In episode 093 of The Civil Engineering Podcast, I talk with Professor Lord Robert Mair about important factors around preparing civil engineering for the future. Professor Lord Robert Mair is an Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering at Cambridge University and the current President of the UK Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).
This is the first of a 3-part Global Sustainability series that will both introduce you to and focus on the Global Engineering Congress 2018, taking place 22 – 26 October 2018 in London at the Headquarters of the Institution of Civil Engineering.
Here are some of the questions I ask Lord Robert Mair:
- For our audience outside the U.K., please tell us a little bit about the Institution of Civil Engineers.
- What is your strategy for preparing civil engineering for the future?
- What are your thoughts about the future of infrastructure delivery?
- In October of this year, the Global Engineering Congress will take place at ICE’s headquarters in London. Why is this event important to the civil engineering profession?
- What role does civil engineering play in furthering the achievement of their associated goals?
- How did you become interested in tunneling and underground construction?
- What has been the most challenging project you’ve worked on and why?
- What are the impacts you would like to see civil engineers today strive towards leaving for the engineers celebrating the 400th anniversary of ICE?
Here are some key points discussed on preparing civil engineering for the future:
- The Institution of Civil Engineers was founded 200 years ago this year. It is the oldest professional body of engineers in the world and fulfills a number of functions.
- Due to the digital revolution and new technologies that have evolved, there are now many opportunities for Civil Engineering professionals to change what they do, and how they do things.
- It has been widely recognized that the way in which Civil Engineering infrastructure has been delivered is not entirely satisfactory. There is a real need to involve, at the very onset of a project, the client, the client’s designer, the delivering party, the contractor working together from the beginning to determine the best way in delivering the infrastructure project.
- The Global Engineering Congress that will take place at ICE’s headquarters in London is a very important recognition. It will be the 50th anniversary of the world federation of engineering organizations.
- What we all need to recognize is that there are still huge global problems out there in the world. This Global Engineering Congress is about bringing together the experts of the world in civil engineering and in other disciplines to determine how civil engineers can solve these problems. These problems are crucially important to the future of our planet and if any profession is going to fix these problems, it will be the civil engineering profession.
- I think what civil engineers will be celebrating in the next 200 years will be the way modern technology can streamline the way in which our infrastructure is being delivered and performing as an asset management operation.
- There are many people out there that know a great deal about civil engineering. If you can identify who they are, then you will advance well in your career.
About Professor Lord Robert Mair
Professor Lord Robert Mair is the Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering at Cambridge University, where until recently he was the Sir Kirby Laing Professor of Civil Engineering and Head of Civil Engineering. He was Master of Jesus College 2001-2011 and Senior Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Engineering 2008-2011. Before he was appointed to a Professorship at Cambridge in 1998 he worked in the industry for 27 years, in 1983 founding the Geotechnical Consulting Group, an international consulting company based in London. He was awarded the ICE Gold Medal in 2004 and the President’s Medal in 2013 and currently serves as the ICE’s 159th President in the Institution’s 200th anniversary year.
His research group at Cambridge specializes in the geotechnics of tunnelling and underground construction. He has advised on numerous tunnelling and major civil engineering projects in the UK and worldwide, including the Jubilee Line Extension project for London Underground. He introduced the technique of compensation grouting to the UK; this was successfully used to protect Big Ben from movement due to construction of the adjacent Westminster Station and the technique has now been adopted world-wide.
He also leads the Centre on Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC) at Cambridge, involving the innovative use of the latest sensor technologies to monitor the behaviour of civil engineering infrastructure. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2007 and awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire CBE in 2010 for services to Engineering, and was appointed an independent crossbench peer in the House of Lords in 2015, and is a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology.
Engineering Management Accelerator Workshop (Online) | 5 PDHs
Centre on Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC) Website
The Beauty Of Transport
The tunnel time forgot
Professor Lord Robert Mair becomes 153rd ICE President
This episode is brought to you by PPI, the leader of civil engineering FE or PE exam preparations. Use promo code TCE8 for a 20 % discount at ppi2pass.com
Books Mentioned in this Episode:
Please leave your comments or questions in the section below on preparing civil engineering for the future.
To your success,
Christian Knutson, PE, PgMP, PMP
Engineering Management Institute