President's Visit: Report

Published: 10/04/2017

2017 President, Ian Firth visited Shanghai, Beijing and Chongqing during his visit to The People's Republic of China in March, accompanied by Mr. Martin Powell (Institution Chief Executive) and Mr. Darren Byrne (Deputy Chief Executive).

From 19 - 21 March Mr Firth visited Tongji University in Shanghai, where the 2017 Supplementary Examination was being held. During his visit he also inspected the Tongji Wind Tunnel Laboratory and gave a speech entitled "Going for Gold in a Changing World" at the Civil Engineering Department - during which he discussed his own education and work experience; the need for high-quality structures to have both functional utility and elegance; risk control in the design and construction process; and the development of structural engineering design in the current data age, including 3D printed structures and AR (Augmented Reality).

In Q&A session, he gave wonderful answers about design and career development. In response to one question, he picked up his "old-fashioned" design tool - the pencil - and explained that "the design is the mind's work, and the software is auxiliary tools".

(Above: Examiners of 2017 Supplementary Examination).  

On 22 March Mr Firth moved on to Tsinghua University in Beijing, where he addressed students again. He was followed by a brief introduction to the Institution presented by Darren Byrne at the new Civil Engineering Building. On the afternoon of 22 March an important meeting was held with the Practice Qualification Registration Centre (PQRC), 

Above: Visit to PQRC

On 23 March, Mr Firth visited Chongqing. Three lectures were given at the Architecture and Civil Engineering Department in Chongqing University, including an introduction to The Institution's China Group by China Group Chairman, Mr. Jiemin Ding, and Hon Secretary, Ms. Zoe Zhou.

(Above: election of Mr Xuhong Zhou)

After the lectures Mr. Xuhong Zhou, President of Chongqing University, was elected a Fellow of The Institution. Mr. Xuhong Zhou expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Firth and hoped that there will be more cooperation in the future.

On the morning of 24 March, the President visited the University's Shaking Table Laboratory, Steel Structure Laboratory and Steel Structure Center, as well as the Chongqing Chaotianmen Yangtze River Bridge and "Raffles City", which is now under construction.

(Above: Visit to Chongqing bridge project)

Read Ian Firth's account of his trip to The People's Republic of China.



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