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ICE 200 Explore Engineering: a ‘fascinating insight’ into civil engineering on your doorstep

Members of the public took part in dozens of events giving them a behind-the-scenes look at projects around the UK.

Second Severn Crossing. Image credit: Western Valley Camera Club
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Second Severn Crossing. Image credit: Western Valley Camera Club
Walking tours in Newcastle, Stoke-on-Trent, Sheffield and London were just some of the Explore Engineering events that ICE hosted this year to mark its bicentenary.

Explore Engineering was an ICE 200 programme that ran throughout the year, up and down the country, to inspire, engage and educate the general public about civil engineering feats around them.

Hundreds of people of all ages joined civil engineers to learn more about their local area, touring reservoirs, cities, canals, bridges and railways.



Photography tour and bike rides

In Wales, the Western Valley Camera Club toured Sudbrook in Monmouthshire, and the Second Severn Crossing in June, taking an impressive array of photographs of the bridge, also known as the Prince of Wales Bridge.

Second Severn Crossing. Image credit: Western Valley Camera Club

There was also an ICE bike ride in April, and an Arup representative showed a group around green infrastructure project Greener Grangetown in Cardiff. Greener Grangetown is a sustainable drainage system (SuDS) project that removes more than 40,000m3 of rainwater each year from entering the combined sewer network.

“It was a pleasure to show the group around,” said Arup speaker Chris Ellis. “It’s great to see so much interest in a civil engineering project!”

Bike ride to explore engineering in Wales.

There was also a bike ride in the East Midlands, with local MP Lillian Greenwood joining in with the Nottingham Cycle Tour (main picture). 

Meanwhile, members of the public enjoyed a walk around Worcester, with one testimonial saying “a big thank you for the fascinating insight into Worcester’s engineering”.

‘A newfound appreciation’

More than 50 people from a range of societies visited Neath Abbey Ironworks, in Neath, Wales.
Visitors from the Victorian Society, South West Wales Industrial Archaeology Society, Newcomen Society and Swansea U3A STEM group, toured the historical landmark.

Sarah Goodall, Swansea U3A STEM group convener, said that the members found the information on the tour was accessible to all.

She said there was a “newfound appreciation for the level of planning that goes into a project like this and the reason for the huge sums of money it demands. We were very impressed with the bridges and water disposal design”.

Information about other Explore Engineering events that took place can be found here.

Other ICE 200 campaigns

> Read about ICE's Invisible Superheroes exhibition.