Shaping the World: Turning knowledge into action

Aerial view of Sau Paulo, Brazil, one of the world's mega cities

Civil engineers build the essential infrastructure upon which society depends. As industry thought leaders, ICE’s members and partners can help turn engineering knowledge into action.

Our Shaping the World initiative (STW) was launched in 2013, with HRH The Princess Royal as its patron. STW supports projects that address pressing global challenges, including:

  • Devastating water poverty
  • Growing urbanisation
  • Energy shortages
  • Dramatic climate effects

Use the tabs below to find out why we need to act and what we're doing.

Sustainable Cities Conference at Warwick University to mark UN World Cities Day

The Sustainable Cities Global Research Priority is holding a half day event on 31 October to showcase cities research. Find out more.

Shaping the world logo

Three reasons to act now

  1. Three billion people cannot access clean drinking water or daily sanitation facilities
  2. Over one billion people have no roads in their community – vastly reducing their economic opportunities
  3. The world’s population will expand to ten billion by 2050 – placing more stress on existing infrastructure

We must act now to future-proof our fragile environment.

Why ideas, expertise and research make a difference

Many countries lack the means to decisively tackle their infrastructure issues. As a learned society with almost 200 years’ heritage, ICE has the breadth and depth of knowledge in the built environment to help. STW will:

  • Share ICE’s vast resources
  • Expand our knowledge network
  • Bring together ideas, technical experts and research to solve problems
  • Grant aid projects – innovation and infrastructure solutions

STW has already raised over £1m, which will help deliver positive environmental and economic change across the world.

If you want to find out more please contact Jeanette Grose, Head of Development, Shaping the World

What will Shaping the World achieve?

Shaping the World already has five projects. Find out how they will be a catalyst for positive change:

1. Annual Prestige Resilience Lectures 2014-2018

This initiative of five annual lectures is funded by Heriot-Watt and MWH. The first lecture took place in 2014 with the theme, ‘Getting into Shape’, which showed how civil engineers build better communities. It’s driven by the importance of infrastructure resilience – for both the developing and developed worlds.

Watch 'Resilience: Getting into Shape

The second annual lecture took place in 2015 with the theme Lessons from a flooded city on building resilience.

2. Low-carbon Living in Hong Kong

This project will provide a report to the Hong Kong government in January 2016. It will:

  • Produce research and a methodology to improve urban living beyond 2030
  • Highlight the role that civil engineers can play in delivering low carbon living in a high density environment
  • Provide a model to be shared with other cities to support the Shaping the World vision

3. Academic in Residence

This three-year post holder will start at the end of 2015. It will deliver a five-point action plan for better infrastructure, by:

  1. Providing thought leadership to the industry
  2. Informing decision making around global solutions and innovation
  3. Identifying solutions to the challenges society faces
  4. Working with research bodies, industry and clients to deliver a research programme
  5. Participating in high-level academic groups advising industry on challenges and trends

4. Shaping the World’s Cities

This initiative builds on a report from an ICE low carbon lifed panel, chaired by Tim Chapman, Director of Arup’s Infrastructure Design Group, and will create a bespoke, evidence-based technology tool. This will help reduce the carbon impact of infrastructure to help mitigate climate change and adapt to a 2°C rise in temperature. The tool will be used in tandem with invaluable advice for city mayors on procurement and design practice.

5. Knowledge Network at One Great George Street

We aim to inspire the next generation of engineers through a new Shaping the World Knowledge Network. This will provide parents, teachers and mentors with practical support, tools and motivation. A state-of-the-art Knowledge Centre will be developed on the first and second floors of the ICE headquarters at One Great George Street, Westminster. It will:

  • Celebrate infrastructure excellence
  • Champion past achievements whilst showcasing present successes
  • Combine a virtual learning experience with an exhibition space
  • Provide a professional services centre with meeting pods
  • Include a world-class digital data resource to nurture existing engineering skills
  • Act as a catalyst for our future problem solvers

Shaping the World partners

ICE is working with a number of partners to deliver Shaping the World.

Carillion logo
Costain logo
Mott MacDonald logo
Kier logo
Mace logo
Vinci logo
WSP logo
Atkins logo
Ramboll logo
John Laing logo

Latest news from Shaping the World