ICE ambassadors inspire with Bridges to Schools

This year, ICE ambassadors will inspire hundreds of schoolchildren through Bridges to Schools, a unique initiative in which pupils and civil engineers work together to construct a 12 metre long, cable-stayed bridge.

Pupils enjoy their finished handiwork at a Bridges to Schools session.
Pupils enjoy their finished handiwork at a Bridges to Schools session.

ICE is seeking more ambassadors to participate in the signature programme, sponsored by Lagan Construction Group.

With civil engineering facing an ageing workforce and impending skills shortage, now is the time to encourage young people to the field – by emphasising how more women are entering the profession, and how future civil engineers can earn while they learn through the Work+ apprenticeship. ICE ambassadors do exactly that, showcasing the dynamic side of civil engineering and the promising future it offers young people.

At Bridges to Schools events, the ambassadors give a brief talk about what civil engineers do and how they affect people’s lives by providing clean water, constructing buildings, enabling transportation and more. The pupils then don hard hats and hi-vis vests, and with the supervision of ambassadors, build the 12 metre ICE bridge.

Mark Ferguson, an ICE ambassador and client advisor for the Central Procurement Directorate, says his favourite aspect is seeing the children’s excitement as they walk across the finished bridge.

“The kids are very enthusiastic and excited to be involved,” Mark said, adding that “the school and teachers are very appreciative of our time.”

“Being an ambassador is an excellent way for ICE members, particularly students and graduates, to promote civil engineering.”

Lynsey McNeilly, a civil engineer at Farrans, also highly recommends becoming an ambassador.

“You get to meet lots of interesting people, both in your selected career path and others," she said. "There are lots of different ways to get involved — it's not just standing in front of a class. There are Bridges to Schools events, careers days, and more."

To find out more about becoming an ICE ambassador, please contact [email protected] or register your interest.