Institution of Civil Engineers
Civil Engineering alumnus, Charles O’Toole was a student member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and is now working to achieving full member status.
One Great George Street is a magnificent Grade II Edwardian building and the global headquarters of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). It is located in the political heart of London, 5 minutes' walk from Westminster Tube Station, itself a wonder of civil engineering achievement with its structure exposed inside for you to see, Westminster Palace and 10 minutes from Buckingham Palace.
In the first years of my undergraduate Civil Engineering degree at City University London, my lecturers would constantly tell the student body that that as students we should consider ourselves engineers and as engineers we needed to be inquisitive, interrogative and creative. They identified that the path to becoming a professional engineer started here at university and encouraged us to join a professional institution like the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). At this time, I had heard of the institution but knew very little about what they did. However I will not leave you in dark and I will impart in you some snippets of information to light your path.
The ICE is one of the world's most respected professional engineering associations. It has become home to many of history's greatest engineers as past presidents and members, and almost 200 years later has over 80,000 members around the world. ICE is committed to support and promote professional learning (both to students and existing practitioners), managing professional ethics and safeguarding the status of engineers, and representing the interests of the profession in dealings with government, and other bodies. It sets standards for membership of the body; works with industry and academia to progress engineering standards and advises on education and training curricula.
City's undergraduate and post graduate Civil and Structural degrees are accredited by the ICE and students pursuing courses in civil engineering can join the ICE free as student members. After completing their studies, individuals can become graduate members - a step closer to achieving full Member status (MICE). The pinnacle of professional standing is to then be accepted as a Fellow (FICE).
I took the advice of my lecturers, joined as a student member and now I am working my way to achieving full Member status. Joining as a student gave me access to a world of opportunities and learning (and it was free!). I started by attending the free evening lectures which are organised by the Institution to promote learning, and through the years progressed to organising lectures for Students and Graduates Network (GSNet). Lectures and events at the Institution cover a multitude of topics, so there is something for every engineer's interest.
The benefits I have had from joining the Institution so far:
- I had opportunities to network with professional engineers,
- It broadened my knowledge through interesting technical meetings, courses and lectures,
- I gained an insight into ongoing projects and the issues and challenges that they faced,
- I increased my knowledge on what roles Civil Engineers perform and the broad range of services that Civil Engineers offer from transportation, public health services to structures.
- I participated in their social events, competitions and awards.
Getting involved as a student engineer with the ICE is highly regarded by prospective employers, it offers you a fantastic way to learn new skills and make industry contacts, and gain knowledge on huge and amazing projects. Finally, it helps to identify which role you may choose in the future. You can find out more from their website at www.ice.org.uk.