Mike Chrimes's stories
Comment | Indian innovationSubscription
While researching for a lecture on Indian Railways, in the Victorian Society series on masterpieces of engineering, I compiled some statistics on the numbers of engineers working in India in the 19th century.
There have been a number of recent news stories relating to the historic environment. In mid-October the Guardian suggested a closure of Anglican churches is on the cards following the publication of the report of the Church Buildings Review Group.
Perhaps the largest conference of civil engineers ever seen in the UK was the 16th European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, held this year in Edinburgh. Over 1,150 participants attended the British Geotechnical Association event between 13 and 17 September.
In his keynote speech to the International Conference on Construction History in Chicago, Bill Baker of US architecture firm SOM, called for the teaching of construction history so engineering graduates have a good grasp of the techniques and methods used by past generations.
Chrimes watch: Visions of the futureSubscription
In my retirement speech to colleagues last July I related a story about an essay I wrote at the age of 16 about entrusting the future of the world to young people. In general this is a view that I have maintained.
Chrimes Watch: Germany’s tale of two cathedralsSubscription
It is no coincidence that two of Germany’s outstanding gothic cathedrals in Cologne and Ulm are, in their completed forms, nineteenth century structures made possible by modern engineering.
Chrimes watch: French delight for civil engineers, pontists, historians and cyclists alike Subscription
Tourists are generally drawn to the Loire valley in France by chateaux and the wines of the region, and in the past I have been among their number. To celebrate my retirement I cycled the Loire a Velo trail - described by the British Guild of Travel as the best European tourism project and certainly one to put most other long distance cycle paths to shame.
The dominant thread from the ICE LinkedIn group over the past few weeks has been the gender imbalance in civil engineering. It has featured the occasional antediluvian explanation of why, even today, women are under represented in civil engineering.
Picking up the extant archive of Sir John Wolfe Barry from the descendants of one of his last partners, was probably one of my most enjoyable tasks in 2013.
It is now a century since the ICE’s Westminster HQ came into use. The annual dinner was held in the Great Hall on 22 October 1913, and on 4 November 1913, harbour engineer Anthony Lyster gave his presidential address in the Telford Theatre.