James Sutherland History Lecture

The James Sutherland History Lecture takes place at the beginning of each year at the Institutions' headquarters in London. It covers historical topics related to structural engineering.


James Sutherland was an engineer of considerable renown, specialising in prestressed and precast concrete structures.  James was also a scholar of engineering history, doing substantial work on cast iron amongst other matters. 

In 1972, James set up a study group called 'Archaeology of Structures'. In 1973, the group was reformed under the title 'History of Structural Engineering'. The History of Structural Engineering Study Group organised its first annual lecture (then known as the Star History Lecture) in 1989 and this was delivered by Dr. Euan Corbett on 'The rise and fall of iron ship construction'.

In 1992, James Sutherland retired as Convenor of the Group. As an enduring mark of appreciation, the annual lecture was retitled the Sutherland History Lecture. James himself delivered the first lecture under its new title in 1994.

Next lecture

The structural and geometric design of late Gothic vaults is taking place 8 February 2018. Registration is open to attend the lecture and dinner.

Recordings of previous lectures are available on the Institution’s YouTube channel.


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