Five of East of England’s projects rank in top 200 that ‘shaped the world’

Five East of England civil engineering projects have been added to a list of 200 projects that shaped the world. Photo: Institution of Civil Engineers

Five East of England civil engineering projects have been added to a list of 200 projects that shaped the world. Photo: Institution of Civil Engineers

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Five East of England civil engineering projects have been added to a list of 200 projects that shaped the world.

Five East of England civil engineering projects have been added to a list of 200 projects that shaped the world. Photo: Institution of Civil Engineers Five East of England civil engineering projects have been added to a list of 200 projects that shaped the world. Photo: Institution of Civil Engineers

The drainage of the Fens, the Willis building in Ipswich, Felixstowe Docks, the London Array and Mulberry harbours have been included in the list.

They have all been added to Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) top 200 projects past and present.

To mark the ICE’s 200th anniversary the institution is highlighting 200 projects from around the world throughout 2018.

A spokesman said: “Nominated by the ICE’s members and selected by an expert panel, the chosen projects illustrate the breadth and depth of civil engineering’s impact.”

Five East of England civil engineering projects have been added to a list of 200 projects that shaped the world. Photo: Institution of Civil Engineers Five East of England civil engineering projects have been added to a list of 200 projects that shaped the world. Photo: Institution of Civil Engineers

All about the projects:

Draining the Fens:

Draining the Fens has turned nearly 1,500 square miles (3,900 km2) of previously waterlogged fields into agricultural land and protected thousands of homes and businesses from flooding.

This was achieved with a complex system of drainage channels, man-made rivers and pumping stations.

Five East of England civil engineering projects have been added to a list of 200 projects that shaped the world. Photo: Institution of Civil Engineers Five East of England civil engineering projects have been added to a list of 200 projects that shaped the world. Photo: Institution of Civil Engineers

Felixstowe Docks:

From 1886 Felixstowe Docks has grown to become one of the country’s busiest commercial ports handling 42% of the UK container trade as it accommodates increasingly bigger ships.

The port employs around 3,000 workers and contributes to the local economy.

Willis building:

The Willis building in Ipswich is one of the earliest buildings designed by architect Sir Norman Foster.

Now seen as a landmark of the ‘high tech’ style of architecture, the building uses elements of modern industry and technology as part of its design.

In 1991 it became the newest in the UK to be given a Grade 1 listing.

London Array:

The London Array offshore windfarm spans the Thames Estuary from Margate to Clacton on Sea.

The £1.8bn project is one of the world’s largest windfarms.

175 turbines have an output of 630MW into the London grid.

It is seen as a landmark scheme for the world’s renewable energy industry and credited with paving the way for a new generation of bigger windfarms.

It supplies enough power for nearly 500,000 homes - enough to supply two thirds of homes in Kent.

It reduces harmful CO2 emissions by more than 925,000 tonnes a year.

Mulberry harbours:

You might not expect the World War II Mulberry harbours to feature amongst East of England projects but remnants of it can be found at Shoebury Ness near Southend on Sea.

These floating artificial harbours were designed and constructed by British military engineers for the D-Day landings of June 6, 1944.

At the end of the war some were left in situ and can still be seen on the Normandy coastline, others were transported for other uses such as breakwaters.

Whilst being towed from Immingham to Southsea, one of them began to leak and was intentionally beached on a sandbank in the Thames Estuary at Shoebury Ness.

Nathan Baker, engineering knowledge director at ICE, said: “Our research has shown that the majority of both adults and young people don’t know what a civil engineer does and most can’t identify a single UK civil engineering project.

“We aim to change these perceptions with 200 People and Projects, explaining not just the importance of civil engineering but how it has directly transformed people’s lives.

“The chosen projects showcase how civil engineering paved the way to modern life and how it continues to tackle the problems of today, safeguarding the future for generations to come.

“With the world facing unprecedented challenges, such as climate change and the pressures from a rapidly growing population, there has never been a greater need for civil engineers and the vital work they do.”

The spokesman added: “The latest five East of England projects join 200 which will be published throughout the year on the ‘What Is Civil Engineering?’ pages of the ICE website.

“What is Civil Engineering will not only host these projects but can also be used as a career guidance tool for those hoping to pursue a career in civil engineering.

“Once inspired by the projects being produced each month, there is comprehensive advice and guidance on how to become a civil engineer no matter what level of education someone has, or what stage in their career they have reached.”

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