Academics' Community

Have you noticed, as I have, how almost everyone has strong personal views on education? One’s own educational experiences mould one for life, and the footprint that one’s education leaves usually drives one to reinforce great experiences or to challenge for change. 

As the world’s foremost body for structural engineering, the Institution of Structural Engineers has listened to its membership, and has decided to challenge for change. The highly-ambitious Education Project was launched in 2010, with three main objectives:

  • To enhance the education of our structural engineering students by providing tangible aids to their learning
  • To bring together the academic community to share good practice and discuss issues relevant to education
  • To highlight areas of best practice in structural engineering education through the award of an annual prize
The project has been led from the start by Dr Graham Owens, a Past President of the Institution. Graham’s enthusiasm and drive during this project have meant that the outcomes have had the desired impact, and the Essential Knowledge Texts, in particular, are a lasting legacy of this project. 

These texts provide the student (and practitioner!) of structural engineering with short, punchy and clear narratives associated with the full range of important issues in the field. Collectively, they cover that which structural engineers need to master in order to call themselves structural engineers. Written by leading designers and academics, these texts have beeen taken up enthusiastically by anyone interested in learning about the core principles of our profession.

The Annual Academics’ Conference has simply grown from strength to strength, and ensures that our academic community continues to innovate in its approach to internationally-leading educational principles in structural engineering. The 2017 Conference covered a range of highly topical issues around the themes of inspirational ideas in built environment higher education, as well as a session on policy with a focus on the implcations of Brexit for UK universities and their students.

The Excellence in Structural Engineering Education Award reflects some of the wonderful approaches which are being taken at our universities to instil a profound understanding of structural behaviour, a subject which is fundamentally complex in nature and reliant on far more than mere mathematics or physics skills.

All the key outputs from this project are disseminated through this Academics’ Community. You are encouraged to spend some time reading them and contributing to the on-going discussion threads, as you reflect on how this work can enable you to improve the learning in your students.

Tim Ibell
2015 Past President


A group of students can easily join the Institution as a cohort as long as this is managed and approved by a member of staff at their educational establishment – please use the cohort application form for this purpose – data will need to be inputted accurately and sent in Excel format otherwise the form will be returned for any changes and this may hold up the application.


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The academics' community is available to both members of the Institution and non-members. Join today.

Community Forum

Community Forum

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