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 organisation it is 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.
Early in his tenure as Secretary, Maitland was instrumental in the application for and granting of the Institution's Royal Charter. In due course and under his guidance, the membership trebled in size. He guided the Institution through a period of increasing influence, gaining respect for the Institution from Government, public authorities, employers and the engineering profession itself. Maitland laid the groundwork for the high esteem in which our membership qualifying examination is held today throughout the world. The Maitland Lecture was inaugurated in the Institution's Golden Jubilee year to celebrate and commemorate Major Maitland's service and leadership.