Institution of Civil Engineers


Founded on 2 January 1818, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) is an independent professional association, based in central London, representing civil engineers.

Like its early membership, the majority of its current members are British engineers, but it also has members in more than 150 countries around the world. In 2008, its total membership stood at more than 80,000.


The late 18th century and early 19th century saw the founding of many learned societies and professional bodies (for example, the Royal Society and the Law Society). Groups calling themselves civil engineers had been meeting for some years from the late 18th century, notably the Society of Civil Engineers formed in 1771 by John Smeaton (renamed the Smeatonian Society after his death).

At that time, formal engineering in Britain was limited to military engineers , and in the spirit of self help prevalent at the time, the Institution of Civil Engineers was founded as the world’s first professional engineering body.

The initiative to found the Institution was taken in 1818 by three young engineers, Henry Robinson Palmer, James Jones and Joshua Field, who organised an inaugural meeting on 2 January 1818, at the Kendal Coffee House in Fleet Street.

The institution made little headway until a key step was taken – the appointment of Thomas Telford as the first President of the body. Greatly respected within the profession and blessed with numerous contacts across the industry and in government circles, he was instrumental in drumming up membership and getting a Royal Charter for ICE in 1828. This official recognition helped establish ICE as the pre-eminent organisation for engineers of all disciplines.


As a professional body, it is committed to support and promote professional learning (both to students and existing practitioners), managing professional ethics and safeguarding the status of engineers, and representing the interests of the profession in dealings with government, etc. It sets standards for membership of the body; works with industry and academia to progress engineering standards and advises on education and training curricula.

The Institution of Civil Engineers also publishes technical studies covering research and best practice in civil engineering. Another service is publishing stardards for drafting contracts such as the ICE Conditions of Contract and the NEC Engineering and Construction Contract. ICE’s publishing business is called Thomas Telford Ltd.

All the profits of Thomas Telford Ltd. go back to the Institution to further its stated aim of putting civil engineers at the heart of society.

The Institution makes a series of awards to recognise the work of its members. In addition to awards for technical papers, reports and competition entries it awards a number of medals for different achievements


ICE’s professionally qualified grades of membership are internationally recognised and highly valued. Attainment of these is widely viewed as a significant personal achievement and a benchmark of a technician’s or engineer’s competences and professional standing.

The opportunity to join ICE is available to civil engineers, technicians and technical/scientific specialists at every stage of their professional career, from students and apprentices to senior board directors.

Grades of membership:

People of all ages and levels of experience apply for membership of ICE. There is a grade of membership to suit everyone’s needs.

There are eight grades of membership :

    1. Student
    2. Graduate
    3. Technician Member
    4. Associate Member
    5. Member
    6. Fellow
    7. Affiliate and
    8. Companion

For more information on grades of membership and Qualifying criterion for membership , visit official website of ICE

Fees and Subscriptions:

There are two types of payments required for ICE membership:

    • Application Fees – one off payments
    • Subscription Fees – paid annually

Fees are reviewed annually. Please note that the subscription year runs from January to December.

For more information on how to become member, visit official website of ICE.

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