3 Weeks until Future of Design 2014

With just over 3 weeks until our 6th young engineers conference- Future of Design 2014- below is a report from Sufian Haddo on last years’ conference. This was Sufian’s first IABSE event and since then he has been part of this years’ organising team:


“When you understand all the issues, you can be the conductor of the orchestra” – Mike Glover (Arup) – Keynote speaker at the Future of Design 2013 event.

When I heard about the IABSE Future of Design 2013 conference, I decided to attend and give myself a break from work to network with like-minded young professional engineers, architects and academics. The conference was a whole day event, divided into two sessions and followed by an evening meal.

The morning session started off at 9.00am with the speaker Sadie Morgan (dRMM) and her talk about Design with timber, encouraging designers and engineers to work with timber.

“Most engineers design in concrete and steel, it’s all too easy to forget timber – perhaps it’s time we remembered”

Her talk was a great start to the day, drawing the attention of both engineers and architects to inspiring projects where innovation, passion and determination have played a central part. This was then followed by 8 equally inspiring speakers covering topics as diverse as the design and delivery of Halley VI Antarctic Station, and more local projects such as the Shard.

The second session began with young designers and architects presenting their innovative work, with prizes given at the end of the day. This was followed by discussion panels debating two important topics: Education, and Low Carbon Structures. I attended the Education debate which addressed the question “Are universities delivering what industry is looking for?” Many viewpoints were expressed with the general consensus reached being that engineering needs to be introduced at an earlier stage in Education – certainly in my view, students need to be made aware at a younger age (GCSE or A-Level) of what engineering entails, and what is needed to fill the role. Events such as this should inspire young engineering graduates to outreach into the
community and encourage the next generation’s engineers.

The day was concluded with a further 4 inspirational talks, with Mike Schlaich (Schlaich Bergermann und Partner) paying homage to the great engineers of the past, and the original principles of their projects which can be taken forward and applied in a new context. Mike Glover (Arup) rounded up the day with his talk about the cutting edge projects he was involved in, for example the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) and the Forth Replacement Crossing project.

Overall the conference proved to be a great event for networking as well as an opportunity to hear the various speakers: the lunch break provided a welcome opportunity to socialise with the speakers and delegates. This allowed young engineers and architects alike to mingle with top end professionals in the industry. The event left me inspired, encouraged and above all impassioned by the difference engineers and architects make by overcoming the diverse challenges faced by our modern society.

More information about Future of Design 2014 can be found here.
Eventbrite - Future of Design 2014