Engineers must “do the right thing” and ensure robust maintenance regimes to assure public trust, ICE’s new President has said.
Paul Sheffield gave his inaugural address on 12 November 2019, becoming ICE’s 155th President. He's the former CEO of Kier Group and former managing director at Laing O’Rourke and will serve as President for the 2019/20 term.
Sheffield called on the profession to ensure its work is accurate, transparent and to the highest standard.
Competency is an ongoing process
He said: “In the face of public scrutiny, it is increasingly important for engineers to be able to demonstrate that they are competent throughout their careers, not just on the day they qualify. This is a process that ICE is very well placed to help with, to moderate and to assure.”
The president also discussed net-zero carbon emissions and the role of civil engineers in meeting this target. He highlighted energy efficiency in buildings, smart city energy networks, and adapting road infrastructure for electric vehicles as areas where civil engineering can offer solutions.
He said: “We must step up to these challenges and show other sectors how it should be done. Many of the assets that we design and build are expected to last for decades, if not centuries.
"Today’s civil engineers need to remain at the cutting edge of technology and innovation to create structures and buildings for tomorrow. We must be anticipating long-term trends and developing resilient products and processes.”
Sheffield’s speech referred to three presidential themes for his year in office: embracing innovation and iteration to support a modern workforce; getting the basics right and self-assessment; and what the future holds.
ICE People's Choice Award
The new president also announced the winner of ICE's People's Choice Award in his inaugural speech.
Thousands of members of the public voted for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) Hong Kong Section to take the top prize this year.
Held at the Institution's London headquarters at One Great George Street, the presidential address was attended by ICE members and infrastructure sector leaders. It was also broadcast live online to members around the world.
The event marked the handover of the presidency from former Costain CEO, Andrew Wyllie.
Watch Paul Sheffield's President's Address