.Richard Burleigh and Tom Foulkes went on ahead to visitthe Filtry Water Treatment Plant. We then met up in the Leaving our new friends at the Politechnika, we walkedearly evening with local member Jerzy to take a walk to Ujazdowski Castle for lunch in the Qchnia Artystycznaaround Warsaw’s Old Town and to eat. restaurant and then to the British Ambassador’s residence. Our walk through the enormous Lazienki Park (meaningThe story of the old town is remarkable. It had been bathrooms) and past the Chopin statue was yet anotherflattened in the second world war and rebuilt in its original highlight in an incredible day.form, using old plans, photographs and even Canaletto oil We took tea with the Ambassador and learnt a great dealpaintings. As we entered the old town we were greeted by about the development of and trade in Poland and theto sweet sounds of two clarinets. A very happy coincidence! potential opportunities in the region.Back at the hotel I bump into old friend Chris Jenner of Our final meeting of the day was at Nieborow, some 100Tensar, former British Geotechnical Society Chairman km west of Warsaw, where we met up with the PresidentsProfessor Alan McGowan and Geosynthetics International of the Polish Chamber of Civil Engineers (PIIB) and the Polishjournal editor and former President of the International Society of Civil Engineers and Technicians (PZITB).Geotextile Society, Dr Giroud. They had been attending aconference and the first meeting of the Polish Chapter of PIIB President Victor Piwkowski welcomed us to thethe IGS. Nieborow Palace and we were treated to a tour of the building, which contained wonderful decorations, furniture,Day 217 (Tuesday 12 June) library and china. We were also given the honour of diningFfb. We spent the whole morning on foot… a great way in this great splendour. An excellent meal. We toasted ourto see the city. Our first event was at Zlote Tarasy. Project two institutions and debated the forthcoming discussionsDirector Richard Burleigh (Skanska) and structures designer about creating a mutual exemption agreement so that ourPaul Geeson (Arup) briefed us on the multi use £180 million qualifications can be recognised by our national bodies.project. The project sits on a 3 hectare site and delivers Professor Zbigniew Grabowski is the first President of PIIB226000m2 of space including a 1 spectacular hectare and of course, I took the opportunity to recall our ownundulating glass roof. The roof, designed by Paul, and I first President Thomas Telford. At the end of the eveningquote: “is a metaphor of the urban parks and it imitates we were treated to Zalgiris, a special Lithuanian vodka andthe tree tops as seen by a flying bird” and comprises 4780 given a book about the Palace. I resolve to return withtriangular glass panels. There was great emphasis on the Dorothy to show her the splendour of the museum andsustainability impacts, which were carefully assessed and gardens. A long but fantastic day and so many new friendsaddressed in the design. The key management challenges for the Institution and for me personally. What a privilegewere logisitics, planning, risk management, quality this role is!assurance and safety. Day 218 (Wednesday 13 June)We were then taken on a tour of the 4 level shopping Ffb and train to Krakow. I enjoy our dash through thecentre and I marvelled at the design of the roof and the countryside and take the opportunity on the 2 hour 45use of form and space. The finish quality and thought minute journey to catch up on my statistics and blog. Ourwhich had gone into the detailing also impressed. The first visit is to the Plaszow Wastewater Treatment Plant. Aoffice, cinema and shopping complex has already become a splendid project which can process 160000m3 of sewage a“destination” in the heart of Warsaw. Yet another example day. The 36 million euro plant provides sufficient capacityof the excellence in planning engineering and logistics for the next 40 years and is one of the biggest plants of itsdelivered by our great members! type in Poland.Next we walked in the heat and sun to the Warsaw We then travel to Krakow Old Town for lunch with thePolitechnika, visiting the old university building where Jerzy, Honorary Consul Kazimierz Karasinski on the Pod Aniolami 63
  • 65. barge restaurant. We debated history, business and politicsand I learnt that Krakow has a population of 750000 and 8million visitors a year. I million of them British.We then tour the Old Town briefing before catching ourtrain back to Warsaw. Made it back to the hotel by 9pm.Day 219 (Thursday 14 June)Up early to be at the airport by 6.30am for my plane toEdinburgh. I “hot desk” for the day in Edinburgh (mix ofCarillion and Institution) and take a train to Glasgow whereI meet up with David Orr and Gordon Masterton for dinner.Day 220 (Friday 15 June)Ffb. Carillion day. I pop into the Regional Managers meetingwhich was being held in Glasgow for a short time in theafternoon before catching my train home. I arrived intime to join in the debate about President’s visits and thePresident’s Apprentice scheme.Day 221 (Saturday 16 June)Band. Bit rusty as I have not played for almost a week.Day 222 (Sunday 17 June)Band concert at Dudmaston Hall. I met with one Institutionmember there! In the evening I wrote 35 thank youpostcards 64
  • 66. Week thirty three publishers EMAP. You may well recall that the magazine was “sold” to EMAP 10 years ago for a 60 year term whenScience Museum, Clarence the Institution’s finances were rather less healthy than they are now. 90 minutes later I was joined by Allyson LewisHouse and SE Region for a briefing on my presidential visit to the South East Region…. our biggest, with almost 11,000 members.Day 223 (Monday 18 June)Early train to London. I went straight to the Science In the evening I met with John Armitt for a meal and weMuseum to join in with the judging for a schools discussed civil engineers, the Institution, research andevent: The Telford 250 Institution of Civil Engineers industry opportunities.and ConstructionSkills Schools Design Challenge. Over30 schools had taken up the challenge to design a Day 224 (Tuesday 19 June)sports stadium within their own school grounds. The Ffb, post, signing certificates. At 9.30am I host ancompetition was also supported by Science and Engineering Accounting for Sustainability workshop for constructionAmbassadors and CITB Ambassadors. The design had to be clients. The meeting finishes just in time for me to join thesuitable for both disabled and non-disabled athletes and Executive Board meeting which started at 2pm.spectators with facilities for:100m and 800m races, shot put and high jump, 100m Day 225 (Wednesday 20 June)swim, BMX, 1Km cycle and at least 1000 spectators. Off to Clarence House for a “cross sectional” meeting ofAnd had to consider: the Accounting for Sustainability project, for which I sit onTransport, disabled access, refreshment areas, changing and the construction sector steering group. The food, financerelaxation areas for athletes, toilets safety, environment and and construction teams were meeting to discuss progress,the legacy. share findings and to identify common issues. A fascinatingA tall order indeed! meeting and, for me, a real insight into the way these other sectors view and are addressing the sustainability30 school teams took up the challenge and two teams agenda. I am impressed by the team of secondees who arefrom each category (key stages 1 & 2 and key stages 3 & charged with delivering advice and guidance for industry by4) were selected to present their designs to the judges at December of this year. This is an immense task and therethe final. The judging panel were just bowled over by all will need to be a very concise and engaging outcome whichthe good ideas, the quality of submissions, presentations clearly sets out the business benefit of adopting the more(verbal, powerpoint and handouts!) and the models. And sustainable approach to all our activities. I am convinced itthen…. we were even more impressed by the enthusiasm can be done and that the team has the capability to deliver.and passion of the teams and their sheer energy. It was adelight to hear their ideas and the thinking behind them. After the meeting, I walk back to the Institution throughI was joined in the judging by Senior Engineering Curator St James’ Park, pausing to sit in the warmth and sun andJane Insley, London Telford apprentice Trina de Silva, CIC answer emails on the way. I clear more post, certificates andArea Coordinator Janette Welton-Pai and Council Member emails and finalise my speech for the evening dinner. I thenAngus McAvoy. meet with member (and recently chartered) Nicole Nixon for a meeting to discuss the business case for corporateThe key stage 4 winners were Ilford Ursuline team 1 and responsibility and sustainability. This is followed by a briefthe key stage 2 winners were Highlands Primary School. meeting to discuss menus for forthcoming events.Between the judging and the results we were treated to atour of the Science Museum by Jane and were lucky enough In the evening I attend the Railway Engineering Conferenceto meet briefly with the National Museum of Science and dinner at the East India Club in St James’ Square. I deliveredIndustry (to give it its full title) Director Martin Earwicker. an after dinner speech (my 83rd speech or presentationI was surprised to see quite a lot of exhibits which were since becoming President!). The other speaker was Andyfamiliar household objects in my youth! My congratulations Savage, the Deputy Chief Inspector of the Rail Accidentto Regional manager Jacki Bell and her team. Investigation Branch (RAIB). I have known conference Chairman Professor Mike Forde for many years and carryBack at the institution I dealt with some post, signed out some teaching in his school of civil engineering atcertificates and had a brief meeting with president’s PA the University of Edinburgh. Over 30 nationalities wereClare Gray. Then followed an NCE Supervisory Board attending the conference. … a splendid opportunity tomeeting to discuss the delivery of NCE magazine with share best practice across the globe. Remarkably, I have 65
  • 67. known Andy for about 48 years… we were at the same Telford was here too! He was the bridge engineer fromschool briefly in Nottingham and shared the train ride home 1821 to 1827, resigning in a pique when the Trust invitedfor two terms before I moved to the fourth of my 9 schools. competitive designs for a new bridge. The Trust motto,The friendship was broken for over 40 years until we both “From the private to the public” exemplifies the greatdiscovered we were working in the same company 5 years public service the trust has delivered over 6 centuries. Weago! A fantastic evening and a great meal too! were treated to a splendid “bridge themed” lunch and I presented a plaque recognising Telford’s role to the Trust.Day 226 (Thursday 21 June) My suggestion for a monthly meeting (with lunch!) wasI met up with Tom Foulkes at Victoria Station and we not taken up! Seriously now, it was a wonderful visit totake the train to Maidstone for the South East Region the bridges and Trust offices. My thanks to Junior Warden,Presidential Visit. We were met by Regional Chairman Derek Dr. Anne Logan and Bridge Clerk, Sue (essentially the TrustButcher and regional manager John Laverty. Co-hosting Chief Executive as well as being presenter and story tellerthe visit was Kent and East Sussex Branch Chairman Mike par excellence), for an absolutely fantastic experience andSummersgill. Before I forget…. thanks to you three and the visit. Thanks too to PHEW (Panel for Historic Engineeringother committee and regional team members who have Works) committee members Robert McWilliam and Richardworked so hard to organise the visit. Adam for all the behind the scene work initiating, managing and organising the plaques.Our first visit was to the charming (and secret) village ofLoose, where we were met by children from two primary Our next visit was to Ebbsfleet International Station, a newschools, local parish councillors and residents and Institution £100million station and strategic link to the rail network.members. Loose is probably the earliest example of a bypass Due to open in November this year, “High Speed One”in the UK. The stone and brick viaduct was designed and (at a cost of £6bn) as the line is called will take passengersbuilt by Thomas Telford across a narrow, but steep valley. to Stratford Station (for the Olympics in 7 minutes andThe road out of the valley was too steep for horses pulling onwards to St Pancras in only another 10 minutes. In thecarts…. So ropes and manpower were needed, considerably other direction ( at speeds of up to 186 mph) Paris will beslowing progress and presumably increasing manpower just 2 hours and 5 minutes away… amazing and a fantasticand cost. A special bridge had been built to allow me to feat of engineering, of which of course civil engineers havereach and unveil the plaque to commemorate Telford’s played a major part. Our host was David Hutchinson fromachievement. Rhianna gave a short speech on behalf of the Network Rail. David and I worked together in Abu Dhabichildren … a brilliant and assured performance. I counted at briefly in 1977 and had not met since!least 10 engineers of the future amongst the children, whoelected for my 5 minute speech in favour of the one hour Apparently the Ebbsfleet name is Anglo Saxon. The historyspeech that I had offered them! of the area can be traced back to Neolithic times, but the little anecdote which interested me most was that in 1066We had time to enjoy a walk down the millrace and around William and his Norman army invaded, and I quote: “thethe village before having to leave. Roy Hood of Loose Men of Kent demanded and were given ancient laws andAmenities and a Kent Man of the Trees was our guide and immunities, so that Kent’s proud motto Invicta (meaningshowed us an enormous yew tree, estimated to be 4000 unconquered) lives on from that day to this. ...”.years old with a 10 foot diameter trunk. We went from one super project to another. Adjacent to Ebbsfleet International is one of the biggest developmentWe then drove to Rochester where we met our host and and regeneration projects in the UK. Land SecuritiesInstitution member, Sue Threader. Sue explained the history are developing an enormous chalk quarry area into aof the Rochester bridges over the River Medway and the sustainable community with 9500 homes, 25000 new jobsRochester Bridge Trust. I took copious notes about the and all the infrastructure, open landscaped space (2190Roman bridge, the big 1381 freeze and its collapse and the acres!), transport, facilities, schools and retail areas such atwo great benefactors who funded a new bridge and left large community will need. The business core alone will bea legacy which to this day supports not only the bridge, over 4.5 million square feet. You will note that developersbut has part funded the Medway Immersed Tube Tunnel still use the more traditional units, which may not be fully(great temporary works challenges by the way!), supported understood by all the young families who will undoubtedlya local hospital and even Rochester Cathedral. The piles, flock to this utopia of fibre communications, sustainablepiers, poet and scandal made a wonderful story of life in and energy efficient homes and great public transport.medieval times and showed just how much civil engineeringserves communities and enables commerce. And, of course, The President’s “word of the day” is WOW!..... everything 66
