Institution of Structural Engineers

Institution of Structural Engineers
Established 21 July 1908 (1908-07-21)
Type Structural engineering professional association
Professional title
Chartered Engineer
Headquarters London, UK
Region served
  • Professional Membership
  • Room Hire
  • Find An Engineer
  • Magazine
  • Library
Key people
  • President Prof. Tim Ibell CEng FREng FIStructE FICE FHEA
  • Chief Executive Martin Powell
Slogan A global Institution for a global profession

The Institution of Structural Engineers is a professional body for structural engineering based in the United Kingdom. It has 27,000 members operating in 182 countries. The Institution provides professional accreditation for structural engineers. The Institution publishes a monthly magazine, The Structural Engineer.

The Institution is an internationally recognised source of expertise and information concerning all issues that involve structural engineering and public safety within the built environment.

The core work of the Institution is supporting and protecting the profession of structural engineering by upholding professional standards and acting as an international voice on behalf of structural engineers.


The Institution gained its Royal Charter in March 1934. It was established at the Ritz Hotel, London on 21 July 1908 as the Concrete Institute, as the result of a need to define standards and rules for the proper use of concrete in construction industry. H. Kempton Dyson was one of the founder members and the first permanent secretary.[1] The first headquarters were established at No. 8, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, London; the first President was the Right Honourable Robert Windsor-Clive, 1st Earl of Plymouth, the current headquarters at 47-58 Bastwick Street, London, EC1V 3PS, United Kingdom, after a move from Begravia. His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester officially opened the new International Headquarters on 14 May 2015. On 22nd February 1909, the Institute was incorporated under the Companies Acts 1862-1907 as a company limited by guarantee not having a capital divided into shares. It was renamed the Institution of Structural Engineers in 1922, when its areas of interest were extended to cover 'structures' of all kinds. By 1925 the Institution had 1,700 members which has continued to grow over the years.

List of Presidents

Source: IStructE

Concrete Institute
Institution of Structural Engineers


By 1927, membership was in excess of 3,000, and there was some concern that the comparative ease of admission had contributed to the unsuccessful Royal Charter petition. More stringent entry requirements were introduced, resulting in a slow down of growth but an increase in standing, contributing to the second successful petition in 1934.

Membership has continued to increase steadily, both in terms of numbers and globally and currently stands at over 23,000 across over one hundred countries.

There are different membership levels to the Institution:

Only Members & Fellows of the Institution of Structural Engineers may call themselves a Chartered Structural Engineer. To become a member it is necessary to sit and pass the professional review interview and examination.

Regional Groups

As the Institution expanded, there was a demand for more regional activity and involvement, culminating in the formation of Regional Groups.

The Institution now has 50 groups worldwide.[2]


The Council is made up of the President, Vice-Presidents, past Presidents, members who are elected for a period of three years, representatives from regional groups and co-opted members.

The Council elects, from among its members, the 'Trustee Board', which is the governing body of the Institution.


The Library supports members of the Institution by making information available on all aspects of structural engineering. The collection contains over 35,000 items, including books, reports, journal titles, standards and audiovisual material, ranging from the 18th century to the present day. The online catalogue contains around 60,000 references. The Library also offers an E-Library service.

The Structural Engineer

The Structural Engineer is the monthly international magazine of the Institution of Structural Engineers. It contains a mix of globally sourced, peer reviewed papers, plus features on construction projects and topical issues.


The Institution of Structural Engineers presents a number of different awards to individuals and organisations for achievements in structural engineering.

Structural Awards

The Structural Awards are the industry's most prestigious awards ceremony which celebrates excellence in structural engineering.

Established in 1968, the Structural Awards recognise and reward the work of the world's most talented structural designers.

The principal structural categories comprise:

The Supreme Award for Engineering Excellence is awarded to one of the winning projects from a principal category, at the discretion of the judges. However, the standard of the entries determines whether there is a clear winner who is worthy of the exceptional accolade.

Additionally, the judges may honour projects entered into the principal categories for the David Alsop Sustainability Award.

Maitland Lecture

The Maitland Lecture was established to celebrate the Institution's Golden Jubilee in 1958. The lecture is intended to "review some aspects of contemporary affairs by a person of distinction" with the subject of the lecture not necessarily relating to engineering and being entirely at the lecturer's discretion.

The Maitland Lecture is given biennially to commemorate the work of Major Reginald Maitland who was instrumental in shaping the Institution of Structural Engineers into the highly professional form we know today. After a distinguished military career, he was engaged in reconstruction work in France after the First World War and returned to London as a director of a contracting firm. Maitland became a member of the Institution in 1925, and served as its Secretary for more than 30 years from 1930 to 1961.

Jubilee Award

The Jubilee award provide a grant to Members to research current practice or trends related to the use of any construction material in the field of structural engineering. This award was given to Dr. Mohammed Rahif Hakmi in late 1980.

Pai Lin Li Travel Award

The Pai Lin Li Travel Award provides grants of between £1,000 and £3,000 to members of the Institution who wish to spend four to six weeks outside their own country studying current practice or trends related to the use of any construction material in the field of structural engineering.

See also


  1. The role and influence of the Secretaries of the Institution of Structural Engineers 1908-1961 by John Dougill, 2003
  2. Divisions and Groups Archived September 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
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