Dubai Campus hosts Sir John Armitt's Institution of Civil Engineers Presidential Address



Professor Richard Williams, Principal, Sir John Armitt, Professor Ammar Kaka, Provost Dubai Campus.

Heriot-Watt's Dubai Campus has hosted Sir John Armitt as he completed a series of speeches across the UAE as President of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

Civil engineering is the fundamental enabler of civilised life and the profession must get better at fostering greater innovation.
Sir John Armitt

Sir John Armitt is Chairman of the National Express Group and the City & Guilds Group and Deputy Chairman of the Berkeley Group. Sir John first served on ICE Council from 1989 to 1992. More recently he has been a Vice President chairing the International Committee and before that the UK Regional Affairs Committee. Sir John is currently ICE President, the 151st President of the Institution.

Sir John's speech, 'Civil Engineers: Shaping ourselves and our world', examined how the civil engineering profession and ICE itself can best fulfil their roles in a fast changing world. He outlined that the Institution must be relevant and valued by both its members and society, but that that value will be perceived differently according to different communities' demands and expectations.

Sir John said, “The UAE has demonstrated great openness to innovation and it is apt to be able to deliver my message to one of the world's great engineering universities here in the country. Civil engineering is the fundamental enabler of civilised life, and the profession must get better at fostering greater innovation in our industry, and we must use every opportunity to encourage young people to join the profession.” 

Openness in methodology and execution

“It is an honour to host Sir John Armitt here at Heriot-Watt University Dubai Campus and for him to impart such valuable guidance to a civil engineering and varied audience. The message I hope participants gained from the address is that there should be an openness in methodology and execution in the civil engineering field and that graduates can be the catalyst for great change in shaping our world,” said Professor Wael Mualla, Associate Head of the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society.

ICE is one of the world's leading civil engineering institutions and is almost 200 years old. It supports members to become qualified and encourages them to continue their professional development by providing a wide variety of civil engineering knowledge resources.