Last edited 19 Jan 2021

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The Institution of Civil Engineers Institute / association Website

Andrew Wyllie to become ICE President


In November 2018, Costain CEO Andrew Wyllie CBE became the 154th president of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)

During his first Presidential Address, the new president said he aims to build on the Institution’s reputation as the 'go-to' place for solutions to major global issues, and ensure that members take full advantage of new technologies in their bid to improve lives in the global society. "I believe that the ICE must be at the very forefront of the smart infrastructure revolution," he said.

The event, at 1 Great George Street in London, marked the handover of the presidency from Professor Lord Robert Mair.

Wyllie highlighted the Global Engineering Congress 2018 (GEC) and the 'In Plain Sight' report as other examples of ICE playing a crucial role in finding solutions to major global challenges, from population growth to climate change.

“We’ve made great progress, just in the last 12 months, building that 'go-to' reputation. I think we should have the confidence to really go and build on those achievements," he said.

Echoing a key message from UNOPS at the GEC, Wyllie believes that the infrastructure sector no longer works in a silo, and that ICE should reflect this through the principles. He said that ICE and its members need to remember it has a clear purpose - to improve lives in the global society - and to constantly promote this purpose. "What we do as engineers is all about the benefit it brings to people out there," Wyllie said.

For example, he talked about how personally proud is was of the work Costain did creating the high-speed rail terminus at London’s St Pancras, which was more than just a train station. It’s a “facility that helps bring people together and connects us with Europe,” he said.

As well as knowing its purpose, ICE must help members deliver value for money for their customers - "It’s essential that engineers deliver real value for money for customers," he said, adding that engineers need to be continually adding clear and affordable attributes to solutions for their customers.

Wyllie mentioned how ICE’s Project 13, which aims to help customers and suppliers generate greater value by promoting collaborative and more strategic contract relationships, is just the start. "But there is so much more that we need to do," he said.

ICE also needs to remember its roots and focus on bringing in young people into the Institution, Wyllie said. He reminded members of 22-year-old Henry Palmer and the group of under-35s who set up ICE 200 years ago. "The ICE must attract, nurture and develop the brightest minds of the next generation," he said.

Wyllie said he was keen to highlight the importance of diversity in engineering, and talked about how more than half of Costain’s graduate intake in 2018 was female, and how the company received the Times’ Top 50 Employers for Women award for the first time. This focus on equality becomes a business critical issue when, as Wyllie explained, customers consider a contractor’s diversity performance in their tender review processes.

"The 5% that Network Rail [one of our major customers] attributes to EDI [equality, diversity and inclusion] performance can mean the difference for us between winning and losing engineering work," he said.

Wyllie finished his Address by announcing the winner of the 2018 People’s Choice Award, which included international projects for the first time, to mark ICE’s 200th anniversary. Thousands of members of the public voted for the Kaikoura earthquake recovery project from New Zealand, for the work on restoring road and rail infrastructure in the region after the major disaster in November 2016.

This article was originally published here by ICE on 6 Nov 2018. It was written by Anh Nguyen.

--The Institution of Civil Engineers

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