On 21 July 1908, the Concrete Institute was formed at a meeting of engineers, architects and others in the Ritz Hotel in London; the Institute later evolved into the Institution of Structural Engineers, which celebrates its Centenary this year. The body has grown from an organisation with 100 members to a body of 22 000 members in more than 100 countries, speaking with authority in the profession of structural engineering.
One of the key objectives of the new Institute was to place, in open record, design rules for the new material, and thus to allow other engineers to apply the new technology. Reinforced concrete had been used for some years before 1908, but it had been controlled by specialist contractors through patents and the retention of experience in-house. In many ways, the development of the professional engineering bodies has mirrored the development of guidelines and codes, the latest of which are the new Eurocodes to be introduced by 2010. These are not just a part of the 'European Project' but have come from a long and continuing process of often contested progress and refinement of engineering practice as well as from political change. The UK has taken a full part in this process.
H. P. J. Taylor, FREng, PhD, CEng, FIStructE, FICE
IStructE Past President, Chair BSI Committee CB/20 Structural Design Codes
C. J. Burgoyne, MA, MSc, PhD, CEng, FIStructE, MICE
Reader in Concrete Structures, University of Cambridge