  • 68. I did and saw had that real WOW factor which makes yourealise just how civil engineers really do serve society. The vote at the end of the debate was close, 12 people were in favour of the motion and 14 against. The keyWe said our thanks and goodbyes to Project Director Andy speakers and the chairman were not allowed to vote (byFreeman and Development Director (and sustainability me!). It was a good debate which showed how importantguru) Adam Cunningham and headed for our hotel for is it to for us to engage with as many interested parties asan evening meeting and meal with graduates and the we can in the sustainability debate. My thanks to Richardcommittee. Splendid hotel, company and meal… after Turner (Freight Transport Association), Tim Green (Roadwhich I signed the Brassey Award certificates for the South Users Alliance), Kris Beuret (Social Research Associates)East Region for the following evening. Rob James, James, who all spoke for the motion and Simon Pratt (SUSTRANS),Melanie, Jeremy, Anja and Anthony deserve a special Rebecca Lush (Transport 2000, please do not mentionmention for establishing a G&S Committee for the Kent the custard pie and congratulations on your forthcomingand Sussex Branch. The twice cooked stilton soufflé was wedding), and Prof. David Gray (Robert Gordon University).magnificent! Thanks too to hosts Hyder, celebrating their 150 years this year and to Paula for her initiative and organisation.Day 227 (Friday 22 June)Ffb! Regional Manager John drives us to Hyder Consulting’s A short journey took us to the University of Surrey whereoffices in Guildford for an event organised by Telford Professor Gerry Parke welcomed us to the civil engineeringApprentice Paula Farshim. Hugo Axel-Berg (Director) and school and briefed us on their courses and student numbersJohn Spiers (Director) welcome us to their offices and we (applications up 40% this year!). He then described howtake a short walk to the Science park conference venue the University of Surrey/ICE Inspire Scholarships in Civilfor a debate entitled “Is the expansion of the Motorway Engineering work.Network sustainable?”. John introduced the session andthree speakers spoke for the event and three against. I was These are truly 21st century apprenticeships where 90then given the task to control the debate and questions! students across the 5 years are currently supported by 22I am hoping that John McKenna from NCE magazine will companies to the tune of up to £30,000 in earnings andprovide a report in this week’s issue… my notes extended grants during their degree course (£7,600 as a bursary, theto 4 tightly written pages! As Chairman, I am always ready rest as earned income with their sponsor company). Benwith a question of my own in case the audience remain a and Matt showed us the quality of the students and thelittle quiet… but no worries today… we had a lively debate, benefits of the scheme. Matt noted that he had gainedwhich on occasions contained common areas of agreement. experience in planning, time management and a variety of technical skills in design and construction which benefitedA few of the points I noted were: his sponsor company AND ensured he will have completed one third of his core objectives before graduating… thus■ Vision and a proper UK transport strategy is essential giving him a fast track to professional qualification. A win■ Freight transport is important for our economy AND for the University, a win for the company, a win for the to provide the needs of our population student and a win for the Institution!■ Congestion costs business, UK plc and individuals money, We were then treated to a presentation from■ We MUST reduce our CO2 undergraduates Peter Brown, Kevin Bell, Chris Scott and■ Reliability of travel times is important to both freight Emma Grimsey who described their integrated design and people projects to design a new student union and access to the■ Motorways can help us to be more sustainable (one extended campus across the A3. If these students are not view) sponsored yet, then someone is missing a trick! We then■ Motorways cannot help us to be more sustainable toured the wind engineering laboratory (another potential (the other view!) page of writing… please forgive me for not describing this■ We must not forget the trains, bus, tram, cycling and fantastic facility in more detail). walking options■ We would all help if we just measured our carbon Our final appointment at the university was to attend the footprint and then did something to reduce it. post graduation celebration and awards. Professor Mike Huxley was the master of ceremonies and I had the privilegeContributors in the audience included planning officers, the to award the ICE Thames Valley Prizes to Natalie Webb andCPRE, the WI and many other non engineers. Lita Davis and Institution of Civil Engineers’ Prize to Nick 67
  • 69. Clarke. Nick swept up two of the university prizes too!We then returned to our hotel to prepare for the SE AnnualDinner via the M25… and were able to assess the level ofcongestion and journey time reliability for ourselves.The dinner, as always was a fantastic event. The setting inAshdown Park was quite magnificent. Brassey awards werepresented to some great projects and some great teams andI presented two Spirit of Telford Awards (to John Done andBrian Harvey). A fantastic presidential visit… thank you all!Day 228 (Saturday 23 June)Train home, half the blog written. Wine tasting with friendsin the evening.Day 229 (Sunday 24 June)Clarinet, sax lesson, writing blog and a walk around thegarden in the wet! 68
  • 70. Week thirty four big big thank you to its volunteers…. The heart (and the head!) of our Institution. If you read our annual report youVolunteers Conference, East will see that our wonderful members gave over 11,000 days of their time to the Institution in 2006… this is estimatedof England to be a whacking £5.5million contribution to the profession AND TO SOCIETY! All our members should be very proud ofDay 230 (Monday 25 June) this service to society… I know I am.Carillion day Day 232 (Wednesday 27 June)Day 231 (Tuesday 26 June) Carillion dayTrain to London. Post and certificates. My first event isto welcome everyone to the Volunteers Conference. Day 233 (Thursday 28 June)This is an event where the Regional Council members, Carillion morning, then I go to Cambridge to start myChairmen, Secretaries and Treasurers meet up to be briefed East of England Presidential Visit. By mid afternoon I reachon and engage in debate about Institution matters. The the Schofield Laboratory at Cambridge University. Telfordconference was chaired by senior vice president David Apprentice Katie Symons has organised this part of the visitOrr. In the afternoon the different groupings break off to and yet again I see the WOW factor. This facility leads theget into more detail about the mechanics of their areas of world in Geotechnical Engineering research. I am briefed onresponsibility. the posters of Masters degree and PhD subjects on display geotechnical and sustainability. Dick Fenner and HeatherI leave the meeting to meet up with Joanne Kentish and Cruickshank introduce me to the sustainability projects,Jancy Mallins from the Prince of Wales’ Accounting for which included Ian Ball’s excellent “snaking pipes” projectSustainability team. The project is still progressing well! to reduce risk of pipe failures in earthquake zones. Our hostThis meeting is followed by a meeting with Miguel-Angel Professor Robert Mair (geotechnical engineer, professor,Serrano Santos, who is the country representative in the head of department and Master of Jesus College),UK for the Asociacion de Ingenieros de Caminos Canales introduced me to a number of his PhD students whoy Puertos of Spain. Recognising what an important role explained their projects and potential future applications inour own country representatives fulfil, I was delighted to practice.meet with Miguel-Angel to share ideas as to how bothour institutions can benefit by building on our excellent We then went to Jesus College, Cambridge, where werelationship. The Asociacion are particularly interested in our met with members of Engineers Without Borders (EWB).qualification processes and the way we assess competency This is an entirely student run body, with members inas well as our peer review system for attaining incorporated 15 universities in the UK. Chief Executive (and final yearand chartered engineer status. student) Steve Jones gave us all a splendid briefing on EWB’s strategy and action plan. This was followed by Priti ParithI am able to join the volunteers’ conference briefly at who explained how the graduate EWB members continuedlunchtime and gain some very positive feedback about the to make a contribution to society. We then enjoyed abenefits of working and networking across our regional magnificent buffet in the Master’s dining room. Once theteams in this way....this is teambuilding and managing the young EWB members had left, Robert gave Dorothy and I aInstitution at its best! Telford Apprentices Patricia McElduff tour of the college… what a terrific place to be a student!and Katerina Fytopoulou, also attend the full day and atthe end of the conference gave me some very positive Day 234 (Friday 29 June)feedback. In the afternoon I meet with President’s PA Clare To Ipswich to meet up with Institution members at Jacksonto sort out my complicated travel arrangements and diary Civil Engineering’s offices overlooking the Orwell Bridge. Wefor the next 6 weeks (2 of them holiday!), during which I were met by Director and East of England Chairman Bobwill only be in the Institution building on 3 days! Hollis and a large number of members.I clear more post and certificates and write another After meeting everyone we all set off in a coach through25 postcards (now up to 400!) before dashing to the Ipswich town centre to the bridge, Pier 9 to be exact. I wasPresident’s flat at 5.30pm to change for the Volunteers’ there to unveil a plaque to celebrate the silver jubilee of thereception and dinner starting at 6pm. This was a “black tie” bridge. And what a magnificent bridge it is! The whole ofevent in the Great Hall… what a splendid room for such a East Anglia was taking an interest. Two TV stations, twofunction and what a lovely way for the Institution to say a radio stations and two newspapers (including the Evening 69
  • 71. Star) were present to record the event and to interviewthe Institution members present who had worked on thebridge. See EADT24 Sussex & Essex online for story.Lunch with members and a brief President’s Question Time.Drove to the Dunston Hall Hotel for the East of EnglandAnnual Dinner and Awards. Lovely location and lovely hotel.I had time to edit my speech and share a chat and a pintwith members before changing for the dinner. ‘ThomasTelford’ read out the award citations. It was great to seehim again! We met at Nottingham where he had beeninvolved in the great debate with Faraday and Stephenson.E of E has taken the debate to over 2000 school studentsover the past year. Bob entertained us AND gave a briefaccount of the successful activities in the region over thepast year. A great event…. as always, I make lots of newfriends over the visit and the dinner.Day 235 (Saturday 30 June)Up early and travel from Norwich to Ironbridge to joinin a schools competition at Enginuity. The weather hadprevented some school teams from attending and had alsounfortunately flooded out the Enginuity Exhibition. I arrivedat lunchtime and was able to see some of the students’project work, which was being judged as I arrived. I handedout the prizes (certificates, pens and memory sticks).Thomas Telford School had brought 6 teams and walkedaway with all the prizes. How appropriate! Congratulationsto those competing and the regional team, committee andambassadors who had put in so much work to make theevent a success.Day 236 (Sunday 1 July)To Scotland to prepare for the Telford Conference andcelebration tour. Long journey. Lots of rain and traffic. 70
  • 72. Week thirty five city and countryside (yes!) around it! Thank you Jamie and Colin… a fantastic visit.Terrific Telford Tour of Off now to Elgin to attend a reception and civic dinner withScotland Moray Council and Convenor George Macintyre. George kindly presented me with a Quaich for the InstitutionDay 237 (Monday 2 July) and a bottle of malt whisky. The Quaich will reside in theTelford Conference at the Royal Society of Edinburgh and president’s office should any member wish to inspect it orSummer Soiree. The presentations and both events were perhaps try it out. I can confirm it works!fantastic! I chaired one of the morning sessions at the RoyalSociety of Edinburgh conference and at the soiree joined Day 239 (Wednesday 4 July)the Duke of Edinburgh to unveil a plaque to commemorate Heavy rain and slope failures had caused a road closure theTelford’s anniversary at Telford College and delivered a short previous night, so we had a diversion to take us to our firstspeech visit of the day, which was to Speyside Cooperage. Here we learnt about how barrels were made and refurbished,Day 238 (Tuesday 3 July) the sources of timber and the importance of cooperageWe embarked on the “Terrific Telford Tour of Scotland” to the whisky industry. We watched the skilled coopersorganised by Professor Roland Paxton and Sandra Purvis. repairing some of the 5 million barrels which will need to be refurbished over the next 20 years. Fascinating. I was65 of us travelled via the Forth and Tay bridges to Dundee full of admiration. Not surprisingly, there is a waiting list toto see the Telford Dock, which now houses the Discovery become an apprentice.exploratory polar ship. We met and were hosted by DundeeBranch members. This was a short stop… thanks Chairman We then went on to the MacAllan Distillary, which was aAlastair Mackenzie and Branch Secretary Walter Scott for most interesting learning and tasting experience. This isthe coffees and the chat! my favourite malt! Back to engineering! We then travelledBy 11.30am we were off again to Aberdeen to meet up to Craigellachie Bridge. Moray Council had laid on awith the Aberdeen Association then to visit and do lunch marquee (just as well… it rained!), a lovely buffet lunch andat the fantastic Maritime Museum. The canapés were entertainment from the very talented “Fochabers Fiddlers”.absolutely magnificent…thank you Pauline and the cateringteam. The rain stopped. Craigellachie Bridge has been recognised by the Institution of Civil Engineers and the AmericanWe were welcomed by our host Jamie Christie, President Society of Civil Engineers as an international civilof the Aberdeen Association and Aberdeen Harbour Board engineering landmark so we went out to unveil the plaqueEngineering Director who then took us all down to the donated by the American Society of Civil Engineers andharbour to inspect Telford’s extension to the harbour’s the Institution of Civil Engineers. The Institution’s PanelNorth Pier. Aberdeen Harbour Board, Chief Executive, for Historic Engineering Works, and in particular RolandColin Parker presented all of us with a long long limited Paxton had been instrumental in achieving recognition foredition and signed print of the harbour (600mm by 170mm) this fantastic Telford bridge. Note, Professor Roland Paxtonwhich showed the Smeaton, Telford and Cay sections of is English, not American! The event can be read in thethe pier. My print is number 65 of 150. Telford’s extension ‘Northern Scot’ on Scotsman.com and on their local councilconsists of granite blocks laid to a 45 degree slope and website.bonded internally for added rigidity. The unusual slopingarrangement was to facilitate both construction and We stopped off at Burghead Granary on our way to thestrength. The “farr” (mist) made the visit a strange yet hotel for the night alongside Loch Ness. The excitementwonderful experience. See the pier on their website. One of the day was still only half over. Our evening event wasminute we were in full sunlight, the next we could not see a boat trip on the Caledonian Canal from the Head of50 metres! A minute or two later we were swathed in sun Muirtown locks. Our hosts were Tony Hales, Chairman ofagain! British Waterways (BW) and Jim Stirling, Scotland Director of BW. Allen Beene and I presented a Landmark PlaqueI was also presented with a print of New York by ASCE recognising Telford’s amazing Caledonian Canal on behalfrepresentative Allen Beene dated 1904. The tallest structure of ASCE and the Institution and in return the Institution wasby quite a bit was the Brooklyn Suspension Bridge. What an presented with a bolt from the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. BWincredible structure it must have appeared as it dwarfed the are going to mount it on a piece of wood for us and it will 71
  • 73. take pride of place in the President’s office until such timeas we have some display cabinets in the Institution for suchimportant engineering artefacts (which I understand is inhand). What a magnificent day. The only slight blemish inthis most memorable of days was that the coach back tothe hotel left without the President! I had obviously spenttoo long saying my thank yous and goodbyes to our hosts!Jim kindly drove us to the hotel.Day 240 (Thursday 5 July)The tour took us to Telford sites at Dingwall, Easterfearn,and Bonar Bridges, the impressive Fleet Mound, FortroseHarbour (I see that member Richard Evans, who I sailed within the Glasgow University team back in the mid 1970s is stillwinning most of his races!)By late pm we reached the Caledonian Canal visitor centreand locks at Fort Augustus. We met with members of theInverness branch and enjoyed some fantastic canapés atthe Lovat Arms (thank you Geraldine, service, setting andcanapés were equally magnificent!). As each day passes Ibecame more and more impressed by Telford’s engineeringfeats and vision!Day 241 (Friday 6 July)Another feast of a Telford day! The tour took us to FortWilliam via Laggen Cutting, Loch Oich and Neptune’sStaircase (see the Caledonian Canal website!! 8 enormouslocks). Our tour concluded with a drive across Glencoeand Rannoch Moor (yes, Telford roads) and a short visit toDunkeld Bridge.We then set off to return to our starting point at HeriotWatt University, but were caught in a huge traffic jam for4 hours on the M90. We finally reached our hotel for thenight, exhilarated, but tired at 12.02am!Congratulations to Sandra Purves and Professor RolandPaxton for organising, managing and guiding us on a trulymagnificent and memorable Terrific Tour of Scotland.Day 242 (Saturday 7 July)Checked out of the Cornhill House Hotel, designed by acertain William Leiper and returned home, arriving pm. Inthe evening I joined in the Alveley Band Summer Concertand picnic at Severn Valley Park.Day 243 (Sunday 8 July)Lawn cutting followed by saxophone and clarinet practice. 72
