History of Structural Engineering

Date published

The History of Structural Engineering Group welcomes all who are interested in the history of structural engineering.

About us

The History of Structural Engineering Group welcomes all who are interested in the history of structural engineering.  You do not need to be a member of the Institution or an engineer to join the Group which includes historians, architects, and other professionals: all members are encouraged to share their knowledge and experience. Also known as the History Study Group, it has been active since 1973. 

Five reasons to study engineering history

  1. It is interesting in itself and gives structural engineering a cultural context
  2. It underpins our understanding of existing structures
  3. It is of increasing importance as we re-use and upgrade existing structures to maximise the value of their embodied energy
  4. It provides an opportunity to explore engineering beyond the limitations of codes of practice
  5. It gives practising engineers and students a perspective on their studies, principles, and practices


Our regular meetings at the Institution’s headquarters consist of a 40-minute talk, followed by an open discussion.  Due to the Covid 19 pandemic our meetings are currently being held either online or in-person, depending on the speaker’s preference. The Group has also arranged conferences, symposia and study trips within the UK and in Europe. We also organise The James Sutherland History Lecture (formerly Star History Lecture) series.


13th December 2022 | Mark Whitby on Tony Hunt...high tech's magician. This talk has been postponed due to a planned rail strike. Sorry for any inconvenience. New date to be confirmed.

Get involved

Contact the Group if you would like to know more or get involved.

Contact the group

Watch recent James Sutherland History Lectures on the Institution’s YouTube channel
Download the list of James Sutherland History Lectures
Download the list of History Study Group past activities
Download the Jacques Heyman technical autobiography


Explore our training, events and resources to support you throughout your career and membership journey.