Civil engineers reach out to the community to raise awareness of profession

To help celebrate the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) 200th anniversary and raise awareness of the profession with the general public, engineering professionals will spend 2018 attending local meetings and demystifying the world of infrastructure.

Through the Café 200 programme and by attending existing groups such as University of the Third Age meetings and Café Scientifique, civil engineers will enlighten the public on how they transform lives for the better, safeguard the future and help people to understand what a rewarding and creative career it can be.

Wendy Blundell, ICE Director of UK Regions, said:

"ICE 200 is an opportunity to communicate to the public the major positive impact civil engineers have on people's lives. We want to raise awareness of the profession and the variety of ways that it can improve people's lives the world over.

"The Café 200 programme, which allows passionate and committed engineers to engage with community groups, is a great way to put a human face on a profession which is too often seen as simply a hard hat and a high-visibility jacket. Our institution was founded in a London coffee house, which in 1818 were a hot bed for the exchange of new ideas. With this activity we are going back to our roots and hoping to exchange new and interesting ideas with people throughout the country.

In the lead up to ICE's bicentenary the institution surveyed the general public and discovered that 55% of adults said they didn't know what a civil engineer does and that 63% of young people didn't know either.

Worryingly only 36.5% of those surveyed could identify a civil engineering project in the UK. As a result, ICE put together its ICE 200 programme to shift this perception.

If you are part of a group that would like to be involved in Café 200 or know someone who might be, you can register at ICE will match a volunteer speaker to the group's interests and there is no fee involved.

Further activities are planned throughout 2018 to highlight the ways in which civil engineering transforms lives and safeguards the future. These will include:

Pitch 200: ICE's competition to find the person who can best demonstrate a civil engineering-related concept or project in a 200-second video.

Explore Engineering: A series of walks, tours and trails aimed at inspiring young people to consider civil engineering as a career and shout about how civil engineers transform lives for the better. The programme will mix current projects with the rich heritage of infrastructure.

Invisible Superheroes exhibition: A year-long exhibition at One Great George Street, showcasing engineering projects from around the world that have improved people's lives and the unsung heroes behind them. Using state-of-the-art technology, from augmented reality to virtual tours, the exhibition will bring to life projects that span the globe and demonstrate the full range of civil engineering's reach and effect.

200 People and projects: ICE will be celebrating 200 projects from around the world, nominated by the membership and selected by an expert panel, that illustrate the positive impact that civil engineering has on society.

More details of ICE 200 activities will be announced throughout the year.