  • 74. Week thirty six Day 248 (Friday 13 July) Carillion DayTelford’s Wales legacy and Day 249 (Saturday 14 July)BCIA Awards judging Cut grass and played sax and clarinet. BBQ in the evening sun and sat back and admired my lawn!Day 244 (Monday 9 July)Carillion day Day 250 (Sunday 15 July) Blog, saxophone and relaxationDay 245 (Tuesday 10 July) I note that my blog has now passed 50000 words. I do5.30am start to get to Bangor to attend the Telford wonder if anyone is actually reading it! I make a note to asklegacy in North Wales Conference and dinner. A long and the Institution comms team to see how many hit(s) it gets.interesting day. I drove along Telford’s A5, briefly sighting Irrespective of how many readers there are (or are not), itthe Montford Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, mileposts and some remains an excellent record for me!toll houses. A brilliant road when there is no traffic on it. Ichaired the two morning sessions. The star of the day was I have now also passed the 8 month mark, so am nowSir Neil Cossons, Chairman of English Heritage (but only 2/3rds of the way through my presidency….. and probablyfor the next two weeks!) He gave a fantastic insight into well over 80% of the way through the activities.heritage funding and challenged the Institution to ensurethat there were more civil engineering based “World Here are the latest statistics:Heritage sites” in the UK. 14000 members and members of the public that I have spoken directly toThe A5 and Menai Bridge must surely be candidates! 100 CPD daysBrian Crossley of PHEW and I will take up the challenge on 446 meetings and events (362 meetings)behalf of the Institution! Peter Birch (British Waterways), 15 black tie dinnersRick Turner (CADW), Dr. Ron Cox (Chairman of Institution 139 other lunches and dinners (includes sandwiches!).of Engineers Ireland Heritage Committee, Brian Crossley 34462 miles travelled (13861 by rail, 4506 by car (half in(Chairman of the Institution’s Panel for Historic Engineering mine)Works) and William Day, (Hyder and Menai Bridge 46 nights in an hotelCommunity Heritage Trust) all gave excellent presentations.Thanks too to Robert of Transport Wales for chairing a A month ago I was 3lb in weight lower that when I started.session. Debbie Scott, geotechnical engineer and chair of After the Telford Tour of Scotland I am back to my weightICE North Wales chaired the final session with presentations on 7 November 2006! Oh dear! I was doing so well!from Dewi Williams, Andy Phillips, Andy Cochrane andthe brilliant Bob Diamond. Bob was the driving force and My carbon footprint is now equivalent to 2.51 trees.major organiser of the event. Yet again, I learn more andmore about this great first President of our Institution. We I remain very honoured to hold the role, even more nowfinish off the event with the new institution Telford video… that I have seen and learnt so much about Thomas Telford.brilliant. As before, it results in an enormous round of Am I still enjoying it? Absolutely! It is so much fun! And soapplause. humbling to see all the great things our members are doingIn the evening there was a lovely dinner at the University for the benefit of society.of Bangor.. a great way to close a magnificent conference.Most of the delegates were spending the next two daysvisiting the works of the great man. I returned home to putin a bit of time on the day job for the rest of the week!Thanks and congratulations everyone.Day 246 (Wednesday 11 July)Carillion dayDay 247 (Thursday 12 July)BCIA Judging day… sorry no comment! 73
  • 75. Week thirty seven Apprentice Joe Roberts won the opportunity to present a young engineers view of Telford at the dinner… andCouncil, Thomas Telford delivered a magnificent analysis of the man and his inspiration.250 dinner and Guildhall There were two award presentations at the dinner. Theexhibition first was a Spirit of Telford award to Dr. Martin Barnes in recognition of his initiative, intellect and inspirationDay 251 (Monday 16 July) in initiating, delivering and developing the NEC suite ofCarillion day. Train to London for meetings including a contracts.brief one with American student Charles McClure. Brief pmmeetings with Anne Moir, Tom Foulkes and Eunice Wardell The second presentation was a President’s lapel badge toto discuss future speeches (Anne) and the Council meeting Past Presidents, who, as I am sure you will all appreciate,(Tom and Eunice). At close of play Tom and I meet with the have been dedicated servants and brilliant leaders of ourChairman Peter Andrews and Chief Executive Rosemary Institution. 12 Past Presidents were present… fantastic.Beales from the Civil Engineering Contractors Association We all owe so much to them and all the many thousands(CECA). We discuss a number of our joint activities (for of volunteers who have built the reputation, credibility andexample the Sustainable Development Strategy and Action authority of our Institution over the 188 years since we werePlan for Civil Engineering published last week. founded. Two Vice Presidents also received a Vice President badge.My last task is to complete a letter to the MPs who signed My congratulations to organisers Tracy, Abby and Kim andthe Early Day Motion recognising Thomas Telford’s 250th the catering team of Executive Chef David Wilkinson andanniversary. In the evening I am joined for a takeaway in the his fantastic team, and Shelley and her fantastic team. ThePresident’s flat by some Vice Presidents. setting and quality of service and food matches the best in London. We should be rightly proud of this staff team.Day 252 (Tuesday 17 July) I enjoyed seeing so many people and meeting so manyFfb. An Early Day Motion was laid in the House of friends and supporters of the Institution.Commons by David Wright MP (Telford) and signed by 100MPs. I sign letters thanking them for recognising our first Day 253 (Wednesday 18 July)president in Parliament in this way. I also write to thank Carillion day.David Mundell (Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland)who led an adjournment debate on the great man! I visit the Heathrow Terminal 5 project. A project with a real WOW factor! The new main terminal building (there areFour meetings later I grab a 10 minute buffet lunch with two other satellite buildings) has a 150m span and is 400mCouncil members and then chair the 4th Council meeting of long. This must be one of the biggest, if not the biggestthe 188th session. It was a good meeting and only overran roof span in the UK. The whole project is an incredible featmy timetable by 30 minutes! At the end of the meeting of engineering and logistics. What impressed me most wasour auditors provided a briefing/training session on the that it was clearly an engineered building…. The structure,responsibilities and liabilities of charity trustees. No worries, building shape and elegance shout at you… and will be awe all have just 15 minutes to move to the Godfrey Mitchell great advert for civil engineering and civil engineers whenlecture theatre for the Annual General Meeting. This too 30 million passengers pass through it every year.ran over by 15 minutes, thus benefiting by giving time fordiscussion and providing members the opportunity to ask Phil Wilbraham (T5 head of Engineering and Design),questions. Matt Palmer (T5 Infrastructure Project leader) and Caroline Lang T5 Airfield Project Leader) were our hosts. MyThis is a really busy day! We all go straight to the Telford congratulations to you and the many thousands of skilledTheatre for the excellent Smeaton Lecture delivered by construction professionals who have delivered this starengineering historian par excellence Dr. Bill Addis. With no project!time for a break I dash to the President’s office to pick upmy notes for the celebratory Telford 250 Dinner. I welcome My next appointment is back at the Institution, where weeveryone and start the dinner only 15 minutes after the toast Head of Knowledge Transfer Mike Chrimes who haslecture finished! As befitting to our first President, the completed 30 years working for the Institution. Mike haswhole day is timetabled with military precision. Telford an immense knowledge of all things historic about civil 74
  • 76. engineers and civil engineering. He has been a tremendous she was able to get to an hotel at midnight.asset to the Institution and has made a significantcontribution to our archives, library and knowledge Day 256 (Saturday 21 July)provision and delivery. I was delighted to find the time to Blog and holiday preparation. In the evening Dorothy andjoin in the celebrations. I attend an anniversary concert by the St Mary Magdalene Chamber Choir in Telford’s first church. A fantastic event.A short tube trip later I reach the East London Lineproject office where project Director Mike Casebourne Day 257 (Sunday 22 July)and Jonathan Wheeler, Interface and Systems Integration Clarinet and saxophone!Manager brief me on this £380million project. I then meetwith Construction Manager – Northern Section, ColinBrady. Colin has a really challenging and complex section ofthe works to deliver. I have worked with Colin on variousprojects over the years.. he is just the engineer to deliver onthis!This is a day to travel the tube! My tube to SouthKensington from Liverpool Street costs 10p on my Oystercard! It must know that I have already made several tripstoday. I meet with Newcomen Society President Julie Elton,mainly to learn more about this society. Its members aredrawn from all those with an interest in engineering… andof course civil engineering is one of their main passions. Nosurprise there! There is so much of interest and so muchhistory.Day 254 (Thursday 19 July)British Construction Industry Awards judging. I visited fourfinalist projects and travelled 250 miles (half by car, half bytrain). I can say no more… you will have to buy a ticket forthe BCIA dinner on 10th of October.In the evening I reach the Guildhall to join the launchreception of the Thomas Telford exhibition entitled‘TELFORD 250 Continuing Thomas Telford’s vision’. I knewthat I would be late, but arrived just in time to catch thefinal few minutes of Mike Chrimes’ presentation andthen delivered my own speech before toasting the greatman and declaring the exhibition open. Amongst the 150present were our newest Spirit of Telford Award winner,Vice Presidents, Council members, committee chairmen,journal chairmen and panel members, Institution members,contractors, consultants, clients, academics and many otherinterested Telford enthusiasts. It was a splendid evening. Mythanks to sponsors Thomas Telford Ltd and hosts the City ofLondon Corporation.Day 255 (Friday 20 July)Carillion dayIn the evening, daughter Alice became stuck inHerefordshire, some 60 miles away due to the heavy rainand floods, preventing her from getting home. Fortunately 75
  • 77. Weeks thirty eight and thirty In the face of all the problems and the pressures onnine all parties, I was impressed by the mutual support and collaboration displayed by everyone I met.Holiday and Severn Valley The long term solutions will need good civil and geotechnical engineering and will need to address somerailway of the stability and run off problems caused by adjacent development (in most cased quite innocently and certainlyDay 258 (Monday 23 July) to Day 268 (Thursday 2 without an understanding of the engineering implications).August) SVR have a long and hard task to get back to normalFamily holiday in the Lake District. Mainly rain! One and running by the spring of next year. I wish them, anda half days in the dry and with some sun. We enjoyed particularly Phil, Jonathan and new General Manager Nickwalking, cycling, a visit to Hadrian’s Wall, Edinburgh and Ralls every good fortune in their task.Carlisle Castle. The cultural highlights were seeing TJJohnson and his magnificent band in the Kirkgate Theatre In the evening Dorothy and I joined in celebrations of thein Cokermouth (absolutely brilliant! TJ, Adrian and Sky are marriage of Helen Whitmore to Neil Jones. A lovely eveningremarkable musicians) and Alan Ayckbourn’s Taking Steps amongst a great group of folk. You will recall that Helenat Keswick (we laughed and laughed until we had tears in was one of Gordon Masterton’s Apprentices last year.our eyes!) Very clever and simple set, brilliant direction andterrific acting. Day 270 (Saturday 4 August) to Day 271 (Sunday 5 August)Day 269 (Friday 3 August) Quiet weekend at home.We returned early from our holiday to allow me to visitthe Severn Valley Railway (SVR). I had heard about thedevastation (45 landslips in one 8 mile section and manyother problems with structures and track and signalling)and wanted to see if there was any way I could help. SVRis a charity and a fantastic part of the railway heritage.It can only currently run trains (mainly steam!) betweenKidderminster and Bewdley, reducing its passenger capacityto 20% of their normal volume. It is also a fundamentalcontributor to the economy of the area and of Bridgnorth,my home town.I was given a tour of some of the damaged track andembankment areas by their Chief Engineer Phil Sowdenand engineering consultant Jonathan Symonds. The teamare faced with a colossal reinstatement project (£2.5 millionat the last count). In some areas, slips are still live andsusceptible to more movement. In one area 5 dwellingshave been evacuated for safety reasons.The visit attracted considerable media coverage and the SVRteam and I gave interviews to the local press and two radiostations and I was also interviewed “on air” by a third radiostation later that day.The team, working with their excellent contractor GeorgeLaw moved remarkably quickly following the severe rainfallin the Severn Valley on 19 June and had already completedmuch investigation work and reinstated a number ofembankments (thank goodness for reinforced soil!). SVRonly own the track and embankments, so have had to relyon the great support from local landowners and farmers togain access for the works and to address the global natureof many of the slope failures. 76
