In her role as Patron of the appeal Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal hosted industry leaders at a Shaping the World fundraising dinner at Buckingham Palace last week.
In her role as Patron of the appeal, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal held a dinner at Buckingham Palace recently in support of a new interactive learning and exhibition space to be based at ICE's headquarters at One Great George Street. The exhibition and learning space would be used by the public, schools and engineers, and will raise the public profile of civil engineering.
Utilising modern, interactive exhibits plus industry case studies and models, it will be designed to interest and engage young people. ICE has already committed £350,000 towards funding the project and is inviting industry to also contribute funding and help make the centre a reality.
The appeal was launched in October 2013 and has already been successful, so far raising over £1 million. Projects funded include a resilience lecture series and a report to be presented to the Hong Kong government exploring low carbon living for a high density environment beyond 2030.
ICE is also using the funds to launch a bid to lead the World Federation of Engineering Organisations' Technical Committee on Engineering and the Environment. This prestigious role will help to develop global partnerships including a Shaping the World four year programme to change the way medium sized, growing cities across the world plan their infrastructure.
Speaking after the dinner with industry leaders, Her Royal Highness said:
"ICE's flagship learning and exhibition space will create the right environment for showcasing success in civil engineering, and a forum for debate on future solutions. I commend ICE for its important work in raising the profile of the industry. While I recognise the need to attract young people to consider careers in engineering, the exhibition space will be a place of learning for everyone. I hope the industry will help support such a worthwhile cause."
Shaping the World Appeal Committee Chair, Sir Michael Bear, added:
"We want to turn our most important asset – knowledge – into action for positive change. This is why we are creating a flagship, state-of-the-art learning and exhibition centre at ICE's headquarters in Westminster, which will open in 2016.
"It will position ICE at the heart of what the industry does and represent the best knowledge through case studies of fantastic engineering feats and topical displays linked to business sectors and projects.
"Technology will be pivotal in our interactive hub – as this is how we will attract and inspire the next generation of engineers. We will have BIM models of our industry's proudest designs, 3D printers for children to create replicas of iconic structures and interactive touch screens for them to make decisions on how to solve problems.
"And for students, apprentices and young practicing engineers, we will create a virtual hub for knowledge content and e-learning. With industry's training videos, webinars and video clips of construction projects, we can create a gateway to the world's largest civil engineering databank.
"Collectively we can help to promote and facilitate innovation and motivate the next generation to step into our dynamic profession – we hope industry will partner with us and help to bring this vision to life."