As part of the annual visit by ICE's President to London, Sir John Armitt was given a fascinating technical tour of the Battersea Power Station redevelopment, attended an Innovation Lunch and met with Graduates and Students from the region.
Meeting with Graduates, Students and Technicians
The President's visit began with a dinner and discussion with Graduates, Students and Technicians from the region on Wednesday 25th May.
Bringing together 20 guests, the evening focussed on the theme of 'Career opportunities and routes as a Civil Engineer'. Sir John led the open discussion looking at how young civil engineers can progress, the challenges of progression and how the industry can help to foster the next generation.
Battersea Power Station Tour
The next day (Thursday 26th May) began with Sir John's visit to Battersea Power Station where he had an informal discussion with students from Ernest Bevin College, a local school that specialises in Sport, Mathematics & Computing.
Sir John spoke about the importance of civil engineering to the city and everyday lives of Londoners, using his own experience of starting out as a young civil engineer and rising through the industry to become Chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority.
He told students that they will learn more from their failures than their successes, encouraging them to be bold and innovative when faced with difficult problems. Sir John presented each student with a gift from ICE of a keyring and mug.
After the talk, Sir John and representatives from the region were given a technical tour of the power station, seeing the work that civil engineers are doing on the site, including the chimney restoration programme, the renovation of the power station building and the construction of the mixed-use site.
After the site visit, Sir John attended a lunch at the Villandry in St James'. The Lunch brought together key infrastructure stakeholders, including civil engineers, academics and government officials, to discuss the theme of 'Innovation and Collaboration to better deliver London's infrastructure requirements'.
The Lunch looked at how new technologies, methodologies and practices can transform the way we deliver infrastructure and the role that various organisations play in collaborating on these new solutions.
Representatives from major civil engineering companies like Bechtel, Skanska, Buro Happold and WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff attended alongside academics from UCL and Imperial and organisations like IET and Catapult Future Cities.
Suzanne Moroney, ICE London Director, who hosted the visit, said: "It was fantastic to visit London with Sir John, for him to meet a number of key stakeholders and to visit one of the largest developments in the Capital.
"As former Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, there are very few people who know London's infrastructure as well as Sir John, so it was a great opportunity to hear his insight and thoughts about the Capital's future development.
"I would like to say a big thank you to all who made the visit possible, including Skanska and Battersea Power Station Development Company"