  • 78. Week forty in attendance… the Right Worshipful the Mayor of Shrewsbury and Atcham, the Right Worshipful the MayorTelford’s 250th Birthday of Telford and Wrekin , Lord Grocott of Telford and the Chairman of Shropshire County Council to name just a fewDay 272 (Monday 6 August) and 273 (Tuesday 7 of the local dignitaries.August)Carillion days Ed welcomed the guests and introduced the event and I gave a short speech and unveiled the plaque. RogerI noted that I had now completed 9 calendar months in the Cragg was acknowledged with some special thanks for hispresidency. significant contribution to the whole event. He initiated the plaque, followed through the planning requirements,Day 274 (Wednesday 8 August) designed and gained agreement for the wording andEarly train for a briefing meeting on my forthcoming contributed the plaque. Quite typical of Roger’s enthusiasticAustralia and New Zealand visit. I then joined the BCIA engagement and contribution which demonstrated yetjudges for the final judging at 10am for a very interesting again to us all the qualities of a worthy Spirit of Telfordsession. I had three brief meetings in the afternoon, Award winner.including one with GSNet chair Ruth Hopgood. Ruthoutlined the GSNet strategy and future plans which she will We were treated to a magnificent buffet lunch at the Oldbe presenting to Executive and Council later this year. Swan adjacent to the bridge. Thanks to the Old Swan team and particularly to the excellent master chef Dai (or Dai theDay 275 (Thursday 9 August) Chef as we should call him). I had an hour to spare beforeThomas’s Telford’s birthday my next event so was able to stem the tide of emails and make a few telephone calls.My first appointment was an interview in Shrewsbury on My last event of the day was appropriately a big birthdayBBC Shropshire’s Jim Hawkins in the Morning programme. party. Telford and Wrekin Council had invited children andI first met with the show’s director Elaine Muir and was others with the same birthday as Thomas Telford to sharethen taken into the live studio to meet with presenter Jim in the celebrations. The Wrekin Housing Trust kindly hostedHawkins. the whole event and Director Jane Brooks welcomed us all, including 65 with birthdays (from 5 to 85!). I was ready forJim was an hour and 20 minutes into his 3 hour show. the summer (non alcoholic) punch and enjoyed seeing theThe topic was of course Thomas Telford, his legacy, his excitement of the young children as they gathered roundShropshire works and his involvement with the Institution… the stilt man and clowns. Once we had all settled in LordBBC Shropshire and Jim did him proud! I was impressed Grocott introduced the proceedings and Richard Bifieldby the skill with which Jim steered the show, introduced gave an excellent talk on Telford in Shropshire, giving thehis various topics, engaged with his listeners by phone Institution due credit too.and email and still had time to watch two more screens(including News 24) to make sure he immediately relayed We then had a cake cutting ceremony and then enjoyedany breaking news. At the same time he was asking me the rest of the party. It was a lovely celebration. I met andquestions about TT, some of which he took from listeners. chatted to lots of people including Housing Trust TrusteeAfter my “slot” he interviewed the person who developed and Institution member John Sercombe. The Trust maintainsthe BBC Shropshire Thomas Telford website. I recommend and manages 10000 houses, so it is good to see a civila look. engineer involved!I felt the whole event was an excellent way to promote civil What a proud day to be President!engineering and civil engineers. Thank you Jim, Elaine andBBC Shropshire for the opportunity to talk about the great Day 276 (Friday 10 August)man, his achievements and the profession. Jim gave us a Carillion daygreat plug for the big event of the day… a plaque unveilingat Montford Bridge, just outside Shrewsbury. Day 277 (Saturday 11 August) Blog, walk and a farewell party with some friends leavingI arrived in time to meet with West Midlands Chairman Ed the area and also getting married.Gardiner for the briefing with the team. It was a gloriously Lawn mower died.hot and sunny day. A host of distinguished guests were 77
  • 79. Day 278 (Sunday 12 August)Celebratory service in St Mary Magdalene, Telford’s firstchurch. With others, I had tried to gain permission to havea plaque erected, similar to those the Panel for HistoricEngineering Works has been erecting all over the country.Unfortunately this was not possible, unless we just wantedone which just said Thomas Telford 1757 – 1834. I guessnot everyone is as excited about Thomas Telford and aboutcelebrating his works and his first church as I was. This hasbeen one of the very few disappointments in my presidency.It was nevertheless a lovely service and I was delighted to beinvolved by reading the lesson.Institution Fellow and member John Brownlie kindlyinvited a number of us, including the Rector, the ReverendPrebendary Andy Roberts and the Bishop of Ludlow Michaelto a celebratory lunch at the King’s Head in Bridgnorth. Asplendid occasion and a lovely way to conclude the week’sTelford celebrations.John had saved me some press cuttings from the ShropshireStar and presented me with a Telford 250 T shirt.Saxophone practice and a walk in the evening suncompleted a great day (in my new T shirt!).A memorable week! 78
  • 80. Week forty one (the previous chair of GSNet Wales), Stephen Ollier, James Croston, Simon Chauvin, Rupert Taylor, Mike Pearson,Clarence House and EFOD 200 Peter Davies and Adam Johnson had volunteered to drive the mini bus and van (for equipment and bikes) so they toomile cycle had a long and tiring weekend. Dan Flower, architect of the medical centre (and son of Council Member Ian Flower) alsoDay 279 (Monday 13 August) to Day 281 (Wednesday came to the Institution to meet the riders.15 August)Carillion days Congratulations to you all!Day 282 (Thursday 16 August)Early train to London to attend the construction steeringgroup for the Accounting for Sustainability project. Themeeting was at Clarence House and the six of us in thegroup discusses the progress of the project to date and inparticular the developing tool kit which will complementthe main report. The launch date for the project output isin December, so the professional writing editor and tool kitdevelopment team are about to start putting the completeddocument together in a format which will enable businessesof all sizes to understand better how to embed sustainabilityinto their business practices.I walked to the Institution in the sun and spent the rest ofthe day in a number of short meetings. The day finishedwith two hours from 5.30pm signing certificates for newmembers and fellows!Day 283 (Friday 17 August)Carillion day, but I managed to squeeze in a number ofshort meetings for the Institution.Day 284 (Saturday 18 August)Family day, travelled to London pm for Sunday activityDay 285 (Sunday 19 August)For the first time since I became president I spent some timebeing a tourist in London.In the afternoon I was at the Institution to greet JohnFarrow and 12 fellow GSNet members who had cycledfrom Cardiff to Great George Street to raise funds forEngineers for Overseas Development (EFOD) who are basedin Wales. EFOD are raising funds for the Soroti medicalcentre in Uganda. The Sustrans route took them alongcanal towpaths and down back lanes, turning the 140 mileroute as the crow flies to a 200 mile one! The ride startedat 6.30am on Saturday and they cycled for about 12 hoursbefore their overnight stop. Sunday was an early start too.What an achievement!... and for such a worthy cause.Congratulations to the whole team, led by John Farrow,GSnet chairman for ICE Wales. The other riders were Pierre-Louis Morcos, Jonathan Robinson, Robin Campbell, DavidEvans, Clare Wilding, Matthew Bloodworth, Katalin Andrasi 79
  • 81. Week forty two lunchtime. Short visit in the afternoon to the Bridgnorth Children’s Festival and to see the Stirin’ Stuff a cookeryJapanese Society of Civil demonstration by Fiona Bird and son Alastair from Angus in Fife, who we were hosting for the Festival. The festivalEngineers is run entirely by volunteers and supported by lots of local businesses which enabled all the entertainment to be freeDay 286 (Monday 20 August) for the thousands of people who attended (except for just aWalked to the Institution and signed certificates and dealt few of the activities).with post before my first meeting to discuss potentialsustainability training courses with Kieran Dineen of Thomas Day 292 (Sunday 26 August)Telford Ltd. We were joined briefly by Chrissie Pepper from Another trip to the Children’s Festival, a 5 minute walk fromthe Engineering policy team. home and then to the Bridgnorth Music Fest, where friends Steve Downs and Sarah Ibberson, as Whalebone, were oneI then joined some colleagues for a tour of the building. of the musicians playing all day in the High Street. I triedOur guide was archivist Carol Morgan, who explained the the award winning CAMRA beer of the year, which wasdevelopment of the building and the stories behind all the fantastic…. A mild brew from Hobsons Brewery, just a fewportraits of distinguished former presidents and members. I miles down the road from us at Cleobury Mortimer. I makewish I had done the tour before! All new Council members a note to try it again!are given a tour of the building as part of their induction…a great idea, so if you fancy a tour, become a Council Just caught storyteller and poet John Row and the circusmember!... or just ask! team back at the Children’s Festival who were closing the event at 7pm. Both brilliant.I next had a meeting with former British GeotechnicalSociety Chairmen Hugh St John and this was followed by ameeting with graduate member Dr Hanadi Almubaraki.The rest of the afternoon was spent catching up on diaryarrangements, signing more certificates and writingpostcards (now over 500!).In the evening I was joined by Anne Moir (MarcommsDirector) and Andy Gooding (Engineering Policy andInnovation Director) for a meeting and dinner with theJapanese Society of Engineers. Our guests were JSCEPresident Dr Yunio Ishii and his wife and colleague MatsudaMitsuhiro. Also present was JSCE’s country representativein the UK Professor Kenichi Soga. Dr Ishii and I signed therenewed Agreement of Cooperation and we discussedmatters of joint interest. JSCE were impressed by the waythe Institution created influence through the State of theNation and other key topic based reports over recent yearsand the volunteer involvement of our members (just in caseyou have not read our Annual report for last year, estimatedat £5million in 2006. They were also interested in our LittleBook of Civilisation that is aimed at the public. We evidentlyshare many common issues and it was beneficial to discussinstitution matters with a sister organisation. It was a reallyinteresting and valuable meeting and a fantastic opportunityto learn from and build relationships.Day 287 (Tuesday 21 August) to Day 291 (Saturday 25August)Carillion days. A brief overseas trip arriving home Saturday 80
  • 82. Week forty three decisions from the vp committee for judgement on the nominations for Australia and New Zealand.CIRIA experience and train The evening event to handover some Mowlem archivesride including the mallet used to lay the foundation stone for One Great George Street had had to be cancelled at a lateDay 293 (Monday 27 August) hour, so I set off for a private dinner in the midlands for theBank holiday. Blog and saxophone. evening.Day 294 (Tuesday 28 August) Day 297 (Friday 31 August)Carillion day Carillion day. I was interviewed on the telephone by another Telegraph reporter doing a piece on sustainability andDay 295 (Wednesday 29 August) the impact of civil engineering (positive and negative) onCarillion day flooding. I could talk for hours on both topics, so hope I have given David some key messages which will help himDay 296 (Thursday 30 August) with his article. I followed up the conversation with an emailTrain to London. Dealt with post and signed a few with some links and information.certificates before my first meeting. This was an interviewwith Daily Telegraph reporter Paul Bray for a supplement Day 298 (Saturday 1 September)on civil engineering due out in a few weeks. The topic was Band practice. I really enjoyed it and am beginning to getcareer opportunities and skills shortages. He also wanted a little better. I am of course still holding the accolade ofme to name a few great civil engineers of today… no being the worst musician in the band… an important roleproblem… we have plenty in our Institution. I will not name and one that evidently none of the others can aspire toany here, but want to wait and see which of my examples while I am there!Paul uses! I walk into Bridgnorth with Dorothy in the afternoon for aI then met with Clare to clear some correspondence and haircut and to do some shopping. On my return I stop ondiscuss my diary. the Severn Valley Railway platform to watch the train, which can only go about half a mile towards the viaduct before itMy next meeting was with CIRIA, the Construction Industry has to return. You will recall that the SVR has suffered veryResearch and Information Association’s Chief Executive badly from the recent flooding. A friend, civil engineer andBill Healy. Bill and the CIRIA Council are looking at their vicar Mike Kneen was the fireman! As the train returnedfuture strategy. The Institution is of course a core member he sped down the platform to me and invited me ontoof this excellent organisation and I personally have had the the footplate… whereupon I had a little ride down theprivilege of serving on several research steering groups, track and back… amazing! Miles of the track are currentlycommittees and as a Director over the past 16 years. under repair (£2.5 million bill), so these little trips had beenCIRIA will leverage your subscription enormously, helping initiated to help raise funds for the disaster appeal. Whatyour organisation to influence and gain the benefit from magnificent beasts they are. This one had been built in£4million per annum in best practice guidance, network 1940 for the War Office and had seen service in Iran andgroups and construction wide contacts with designers, Russia before returning to British Rail after the Secondpractitioners and clients. It is a fabulous organisation and World War. It can take you 12 to 15 years to become aone which serves our industry and society in great measure. fireman and more to become a driver. In British Rail daysTheir publications give the reader a real insight into issues you could become a driver in about 7 years! I tasted someand guidance which is comprehensive, clear and easy ale in the Railwayman’s Arms before returning home toto follow. I suggested a few ideas which might come to cook supper.something… I hope so. I have a great fondness for theorganisation and my own organisation has benefited greatlyover the years from involvement and from its guidance Day 299 (Sunday 2 September)documents. Saxophone practice and neighbour’s birthday party.More paperwork then a meeting with Marcoms DirectorAnne Moir and Kim Woolger to discuss future events,speeches and the Spirit of Telford Awards. We are chasing 81
  • 83. Week forty four Very sustainable, but the tube strike has made life and work very difficult for millions of people and will have a negativeCertificates, Reviewers and impact on the economy. In the evening, I enjoyed a chat, beer and pizza with SVP David Orr.High Speed 1 Day 301 (Tuesday 4 September)Day 300 (Monday 3 September) Carillion Day.Early train to London. Signed certificates and dealt withsome correspondence before my first meeting which was ftb (first for a while!) and signed even more certificateswith the Shanghai Construction Group (SCG) Chairman and made a few telephone calls before heading off forProfessor Chengde Chen, Director and Head of Projects a Carillion meeting. Late pm I was back in the InstitutionXia Jun and directors Oliver Li and Leo Yu met with Stuart for a meeting with Eunice Waddell to discuss the agendaCrichton (Director, UK Regions and International) and me. and timings for the next Council meeting – my last! In theWe discussed the blooming construction market in China evening Deputy Director General Hugh Ferguson and Iand worldwide and then focussed on the need for more were invited to a party to celebrate the handover of the (2civil engineers. In particular, there is a demand in China for year) RIBA Presidency from Jack Pringle to Sunand Prasad.engineers with refurbishment skills. Xia Jun presented the A splendid event and one where I bumped into lots ofInstitution with a model of the 88 storey Jin Mao Tower people I knew. Sunand is very impressive and will be a great(built by SCG) – it was evident that there was considerable President for the Architects.research input and innovation in its construction. In return Ipresented our visitors with copies of my Presidential address Day 302 (Wednesday 5 September)and the excellent Telford proceedings issue. Ftb. Post and blog writing (the first time I have done this during the week!). My first meeting at 9am was withThe big event of the day (and my 500th meeting or event!) Director UK regions and International Stuart Crichton. Wewas the Certificate Presentation Ceremony. After the discuss the UK regions and our international activities andmeeting with SCG I joined the rehearsal team in the Great focus on the Asia Conference in New Zealand at the end ofHall to make sure the sound and short DVD clips worked this month.well. I then joined newly Chartered Members and Fellowfor a sandwich lunch in the Council, Brunel and Smeaton I next meet with Anne Moir to run through the remainingrooms. The ceremony is one of the highlights of the year speeches for this year (28) and discuss the ones in Brunei,and a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our excellent civil Australia and New Zealand (11 in total) in more detail.engineers. Family and friends were also invited, so they The first thing to do is to check the audience, speech timetoo could join in the celebration and also tour our fantastic and topic. In truth, most of my speeches derive from mybuilding. I met a number of people I knew who were Presidential Address, but they also need local focus, which Icollecting their certificates and was delighted to bump into will complete just before the event.two Bridgnorth folk too! My third meeting of the morning was with Mark Cutler –Following presentations to 143 CEng MICE, 11 IEng MICE, MD of Morgan Est and a former Civil Engineering Manager3 Eng Tech TMICE and 14 new Fellows and one new of the Year Award winner. We debated the skills shortage,Companion, there were then 2 Spirit of Telford Awards. benefits of Institution involvement and the market placeThese were to former Vice President Brian Crossley and generally.to Doug Allenby Link http://www.ice.org.uk/about_ice/aboutice_awards.asp to read more about them and the My next meeting was with David Lloyd Roach, Directorother 21 Spirit of Telford Awards I have presented so far this of Membership, to discuss the RIBA/ICE McAslan awardyear. Both Brian and Doug have achieved so much in the in preparation for a meeting with Sponsor John McAslanway they have supported young engineers as well as their next week. After lunch I chair the Benevolent Fund AGMroles in developing and promoting the value of engineering and then its Management Committee (http://www.bfice.knowledge. org.uk/). An early finish means I can just get back to Wolverhampton with minutes to spare to join Dorothy andAfter the ceremony I enjoyed being able to spend more friends at a Harold Pinter play. The play was serious stufftime chatting to members. At the end of the day I had a and called the Caretaker.meeting with Clare Gray to catch up on my diary and somecorrespondence before she left for a 4 mile walk home! 82
