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Building industry links through engineering partnership

3rd December 2019

Northumbria University has become an academic partner of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the UK’s leading civil engineering professional body.

The new partnership will provide opportunities for civil engineering students and staff at Northumbria – providing links with industry and access to training and professional development.

Caption:Professor Becky Strachan of Northumbria University and ICE Director General Nick BaveystockThe partnership was formally marked during a visit to Northumbria by ICE Director General Nick Baveystock, during which he emphasised the vital role civil engineers can play in dealing with global challenges, including a rapid increase in population and climate change.

Speaking to an audience of staff, students and alumni, Mr Baveystock said: “This is an exciting time for engineers, the limits of what we can achieve are changing as technology develops and we have the opportunity to find solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing the global population.

“The cities and structures we are building today will have to cope with a population growth of 38% over the next 20 years. We will see more and more people moving into cities and capacity will be a major issue, different forms of housing will need to be constructed.

“At the same time we have a responsibility to minimise our impact on the environment and ensure the work we carry out is sustainable. Above all we need to talk to the public, listen to what it is they care about and ensure we deliver value in everything we do.”

During his talk Mr Baveystock also emphasised the need to continue to develop as engineering professionals in order to prevent infrastructure failures, such as the 2018 Morandi bridge collapse in Genoa, from happening in the future.

Following his presentation, an official agreement was signed by Mr Baveystock and Professor Becky Strachan, Deputy Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor of Northumbria’s Faculty of Engineering and Environment, marking the official partnership between the two organisations.

Caption:Civil engineering student Cerys White, pictured on placement.The event was attended by students past and present, including second year Civil Engineering BEng (Hons) student Cerys White, Northumbria’s first ICE Student Ambassador.

As part of her role Cerys will promote the support the ICE can offer students, including employability events, training and networking opportunities. She has set up Instagram and Facebook pages to share information with her fellow Northumbria students and is also part of a wider UK network of student ambassadors.

As the recipient of an ICE QUEST scholarship, Cerys knows the benefits the ICE can provide students. As she explains: “As students starting out in our civil engineering careers, the links we can build through ICE are really valuable.

Caption:Cerys pictured giving a presentation about studying civil engineering to school pupils.“It is a great way to meet people working within the industry and find placement opportunities which could then lead to jobs after graduation.

“As a student ambassador, I will be raising the profile of ICE among students and hopefully helping make connections which will benefit students and employers alike.”

The Northumbria University partnership was organised by Martin Crapper, Professor of Civil Engineering and Head of Subject at Northumbria University. He said: “The importance of educating civil engineers to tackle future problems is clear and Northumbria is proud to be part of this.

“A key focus of all our degrees is employability, educating students so that they can make a contribution to society throughout their careers.

“Our ICE Academic Partnership will offer tangible benefits here, helping our students engage with the profession from the earliest stage in their programme, as well as helping the ICE to advance its charitable aims of making the world a better place through civil engineering.”

Find out more about studying Civil Engineering at Northumbria University.

Find out more about the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

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Martin Crapper

Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Construction Engineering.

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