British Group of IABSE


Mr. Ian Peter Thomas Firth
Barton House 4 Coach Barton, Steeple Ashton Wiltshire BA14 6EX UNITED KINGDOM


Mr. Mark Bulmer
2 City Walk Leeds LS11 9AR UNITED KINGDOM

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News / Coming Events / Activities / Meetings

April 17 - Future of Design 2020
Future of Design is coming back to Manchester! Following on from the success of the 2015 event, we are delighted to invite you to the 2020 edition, which will be held at the University of Manchester on Friday 17th April.
The conference is aimed at inspiring the younger generation of designers and engineers through presentations, discussions and workshops on interesting, unusual and progressive ideas and projects in the structural engineering field.
You will get an opportunity to hear about design optimisation to reduce carbon footprint using parametrics, award-winning projects, use of timber as structural material for highway bridges, automating construction using robotics, as well as other exciting topics.
An evening of networking, food, drinks and entertainment at Cloud23 will follow the daytime event.

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November 12- The Milne Medal Lecture
The Milne Medal is awarded to an individual engineer for excellence in structural design, both in the overall concept and in the attention to detail in their work, and is named in recognition of the late Bob Milne, who served for many years as the Honorary Secretary of the IABSE British Group. This year, we are delighted to award the Milne Medal to Neil Thomas of Atelier One. Download the report.
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October -  The Nethercot Prize
A young professionals award encouraging communication through written papers named after Professor David Nethercot, IABSE President 2013-2016. The IABSE British Group Chairman Ian Firth announced the winner for this year: Laura Langridge from Knight Architects for her paper on the Tide Mills Level Crossing Replacement. Download the report.
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July 1-3,
The 2019 Henderson Colloquium – “How can structural engineering be an unending stream of goodness?”: John Roberts & Nathalie Richards
From 1-3 July the British Group held this annual event at Christ’s College Cambridge, where twenty invited delegates – structural, system and mechanical engineers, architects and an artist – explored what characterises structural ‘goodness’ in the future, and how future changes in technology and society will help or hinder the profession’s ability to create it?

The event’s title came from a quote from President Herbert Hoover, who was originally an engineer. All delegates made short presentations to the group, and plenty of time was left for discussion, which extended into the formal and informal meals arranged.

Whilst the question was deliberately ‘open’ several distinct themes emerged. How should we respond to the climate emergency? How to balance the disruption and opportunity of digital design? How do we attract the future skills needed by the profession? How do we ‘tell our story’ - especially in the face of stakeholders who don’t want to hear? Some even explored the interface between structural engineering and philosophy!

After 20 excellent presentations, all delegates agreed that recommendations will be developed by a working group to be shared with IABSE and the industry, as action is vitally needed in several areas explored. A summary of proceedings is being published on the British Group’s website.
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May 23 - Annual Lecture and Thames Boat Trip– Guy Nordenson:
The British Group held its Annual Lecture at the Institution of Structural Engineers in London which was given this year by Guy Nordenson from New York. His talk, entitled simply "What we do", was an inspirational look at some of the extraordinary and creative structures his practice has produced over the years, with deep insights into the philosophical background to the design and construction thinking in each case. Read full report: Click Here!
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April 26 - Clifton Suspension Bridge Visit
A small party from British IABSE Group visited Clifton Suspension Bridge on 26th April. Guides were Trish Johnson, the Bridgemaster and John Rees from Cowi, the partner responsible for the engineering maintenance. Read an essay: Click Here!

April 12 - Future of Design Conference Birmingham
There’s just under three weeks left to enter the IABSE Future of Design Birmingham 2019 Young Designer's (<35) Paper Competition. Information is on the website for competition guidance and for more information about the upcoming Conference FoD Birmingham 2019.


April 20 - The 12th Future of Design conference was held at the University of Edinburgh, marking the first time the conference has been held in Scotland since Future of Design began in 2012. The event, aimed at young aspiring engineers, focused on the familiar theme of promoting excellence in the design and construction of ground breaking projects throughout the world. More..

October 2 - Visit to Wimbledon Court 1, will include a presentation given by the Engineer (Thornton Tomasetti), Contractor (Sir Robert McAlpine) and Fabricator/Erector (Severfield UK) as well as an opportunity to walk around the site during one of the final phases of the major structural works. More..

October 11 - Early career architects, engineers and designers (expected to be under 35 and based in the UK) are invited to submit a single author paper for judging for the new IABSE British Group Paper Prize. Shortlisted authors will be invited to the IABSE Milne medal dinner. The winner of the paper competition will be awarded with a contribution of £400 towards participation and travel to an upcoming IABSE international conference in 2019. Winner and runner up papers may be published as articles on the IABSE British Group website. More..

October 12-14 -
 The British Group of IABSE is arranging a study tour to Greece to visit some of the country’s most distinguished and multi-award winning structures being accompanied by renowned Academics and Professional Engineers. The trip will unveil both historic and modern aspects of those structures. For more information, click here..  Read the Report

Young Members Grant!
 - Calling all IABSE British Group Young Members hoping to present at the Guimarães 2019 Symposium (or any future IABSE international conference). A £300 grant may well be available to you. Click Here for more information.

November 13 - in London, IABSE BG Milne Medal winner, WSP's John Parker, delivered his lecture: "An Unexpected Education". He explored how engineers adapt to unusual challenges and in doing so pick up new understandings.

December 5 - The British Group of IABSE will be running a panel discussion in London based on the theme of this year's Henderson Colloquium run in conjunction with IStructE's Structural Futures Committee. For more information Click Here! 

Event Reports 2016

November 24, 2016 The Milne Medal is awarded to an individual engineer for excellence in structural design, both in the overall concept and in the attention to detail in their work, and is named in recognition of the late Bob Milne, who served for many years as the Honorary Secretary of the IABSE British Group. James O’Callaghan wowed a packed audience at the IStructE headquarters with his presentation for the 2016 Milne Medal. Read the report..

Henderson Colloquium 2016  - Report
Since 1975 the British Group of IABSE have held a two day colloquium in Cambridge every summer for about 25 invited participants. The purpose of the event is to exchange views on a structural engineering theme of topical importance. Each participant is invited to make a short presentation to trigger constructive discussions in the relaxed surroundings of Christ’s College. Delegates at the 2016 Henderson Colloquium met to discuss “The Restoration and Preservation of Historic Structures”.  Read the report by Jason Hyde here..
'Future of Design London' Report

On September 8, 2016, built environment professionals gathered for the 10th IABSE British Group Future of Design event in London. Aimed at promoting innovation and collaboration to young designers, attendees were treated to a day full of inspiration, creativity and discussion.
Read the report by Harpreet Singh Sidhu here..

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Video Report on Future of Design Conference, organised by the IABSE  British Group on September 18, 2014.