Civil engineering took the prime time spotlight last month in a special two-part BBC television series – 'Built in Britain' – which ICE helped to shape.
Infrastructure has become a hot topic in the media and political spheres over the last year, as Government has started to recognise its role in kick-starting the economy.
Despite this development, it is still rare to see programmes on mainstream channels focusing specifically on infrastructure and the civil engineers who design, build and maintain it.
How ICE contributed
The BBC team initially approached ICE for help on the series in autumn 2011. Following this, BBC producers and researchers met with ICE’s Director General and policy and media teams several times to learn more about key projects and current issues with infrastructure funding and delivery. They also asked for our input on the areas to focus on in their programmes.
ICE put the BBC in touch with many ICE members and contacts in the industry, some of whom have been interviewed for the series.
NEC3 an ‘Olympic hero’
Episode one, presented by Evan Davis and broadcast on Sunday 7 October, looked at the scale of the engineering challenge facing Britain and how these challenges can be overcome.
Part two explored the possibility of a new golden age of infrastructure, showing how the Olympic Park and High Speed 1 prove the UK has learnt from mistakes to become a nation which is once again rediscovering its skill for epic engineering.
During an interview with Sir John Armitt, Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority and ICE Vice President, Davis described ICE’s NEC3 contract as the “hero of the Games, [the] hero of the Park”. He added that NEC has been “credited with turning around how infrastructure is delivered, not just at the Olympics, but in the UK” as a whole.
You can find out more about ‘Built in Britain’ and watch clips from the show on the BBC website.