ENGINEERING TECH

Why infrastructure policies need engineers' 'bigger picture' view

Donald Bell | July 6, 2021

article image
One way or another, we all work on infrastructure; whether design, construction, operation or maintenance. We solve problems and make things work – often without the public realising the complexity of our task. We sit in the background and don’t make waves.

We are good at the technical challenges, but how often do we take a step back and think about how our work or project fits into the ambitions of wider society? Who is commissioning it? Why are they commissioning it? What are the political drivers? What do they want the outcome to be? What has changed since we started work on it?

This sort of questioning will help us deliver better projects, as we see the bigger picture, beyond our technical solutions. With so much of our infrastructure delivered through public bodies, it is important that civil engineers understand, and give professional advice to, the political process that drives infrastructure investment for our communities.

Spotlight

Ayres Associates

Ayres Associates is proud of the innovative engineering and architectural solutions it has provided for more than 55 years. We deliver services in transportation, civil, structural, water resources, levee, and river engineering; architecture; landscape architecture, planning, energy corridors; environmental science; surveying; geospatial services; and GIS.

OTHER ARTICLES

All you need to know about vehicle active sound design

Article | March 31, 2020

The growing electrification trend in the automotive industry is noticeably reshaping vehicle development. This new power train concept has a direct impact on other vehicle performance aspects and introduces new challenges. One of the main concerns that is even changing the legal framework on the international level is the acoustic characteristics of these vehicles. This is the moment when the rising technology called active sound design comes into play. This technology is based on generating artificial sound that is played back through the audio system to improve interior noise.

Read More

ICE STEM Ambassadors help to inspire the next generation

Article | April 23, 2020

Andy Magee is a Senior Civil Engineer at Leeds City Council and ICE Yorkshire & Humber’s STEM Ambassador of the Year. STEM outreach is crucial, says Andy. Firstly to better inform the next generation of the opportunities available to them, but also to the civil engineering industry which is facing a potential skills shortage in the future. Outreach work helps us to grow the potential engineers of tomorrow and equip them with the skills needed for an ever-changing world of work – in being able to find and convey innovative ideas and solutions for example.

Read More

The latest on ICE's second UK infrastructure assessment consultation

Article | August 17, 2021

ICE Policy and Public Affairs recently launched a discussion paper and consultation on what should be in the second National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA). The work progresses the institution’s aims to influence infrastructure policy at a systems level. This autumn, the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) will publish its baseline assessment of the current state of key infrastructure sectors, along with proposals for the strategic themes and main priorities of the second NIA expected in 2023. Having been closely involved in both the establishment of the NIC in 2013 and the first NIA in 2018, our consultation asks what the core considerations of NIA2 should be – including net-zero, levelling-up and climate resilience – and explores which demand drivers have changed since the first NIA. Through this paper, we’re seeking to shape the wider infrastructure policy debate, consistently and over a number of years, by examining what our long-term infrastructure should look like – and most importantly, ensure it delivers the sustainable future outcomes we need it to. Look out for more updates later this year on ICE’s work in this area.

Read More

Remote work: Engineering’s perspective on humanizing the remote work experience

Article | April 24, 2020

At GitHub, working remotely has been in our DNA from the start. With over 80% of our engineers working remotely before COVID-19, the team has established some amazing best practices that foster a strong collaborative environment, inspire creativity, and a bit of levity with the ultimate goal of building trust within teams. What’s it like for GitHub engineers to work remotely?

Read More

Spotlight

Ayres Associates

Ayres Associates is proud of the innovative engineering and architectural solutions it has provided for more than 55 years. We deliver services in transportation, civil, structural, water resources, levee, and river engineering; architecture; landscape architecture, planning, energy corridors; environmental science; surveying; geospatial services; and GIS.

Events