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Celebrating Smeaton's 300-year legacy

Event organised by ICE

02 May 2024

This event has now ended


Join Mike Chrimes, former director of engineering policy and innovation at Institution of Civil Engineers, for an insight into some of John Smeaton's key projects. 

John Smeaton (1724 -1792) was born 300 years ago in June this year and was responsible for the design of bridges, canals, harbours and lighthouses. He was the first self-proclaimed ‘civil engineer.’

Mike will cover topics such as Smeaton’s approach to project management, mentoring, research, and his enduring legacy. Mike will also consider professor Sir Alec Skempton's view of Smeaton, as a ‘man of genius.’

This event – which will be held in person and online - will provide an excellent opportunity for those with an interest in the history of civil engineering. 

This event is an ICE West Midlands chair’s event.

Smeaton competition

In celebration of what would have been Smeaton's 300th birthday, ICE West Midlands regional chair Hudson Taivo is inviting ICE members who are students, graduates and apprentices to answer the following: 

What are the three biggest challenges facing the civil engineering profession in the next 30 years?

(300 words strict maximum)

Full details can be found in the download section below. 


Mike Chrimes

Mike Chrimes

Institution of Civil Engineers


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Mike Chrimes

Mike Chrimes is a former director engineering policy and innovation at Institution of Civil Engineers. 

Mike has written and lectured extensively on information services for civil engineers and the history of civil engineering. For many years he ran the ‘History of the ICE’ series of lectures which were popular with young engineers preparing for their professional reviews. 

Since retirement, Mike has continued to lecture and write about the history of civil engineering. In 2014 he carried out research on the history of engineering and the work of British Engineers in South Asia during the British Raj. In 2023, he and Martin Preene were awarded the British Geotechnical Associations prize for a case study on the dewatering of the Kilsby tunnel.


For more information please contact:

Rachel Campbell