Our history

Our history

Date published

The Institution was originally founded in 1908 as the Concrete Institute. Since 1922 we have been known as the Institution of Structural Engineers.

History of the Institution

Updated 11 March 2020


Concrete Institute founded as the representative body for professions related to concrete. Edwin Sachs (1870-1919), an esteemed architect, is the driving force behind the Institute’s foundation

Membership consists of architects, engineers, chemists, manufacturers and surveyors. 

The first meeting of Council takes place in the smoking room at the Ritz Hotel on 21 July.


Institute becomes incorporated under The Companies Act (1862-1907).


Scope of Institute widened to embrace all areas of structural engineering, particularly steel frames.

Structural engineering defined as "that branch of engineering which deals with the scientific design, the construction and erection of structures of all kinds of material". 


Victoria Cross awarded to future Institution President, Major Arnold Waters.


Concrete Institute name changed to the Institution of Structural Engineers.

First Gold Medal awarded, to Professor Henry Adams.


Name of journal becomes The Structural Engineer (previously Journal of the Institution of Structural Engineers).


First woman member elected: Florence Mary Taylor, as an Associate Member.


Institution granted Royal Charter.


Institution moves to number 11, Upper Belgrave Street, London.


Mary Irvine (later Lindsay) is the first women to be elected a Chartered Member.


Marjem Chatterton is the first woman elected as a Fellow.


The Institution becomes a Registered Charity.


Institution celebrates its Diamond Jubilee.

First Structural Award winner named: The Severn Bridge, by Freeman Fox and Partners.


First international agreement signed, an agreement of cooperation with the China Civil Engineering Society.


Dr Sarah Buck named Institution’s first woman President.


Institution celebrates its centenary


New headquarters building purchased at 47-58 Bastwick Street, London.


Institution moves to Bastwick Street.


List of Past Presidents

View a list of Past Presidents of the Institution
1908-1910        The Right Honourable The Earl of Plymouth CB [Robert George Windsor-Clive]
1910-1912        Sir Henry Tanner
1912-1914        Edmund Percy Wells
1914-1916        Henry Adams
1916-1918        Francis Ernest Wentworth-Sheilds OBE
1918-1920        Herbert Duncan Searles-Wood
1920-1923        Ernest Fiander Etchells
1923-1925        Major James Petrie OBE
1925-1926        Sir Charles Tamlin Ruthen
1926-1928        Henry James Deane
1928-1930        Lt-Colonel John Mitchell Moncrieff CBE
1930-1932        Reginald Hursthouse Harry Stanger
1932-1933        Major Edward Charles Philip Monson TD
1933-1934        Sir Arnold Waters VC CBE DSO MC JP DL
1934-1935        Ewart Sigmund Andrews
1935-1936        Dr Oscar Faber CBE 
1936-1937        Lt-Colonel Charles Horace Fox CBE
1937-1938        Professor Joseph Husband
1938-1939        Lt-Colonel Henry Schofield Rogers CMG DSO
1939-1940        Percy John Black
1940                 Captain Murray Barclay Buxton MC
1940-1941        Joseph Fawkner Butler
1941-1943        Dr William Kelly Wallace           
1943-1944        Sir Arnold Waters VC CBE DSO MC JP DL
1944-1945        Gower Bouverie Raynor Pimm
1945-1946        Francis Edson Drury OBE
1946-1947        Professor Horatio John Collins
1947-1948        Sir Frederick Snow CBE
1948-1949        Lawson Scott White OBE
1949-1950        Leslie Turner
1950-1951        Joseph Eric Swindlehurst OBE
1951-1952        Walter Charles Andrews OBE
1952-1953        Ernest Granter
1953-1954        Lt-Colonel Robert Forbes Galbraith MC
1954-1955        Dr Stanley Baines Hamilton OBE
1955-1956        Stanley Vaughan
1956-1957        John Guthrie Brown CBE
1957-1958        Professor Sir Alfred Pugsley OBE
1958-1959        Gordon Stuart McDonald
1959-1960        Lewis Edward Kent OBE
1960-1961        Lt-Colonel George William Kirkland MBE(Mil)
1961-1962        Frank Robert Bullen
1962-1963        Edmund Norman Underwood
1963-1964        Frank Maurice Bowen
1964-1965        Sir Charles Husband CBE
1965-1966        Donald Andrew Gladstone Reid CBE
1966-1967        Dr Denis Dearman Matthews
1967-1968        Brian Scruby CBE
1968-1969        Dr Arthur Richard Collins MBE
1969-1970        Charles Bernard Stone CBE DSO
1970-1971        Dr Oleg Alexander Kerensky CBE
1971-1972        Dr William George Nicholson Geddes CBE
1972-1973        Kenneth Severn MC
1973-1974        Leonard Richard Creasy CB OBE
1974-1975        Derek Robert Robertson Dick
1975-1976        Peter Mason
1976-1977        Dr Wilfred Eastwood
1977-1978        Peter Dunican CBE
1978-1979        Professor Sir Alan Harris CBE
1979-1980        John Anthony Derrington CBE
1980-1981        Professor Michael Rex Horne OBE
1981-1982        Thomas Norman Westhead Akroyd
1982-1983        Clifford John Evans
1983-1984        Dr Roy Ernest Rowe CBE
1984-1985        Dr Alastair Craig Paterson CBE
1985-1986        David John Lee CBE
1986-1987        Professor Sir Edmund Happold
1987-1988        Keith Christopher White
1988-1989        Peter Leonard Campbell
1989-1990        Dr James Hodgson Armstrong OBE
1990-1991        David William Lazenby CBE
1991-1992        Professor Anthony Ralph Cusens OBE
1992-1993        Jack Arthur Waller
1993-1994        Dr Howard Peter John Taylor
1994-1995        Professor Patrick Joseph Dowling CBE               
1995-1996        Brian Simpson OBE
1996-1997        Brian Padraig Clancy
1997-1998        Dr Samuel Thorburn CBE
1998-1999        Professor Leslie Arthur Clark OBE
1999-2000        Dr John Maxwell Roberts CBE
2000-2001        Dr John Allan Hill
2001-2002        Professor David Ian Blockley
2002-2003        Robert Alexander McKittrick
2003-2004        Professor David Arthur Nethercot OBE
2004-2005        Michael Watson Fordyce
2005-2006        Michael George Tufnell Dickson CBE
2006-2007        David Ian Harvey
2007-2008        Dr Sarah Buck
2009                 Dr Graham Wynford Owens
2010                 Norman Charles Train
2011                 Professor Roger James Plank
2012                 Professor John Ernest Nolan
2013                 Yan-Kee Cheng
2014                 Nicholas Russell
2015                 Professor Timothy James Ibell
2016                 Alan Robert Leslie Crossman
2017                 Ian Peter Thomas Firth
2018                 Faith Helen Wainwright
2019                 Joseph Anthony Kindregan
2020-2021        Professor Donald McQuillan
2022                 Jane Entwistle
2023                 Matt Byatt
Watch History Lectures
Watch History Lectures

Our History Study Group's annual lectures cover topics including the Clifton Suspension Bridge, late Gothic vaults and the Tower of Freiburg Minster.

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