  • 84. Day 303 (Thursday 6 September)Carillion Day. Late pm I met with CIOB President MartinChambers. A great opportunity to swap stories!Day 304 (Friday 7 September)Early train to London, post and more certificate signing.I have time to pop in and speak to the GSNet meetingbefore briefly meeting with and addressing the AnnualReviewers Conference (event/meeting number 510!). Iregret not spending more time with these groups. GSNetis our future – and what an enthusiastic and talentedgroup of engineers they are – we will all be seeing manyof them as future Council and Committee members. TheReviewers as a collective group of volunteers are one of THEmost important of our members. They give their time andassess the competency of and qualify all our Technician,Incorporated and Chartered members. It is they whomaintain the standards and international reputation of ourqualifying role as a professional body. They discharge thisresponsibility with diligence, modesty and great efficiencyand dedication. Telford would be proud of each and everyone – in fact all members should be proud of the serviceand fantastic contribution they provide to the professionAND society.By lunchtime I am heading for St Pancras station to attendthe launch of High Speed 1 http://www.highspeed1.com/.What a fantastic civil (and other!) engineering project – seeweblink for more details. On time, on budget and a realdemonstration of engineering excellence.Day 305 (Saturday 8 September)Friends wedding in deepest Shropshire. Lovely occasionheld in the highest church in England, right next to Offa’sDyke. In the evening Dorothy and I joined a book launchcelebration for the ‘The Shropshire Cakes and Ale Trail’ bylocal author Bob Bibby.Day 306 (Sunday 9 September)Family Party. 83
  • 85. Week forty five John is an enthusiast with a passion to deliver betterEnglish Heritage, Bursary and professionals and meaningful projects. We debate the scheme and John explains some of the recent projects. ISCOSS hope I have left him with a few good ideas to revise the profile of the bursary – we need more engineers to apply!Day 307 (Monday 10 September) EWB and EFOD – have you tapped into this source ofCarillion Day. funding yet?Travelled to London in the afternoon for a meeting and My next meeting is with the SCOSS Committee, a greatthen to attend a Forum event where members of our organisation, delivering real value to society and ourEmployers, Academic and Client Forum joined together for industry. David Orr (SVP) and I were joined in the meetingan informed discussion and dinner. The speaker was Sir by David Harvey (President IStructE and Sarah Buck (SVPNeil Cossons who has just retired as Chairman of English IStructE). We then moved onto an IStructE / ICE meetingHeritage. Neil was previously Director of the Science with our Director Generals. The Institution has an excellentMuseum and many years ago was the first Director of the relationship with IStructE. My final meeting of the day,Ironbridge Gorge Museum. again with David Orr and Tom Foulkes was with the Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors. Another excellentSir Neil is a great enthusiast of our engineers heritage and fellow institution relationship.gave a great demonstration of this knowledge, passion andenthusiasm for all things Telford at the recent conference Day 309 (Wednesday 12 September)in Bangor (reference week 36). Neil reminded the Forum Carillion Day.about the outstanding pedigree of civil engineering heritagewe have in the UK and challenged us as a profession to Day 310 (Thursday 13 September)reposition engineering so that it is more widely understood, Travel to Brunei.respected and valued. He reminded us that a civil engineersrole is a job worth doing, a great career and a service to Day 311 (Friday 14 September)society. Overnight flight from London to Singapore. One hour stop- over at Changi Airport and then a short two hour flight toHe went on to suggest that we should make more use of Bandar Seri Begawan, the Brunei capital. We were met atour heritage to inspire the young. In particular, we should the airport by Country Representative Dr Pengiran Damithelp identify, nominate and promote civil engineering and colleagues. We dropped bags off at our hotel and wereprojects as World Heritage Sites. These sites, of which joined by Norhamtihan Haji Abdul Razak, Assistant Director,there are 140 worldwide, should be significant in human Water Services Department, Public Works Department,history. Examples are Stonehenge, Durham Cathedral and Brunei Darussalam, who escorted us on a tour of thethe Ironbridge Gorge (birth of industrial revolution!) in the Mengkabau Dam and the recently completed and veryUK. Pont-Cysyllte Aqueduct and its surrounds are currently impressive water treatment works. Dr Damit then took usa nomination for consideration in 2009 – so perhaps we on a visit to a Kampong Ayer – a water village, which mainlyshould consider the A5 (including the Menan Bridge) and consisted of timber houses on piles in the river, connectedthe Caledonian canal for the future. A tremendous and by raised walkways. Here we saw several local children andinspirational speech from a really passionate supporter of adults flying “fighting” kites – small single line kites. Theall things civil engineering! I will be taking up this challenge kite experts, as we saw, could fly the kites in patterns acrossand great opportunity to influence others about our the sky – a real skill, especially when you realise that theyprofession. are on lines hundreds of feet long. We also came across someone making one of these fantastic kites – an intricateDay 308 (Tuesday 11 September) balance of wood, string and paper, in this case about threeCold shower – not my choice! Ftb and more certificates to feet across – much bigger than the small fighting kites Isign and post to attend to. My first meeting was with John own. On the return trip we visited a new housing projectMcAslan to discuss the RIBA / ICE / McAslan Bursary with and also passed along Tungku Link Road, a project I hadMembership Director David Lloyd Roach. The bursary exists worked upon some twelve years ago.to support architectural and engineering students and thenewly qualified to progress an environment or community In the evening Dr Damit and the Honourable Ministerproject …..anywhere! for Development, Pehin Dato Haji Abdullah, hosted a 84
  • 86. celebratory meal with some 70 Institution members andguests. I was delighted to be able to present certificates tofive new Institution members.Day 312 (Saturday 15 September)In the morning, Tom and I met with the Minister, his deputyand senior colleagues. There was just time to visit theJame’Asr Hassanal Bolkiah mosque before we had to leavefor the airport. The mosque was just amazing – a wonderfulpiece of engineering (and architecture) with room for 4000worshippers. Dr Damit had been its project director 20 yearsago, before becoming Director of Public Works and then,six years ago, taking retirement. Our flight took us back toChangi, where we had six hours to wait for our overnighttrip to Canberra via Sydney. We took the opportunity topop into the Raffles Hotel for tea. What an amazing place –14 green teas to pick from, out of a total of over 70 teas!A wonderful visit and a great opportunity to see whatenthusiasm there is for training and developing engineers inBrunei.Day 313 (Sunday 16 September)Short stop-over in Sydney, with a transfer to the domesticterminal for the 45 minute flight to Canberra. Enjoyedlooking at the countryside from 27,000 feet. We metaccidentally with former New South Wales CountryRepresentative Michael Polin and his wife at the hotelat lunchtime (we were due to meet in the evening) andspent a very pleasant afternoon visiting Floriade, the flowerfestival. In the evening we met up with NSW CountryRepresentative Sarah Wheeler. 85
  • 87. Week forty six Road Project. 88 bridges, 39 km of freeway plus 1.6 km of tunnel. Ken Mathers, Chief Executive Officer of SEITA,Australia and New Zealand the Southern and Eastern Integrated Transport Authority, briefed us on the project and then took us around theDay 314 (Monday 17 September) site to see this magnificent advertisement for partnering,Our first meeting of the day was with Engineers Australia. excellent design and efficient construction. Fantastic.We met with President Rolfe Hartley and Chief ExecutivePeter Taylor (both civil engineers). It was a most convivial In the evening Tom and I joined about 70 members andmeeting and we were able to discuss issues common to guests for dinner and, as with all the dinner meetings, aboth our Institutions (EA has 87,000 members across all presentation. This one was by me – on sustainability. Tomengineering disciplines). Influence, skills shortages and also gave members a quick update on the Institution anddelivering value to members were among the key issues. its current strategy and achievements. I was delighted toWe also discussed collaborative working, joint events and present three Spirit of Telford Awards (see the Spirit ofpresidents’ activities. Telford website for details (www.ice.org.uk/about_ice/ aboutice_awards.asp.) A particular thank you to Alan ChuckIn the afternoon, we met with British High Commissioner, for providing a special tour for Dorothy. Grateful thanksthe Honourable Helen Liddell. Helen is a former Labour also to Frank Bishop, Victoria Local Association ChairmanMP and UK Government Minister. The close relationship Tony Bennett and to Vice Chair and excellent MC for thebetween the UK and Australia means this appointment is evening, Robin Miles.usually a senior politician rather than a career civil servant.Tom and I were delighted that Helen knew so much about Day 316 (Wednesday 19 September)our Institution and had regularly visited One Great George VERY early flight to Sydney. After dropping our bagsStreet during her days of ministerial duties. She was also off at the hotel we walked to Arup’s Sydney office for awell aware of the Thomas Telford legacy and the TT250 light lunch and a briefing on the Sydney Opera Housecelebrations. Helen described her extremely busy and and its CAD 3D model. $60 million have been spent onresponsible role and we were pleased to have had the improvements and upgrades of the Opera House in theopportunity to explain our own Institution role and aims, past five years. We were joined again by New South Walesand to offer any help we could. The issues of skills shortages Country Representative Sarah Wheeler and members of theand the importance of engineering in society were amongst local committee. Our host, Richard Hough, then escortedthe many topics we chatted about. Later, we visited the us to the Opera House for a tour with Ralph Butt, DirectorAustralian War memorial; it was identical to the amazing of Protocol for the Opera House, and Dr John Nutt (Arup,sand sculpture we had seen the previous day at the Floriade. retired). John had been part of Ove Arup’s engineeringThe whole (enormous) building and its surroundings are team from the time Ove became involved in the project ina magnificent tribute and memorial to all those who have 1961, and gave us a remarkable insight into the building,died serving their country over the past century in many its design and the great engineer. Ralph was the perfectwars. Sombre, peaceful and thought provoking. foil – 28 years with the Opera House and so knowledgeable about the building, its performances, the artists and allIn the evening we enjoyed a dinner with members and things musical and operatic. It was a real privilege to beEngineers Australia guests. hosted by these two experts – an outstanding highlight of my year! It is estimated that the building has 4 millionDay 315 (Tuesday 18 September) tourists visiting every year and its 1590 performances a yearEarly start for the plane to Melbourne. Victoria Country touch 1.2 million more people.Representative Frank Bishop met us at the airport. Ourfirst visit was to GHD’s (www.ghd.com.au) office for a In the evening Dorothy and I attended a NSW ICE dinner‘Sustainability and business case for it’ lunchtime event meeting, at which Sarah had purposefully left an empty seatwith members, graduates and local engineers of all at every table to allow me to spend a little time with all ourdisciplines. I delivered one of the three presentations. Bill members and guests – a brilliant idea! I said a few words,Grose, GHD’s sustainability guru, led off with a summary of as I usually do, and Sarah captured some more enthusiastictheir sustainability strategy and action plan and Rob Steen members for her committee (from the “Glasgow table”, if Idescribed his work for airline Jetstar, looking at their carbon recall correctly).footprint and reduction measures. Day 317 (Thursday 20 September)In the afternoon we visited the $2.5 Aus billion EastLink Early start for a flight to Auckland in New Zealand (two hour 86
  • 88. time change!) We drop off bags briefly in the hotel and presentation of their activities and aspirations. Just brilliant,then walk to the University of Auckland to meet with the and yet again a massive demonstration of the energy andDean of Engineering, Professor Mike Davies, and prepare enthusiasm and QUALITY of our excellent CRs, their teamsto meet students, staff and Institution members over a and members across the whole of the Asia Pacific Region.coffee and bun, prior to my presentation on sustainability. I learnt so much and really appreciated the magnificentPresentation over, we then enjoy a social session before contribution which our volunteer members make, not onlyDorothy and I join Mike and his wife Abby for a quiet for our members but for their communities and societies.dinner. Tom has Institution duties to perform, so returns tothe hotel for dinner with the 16 Country Representatives In the afternoon we had some free time – well, it wasfrom the Asia Pacific Region, who have assembled for their Saturday! Dorothy and I took a walk into the city andbiannual conference. Country Representative Tim Warren went round the Maritime Museum and booked someis our host for the next six days AND has organised the CR accommodation for our short holiday in Christchurch at theconference plus a one day sustainability conference too – end of the visit. In the evening was a black tie Gala Dinneramazing! for 150 members and guests. I had the opportunity to speak again! I was also able to present a training certificate,Day 318 (Friday 21 September) papers competition certificates and four Spirit of TelfordThe Country Representatives have already spent Thursday Awards - see web link (www.ice.org.uk/about_ice/aboutice_debating membership issues with Membership Director awards.asp.) for details of these excellent engineersDavid Lloyd-Roach, and the ICE team also comprises AND the three excellent engineers to whom I also madeDirector of UK Regions and International Stuart Crichton presentations in Australia. Special thanks to Nicky Egyed forand Asia Pacific Manager Debbie Kan. all her organisation of the dinner – yet another very special event on my special tour!The Sustainability conference has an impressive array ofspeakers (not including me!), these are: Day 320 (Sunday 23 September) CR site visit to the Northern Gateway Alliance’s Alpurt B2■ Me, on first! project – 7.5 km of road, twin tunnels (10% of contract■ Jeff Jones, President, Institution of Professional sum), eco-viaducts, 1 million plants. Our hosts, Andrew Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) McRae (Project Director) and Noel Nancekivell (Design■ John McShane (MICE), Environment and Planning Manager), gave up their Sunday to show us this magnificent Manager with Auckland International Airport project – so much activity in such a small area! I particularly■ The Hon. David Caygill, ex NZ MP and NZ Minister of enjoyed seeing the tunnel and the rock formations and was Trade and Industry, Minister of Health and Minister of also very impressed by the cantilever construction of the Finance precast units for the Waiwera Viaduct. As with the project■ His Worship Dick Hubbard, Mayor of Auckland (which in Melbourne, it was another successful use of an alliance has almost 1/3rd of the New Zealand population and partnering approach – we know it makes sense.■ The Hon Clayton Cosgrove, Minister for Building and Construction In the afternoon, Dorothy and I walked to the Auckland■ Alan Burden, Professor and Principal of Structured Museum. There was a fine drizzle, which had turned into Environment Limited and our Country Representative torrential rain on our return walk. We reached the hotel like for Japan two drowned rats!■ Jim Bentley, Chief Executive of Metrowater, Auckland’s bulkwater and wastewater providerIt was a fantastic event and I was also pleased to havethe opportunity to meet and chat with our CountryRepresentatives. In the evening I joined the CRs and the ICENew Zealand Committee for dinner in the hotel.Day 319 (Saturday 22 September)The morning was a CR briefing day, led by Stuart and Tomwho gave short presentations on the Institution’s activities,strategy and international strategy. This was followed bythe best session of my whole visit – all 16 CRs gave a short 87
