Institution of Structural Engineers
The Institution of Structural Engineers is a professional body for structural engineering
Structural engineering
Structural engineering is a field of engineering dealing with the analysis and design of structures that support or resist loads. Structural engineering is usually considered a specialty within civil engineering, but it can also be studied in its own right....

 based in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. It has 27,000 members in 105 countries. The Institution provides professional accreditation for structural engineers. The Institution publishes a twice monthly journal, The Structural Engineer.

The Institution is an internationally recognised source of expertise and information concerning all issues that involve structural engineering and public safety within the built environment.

The core work of the Institution is supporting and protecting the profession of structural engineering by upholding professional standards and acting as an international voice on behalf of structural engineers.


The Institution gained its Royal Charter
Royal Charter
A royal charter is a formal document issued by a monarch as letters patent, granting a right or power to an individual or a body corporate. They were, and are still, used to establish significant organizations such as cities or universities. Charters should be distinguished from warrants and...

 in March 1934. It was established at the Ritz Hotel
Ritz Hotel
The Ritz London is a luxury 5-star hotel located in Piccadilly and overlooking Green Park in London.- History :Swiss hotelier César Ritz, former manager of the Savoy Hotel, opened the hotel on 24 May 1906...

, London on 21 July 1908 as the Concrete Institute, as the result of a need to define standards and rules for the proper use of concrete
Concrete is a composite construction material, composed of cement and other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate , water and chemical admixtures.The word concrete comes from the Latin word...

 in construction industry. The first headquarters were established at No. 8, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall
Pall Mall, London
Pall Mall is a street in the City of Westminster, London, and parallel to The Mall, from St. James's Street across Waterloo Place to the Haymarket; while Pall Mall East continues into Trafalgar Square. The street is a major thoroughfare in the St James's area of London, and a section of the...

, London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

; the first President was the Right Honourable Robert Windsor-Clive, 1st Earl of Plymouth
Robert Windsor-Clive, 1st Earl of Plymouth
Robert George Windsor-Clive, 1st Earl of Plymouth GBE, CB, PC , known as The Lord Windsor between 1869 and 1905, was a British nobleman and Conservative politician.-Background:...

, in whose honour the largest meeting room at the current headquarters at 11 Upper Belgrave Street, London, SW1X 8BH, is named. Incorporated in 1909 as a charitable company limited by guarantee, it was renamed the Institution of Structural Engineers in 1922, when its areas of interest were extended to cover 'structures' of all kinds. By 1925 the Institution had 1,700 members which has continued to grow over the years.

Presidents of the Institution of Structural Engineers


By 1927, membership was in excess of 3,000, and there was some concern that the comparative ease of admission had contributed to the unsuccessful Royal Charter petition. More stringent entry requirements were introduced, resulting in a slow down of growth but an increase in standing, contributing to the second successful petition in 1934.

Membership has continued to increase steadily, both in terms of numbers and globally and currently stands at over 23,000 across over one hundred countries.

There are different membership levels to the Institution:
  • Student Member - for students studying courses accredited by the Institution.
  • Graduate Member - for graduates of accredited courses, who have not yet taken the professional review or exam.
  • Technician Member - for structural technicians, usually without degree qualifications.
  • Associate Member - usually for engineers without accredited degree qualifications who have passed the Associate Membership examination.
  • Associate - for members domiciled outside the European Union and have at least five years experience.
  • Member - for graduates of accredited degree courses who have passed the professional review and examination
  • Fellow - for members who are deemed to have sufficient experience and to have made sufficient achievements to merit fellowship of the Institution. Any member may apply for fellowship.

Only Members & Fellows of the Institution of Structural Engineers may call themselves a Chartered Structural Engineer. To become a member it is necessary to sit and pass the professional review interview and examination.


As the Institution expanded, there was a demand for more regional activity and involvement, culminating in the formation of regional groups.

The Institution now has 32 groups worldwide.


The Council is made up of the President, Vice-Presidents, past Presidents, members who are elected for a period of three years, representatives from regional groups and co-opted members.

The Council elects, from among its members, the 'Trustee Board', which is the governing body of the Institution.


The Library supports members of the Institution by making information available on all aspects of structural engineering. The collection contains over 35,000 items, including books, reports, journal titles, standards and audiovisual material, ranging from the 18th century to the present day. The online catalogue contains around 60,000 references.

The Structural Engineer

The Structural Engineer is the twice monthly international journal of the Institution of Structural Engineers. It contains a mix of globally sourced, peer reviewed papers, plus features on construction projects and topical issues.


The Institution of Structural Engineers presents a number of different awards to individuals and organisations for achievements in structural engineering.

Structural Awards

The Structural Awards are the industry's most prestigious awards ceremony which celebrates excellence in structural engineering.

Established in 1968, the Structural Awards recognise and reward the work of the world's most talented structural designers.

The principal structural categories comprise:
  • Heritage Award buildings or Infrastructure project
  • Award for Pedestrian Bridges
  • Award for Transportation Structures
  • Award for Commercial or Retail Structures
  • Award for Education or Healthcare Structures
  • Award for Community or Residential Structures
  • Award for Sports or Leisure Structures
  • Award for Arts or Entertainment
  • Award for Industrial or Process Structures
  • Award for Small Projects

The Supreme Award for Engineering Excellence is awarded to one of the winning projects from a principal category, at the discretion of the judges. However, the standard of the entries determines whether there is a clear winner who is worthy of the exceptional accolade.

Additionally, the judges may honour two projects from those entered into the principal nine categories with the following awards:
  • David Alsop Sustainability Award and
  • Award for Small Projects

Maitland Lecture

The Maitland Lecture was established to celebrate the Institution's Golden Jubilee in 1958. The lecture is intended to "review some aspects of contemporary affairs by a person of distinction" with the subject of the lecture not necessarily relating to engineering and being entirely at the lecturer's discretion.

The Maitland Lecture is given biennially to commemorate the work of Major Reginald Maitland who was instrumental in shaping the Institution of Structural Engineers into the highly professional form we know today. After a distinguished military career, he was engaged in reconstruction work in France after the First World War and returned to London as a director of a contracting firm. Maitland became a member of the Institution in 1925, and served as its Secretary for more than 30 years from 1930 to 1961.

Pai Lin Li Travel Award

The Pai Lin Li Travel Award provides grants of between £1,000 and £3,000 to members of the Institution who wish to spend four to six weeks outside their own country studying current practice or trends related to the use of any construction material in the field of structural engineering.

Gold Medal Award

The most prestigious award the Institution presents is the Gold Medal, which is presented to those who have made exceptional and outstanding contributions to the advancement of structural engineering.

See also

  • Structural Awards
    Structural Awards
    The Institution of Structural Engineers' Structural Awards have been awarded for the structural design of buildings and infrastructure since 1968...

  • Construction Industry Council
    Construction Industry Council
    The Construction Industry Council is the representative body for the professional bodies, research organizations and specialist business associations in the construction industry in the United Kingdom...

  • Engineering Council UK
    Engineering Council UK
    The Engineering Council is Britain's regulatory authority for registration of Chartered and Incorporated engineers and technicians, holding a register of these and providing advice to students, engineers, employers and academic institutions on the standards for registration and procedures for...

  • Institution of Civil Engineers
    Institution of Civil Engineers
    Founded on 2 January 1818, the Institution of Civil Engineers is an independent professional association, based in central London, representing civil engineering. Like its early membership, the majority of its current members are British engineers, but it also has members in more than 150...

External links

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