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Image of Professor Lord Robert Mair

Lord Mair takes up institution's bicentenary presidency

Professor Lord Robert Mair will tonight become the 153rd President of the Institution of Civil Engineers - leading the organisation into its 200th anniversary year.

An Emeritus Fellow and former Master of Jesus College, Lord Mair will use his inaugural presidential address to set out his vision for transforming our 21st Century World, drawing on the past and looking ahead to a better world.

The Institution was founded in 1818  to meet the challenges of the day head on - poor social conditions and health, community division and new engineering possibilities. Almost 200 years later, Lord Mair will address the challenges of the 21st Century; climate change, population growth and rapid urbanisation, and how civil engineers can transform the lives of millions of people for the better. 

His theme for the year, ‘Transforming Infrastructure, Transforming Lives – Building on 200 years’, addresses how civil engineering has changed radically over 200 years, and outlines how civil engineers today are as innovative and dedicated to solving problems now, as they ever were.

Lord Mair will look at how the profession can use technology to improve infrastructure assets, transforming the industry and societies it serves. He will also set out the opportunity for today's civil engineers to solve current global challenges and encourage the next generation to rise to them by becoming engineers.

Lord Mair, said: “Throughout my career, I have seen first- hand how engineers can transform lives and I am excited at the prospect of a whole new era of smart technology. I plan to use the opportunity of my presidency to help make the profession of civil engineering fit for a digital future and ready for the potential changes to the way infrastructure is delivered.”

“I see a great and vibrant future for our profession; for infrastructure and for the lives of every person on this planet, regardless of who they are or where they were born. The challenge now is to encourage young people from all backgrounds to join us in this profession, one which has the power – and the responsibility – to literally change the world for the better.”

During his year in office, Lord Mair will tour the institution's regional and international offices, promoting civil engineering to the general public. He will also be taking part in a series of activities throughout the year that will use the 200th anniversary of the institution to illustrate to the public the direct impact that civil engineering has on their lives.


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