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National service at Westminster Abbey celebrates engineering

It also marks the 200th anniversary of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Image credit: Dean and Chapter of Westminster
Image credit: Dean and Chapter of Westminster

A national service to celebrate the Year of Engineering took place at Westminster Abbey in London on Thursday. 

Hundreds of people gathered to celebrate the outstanding contribution that engineers, past and present, have made to society. 

Three well-known engineers, ICE’s first president, Thomas Telford, Robert Stephenson and Richard Trevithick, are buried at the abbey. Memorials to the engineers there include a marble statue and stained-glass windows. 


The service highlighted the importance of inspiring the next generation to join the civil engineering profession – which was the focus of ICE’s awareness campaigns in 2018, the 200th anniversary of the Institution.  

Marble statue of Thomas Telford at Westminster Abbey. Image credit: Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, and Year of Engineering partners ICE,  Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) and the Department for Transport (DfT) were joined at the service by people from the engineering community and charities. Members of the public and local schoolchildren also took part in the celebration. 

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling. Image credit: Dean and Chapter of Westminster

A collection was made at the end of the service, with donations going to charity Engineers Without Borders.  

The event was organised by ICE in partnership with RAEng and DfT.

The first reading was given by ICE President Andrew Wyllie. Image credit: Dean and Chapter of Westminster