ICE Bridges 2014: A Preview
There are few things more prominent in the image of civil and structural engineering as the bridge. Yes, we have tall buildings, endless tunnels and even humble sustainable urban drainage solutions; but when it comes down to it, I’d bet that if asked to describe what we do the majority of people would start with “bridges“.
It’s easy when you’re a younger engineer to think of conferences as “something my boss goes to while I do all the work” but the best way to become a leader in a field is to get out there.
There’s just over a month to go until the ICE Bridges 2014 “Engineering the Future” conference. I think it goes without saying that few people are better placed than the ICE, who almost by definition are at the heart of the profession, to collect together the leaders of this prestigious field. As someone who’s official reason for become a civil engineer was to ‘build a bridge‘, I’ve decided to make Bridges 2014 the first ICE conference I attend (let’s hope they have me back for more!).
Looking to the programme, ICE Bridges 2014 covers most, if not all, of the topics surrounding bridge design today; from the ever present discussion of BIM (and the opportunities is poses for HS2), to a preview of the developments being made to the Eurocodes. Personally, it’s the talk on ‘technologies to shape the future of bridge design’ that has me the most interested; as a software-led design advocate.
What self-respecting engineer doesn’t want to find out how Barry Colford got the title of Bridgemaster?
I know this is beginning to sound like an advert; but I think it’s easy (especially when you’re a younger engineer) to think of conferences as “something my boss goes to while I do all the work”. This is especially the case when they aim to bring together the leaders of a field. In fact, it took me until my first conference- the IABSE Future of Design event- to realise that the best way to become a leader in a field is to just get out there and meet the people in it.
There are some great speakers at the ICE Bridges 2014 event: I’ve already seen Martin Knight’s presentation, and whilst I might not completely agree- anyone who will stand in-front of a group of engineers and argue that it’s a departure from standard not to appoint an architect on a highway bridge job is worth a listen. And, frankly, what self-respecting engineer doesn’t want to find out how Barry Colford got the title of Bridgemaster!
While the £325 (£175 for students) price might be a bit high for the self-funding younger engineer; this is exactly the sort of thing that it is worth asking your boss about. At the very least you’ll leave the positive impression that you really are serious about becoming a prominent figure in the Bridges industry, and at the best you’ll have a chance to rub shoulders with the lead bridge engineer of HS2 (Tomás García).
The ICE Bridges 2014 event is at the ICE (One Great Georges Street) on the 5th of June 2014.