Stellar list of speakers inspires UAE engineers

Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes was among the special guests at the ICE’s annual Dubai gala dinner.

Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes

ICE held its annual gala dinner at Address Dubai Marina hotel with guest speakers exploring the opportunities and challenges faced by our industry.

Over 350 people joined the event, hosted by the chair of ICE UAE chapter, Mark Jamieson. Mark took the opportunity to update guests on next year's celebrations for ICE's 200th anniversary. The UAE chapter will be hosting events and activities to recognise the civil engineering profession and its many transformational achievements – for which the Middle East is a sparkling example.

Guest of honour was Sir Ranulph Fiennes. The world's greatest living explorer treated attendees to a fascinating account of his many adventures across deserts, ice and mountains. Overcoming apparently insurmountable challenges provided great inspiration to a captivated audience.

October saw ICE UAE chapter move to a new office in Sheikh Rashid Tower, Dubai. It marks another important step forward and enables even stronger professional support for ICE's growing membership in the country.

The chapter's annual Spearing Lecture was delivered by ICE President Professor Lord Mair in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Lord Mair's industry-leading roles include being the Sir Kirby Laing Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Cambridge from 2011 to 2017. He is also an independent crossbencher in the House of Lords.

Lord Mair's inspiring lecture described how the UK government-funded Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC) at Cambridge University is collaborating with industry to commercialise independent world leading research and drive technology-led business growth.

The Spearing Lecture is named in honour of David Spearing who served as a civil engineer in the UAE for more than five decades and continues to draw on his vast experience, providing consultancy advice to this day.