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I am very conscious of the great honour that you have accorded me in installing me as President of the Institution of Structural Engineers for the year 79-80. Many distinguished men have preceded me in this office in the 71 years' history of the Institution and, if l cannot match the oratory of some of my recent predecessors, I shall at least try to keep any shortcoming as inconspicuous as possible.
In a previous open discussion at the Institution in January 1977 on the topic 'Towards a European Code for concrete - can concise Codes be compreshensible and comprehensive?', a wide range of opinion was expressed on the requirements for an ideal design Code. Re-reading the discussion leads me to the conclusion that, if as many views as possible are to be accommodated so that the Code can properly claim to be a consensus document, conciseness becomes almost an impossibility.
There is a worldwide trend towards ever-increasing size and complexity of construction projects, placing greater demands on clients, consultants, and contractors alike. Working together, they make an outstanding contribution to the national wellbeing.