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Construction

The 75 years of the Institution have seen not only vast changes in the activities of the construction industry, but also a significant change in the nature of structural engineering. In earlier days, the structural engineer, acting as an independent professional, had an undefined role which did not clearly crystallise until several years later. The 19th century had seen a construction industry slowly developing through the road, canal and railway construction phases to a clearly-defined role at the end of the industrial revolution. In these formative years the engineer frequently changed from one side of the industry to the other, from designer to manager. Sometimes, he preferred to secure his profit from a straightforward construction contract whereas, under more difficult or competitive conditions, he opted for a salary or fee which was smaller but more certain. John Derrington