As applications open this week for those looking to become one of the next President's Future Leaders, we catch up with the current current incumbents and ask them what being selected has meant to them and their careers.
The current Future Leaders have enjoyed a busy year working on strategic ICE projects, attendingn key Institution events, meeting senior industry people and politicians and have of course been mentored by ICE President Paul Sheffield.
It's clear that they have enjoyed the opportunity to be part of projects at the highest level of ICE and they all agree that they have been able to develop as upcoming industry leaders, experiencing opportunities that ordinarily they would not have been able to.
Below they expand on what the opportunity has meant for them.
“Being a future leader has exposed me to the industry in ways which I would never have experienced before. Working on ICE projects has shown me the inner workings ICE, allowing me to really appreciate its role within the construction sector and beyond.
"Each future leader gets given a project for the year; mine has been to work on the Sustainability Route Map for the ICE and build on the outcomes from the Global Engineering Congress. This has been an amazing opportunity to add real value to our industry, and certainly something that I wouldn’t have experienced in my day job.
"I have also enjoyed representing young engineers at ICE conferences, ensuring that the views and opinions of my peers are being heard.
"Working with my fellow future leaders (as well as leading experts in industry) has meant that I have gained a much better understanding of the breadth of civil engineering. The invaluable knowledge I have gained from working alongside ICE president Paul Sheffield has also helped me understand where I see my future in civil engineering and what I want to achieve.
"I am grateful that this opportunity has allowed me to build relationships that I will benefit from for my whole career and look forward to what is still to come in the second half of my year!”
“Since becoming an ICE President’s Future Leader in November 2019, I have been able to understand a new perspective of the Institution and wider industry. Participating in Presidential Roundtables has allowed me to be part of the conversation on topics I wouldn’t usually come across in my day job. I have a new appreciation of how digital can transform our existing infrastructure and this is particularly relevant in a world where, currently, all things digital are enabling us to continue with our jobs despite of the pandemic.
"I have also valued the time I have been able to spend with Paul Sheffield. His insight into wider industry issues as well as his opinions on personal career opportunities are invaluable and something I wouldn’t be able to experience if I hadn’t been part of the scheme. The scheme and discussions with Paul have also allowed me to focus on where I have gaps in my own development and put a plan in place to fill those gaps through my day job and other opportunities with the Institution.”
"Being selected as one of the ICE President's Future Leaders for this year was exciting. More than anything else, I saw it as an opportunity to be involved with the civil engineering industry in ways I wouldn't otherwise have the chance to.
"Now part-way through the year, I've had a variety of enriching experiences, being in regular contact with the President and other Future Leaders and working with ICE's Policy team. My perspective has already changed. I no longer think just about the projects I work on and my own development to Chartership, but see how projects and programmes and the people contributing to them fit into the wider industry and society.
"It’s difficult to say for sure how the Future Leaders scheme will impact my career long-term as I'm only six months into the year. However, I can already tell that it will influence the choices I will have to make in the next few years about where I take my career post-Chartership.
"I've had so much interaction with different people and organisations. I have a much richer understanding of the industry. By the nature of the scheme, I'm typically engaging with people who are much further into their careers. Because of this, I feel like I'm in a much better position to decide what I want to be doing in two, five or ten years’ time. Additionally, the President is a great mentor and having the other five Future Leaders as a peer support group has been fantastic too."
“One of my favourite parts about the scheme has been getting to know the other Future Leaders and Paul Sheffield. It’s been great to connect with like-minded, passionate and motivated early career professionals. They’ve all been so successful in their own right; hearing about their journeys so far is inspiring.
"I enjoy exchanging ideas with them on how the future of civil engineering might look. Every few months, we meet in London with Paul. Paul’s incredibly supportive and it’s fascinating to hear about his career experiences and to learn from him. He really challenges us, and we debate some of the most topical issues in industry with him. He encourages us to think differently and he gives us a unique insight into how the industry works at a senior level. I never thought I’d able to text the ICE President to get his views and advice on things!
"Working on an ICE based project has been a great opportunity to see the inner workings of the Institution and to engage with senior engineering professionals. I’ve been lucky to be on the Steering Group for this year’s State of the Nation report focusing on Net-Zero Infrastructure led by the Policy team. Conducting industry-wide research and debating policy interventions with the minds who are at the forefront of the conversation about sustainability has been a great learning experience. The scheme has pushed me out of my comfort zone and has given me a chance gain a much wider appreciation of the industry."
“Being a President’s Future Leader has been a fantastic opportunity, enabling me to gain experience beyond that in my day-to-day work. I have worked on a project looking at the 'Future of the Civil Engineer', taking a project management role and working with engineering professionals in the top of their fields to develop proposals and solutions to problems posed by ICE.
"I have enjoyed meeting a range of ICE members on one of the Presidential visits, presenting at a graduates and students event, sharing my ideas and opinions of current affairs and writing a blog for members. My work as a President’s Future Leader has been showcased in my company and I have presented at a senior board meeting - opportunities that would usually be beyond that of a graduate.
"It has been a huge privilege to be selected as one of the Future Leaders this year. I have developed myself as an upcoming leader of the industry and grown more passionate about furthering change and progression of engineering solutions. My experiences will help me to drive towards being a senior leader at the forefront of advancements in technology and sustainable development.”
"As an Environmental Civil Engineer joining the ICE President Future Leader's scheme, I was immediately able to drive with pace as I was immersed in the programme with forward-thinking professionals; challenged, inspired and thought-provoked through Future Leader Presidential meetings and continually encouraged to develop my skills and confidence in my leadership journey through opportunities to present, develop ideas and drive change within industry and government.
"Despite this year's setbacks with the Coronavirus, having a direct line to the President and ICE Leadership allows you to not only seek advice on personal and work issues but also contribute to the development of your organisation in what could be supposed a more sustainable fashion.
"This scheme has provided me with an array of opportunities to immerse myself within a group of inspiring future leaders, each who have encouraged me to develop the tools needed to future-proof our industry. I encourage you to apply – and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn."