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News

Opinion - Are hydrogen-fuelled vehicles a waste of our time and energy? 

Posted in News, Articles & Opinion

23 February 2021

Opinion piece by David B Watson

The arguments in favour of using hydrogen as an energy source - the most abundant gas in the universe, releasing only water upon combustion - appear persuasive. They weaken, however, under closer engineering examination.

IEA-COP26 Net Zero Summit 

Posted in News

23 February 2021

 IEA - COP26 Net Zero Summit - 31 Mar 2021

From targets to actions: Realising net-zero emissions through secure & inclusive transitions underpinned by strong international collaboration

Ministers from countries representing the vast majority of global GDP, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions will take part in the IEA-COP26 Net Zero Summit on Wednesday 31 March. The Summit will be an virtual round-table, bringing together ministers, CEOs and key leaders of civil society from all corners of the globe. Participants will join in discussions in plenary and topical breakout sessions and exchange on countries’ actions to accelerate their clean energy transitions.

Following the IEA’s inaugural Clean Energy Transitions Summit in 2020, this year’s edition will be jointly hosted by the IEA and the UK government, co-chaired by COP26 President Alok Sharma and IEA Executive Director Dr Fatih Birol.

The Summit will be a critical opportunity to take stock of the growing list of commitments from countries and companies to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement, and to focus on the implementation actions necessary to start turning the growing number of net-zero goals into reality. Participants will share insights on what has worked in the real world to help identify policies and measures that can deliver concrete results to achieve climate, security and affordability goals. This event will build momentum towards COP26 and inform preparation of the IEA’s upcoming Special Report “The World’s Roadmap to Net Zero by 2050”.

Read more here

Funding competition for large-scale sustainable solutions to plastic packaging challenges 

Posted in News

22 February 2021



UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £16mln for bold and ambitious demonstrator projects in smart and sustainable plastic packaging.
The funding is from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund as part of the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) challenge.

The competition will fund large-scale, commercial, demonstration projects that include first-of-a-kind infrastructure and trials of new packaging concepts and technologies.

read more here

Scottish Government urged to review infrastructure 

Posted in News

17 February 2021

Following the publication of the Scottish Government’s Infrastructure Investment Plan and Capital Spending Review, ICE Scotland has called for an urgent review of the country’s infrastructure to ensure it is fit for purpose. 

The Scottish Government must undertake an urgent review of the country’s infrastructure, ICE Scotland has said.

It follows the publication of the government’s spending commitments over the next five years which outlines a £33bn investment in, among other things, transport and the environment.

Welcoming the plan, ICE Scotland director Hannah Smith said: “We are delighted to see the Scottish Government has listened to ICE members and repeatedly emphasised the need to ensure our infrastructure is as resilient as possible, particularly to withstand the effects of extreme weather.

“The doubling of investment in not just maintenance, but also asset enhancement, is a welcome commitment."

read more here

WES Launches 2021 WE50 Awards 

Posted in News

16 February 2021

The Women’s Engineering Society (WES) has launched the 2021 Top 50 Women in Engineering Awards. Once again, the competition will follow a public nominations process from which the top 50 will be selected.

This year’s theme is Engineering Heroes to celebrate the best, brightest and bravest women in engineering, who recognise a problem, then dare to be part of the solution; who undertake everyday ‘heroics’ as much as emergency ones. Derived from the Greek word hērōs, "hero" literally means "protector" or "defender" and in 2020-21 engineers around the world have played a major role in protecting and defending us from the Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, the extraordinary public health crisis we are experiencing has brought into sharp focus how engineers also deliver and maintain critical services and infrastructure, keep civic society functioning at every level, and support lives and livelihoods. And let's not forget those engineers who also undertake world-leading research and innovation to tackle the long-term, structural global challenges of our time, especially climate change.

read more here

Guidance to support the engineering profession in achieving a more sustainable future 

Posted in News

15 February 2021

All those working in engineering have a significant role to play in helping society achieve a more sustainable future. To support this, the Engineering Council, the regulatory body for the UK engineering profession, has issued updated Guidance on Sustainability for engineering professionals at all career stages.

The Guidance is reviewed periodically and, following a wide-ranging consultation with the engineering community, this edition replaces and updates the previous Guidance.

The revised Guidance on Sustainability includes the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, clarifies its definition of sustainable development, and emphasises the importance of engineers taking a proactive role. This latest edition highlights the importance of designing in sustainability from the start, emphasises the inter-connectedness of environmental challenges and solutions, the role of regeneration and restoration, and consideration of the whole life cycle – including safe disposal.

Alasdair Coates CEng FICE MCIHT CMIOSH, CEO of the Engineering Council said: “Sustainable development is an increasingly important issue for society and the engineering profession works to meet the challenge of the climate emergency. Engineers and technicians have a key leadership and influencing role in working towards sustainability, increasingly as part of multi-disciplinary teams that include non-engineers, and through work that crosses national boundaries.

This Guidance sets out six principles to guide engineering professionals in integrating understanding of the environment and sustainability into all aspects of their work:

  1. Contribute to building a sustainable society, present and future
  2. Apply professional and responsible judgement and take a leadership role on sustainability
  3. Do more than just comply with legislation and codes: be prepared to challenge the status quo
  4. Use resources efficiently and effectively
  5. Seek multiple views to solve sustainability challenges
  6. Manage risk to minimise adverse impact and maximise benefit to people and the environment

read more here

Engineers must rethink their role to match the scale of climate challenge 

Posted in News

15 February 2021


The need for collaboration, innovation and reskilling were hot topics for debate at the latest virtual Brunel lecture, which featured speakers from Europe.

A “massive repurposing and retraining” of existing engineers is needed to make up for the skills gap in the sector in tackling climate change, according to Seth Schultz, executive director of The Resilience Shift , speaking on the Europe leg of the Brunel International Lecture series virtual tour.

Schultz gave his opening lecture  on 2 December 2020 and is now on a global tour, taking in seven stops around the world, as he presents 21st Century Leadership is Partnership: How a Coalition of the World’s Engineers Can Change the World. Regional lectures include a bespoke version of the opening lecture with more time allocated for discussion between Schultz and key industry leaders.

While the confidence, trust and rigour of the engineering profession came through codification, the practice had calcified, he said. "The very way we do business needs to be torn down, rethought, and rebuilt."

Priorities for skills included energy efficiency, renewable electricity, decarbonising industry and carbon sequestration, with resilient infrastructure underpinning everything, he said.

“Engineers need to think about the role that they play in a very different way. They have a set of skills - they're pragmatic, they are systems thinkers, they're highly trusted. But in order to take those skills and be force multipliers, you need to get up out of your existing sandbox, and into another one.”

Read more here

2021 QE Prize Winners - LED Lighting 

Posted in News

13 February 2021

The 2021 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering was awarded to Isamu Akasaki, Shuji Nakamura, Nick Holonyak Jr, M. George Craford and Russell Dupuis for the creation and development of LED lighting, which forms the basis of all solid state lighting technology.

Solid state lighting technology has changed how we illuminate our world. It can be found everywhere from digital displays and computer screens to handheld laser pointers, automobile headlights and traffic lights. Today’s high-performance LEDs are used in efficient solid state lighting products across the world and are contributing to the sustainable development of world economies by reducing energy consumption.

Visible LEDs are now a global industry predicted to be worth over $108 billion by 2025 through low cost, high efficiency lighting. LED lighting is 75% more energy efficient than traditional incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs, and is playing a crucial role in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. LED bulbs last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs and their large-scale use reduces the energy demand required to cool buildings. For this, they are often referred to as the ‘green revolution’ within lighting.

read more here

How printed human organs will speed up future drug development 

Posted in News

13 February 2021

Drug development takes a long time, most of which is taken up by testing.
Before reaching humans, new medicines are first tested on mice, then rats, dogs and primates. “It can sometimes take 15 to 20 years for a drug discovery to happen,” said Dr Deepak Kalaskar, associate professor at University College London. “The reason is these animals do not replicate human genomics or physiology.”

In the future, said Kalaskar, pharmaceutical companies will bypass all those time-consuming pre-human stages. The enabling technology is bioprinting – 3D printing of living cells and other materials to create biological tissue and organs.

By using human cells in printers such as the NovoGen Bioprinter from Organovo, researchers can replicate ‘targeted’ tissues throughout the body, such as skin or liver tissue. They are exposed to viral particles, bacteria and drugs before microscopic and other observation.

Bioprinting made headlines last year after projects including the development of ‘organoids’ at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina. Led by Dr Anthony Atala, the team built miniature lungs and colons to assist Covid-19 research, the New York Times reported. Constructed by using a scaffold of biodegradable material followed by a ‘bioink’ of cells and hydrogels, the organoids were used for drug testing.

read more here

Statwars: Big data at the heart of the climate change challenge 

Posted in News

12 February 2021

As the plans around COP26 in November emerge from the COVID fog, the one certainty we have is we have to make it work. Not just the events, the meetings, and the conference, but the outcomes, the promises, and the commitments.

For so many of us Big Data has been sitting on the horizon, something we should know what to do with but many of us weren’t quite sure what. Now, sadly COVID has publicly demonstrated its power as it leads us daily through and hopefully out of a pandemic.

Commitments to Net Zero from companies, promises, and plans by governments are, as they should be, constantly in the press and on the news – but what are we personally going to do? We can recycle more, be more aware of the air miles of avocados, but how do we empower our young people to really understand and take data-led action by looking at the facts, in essence looking at the data?

At Primary Engineer we believe all young people are capable of great things given the opportunity to experience engineering and develop engineering skills. We have seen remarkable outcomes from the ‘Scottish Engineering Leaders Award – If you were an engineer what would you do?’. Here learners of all ages have regularly demonstrated their desire to help others and their altruism has inspired many, such as universities who annually choose young peoples’ inventions to build and refine. 

read more here


Dr Susan Scurlock MBE
Chief Executive and Founder
Primary Engineer Programmes

HES - Exhibition traditional shops 

Posted in News

11 February 2021

Traditional shops add colour and character to Scotland's towns and cities. Explore Scotland's historic shops and the people who worked in them in this online exhibition.

please follow the link  - exhibition link

The Institution of Civil Engineers Scotland Museum 

Posted in News

10 February 2021



The Institution of Civil Engineers Scotland Museum is home to a collection of over 500 items relating to civil engineering many of which have strong local connections including a number of items relating to the Forth Bridges.

The collection is owned by the Scotland Region of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and under an agreement between the Region and Heriot-Watt University the collection is deposited with the University on loan.

The museum is located at Heriot-Watt University’s Edinburgh Campus at Riccarton where most of the items are on display in cabinets in the east crush area of Level 1 of the William Arrol Building and other larger items are placed at other locations both inside and at the west end of the William Arrol Building.

Please follow the link for a virtual tour of some of the artefacts - ICE Scotland Museum

Portwey - The History of a West Country Steam Tug

Portwey - The History of a West Country Steam Tug 

Posted in Articles

09 February 2021

The history of Portwey, this survivor from a bygone age, is fascinating as well intriguing.

Have you been missing your morning commute? 

Posted in News

22 January 2021

Scotrail have launched a series of 'In the driver's seat' videos on YouTube. The videos are of some of the most scenic railway journeys around Scotland

You can enjoy some splendid countryside from the comfort of your own home!

Just follow the link below

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL56TSDG5vhGlQn05zIjQna4IpjYgRUYYa

Amy Johnson Inspiration Award 

Posted in News

19 January 2021

WES’ 2020 Karen Burt Award 

Posted in News

19 January 2021

Climate change tops chemical engineers’ agenda 

Posted in News

18 January 2021

Aiming to take a lead role in tackling climate change, the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) has published its position statement with the commitment to work with all stakeholders, from governments to communities around the world, to deliver a fair, safe and sustainable future.

'It’s what engineers do' 

Posted in News

09 January 2021

A new virtual photography exhibition explores the engineering response to the pandemic

New Year Honour for Sheila Rowan 

Posted in News

05 January 2021

Members will remember a super presentation by Sheila Rowan a couple of years ago, we are delighted to see that she has been recognised in the New Year Honours for her services to science.

National Manufacturing Institute Scotland facility 

Posted in News

05 January 2021

Construction has started on the flagship National Manufacturing Institute Scotland facility at the heart of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland in Renfrewshire.

‘Fowler's Bridges: Perspectives On Bridges And Landscape Created By The Victorian Engineer Sir John Fowler On His Braemore Estate In Wester Ross, Scotland.’ by Aiden Bell 

Posted in News

22 December 2020

You may be interested in a book which has recently been published about the life of Sir John Fowler

The Victorian engineers Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker are synonymous with their crowning achievement, the cantilevered Forth Bridge in Scotland. However, Fowler and his friend and business partner Baker also transformed Sir John's holiday retreat by building distinctive miniature bridges at his Highland estate of Braemore near Ullapool in Wester Ross, Scotland, between 1865 and 1897. Along with similar estates at Sir William Armstrong's Cragside and Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Watcombe, Fowler's Braemore represents an example of how Victorian engineers applied their skill and ingenuity to develop concepts of designed landscapes by creating an 'engineered landscape', by capturing water to produce hydro-electricity and creating forests and vistas for sport and pleasure.

From the big bridges of their professional careers to the little bridges at Braemore, this book examines how Fowler and Baker created elegant yet functional features of a Victorian Highland landscape. The significance of these bridges is explored through three themes: how they fit into the wider context of 19th century civil engineering, how engineering principles were applied to miniature bridge design by understanding conceptually how bridges work as a structure, and why the bridges were placed where they were in the landscape. Fowler's bridges represent the distinct genre of Victorian miniature bridge building, with the most famous of the little bridges at Braemore being the suspension bridge at Corrieshalloch Gorge.

Further information here

ICE Scotland State of the Nation Report 2020: Climate Ready Infrastructure 

Posted in Publications

30 November 2020

This report both demonstrates the urgent requirement for ‘climate ready’ infrastructure in Scotland and sets out the benefits that this type of infrastructure can deliver.

Presidential Address on 29th Sept 

Posted in News & Events

15 September 2020

Dr Andy Pearson will deliver his Presidential Address on 29th Sept - Scotland’s role in the development of heat pumps: 1850 – 2050

Rankine 2020 International Conference 

Posted in News & Events

10 September 2020

Highlights, opportunities and challenges for RACHP and ORC

The IIR Rankine 2020 – Advances in Heating, Cooling and Power Generation ended on 31 July following 90 presentations over 20 sessions and 14 coffee lounges. The virtual event attracted over 200 delegates as well as 245 attendees to its Life and Legacy event which preluded the conference.

Rankine 2020 – Student Prize for Best Paper 

Posted in News & Prize Winners

08 September 2020

IESIS were delighted to support the IIR Rankine 2020 – Advances in Heating, Cooling and Power Generation that took place in July. A high point of the conference was with the excellent level of engagement from students, many of whom presented their work during the event.

Mott MacDonald duo receive RAENG President's special award for pandemic service

Mott MacDonald duo receive RAENG President's special award for pandemic service 

Posted in News

17 August 2020

Two engineers, Martyn Frackelton and Ian Watkins, from Mott MacDonald who have 30 offices in the UK and in 11 countries around the world, have received the President’s special award for pandemic service from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAENG). The award is recognition of their exceptional engineering achievements in tackling COVID-19 in the UK.

George Parsonage – the last of the Clyde Rivermen 

Posted in News & Articles

28 April 2020

Hammermen of Glasgow Ex Deacons John McKnight and Colin Botfield recently visited George Parsonage of the Glasgow Humane Society Lifeboats to thank him for over 60 years of service saving lives on the River Clyde.

Rankine Headstone Appeal 

Posted in News & Fundraising

02 March 2020

IES are launching an appeal to fund the re-instatement of the headstone to honour the memory of this great man and all he achieved.

James Watt Dinner 2019

James Watt Dinner 2019 

Posted in Events & James Watt Dinner

05 October 2019

Oct 4th JWD 2019 Radisson Blu Hotel Glasgow

Over 340 guests enjoyed a wonderful evening of good food and good company. Guests enjoyed the acceptance speech of Gordon McConnell as a 2019 Hall of Fame inductee. The formal part of the evening was completed with a sparkling performance from two young musicians from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Jocelyn Pettit and Calum McIlroy which included a delightful display of step-dancing. This year our chosen charity was the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity (GCHC) generous support raised £3396 on the night!

Profeng Lecture in Edinburgh

Profeng Lecture in Edinburgh 

Posted in News & Events

01 April 2019

Steve Lee from Astrostat entertained over two hundred young students from several Edinburgh schools on Friday 29th March.

James Watt Dinner 2018

James Watt Dinner 2018 

Posted in Events & James Watt Dinner

06 October 2018

The James Watt Dinner was held on Friday 5th Oct in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow. Reflecting the growing popularity of the event, over 360 people enjoyed a wonderful evening of fine food, good company and light-hearted entertainment, finishing with the much anticipated Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame announcements!

Environment Secretary Opens Shieldhall Tunnel In Glasgow 

Posted in News

30 July 2018

Scotland’s biggest sewer superstructure has become operational in a feat of engineering hailed as “extraordinary” by Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham.

James Watt Dinner 2017 

Posted in Events & James Watt Dinner

07 October 2017

The James Watt Dinner was held on Friday 6th Oct in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow. Our speaker was Vanessa Collingridge who delighted the audience with recollections from her career. Guests were delighted to hear from Hall of Fame inductee Craig Clark. 

James Watt Dinner 2016

James Watt Dinner 2016 

Posted in Events & James Watt Dinner

08 October 2016

The dinner was held on Friday 7th Oct in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow. Over 400 guests enjoyed the recollections of Rev Ian Millar. The Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame inductees included James Goodfellow and Sir Duncan Michael.

James Watt Dinner 2015

James Watt Dinner 2015 

Posted in Events & James Watt Dinner

03 October 2015

This was a Gala Dinner to celebrate 250 years since James Watt’s ‘bright idea’. The event was held in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow on the 2nd of October. Over 400 guests were entertained by Adam Hart Davis talking about James Watt. This year the Hall of Fame inductees included Sir Don Miller.

James Watt Dinner 2014 

Posted in Events & James Watt Dinner

04 October 2014

Over 280 guests enjoyed the celebrations on 3rd Oct at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow. Our speaker was Mr Peter Mitchell, who regaled a delighted audience with tales from a life in journalism in Aberdeen.The Hall of Fame inductees included Tom Brown.

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