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Life as a graduate on ICE Council

26 February 2021

ICE Council member and Arup engineer, Ben Weller, looks at the importance of the graduate voice in shaping the direction of the institution.  

Life as a graduate on ICE Council
ICE Council member and Arup engineer Ben Weller in his day job

If you're passionate about being a part of shaping the strategic direction of the ICE, networking and debating among industry-leading professionals, and, importantly, representing the views of the graduate membership, then a graduate position on ICE Council could be for you!

What does the ICE Council do?

The Council has an essential role in representing the views of the membership to the Trustee Board and supporting the Trustees to ensure ICE is considered a global centre of excellence championing the role civil engineering plays at the heart of society.

The Council meets regularly to debate issues of relevance to civil engineering, the Institution and society, to set the agenda for the Institution’s learned society activity.

The ICE Council is made up of 38 members from across the globe who are all at different grades of ICE membership and who are directly elected by ICE membership.

As a graduate member of the ICE and a member of Council, I'm able to facilitate an important relationship between the graduate membership, GSNet and the Council, and to represent the view of the GMICE membership to the Trustee Board.

What does a graduate on Council do?

The three graduate Council members meet with Council four times a year, with one of these being a two-day Annual Strategy Meeting (ASM).

Council meetings typically span a full day with Council Strategy Sessions in the morning, where we listen to presentations from speakers across the civil engineering industry to prompt topics that can be debated in Institutional Business session of Council, which is held in the afternoon.

Such topics of debate over my term have included:

  • How can the ICE reassure the public that infrastructure is safe?
  • How can infrastructure help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
  • Why should graduate members of the ICE be granted extended voting rights?
  • How can we use technology to eliminate error?

As a graduate member of Council, we can provide important insight and understanding that brings together the views of the graduate membership and raise issues that are of importance to the graduate membership.

Over the last 12 months, ICE Council has extensively debated the issue of Graduate Voting Rights and whether they should be extended. GSNet and Graduate members of Council have been able to voice their opinions, understand the counterarguments and reach an outcome based on these deliberations.

Importantly, it was also decided to host a strategy session to provide transparency to the membership so that they could see the debate in action, a fantastic example of how an institution should be run.

Ultimately, these debates led to the Trustee Board recommending that graduate voting rights be extended, a deserved boost to the GMICE membership and testament to the importance of graduate representation on Council!

How has it benefitted my career?

Being part of the ICE Council over the last two years has been an undoubtably valuable experience.

It has enabled me to work, socialise and debate among industry-leading professionals, be surrounded by inspiring and influential people, provided excellent networking opportunities, improved my professional competencies by presenting arguments to Council, and provided greater understanding and awareness of the issues within the wider civil engineering industry, to name a few.

I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of shaping the direction of an institution such as the ICE, knowing that I've had a say in matters that are of importance to the civil engineering industry, the ICE itself and, importantly, the graduate, student, apprentice and technician membership and shaping their relationship with ICE.

Can I join ICE Council as a graduate member?

Yes, you can!

The ICE is holding an election in 2021 from 1 June 2021 to the 13 July 2021, where ICE members across the world vote members to Council.

Graduate members can nominate themselves or sponsor a colleague’s nomination to stand for Council. The deadline for nominations is 31 March 2021.

For more information, please visit ICE Council Elections 2021, or to gain further insight into the role of a graduate on Council, feel free to get in touch directly with myself by connecting and sending a message through the following link.

  • Ben Weller, ICE Council member and engineer at Arup at Arup