  • 89. Week forty seven Andy Buchanan, Professor of Timber Design, Athol Carr, Professor of Civil Engineering and Stefano Pampanin. AfterNew Zealand (cont.) and an excellent lunch in the Staff Club, Tom and I then met Pro Vice Chancellor (Engineering), Peter Jackson. Late inhome the afternoon, Alan Nicholson gave us a tour of the civil engineering department. Tom and I then had two hours toDay 321 (Monday 24 September) ourselves, so we went to the department library and bothEarly start for a plane to Wellington, arriving at 9.20am spent time catching up on our emails.at the airport. By 9.45am we were in town at an NCESeminar. Richard Patterson provided the welcome and an At 6pm, having set up the video, sound and presentation, Iintroduction to the NEC3 family of contracts and I then gave delivered the presentation ‘Climate Change – Can Engineersa short keynote speech of 20 minutes giving my perspective Meet the Challenge’ to students. university staff and(and the Institution’s) on the merits of the NEC approach. Institution members. This was followed by our final event ofFollowing coffee Tom and I, with CR Tim Warren, left for the whole Presidential Tour – a social event with everyoneour meeting with IPENZ. NEC has not been used in New and a time to start relaxing and winding down.Zealand a great deal yet, but there seemed considerableenthusiasm amongst the delegates I spoke with. One of It has been an extremely hectic two weeks – so much sothe most interesting presentations was from Siân Nash who that I have not found the time to write my blog until a weekspoke on her experience of the NEC contract in an extreme after the end of the tour. BIG MISTAKE. I’m afraid this hasenvironment – a new Antarctic research station! Did you meant that I cannot recall all the details, all the excitement,read about it in NCE magazine? all the great times, places and people I have met and enjoyed. An exhausting but exhilarating experience and soA short walk took us to the IPENZ offices where we met many good memories that I can do justice to none of themwith Deputy President Bas Walker, Chief Executive Andrew in this blog.Cleland and Engineering Director Charles Willmot. Tomand I learnt a great deal about IPENZ, which was formed Special thanks to Dr Pengiran Damit in Brunei, Michaelin 2002, both to look after engineers’ registration and as a Polin, Frank Bishop and Sarah Wheeler in Australia and Timprofessional body. We shared experiences of our Institutions Warren in New Zealand. Special thanks to Tom Foulkesand discussed the issues which face us all – member too, who has been alongside me, liaising with everyone,satisfaction, membership and standards and skills shortages. giving presentations and listening to members and othersSchools Director Angela Christie then joined us to discuss throughout. As President, I can put my feet up after 6their Futureintech Project, which promotes engineering November – as Director General, Tom lives and works at thisto school children of all ages and provides guidance hectic pace continually.documents and materials for students, parents, etc. I have learnt too what a wonderful organisation we areWe next walked to Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington’s and that many other organisations respect us for our workmuseum, for an Urban Sustainability Seminar, hosted by the and for the efficient way we do things and discharge ourBritish Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Wellington City responsibilities to our members, our stakeholders andCouncil and the Institution. Dave Hansford, a photographer, society.cameraman and writer, as well as an environmental andconservation journalist, was my co-presenter. Following Day 323 (Wednesday 26) to Day 325 (Friday 28our two presentations John McGrath, Policy Manager September)for Wellington City Council, chaired a lively discussion Holiday in Christchurch and catching up on some emails.session. This event was followed by a social session which Time to spend with Dorothy, which I really appreciated.followed directly into a members’ event, when Tom and I Akaroa was a fantastic day and Sammy’s was a great jazzhad the opportunity to chat with a dozen of our Institution bar! Museum and Botanic Gardens were both wonderful.members. Day 326 (Saturday 29 September) and Day 327Day 322 (Tuesday 25 September) (Sunday 30 September)Another early flight, this time to Christchurch, our final Flight home via Singapore, seven hour stop-over. Arriveddestination. Tom and I spent the day with members of home tired at 10am Sunday morning. In the afternoon I tookthe University of Canterbury. We met and chatted with my daughter Alice to Leicester to start her university career.Ian Shaw, Pro Vice Chancellor for Sustainability, then Put head on pillow at 8pm and slept solidly for seven hours! 88
  • 90. Week forty eight starts to get tougher next week. Special thanks to Andrew McNamara for organising the trip and inviting me along.ICE Awards Ceremony On my return to the Institution I had time for a brief Carillion meeting before heading for a Hazards Forum EventDay 328 (Monday 1 October 2007) on “Organisational Change- the Hidden Risk”. Presenters ofCarillion Day this excellent event were:Day 329 (Tuesday 2 October 2007) ■ Professor Denis Smith of the University of GlasgowCarillion Day (my university!) ■ Mike Weightman, HM Chief Inspector of NuclearDay 330 (Wednesday 3 October 2007) InstallationsEarly train to London, my first meeting with University of ■ Jeremy Harrison, Head of Project Risk and ValueSurrey final year student Matt Gouldby who is writing a Management at Network Railbriefing note on his sponsorship funding and experience.I am hoping that it will be published in our proceedings in An excellent event. Unfortunately I had to leave before theorder to broaden members understanding of the student discussion to meet up with David Orr and Anne Moir for acivil engineering practical and financial experience. Matt communications & presidential activities discussion.fully expects to earn or receive sponsorship to the sumof £30,000 during his degree. He will also have made Day 331 (Thursday 4 October 2007)some significant steps towards achieving some of his core Still waking very early following my return from Newobjectives during his industrial experience- all helping him to Zealand. Ffb (see typo from last week which says Ftb!),become chartered and more employable! then dealt with post, signed 100 Awards certificates and responded to a few emails.After clearing some post and meeting briefly with theDirector for Policy and Innovation Andy Gooding I have one At 9.30am I was joined by David Lloyd- Roach, Directorof my regular catch-up meetings with Director General and of Membership to take part in a Stakeholder EngagementSecretary Tom Foulkes. We review the excellent trip to the Interview for Manchester University. A fascinating discussionAsia Pacific Region and to discuss some of the forthcoming on the University’s vision, mission and strategic goals. TheInstitution activities. At 11.15am I walk to Lambeth Pier University is aiming to be a world leading university byto join 125 first year students from City University on their 2015- a daunting challenge in only 8 years! I hope our‘civil engineering river trip’ along the River Thames down perspective, contribution and comments helped in theirto the Thames Barrier. Four engineers gave up their time to review and analysis.provide an engineering commentary: More post then David Orr and I met with IMechE President■ John Baxter from Alan Baxter Associates John Baxter as part of our regular discussions. We compared■ Glyn Trippick from Buro Happold notes and progress since last year and the close of our more■ David Trelease from Arup focused debate at that time. We also shared experiences on■ Andrew McKay from Port of London membership, presidential visits, and apprentices. Like me, John is having enormous fun in his Presidential role, whichIt was indeed a fantastic trip and a great way to see all he has held for 5 months now. The next meeting will bethe civil engineering projects from the last 200 years from with David and Jean Venables as I move onto new pastures!Bazalgette’s sewage systems to Tate Modern; from theThames Barrier to Billingsgate Markets (old and new!). I was After lunch I met with Kelvin Hopkins (MP) who wantedpleasantly surprised to note many buildings and structures I to explain his ideas on the development (and delivery!) ofhad worked on! a dedicated rail freight live form the Channel Tunnel to Glasgow- the Euro Rail Freight Route. He was joined byI was given the opportunity to speak about career one of his proposal team, rail engineer Tim Brown and weopportunities, the benefits of a civil engineering education fielded Graeme Monteith, Chairman of Rail Capacity Groupand the Institution on the return trip and then enjoyed and Nicola Bates from our Communications and Marketingchatting to many of the students…enthusiasts one and team. It was a fascinating proposal which required someall. The trip provided a great introduction to the range and new tunnels and only 4 miles of new track to create ascale of civil engineering and service civil engineers provide 100mph capacity line. Kelvin and his team are next speakingto society and the economy. I think the degree course with RDAs (Regional Development Agencies) and preparing 89
  • 91. the business case for their proposal. I await the detail with Thursday 4th October.interest! Day 333 (Saturday 6 October 2007)My final event of the day was to give a presentation Lovely day. We all took a trip to the Telford Inn and Chirkon sustainability to the construction team building and and Pontcysyllte Aqueducts, Montford Bridge and theextending the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth. Longdon-on-Tern aqueduct. A Telford Day! I noted the newI took the train from Waterloo and was met by Project plaque on the Chirk and Pontcysyllte Aqueducts spelt theDirector Graham Aubury. The project has a “muster” once ‘A’ word incorrectly- as one of my blog respondees hadevery 4 weeks which combines a presentation with a meal advised.and social event. I was pleasantly surprised to meet withtwo people I had previously met in Dubai 18 months ago Day 334 (Sunday 7 October 2007)and on the GCHQ Project in Cheltenham 5 years ago! A Trip to Bodenham Arboretum and a fantastic lunch. Clarinetsplendid and most friendly evening and event. Late train lesson in the evening and a trip to the Railwayman’s Arms.back, so I caught up with some sleep!Day 332 (Friday 5 October 2007)Ffb. Post, writing blog and a brief meeting with KimWoolger about some future events and the TelfordApprentices. They are now about to complete their tenthtask!The event of the day, indeed, the whole year is theInstitution’s Prestige Papers Awards Ceremony. The Awardsevent is a very special event in the Institution calendar andwas a highlight of my Presidency too. I was delighted tomeet many members I knew and others who I had meton my travels. It was a particular pleasure to meet andchat with Professor Chakroborty our Institution’s GoldMedal Winner, and I was especially delighted to presentthe President’s Medal to Dr Martin Barnes in recognitionof his excellent work for the Institution, the industry andindeed for society in conceiving, developing, delivery andpromoting the benefits of NEC. It is a contract which haschanged industry culture and its reputation and helped usall to be collaborative not confrontational and to deliverbetter projects on time and on budget. High Speed 1, CTRLand the Eden project are just three of the many thousandgreat examples of NEC in practice.I was delighted to present 8 more Spirit of Telford Awards- a catch-up session for the Wales Region nominations andalso more excellent nominations from our engineering andmembership committees.The whole event ran with the efficiency of a Swiss clock,as all the events at One Great George Street do – anotherdemonstration of the professionalism and quality of theInstitution.After the Awards event I was joined by David Harvey andhis partner Cecilia who joined my wife Dorothy and mefor the weekend. David handed over the Presidency ofthe Institution of Structural Engineers to Sarah Buck on 90
  • 92. Week forty nine and planning for population of the future. Our discussions were broad and, I am pleased to say, all vice presidentsTelford, Vision, London and directors engaged with and challenged Chris to the extent that the collective group emerged with some greatRegion and ICES ideas as to how we as an Institution can prepare ourselves better for the rest of this century. In particular how we canDay 335 (Monday 8 October 2007) better engage with and involve our international membersCarillion Day in looking at professional needs and delivery over the next 20- 40 years. A stimulating and interesting evening. ThankDay 336 (Tuesday 9 October 2007) you Chris! - a real opportunity to discuss and develop ideasTo Telford Town Park to open the Thomas Telford Twin about sustainable development on a global scale.Track. The Twin Track was initiated by Museum of SteelSculpture Director Pam Brown and involved the Thomas Day 337 (Wednesday 10 October)Telford School, Hadley Learning Community Schools, 6 Ffb. London Region Presidential Visit. I dealt with some postartists and the Telford & Wrekin Arts Team. The team won and certificate signing, had a couple of short meetings andfunding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and has created then set off on tube and bus to Brunel University. We firstan amazing pair of cast iron tracks representing a timeline met with staff from the School of Engineering. Head of theof Thomas Telford’s life and work. 372 school children School of Engineering and Design, Professor Sawas Tassonwith 11 artists have each created a tribute and memorial hosted our first meeting with members of the new teamto the great engineer by creating their own “plate”. Some delivering a NEW degree course in Civil Engineering with“plates” were pieces of artwork, some had pictures of Sustainability. (MEng and BEng).Thomas Telford and most had representations of his works-Toll Gates and Toll Houses, St Mary Magdalene Church, This must be the first university to introduce a civilBuildwas Bridge, the Menai Straits Bridge and of course the engineering degree course for decades. Right decision!- andincomparable Pontcysyllte Aqueduct … and many many Brunel University should have a civil engineering course.more. The course director Dr Phil Collins explained their plans for the course and for its proper accreditation, for which theI had the honour to cut the ribbon and open this sculpture, process has already commenced (with help from Professorlasting legacy and tribute to Telford. Voluntary research Ben Barr, recently retired from the Cardiff University).work carried out at Shropshire Archives and Coal brookdale We then all moved to the civil engineering laboratoriesLibrary provided many of the ideas for the excellent artwork for me to officially open them (as Joseph Bazalgetteand the children carved their designs into sand blocks Laboratories) and officially launch the new degree courses.prior to the casting operation. Artist in residence Gerry We were joined by many staff members from across theMasse with help from Amec laid the plates. I particularly University, Institution staff and members and students.enjoyed chatting to the children about their designs andwas delighted to see their enthusiasm and knowledge for Following lunch I returned to One Great George Street,all things Telford. They should all be very proud of their meeting briefly with a number of geotechnical engineersachievement. arriving for an evening meeting on Eurocode 8 before heading for the Presidents flat to change for my eveningI then travelled to London for a meeting with University event.of Dundee PhD student Michael Simon who wanted tointerview me about sustainability in construction (and This was the BCIA (British Construction Industry Awards)construction companies) for his project. Great meeting with Event. Almost 1000 people gathered at Grosvenor Houseyet another enthusiast! Hotel to celebrate the best in civil engineering, building, environment and regeneration. Our compere was KirstyIn the evening I hosted a dinner with vice presidents and Wark the broadcaster and presenter and the awards weredirectors. Our special guest was Dr Chris Luebkeman. Chris presented by Rt Hon Margaret Hodge, Minister of State foris an amazing character and personality. He is director for Culture, Media and Sport. It transpired that Kirsty’s mumsGlobal Foresight and Innovation at Arup. His CV suggests cousin married a certain Ellie Leiper who in turn was closelythat he has constantly and consistently occupied the related to the famous architect William Leiper. Conclusion-“spaces between” professions and that he refuses to be we are very distant cousins!categorised! He is indeed someone of considerable intellectand vision for broad global issues- such as energy provision The President is vice chairman of the judging panel, so it 91
