Paul Jowitt’s Inaugural Address as President of the Institution of Civil Engineers

30 March 2010

“To stand in the shadows of Thomas Telford’s Dean Bridge, beneath the vaulting roof of William Barlow’s St Pancras station or inside Joseph Bazalgette’s pumping station at Crossness is both an inspiring and a humbling experience. The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) building at Great George Street in London evokes a similar sense of place, a cathedral of civil engineering echoing with the voices of the great engineers of the past whose names are carved in its Portland stone, whose portraits adorn its walls and whose spirits inspire us today.”

“It is easy to think of the nineteenth century as the halcyon days of civil engineering, but I wish to state at the outset that now is the time for an engineering renaissance – to build and rebuild our infrastructure in a burgeoning world in the face of the complexities of climate change, in the face of a globalised economy and the fallout from a collapse of the financial systems upon which it was built, in the face of international competition for natural resources, and the fact that much of the world’s population has no access to the infrastructure platform upon which civilisation and its survival depends.”

Download: The full Presidential Address by Professor Paul Jowitt, “Now is the time”