The Annual Lecture:

When Dr William Henderson succeeded Sir Hubert Shirley Smith as chairman of the group in 1969 he was determined to develop IABSE’s technical work in the UK. Under his guidance he promoted both a residential colloquium -now known as the Henderson Colloquium- and an annual lecture by a prominent personality (not necessarily an engineer). The first Annual Lecture was given by then president of IABSE Professor Bruno Thulimann (Switzerland) who spoke on the evolution of structural design.

The annual lecture is usually held in May at the Institution of Structural Engineers in London, this important and hugely popular lecture is always given a high profile by the invited speaker, often from overseas.

Year Date Speaker Lecture


23rd May Guy Nordenson (Guy Nordenson Associates) What We Do


22nd May John Roberts (Jacobs) A Life of Leisure


31st May Laurent Ney (Ney & Partners) Old & New
2016 19th May Simon Wright (Crossrail) Crossrail – The Dawn of Digital Railways (Lecture Viewable Online)
2015 21th May Mike Schlaich (Schlaich Bergermann Partner) Elegance & Structural Engineering
2014 15th May Peter Ayres (AECOM) Cool Designs: Engineering at the End of the Earth
2013 9th May Hanif Kara (AKTII) Engineering Attitudes
2012 10th May Tony Aikenhead (Sir Robert McAlpine) Designing and Constructing the London 2012 Stadium
2011 5th May Keith Brownlie (Wilkinson Eyre) Where to Now?- Ten Years of 21st Century Bridge Design
2010 13th May Bill Baker (SOM) Engineering an Idea
2009 21st May John Armitt (ODA) Engineering at the 2012 Olympics
2008 27th November Dr Allan Mann (Jacobs) Certainty and Uncertainty in Structural Engineering
2007 29th November Mike Wade (Dorman Long Technology) Heavy Lifts
2006 7th December Bob Silman (Bob Silman Associates) Sustainability: the philosophical basis
2005 24th November Professor Ajit Shenoi (Southampton University) Light, but Strong and Safe? Assessing the Structural Integrity of Plastic Ships and Boats
2004 9th December Mike Glover (Arup) St Pancras – Jewel of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link
2002 24th November Aad van der Horst  
2001 6th December Didier Martin (SNCF Bridge Engineering Department) The design of the steel railway bridges of the Mediterranean high speed line
2000 7th December Professor John Burland (Imperial College London) A Tale of Two Towers
1997 27th November RO Snell (BP Exploration) Deep-Sea Engineering for Oil Recovery
1996 28th November Chris Davis (Mott Macdonald) Bridges of the Lantau Crossing
1995   Holger Svensson (Leonhardt, Andrä und Partner) 20 Years’ Experience with Cable-stayed bridges
1988   Klaus H Ostenfeld (COWI)  
1986 5th June Sir Norman Payne OBE (British Airports Authority) The Engineer as a Manager
    Bruno Thürlimann (ETH Zürich) The Evolution of Structural Design

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