  • 93. was my pleasant role to say Grace and to Toast the Queen. Masons, who not only supported the event, but alsoIn addition, I said a few words about Mike Winney who died brought two tables of construction lawyers, all of whom,earlier this year. Mike had made a massive contribution to as far as I could see, really wanted to be civil engineers! Icivil engineering through his mighty pen as a journalist and was delighted to present another Spirit of Telford Award,his knowledge and skills as a judge in many competitions. this time to Mike McConnell for his years of mentoring andMike had made a significant contribution to the BCIA developing our engineers of the future. Civil Engineer andawards as both judge, advisor, author and through his great former Whitby MP Lawrie Quinn gave an excellent toast tonetwork as a marketeer and promoter. Many of us had lost the Institution and the speaker was local MP Steve Pound- aa good friend. We stood for a few moments private prayer candid and amusing speech! In his political role Lawrie hasin sadness, but also in celebration of a great life. always been and remains a great friend of our institution as well as being a long standing fellow.Day 338 (Thursday 11 October)Ffb. Various short meetings and lots of post and certificates. Day 339 (Friday 12 October)I had hoped to catch up on my blog and postcards, but Ffb. More post to attend to and yet more certificates tofailed to find time for either. sign. At 11am Antony Oliver, NCE’s editor came to see me to put me through my “exit interview”. The results areAt 3pm I was collected by London Region Chairman Steve published in NCE dated 18th October 2007. A good chat. IMiller and London Region Manager Jackie Bell and, with leave you reader(s) to judge the article!Director UK Regions and International Areas Stuart Crichtonset off for St.Katerines Dock. The dock is yet another At 12 noon I then met with a small group of senior industrystunning example of Telford’s skills. In terms of water sustainability enthusiasts to talk about the need for andacreage the docks were a relatively modest scheme but in provision of training in “sustainability”. The emphasisterms of engineering challenges, it was quite the opposite. being on the what to do rather than the business andOther well known engineers helped Telford – Henry Palmer, strategic end of the training spectrum- which is alreadyJoseph Mitchell and Alexander Gibb. The opening of well served by a number of NGOs smalls and other bodies.the West St Katharine Docks took place in 1828. Due to The group left Kieran Dineen of Thomas Telford Ltd withTelford’s skilful design the docks operated independently via some great ideas to develop and pursue. I deal with morethe basin so work could then focus on the Eastern dock. correspondence, read some papers in preparation for theThe lock was 180 feet long and could be filled in just over 5 forthcoming Council meeting (23rd October) and then headminutes. A remarkable achievement. The walls were 33 feet to the flat to change for dinner.high and 10 feet deep at the base. The whole scheme cost2 million pounds, with the docks costing 250,000 pounds. My fourth dinner this week, and third black tie event isSubstantial sums in those days. the Federation of Piling Specialists http://www.fps.org. uk/ Dinner. My opportunity to meet up with a fantasticOur small party of Institution members joined me in group of predominantly geotechnical engineers with whomunveiling a plaque to the great man. We were then I worked (and competed with) in my piling, grouting,privileged to visit another great London icon, Tower diaphragm walking and vibro days of the 1980’s. I wasBridge- and I had the honor of being allowed to press pleasantly surprised to find how many people I knew andthe appropriate buttons and then lift the bascule bridge. how senior they had now become (in their roles, I could notAnother once in a lifetime experience and treat which the possibly comment on their ages). I delivered a short speechpresidential post affords. London committee member Paul and toast to the Federation and thoroughly enjoyed myMonoghan had arranged the visit and timed it to ensure geotechnical evening.that it was an official opening of this great combinationof civil engineering and mechanical engineering. A super Day 340 (Saturday 13 October)afternoon! Just two hours to return to the flat to change Train home am. Hockey pm. Watched a nerve racking rugbyfor the (black tie) London dinner – on the way I popped into game as England beat France in the World Cup Semi Final byOne Great George Street for a few minutes. a narrow margin, achieving a lead with only minutes to spare.The dinner was splendid. We enjoyed an excellent meal Day 341 (Sunday 14 October)(terrific lamb) and then moved onto the speeches and Clarinet practice and lesson, household stuff and a trip topresentations. I always enjoy seeing the awards schemes take another look at the Thomas Telford Twin Track withand joining in our mutual celebration of the excellent Dorothy and son John.project teams. The events main sponsor was Pinsent 92
  • 94. Week fifty report such an excellent and mutually supportive relationship.Dublin, CIC ICES A grateful thanks to Don McEntee our County Representative and Trevor, for looking after me so well andDay 342 (Monday 15 October) to Ron Cox for initiating the plaque ceremony and providingCarillion day, with a quick trip in the middle of it to Ironbridge me with Telford information for my presentation.to open, with Telford & Wrekin Mayor Miles Hosken, the newlyreinstated stabilisation scheme of Lloyds Road alongside the Day 344 (Wednesday 17 October)River Severn. The road was a live land slip, evidenced by Lloyds Ffb. Early plane back to London. Diversion for a CarillionCottage in the middle of the project. The slope had evidently meeting. In the afternoon I attended a Construction Industrybeen slipping gracefully towards the river for many years Council meeting http://www.cic.org.uk/home/index.shtml,and the rear wall of the cottage was at least 1m lower than which included a presentation and question time withthe front! The slip has now been restrained by two rows of Minister of State for Pension Reforms, Stephen Timms. Itpiles and is fully instrumented. An excellent piece of civil and was the first time I had attended a CIC Council meetinggeotechnical engineering. I was delighted to hear that an EPSRC since I was Chairman of the Ground Forum 9 years ago. Infunded research grant was in place to support the Council the evening I hosted a meal for CIC Chairman Rt Hon Nickin monitoring landslip with the University of Southampton Raynsford, incoming CIC Chairman Keith Clarke (Atkins) and(Professor William Powrie). Congratulations to Guy Biddul and CIC Chief Executive Graham Watts. I was joined by Seniorhis team for the design and delivery of a splendid project. Vice- President David Orr and Director General Tom Foulkes. We has a splendid discussion on the industry, skills shortagesDay 343 (Tuesday 16 October) and the political influence with and assistance to GovernmentEarly start for a flight to Dublin for my reciprocal visit to that CIC and the Institution can develop and provide.Engineers Ireland. I was met by Dublin Local AssociationTreasurer Trevor Wood, who took me, via M50 roadwork’s Day 345 (Thursday 18 October)to University College Dublin to meet with academic staff and Carillion day. Ffb. In the morning I had the privilege to bedeliver a presentation to 4th year civil engineering students, one member of a small review panel for a major project.I spoke on Climate Change, “Can Civil Engineers meet thechallenge?” Our host Professor Eugene O’ Brian then very Day 346 (Friday 19 October)kindly invited us to lunch. As everywhere, UCD is increasing Carillion day. Popped up to the University ofits student numbers fast. I particularly enjoyed our brief tour Wolverhampton to deliver a lecture on sustainability.of new building and laboratories- all refurbished industrybuildings- the sustainable solution! Well done UCD! In the evening I attended the Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors Annual Dinner. This was being held at the PumpOur next visit was to the Howth Road to unveil a plaque to Room at the Roman Baths in Bath. Our host was ICEScelebrate Thomas Telford’s involvement in the road which President Edwin Danson, whose term of office finished theconnects Dublin with Howth Port and thence the A5 from following morning. It was a most hospitable and friendlyHollyhead to London. I unveiled the plaque with Telford event. The location was quite magnificent and Dorothyimpersonator Bob Diamond. The plaque was just a few and I enjoyed looking around the baths and chatting toyards from one of Telford’s mile posts. We were joined at ICES members at the pre dinner reception. I commend thethe ceremony by the President of Engineers Ireland- John excellent choice of menu by Edwin’s wife Linda. I gave theMcGowan, the Major of Dublin, local members and a large toast to ICES and wished them well on their progress tocontingent of Institution members from Wales. achieving chartered status for their members.In the evening Engineers Ireland hosted a presentation by me Day 347 (Saturday 20 October)on Thomas Telford. I also took the opportunity to show the Ffb and a quick walk around Bath before returning home.DVD “Telford, the man, the works, the legacy”, 9 minutes of In the afternoon I played hockey, scoring the first of our sixa very high impact story of Telford’s life. goals. Rugby dominated the evening. You will know the result by now- a great performance to reach the final yet again.Engineers Ireland President Jack Golden and colleagues madeus most welcome and we enjoyed a very convivial evening Day 348 (Sunday 21 October)of discussion and laughter. Engineers Ireland have around Institution correspondence and statistics. Clarinet practice.20,000 members in all engineering disciplines. We share Hoping to get back to cutting the grass again soon- beforemany of the same objectives and issues and I am delighted to it becomes too wet and wintery to do so. 93
  • 95. Week fifty one badgering us all, for many years, about the inadequacies of our Princes’ Mews disabled access. It may have satisfied the“Retirement” looms letter of the law, but it did nothing for the dignity of our wheelchair visitors nor the reputation of the Institution.Day 349 (Monday 22 October) Thank you to Mike Stephens and his colleagues (andCarillion day, pm to London to attend a 5pm meeting with predecessors) on the Building Committee. They haveTom Foulkes, Eunice Waddell and Angela Rodgers to run guided this project through its many phases, juggling thethrough agenda items and timing for Council meeting on feasibility of various options against the constraints of costTuesday. and potential damage to the architectural heritage of this splendid building. Thank you to David Bonnett of DavidIn the evening I hosted a “VP takeaway” meal with the Bonnett Associates for his early advice on the project – andvice presidents. On this occasion incoming vice presidents to others who have helped with constructive advice atProfessor Barry Clarke and David Hutchison were also various stages, particularly Mark Broadhurst. Also to Alaninvited. Previous “VP takeaways” had indeed been Robson and his colleagues at our architects Fielden andtakeaway meals eaten in the President’s flat, but on this Mawson, who introduced us to the Sesame lift solution andoccasion I decided that we should have a restaurant meal. designed it, unobtrusively, into our fine entrance. AndI used the opportunity to summarise some lessons learnt finally to the planning department at Westminster Councilover the past year for the team and also some specific who helped smooth the way.pointers for the incoming President, David Orr. I alsowanted to thank the VPs for all their hard work on behalf of Having got that far, the construction itself presented a hugethe Institution over the past year and for the support they challenge and plenty of problems: very tight tolerances inhave given me. The Institution has a strong and dedicated three dimensions, with no previous experience of similarleadership team in place for the next year…which is very installations to draw on!ably supported by thousands of voulenteers and ourexcellent Institution staff. Our thanks go to our project management team at Gardiner and Theobald – particularly David Scotten, the constructionDay 350 (Tuesday 23 October) team from Killby and Gayford – particularly site managerFfb (fruit for breakfast). Post and more certificates to sign. I Paul Carrera, Andrew Dutton from our structural engineersthen have a Carillion meeting about the schools programme Hurst Pierce and Malcolm who devised an ingeniousbefore returning to correspondence and a brief meeting solution to a problem, part way through the work. Charlieabout the arrangements for the evening’s event. Lyons and his team from Sesame Access who put such a lot of effort into making sure everything worked perfectly.At 12.15 I join new Council members in their induction But this also needed the efforts of our ‘home team’ –briefing. The Institution has realised how important it is particularly our Building Services Manager Phil Ackers andfor its Trustees to understand their responsibilities. So new our reception team. Thank you all.Council members have been invited to the Council meetingas observers. I was delighted to renew friendships with so Another driver behind the scheme has been Environmentmany that I had met on my regional visits during the year and Sustainability Board Chairman Mark Broadhurst.and known for some years as enthusiastic contributors and Unfortunately Mark was not well, so could not travel upvolunteers for our Institution. from Cornwall to participate. He was to be the first to use the access once it was officially opened. I would like toMy next task was to officially open our new wheelchair quote some words from Mark’s note to me:access at the front entrance in Great George Street. It isindeed an elegant engineering solution. To the passer-by, “May I first offer my apologies for not being here to offerthe entrance looks exactly as it has always done- 6 stone my thanks in person.steps at the pavement edge and another flight of stepsjust inside the main door. When required for wheel chair I cannot be the only ICE member with a disability as, letsaccess, the steps receed into the building and a sesame lift face it, the industry within which we work could be safer, soprovides access which is simple and dignified. Much much I will not be the only one to benefit. I would presume, onbetter than sending wheel chair users round to the back behalf of myself, other ICE members and, indeed, membersalley to enter the building. There are many people to thank of the public, to say thank you very much to this Institutionfor developing this elegant solution.Starting with Caroline for what is a very public statement of its belief in equalityCleland and the ICEFLOE committee. They were doggedly and dignity. In this PC world of ours these are two very 94
