The annual James Sutherland History Lecture shares exceptional work on the history of structural engineering. The 2021 lecture is given by Nina Baker and Fiona Cobb and takes place online.
Nina and Fiona bring their engineering and historical expertise together to shine a light on women's routes into engineering and the role that professional bodies like the IStructE played in that process in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The question of who can call themselves an engineer, and how that changed, will lead us to the stories of some of the Institution's remarkable women members in those pioneering days. Nina and Fiona examine how their stories are of value today.
About the James Sutherland History Lecture
This annual lecture is a collaborative event between the Institution and the History of Structural Engineering Study Group. The lecture is named after the founder of the study group, the late James Sutherland, who was an engineer of considerable renown, specialising in prestressed and precast concrete structures.
Nina Baker holds a degree in engineering design degree and a PhD in concrete durability. She has worked as a materials lecturer, a research administrator and as an elected city councillor. Now retired, her interest in promoting STEM careers for girls has led her to become an independent researcher, specialising in the history of women in engineering.
Fiona Cobb is a structural engineer with extensive experience working on residential, religious, education, community and arts buildings. She worked for Price & Myers for 22 years and founded Cobb and Company in 2019. Fiona is the author of the Structural Engineer's Pocket Book, which has sold over 36,000 copies and is a recommended text for over 60 university courses.
Jane Entwistle is Technical Director at Thomasons, specialising in work on existing buildings. She particularly enjoys working on historic structures and undertaking Expert Witness work. Jane is a Senior Vice-President and is serving her fifth year as Vice-President of the Institution. She also serves on the Institution's Board, Council and Resources Committee.
Andrew Smith has enjoyed around 50 years in structural engineering, including a few in research and a decade teaching architects. A sole practitioner since 1990, in recent years he worked on a number of historic timber frames as well as many domestic properties. In 2020 he completed an MA in Historical Research and is continuing research of London’s New River.
James Sutherland History Lecture 2021