Fellowship recognition for lifelong civil engineer

Colin Hanson was recently awarded a Fellowship of the Institution, recognising his lifelong service to water engineering and over 50 years as an ICE member.

Colin Hanson becomes a Fellow of the Institution.
Colin Hanson becomes a Fellow of the Institution.

Colin's career started his career in 1947 with Thames Conservancy, a historical body responsible for the management of the River Thames in England which eventually became part of Thames Water Authority.

He has held a number of positions throughout his career including a nine year role designing and constructing an electrical Analogue model of the Lambourn Downs, to explore the effects of exploiting the groundwater 'reservoir' as an emergency reserve in extreme droughts. The results were later accepted in evidence during the Public Inquiry into the proposed Thames Conservancy Groundwater Scheme, which was approved, implemented and operated during the 1976 drought.

His expertise was recognised in 1974 when he became Chief Water Resources Engineer at Thames Water where he implemented a host of new technologies including the introduction of computers. He was also instrumental in establishing remote telemetry systems, river and bore hole monitoring and basin monitoring, as well as instituting the Thames Ground Water System.

Colin left Thames Water in 1982 to become a Senior Partner of Hanson, Peters and Associates, consulting engineers specialising in Catchment Management. His work there involved overseeing schemes for Severn Trent and South West Water as well as prominent roles in implementing of a State-wide Telemetry System centred on Kuala Lumpur, as well as other projects in Singapore, Malacca and Hong Kong. Throughout his consultancy he chaired International Standards Committees on telemetry and flow monitoring in the USA, Canada, Spain, Russia and France.

Colin took well-earned retirement in 1992. Seán Harris, ICE's Director of Membership paid tribute to him, saying:

"I am delighted to have been able to award Colin with fellowship of ICE, our highest grade of membership. Throughout his career, Colin has shown a great passion for water engineering and has been responsible for many of the innovations seen at Thames Water today including the introduction of computerised systems.

I would personally like to thank him for his continued membership of the Institution and am thrilled that his considerable contribution to civil engineering has now been recognised with this fellowship."