  • 96. abused words, but in the context of here, today, they are much enjoyed visits to Chapman’s Peak in South Africa,very appropriate. the personal tour of the Sydney Opera House, the great Cranes in Belfast and Blyth, the Northern Gateway Project inThe ICE was not legally compelled to do this work, Auckland and the Kamping Ayer and Mosque in Brunei.but came to the decision because of the recognitionthat morally it was the right thing to do and it was also In terms of people, the graduates and students got my maincommercially appropriate. This last point needs to be mention….for their energy, enthusiasm and mentoring andacknowledged, given the status of One Great George Street contribution in schools. It was also a good opportunity toas a quality venue”. celebrate these excellent engineers nominated by members and committees and selected by the vice presidents panelMy next event was to chair my final session of Council as for Spirit of Telford Awards. I was delighted to present twoPresident. It was a long meeting as usual- and as usual we more. First to Mike Chrimes, Head of Knowledge Transferhad a great deal of business to attend to and decisions to for all his excellent work in the capture, promotion andmake. Two particular highlights were the presentations delivery of engineering knowledge over the past 30 years.from the ICE Benevolent Fund by its director Kris and the And Professor Robert Mair, world expert and mentor forGSnet presentation by Ruth Hopgood, its retiring chair and excellence… and a geotechnical engineer too!incoming Council member. (Both presentations were of veryhigh quality and both demonstrated the forward thinking, I was also able to thank the Telford Apprentices forenergy and efficiency of both groups). The other exceptional spending time with me contributing to, organising andthing was that on three occasions we had Council votes delivering Institution events AND the 10 tasks I had setthat were unanimous! In one of the discussions 20 Council them. I was particularly pleased to see two pieces ofmembers made a contribution! David Orr closed the meeting their work published in our proceedings as briefing noteswith a few kind words and thanks to me. Much appreciated. and particularly upset that their research and analysis on mentoring (two or more briefing notes) was not published.Chairing Council meetings has been one of the toughest Our members would have benefited from this excellentof my presidential roles. I have always tried to allow broad guidance and the Membership Committee was delighted todebate and of course tried to make sure that Council was receive it! James Wallace said many kind words on behalfable to complete the long agendas at every meeting. of the apprentices and we all then settled down to excellentDavid pointed out that I had been “firm” on a number food and company.of occasions! I hope that I have also been fair. Councilprocedure has changed over the year to allow staged Day 351 (Wednesday 24 October)discussions- a first meeting to establish the strategic Ffb. Carillion day. I took the morning as holiday andframework and gain feedback and discussion on the issue Dorothy and I visited the National Portrait Gallery inand then at the next meeting a refined paper prepared Trafalgar Square. Fantastic. I particularly enjoyed thetaking into account the broad views for the actual decision paintings by Sisley and Constable. We met up with Saraon a topic to be made. This is a much better approach, from Suntrap a folk group, who had stayed with us 4 yearsreplacing the difficulties which naturally arise when Council ago when they played at the Bridgnorth Folk Festival. Sarawere not given more options to debate. works as an archivist and curator at the Gallery.I then spent a few minutes practicing a tune with the jazz In the afternoon I dealt with some Carillion matters andquartet which was providing the entertainment for the then hosted a small Carillion event to hand over, ondinner and dashed back to the flat to change into my black permanent loan to the Institution a number of items fromtie for the “President’s Retiring Supper”. the Mowlem archive. We were joined by former Mowlem Directors and Executives including Sir Philip Beck, Sir JohnCouncil members, Presidents and others assembled for Gains and John Hodgson. Two items were a portrait ofdrinks at 7pm. I joined the quartet for a quick rendition John Mowlem (who had founded the company in 1822 andof “Over the Rainbow” before David Orr took to the “Mowlem” mallet which was used by the President of themicrophone to remind me of some of my presidency- in day Sir Charles Inglis to lay the foundation stone for Onereferring to my statistics he voiced that I was “a bit of a Great George Street on 25th October 1910 almost exactlyspreadsheet man” and recounted some thoughts from 97 years ago!the assembled company of my past year. We then movedinto dinner and I had the opportunity to re count some of In the evening I popped in briefly to the BGA meeting andthe highlights of my year- mainly people related, but I also joined members of both organisations in the bar afterwards. 95
  • 97. Day 352 (Thursday 25 October)Ffb. Post, reading and postcards (still probably 100 behind!).My first meeting this morning was the NCE SupervisoryBoard. This Board meets twice a year. Tom Foulkes, AnneMoir and I meet with senior EMAP directors to discuss highlevel issues relating to the editorial production and deliveryof NCE magazine and future plans. Late morning I met withGret and John Woodason. Gret chairs the communicationscommittee for the Surrey WI and one of those attendingand contributing to the Sustainable Motorways debateevent we held during the South West Region PresidentialVisit back in June (day 227). Gret was very keen to researchinto how organisations tackle the sustainability agenda.Her WI region is one of their trial areas for assessing andmeasuring energy use and waste- a great initiative froman organisation which really does have an opportunity tochange the culture of our nation of all its 211,000 membersin over 6000 branches start to influence all their friendsand neighbourhoods. I had organised a tour of the buildingfor them (by Carol Morgan our expert archivist) and thendebated the issues over lunch.In the afternoon I returned to Wolverhampton and got onwith some work for the day job!Day 353 (Friday 26 October)Carillion day.Day 354 (Saturday 27 October)Finally managed to play my new clarinet. Played hockey.I was an unfit centre half and we lost to a team full of fityoung and fast players!Day 355 (Sunday 28 October)Clarinet, trip to the tip with cardboard and plastics from thelast three months and household activities. 96
  • 98. Week fifty two chairing the Awards! I noted that the incoming Chairman is John Carmichael, a fellow University of Glasgow graduate.Last full week! Senior meteorologist and presenter par excellence, Heather Reid from BBC Scotland was the presenter for theDay 356 (Monday 29 October) event, providing us with a summary of the projects andCarillion Day announcing the winners. As President, I presented the commendations and also gave a short address prior to theDay 357 (Tuesday 30 October) Rt Hon Lord Cullen of Whitekirk, President of the SaltireCarillion Day. In the afternoon, travelled to Edinburgh. Society making the 2007 award. There followed a very pleasant social luncheon which gave me time to speak toDay 358 (Wednesday 31 October) many of the entrants and catch up with local members.FFB and a cooked breakfast! Walked from my hotel to Train home late evening.the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (the first bespokeportrait gallery in the world apparently) http://www. Day 359 (Thursday 1 November)nationalgalleries.org/visit/page/2:298:3 to have a special Early train to London. Post, more certificates to sign andviewing of ‘Telford, Father of Modern Engineering’ writing postcards. A quick catch up with PA Clare Gray onexhibition. The National Galleries of Scotland, the National my final week’s diary. At 11am, Hyder Chief Executive TimLibrary of Scotland and National Museums Scotland had Wade, their Head of Communications, Graham Whiteheadworked together with the Institution to bring together and and Telford Apprentice visit me and the Institution toshow a magnificent collection of paintings, the Telford bust, present the Institution with a copy of the history of civildrawings, photos, diaries and writings on Telford and his engineering delivered over the years by Hyder and its formerage. They had even specially commissioned a model of the incarnations; Freeman Fox (initiated in 1857), John Taylor &Craigellachie bridge. The Institution had loaned a number Sons (1869), Acer Consultants, Sir Bruce White, Wolfe Barryof the exhibits including the famous Reynolds portrait of and Partners (1836 but joined the group in 1991) and WelshTelford, his address book, letters, bust and his drawing Water. A fascinating read! Dating from its origins in 1857instruments. Grateful thanks to NPG Director James and founder Charles Fox, the book catalogues the projectsHolloway for opening the exhibition early specially for our and stories of the development of our profession. At thesmall Institution group and for Roland Paxton for arranging age of 19 Charles Fox was selected to drive the enginethe visit. The exhibition closes on 25th November, so I Novelty in the Rainshill Steam Locomotive Trials, ultimatelyrecommend you make every effort to see this fantastic won by Stephenson’s Rocket to select a locomotive forcollection of presentation of Telford’s achievements – we the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Fox went on towill never see the like of it again! become a train driver, earning the handsome sum of £1 per week (this was 1829!) before earning his first engineersBy 10.20am our small group headed across town to salary of £300 per year working for Robert Stephensonthe Museum of Scotland for the Saltire Awards. Now on the London and Birmingham Railway. Design work onin its 27th year. This too was a splendid celebration of Euston Station was a precursor for his subsequent designexcellent civil engineers and excellent civil engineering. The for the Crystal Palace (1851) for which he was knighted.Awards are selected by an adjudication panel consisting There followed more railways and projects in Britain, India,of members from both the ICE Scottish Local Associations, Australia and Africa amongst others. Further developmentthe Association of Consulting Engineers, the Civil into tunnels (Mersea and Channel Tunnel!) and bridgesEngineering Contractors Association, Transport Scotland, (Sydney Harbour, Severn, Bosporus and Humber, the latterthe Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SPEA), being the longest single span bridge in the world in its day,the Institution of Structural Engineers and the Chartered an accolade Telfold had held with the Menai Straits bridge).Institution of Water and Environmental Management. A And so the book goes on with more fascinating storiestruly collaborative event! Commendations were made in about people and projects. On page 74 you will meet5 categories: projects, design, construction, conservation former President of the Institution and past Chairman ofand environment. The overall Saltire award this year Acer, Gwilym Roberts. An excellent read, which I thoroughlywas presented to the Finneston Bridge (or Clyde Arc as recommend. Coincidentally Gwilym had attended myit is becoming known). My congratulations to all the retiring supper and I received a letter from him on the same27 entrants – all great examples of what civil engineers day as Tim presented the Institution with this magnificentcan achieve and great demonstrations of our essential volume. Thank you Tim, and a special thanks to Diane Hallcontribution to society and the economy. Congratulations (principle researcher, author and editor). I will read thetoo to John Carruthers who is stepping down after 4 years remainder of the book with great interest. 97
  • 99. Some time to catch up on emails for the day job then Imeet with geotechnical academic Dr Sarah Stallebrass andBGA Chairman Hilary Skinner to discuss how we can assistacademics to become professionally qualified with theInstitution.At 5pm I host a drinks reception to say thank you to allthose wonderful Institution staff who have coached,mentored and supported me during my year of office.All had departed by 7pm and I stayed until 10pm, finallycatching up on my postcard writing. I’ve now written 707postcards to thank the hosts of people I have met or whohave been organising all the events I have been attending.Day 360 (Friday 2 November)Carillion day. Some post and postcards cleared before Iwent off for my 10am meeting.Day 361 (Saturday 3 November)My first band practice this term! 20 new pieces of music,so I was struggling. My new clarinet gives me greaterconfidence! In the afternoon I play hockey. A competitivegame and great fun. I play on the wing in the first half andas a half back in the second half (following the substitutionof our centre half). We win 4-1 and I score my secondgoal of the season (in 3 games) and sustain my third injury(yet another ball strike). In the evening Dorothy and I joinfriends at a fireworks party.Day 362 (Sunday 4 November)Writing short speech for the Environment AgencyConference on Monday. Blog. Clarinet lesson. 98
  • 100. Week fifty three Day 364 (Tuesday 6 November) Final day!Environmental Agency, Ffb. Final post, final postcards and final blog writing. I wentPresentation and handover to around the building to say thank you and goodbyes to the staff. I then spent some time in the library researching someDavid Orr 143rd President technical papers and answering emails (for the day job!).Day 363 (Monday 5 November) At 5pm, I was joined for a chat and tea by a number of pastCarillion Day. presidents and at 6pm one of our major Institution events, the Presidential Address started.Train to London. I attend the Environmental Agency (EA)conference and am a member of an ‘adaption panel’ which I am aware that David Orr is going to write a blog, so I willfollowed presentations by Secretary of State (DEFRA) the leave him to describe HIS special event as well as one ofRt.Hon.Hilary Benn, Minister of State for Energy, Malcolm our Institution’s special events. A fantastic address puttingWicks, DEFRA’s Chief Scientific Advisor Professor Bob Watson civil engineers and civil engineering at the heart of society.and EA Chief Executive Baroness Barbara Young. All excellent Congratulations David on becoming the 143rd President ofpresentations. Our panel task was to take questions and the Institution of Civil Engineers!comment on adapting to the charge we urgently need tosee to enable our society to prepare for and cope with theimpending climate change situation. It was a good, if ratherbrief debate controlled by presenter and broadcaster Jon Snow.Key points: We all need to contribute, strategy andtargets are vital…plus being held to account! Governmentdepartments have too many KPIs (one contributorsuggested 2 would suffice, 10 would suit me!). Barbarachallenged us to all move more urgently, as if we were on awar footing. I agree- we MUST drive sustainability into ourbusiness (and organisation) strategy and culture AND wemust do more to communicate the story SIMPLY in orderto motivate people (60 million in the UK for starters!) andhelp them gain real ownership of this critical agenda. Withownership, people deliver!I return to the Institution in the afternoon to present GuyCottam with the Institution Garth Watson Medal, Guywas awarded the medal in recognition of his key role overthe last quarter of a century in the development of theInstitution’s dispute service and in developing the skillsof civil engineers in this important field. Guy was also aCouncil member (1988-9, overlapping with my first termon Council) and a member of the Professional ConductPanel and the Disciplinary Board. A fantastic contribution toour Institution and to society. This was my last formal dutybefore handing over the Presidency to David Orr.I returned to some Carillion activities and then started totidy up my desk and pack items to take home before leavingto attend the Environment Agency Dinner in the NationalHistory Museum (next to the diplodocus skeleton). I waspleasantly surprised to find that my predecessor GordonMasterton was also a guest. 99
  • 101. Final Statistics609 Events/meetings142 days CPD (wow, what a coincidence!!.. I am the142nd President)153 Presentations and speeches217 Lunches and dinners (from snacks to the 21 BlackTie events)71140 miles travelled (38578 air long haul, 8952 airshort haul, 17540 by rail, 5970 by car, 100 miles onfoot (at least!)62 Hotel nights.772 Postcards46 Spirit of Telford Awards10 Tasks for the Telford apprentices24.72 trees (found an error in my previous (old) con-version rate!) 100
  • 102. Institution of Civil Engineers One Great George Street Westminster London SW1P 3AA t +44 (0)20 7222 7722 f +44 (0)20 7222 7500 w ice.org.uk Registered charity number 210252Printed on paper made from sustainable resourcesDesign by ICE Communications