68th ECCE General Meeting and Global Engineering Congress

The 68th ECCE General Meeting was held on 22nd –23rd October 2018, in London, U.K., hosted by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). This meeting has been held in parallel with the Global Engineering Congress (GEC) that was organized as part of the ICE 200 bicentenary programme, the 50th anniversary of WFEO and the UK Government’s Year of Engineering. The GEC was organized in association with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers (CSCE), the European Council of Civil Engineers (ECCE) and the Commonwealth Engineers’ Council. The GEC and the 68th ECCE General Meeting have been also marked as the summarizing events of the ECCE initiative to designate the year 2018 as the European Year of Civil Engineers (EYCE).

The 68th ECCE General Meeting was very well attended by delegations from almost all of the ECCE Member organizations. The meeting was chaired by the ECCE Acting President Wlodzimerz Szymczak. At the beginning of the meeting opening speeches were held by the ECCE Acting President and the Director General and Secretary of ICE Nick Baveystock who referred to the collaboration of ECCE and ICE as well as to the Global Engineering Congress and to the way that Civil Engineers transform lives.

Among the distinguished guests were ICE Director General and Secretary Nick Baveystock, ECCE Honorary President Richard Coackley, ECCE Past President Antonio Adao da Fonseca, ECCE Past President Gerard Baron, ECCE Past President Fernando Branco, WCCE President Carlos Mineiro Aires, WCCE Past President Emilio Colon, ECEC President Crtomir Remec, ECEC Secretary General Klaus Thurriedl, EAMC President Adil Al Hadithi, and EAMC Secretary General Nicola Monda.

During the 68th ECCE General Meeting, ECCE family was increased by one Member. The Ukrainian Council of Civil Engineers (UCCE) was accepted as Full ECCE Member representing Ukraine in ECCE.

The ECCE Acting President Wlodzimierz Szymczak presented the ECCE Brief Activity Report June – October 2018 describing briefly the ECCE activities since our last meeting in May in Tallinn. As part of the Activity report the President of the Georgian Society of Civil Engineers Iuri Svanidze delivered a short presentation on the 2nd International Conference “Seismic – 2018”.

The ECCE Acting President Wlodzimierz Szymczak delivered the summarizing presentation of the ECCE initiative “2018 European Year of Civil Engineers”. This presentation was also delivered as the Closing Statement of the European Year of Civil Engineers during the closing session of the 3rd day of the Global Engineering Congress.

One of the highlights of the 68th ECCE General Meeting was the presentation of the new ECCE book “Notes on the history of Civil Engineering” that was prepared as a contribution by ECCE for the European Year of Civil Engineers. The idea was submitted by Platonas Stylianou (National Delegate from Cyprus and current ECCE ExBo Member) a couple of years ago and the book was materialized over the last eight months by the editorial board that was led by Gorazd Humar, Platonas Stylianou and Aris Chatzidakis. The book was printed in October and the first copies were delivered to the ECCE Members during the 68th ECCE GM. It was dedicated to the 2018 European Year of Civil Engineers and to the 200th Anniversary of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Platonas Stylianou delivered a presentation giving some background information regarding the creation of this book. Gorazd Humar 1st Editor –in–Chief also presented some facts regarding the book “Notes on the history of Civil Engineering”. Both presentations can be found in the following links:

Platonas Stylianou “…How the project was born, How it all started…”

Gorazd Humar “Short presentation of the book Notes on the history of Civil Engineering”    

Following, the ECCE Position Paper proposal on “The need for integrating Structural / Seismic Upgrade of Existing Buildings, with Energy Efficiency Improvements” was presented by Platonas Stylianou who submitted the idea of the creation of such Position Paper to the ExBo earlier this year. The initial proposal was discussed within the ECCE ExBo and feedback was provided to Platonas Stylianou. The revised proposal was presented to the ExBo during its meeting in London and was unanimously approved. A coordinating team has been formed and will start elaborating the Position Paper immediately. The main message of this Position Paper would be that safety should be an integral part of the early design of intelligent buildings and not an afterthought.

On the second day of the meeting the day started with the financial topics reports by the ECCE Vice President/ Treasurer Dimitar Natchev. He briefly informed the delegates regarding the financial status of ECCE and he also presented the proposals for the ECCE Subscription Fees for 2019 and the ECCE Budget for 2019. Both proposals were validated by the General Assembly.

Next on the Agenda was the discussion regarding the FEANI initiative Engineers Europe Advisory Group (EEAG). ExBo Member, Andres Piirsalu who represented ECCE in the Stakeholders’ meeting and the Inauguration meeting of EEAG as observer delivered a presentation regarding the EEAG and how ECCE has been involved in this initiative so far. His recommendation was that ECCE should continue following up the developments in EEAG as an observer.

ECCE Vice President/ President Elect Aris Chatzidakis, delivered a presentation on the Construction 2020 giving some background information regarding this initiative and describing ECCE’s involvement and contribution to the High Level Tripartite Forum and the Thematic Group 1 “Stimulating investment in building renovation, infrastructure and innovation”.

Then, Andrey Pustovgar, one of the delegates from the Russian Society of Civil Engineers – Moscow Department (RSCE-MD), delivered a presentation about “The role of civil engineers in achieving sustainable development goals” based on the experience of Moscow.

Afterwards, the ECCE Past President Fernando Branco who is currently the President of the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) delivered a presentation on IABSE presenting the organization, its mission and activities.

Finally, the WCCE Past President Emilio Colon gave a presentation on the latest WCCE General Assembly that was held on 21st September, in Sucre, Bolivia during which WCCE commemorated the European Year of Civil Engineers.

At the end of the meeting, the forthcoming ECCE General Meetings were discussed. The ECCE General Meeting in autumn 2019 will be held in Lisbon, Portugal together with the General Meetings of WCCE and EAMC hosted by the Portuguese Ordem dos Engenheiros. The ECCE General Meeting in autumn 2020 will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria hosted by the Union of Civil Engineers in Bulgaria. Also, proposals have been submitted regarding the spring meetings in 2019 and 2020 from Montenegro and Malta respectively which they will be confirmed in due time.    

The two-year term of office of the ECCE Executive Board 2016-2018 was closed by the ECCE Acting President Wlodzimierz Szymczak who addressed a closing speech to the ECCE delegates stressing the major achievements of ECCE over the past couple of years.

After the elections for the new ECCE Executive Board 2018-2021, the new ECCE President Aris Chatzidakis addressed an inaugural speech expressing his appreciation to the former ECCE President Wlodzimierz Szymczak for the work he has done over the past few years and his intention to continue this work and further develop it for the betterment of the civil engineering profession. At the closing of his speech, ECCE new President Aris Chatzidakis commemorated the deceased ECCE Past President Vassilis Economopoulos who was one of the founding members of ECCE. A photo selection of Vassilis Economopoulos was presented and his widow Anna Papadopoulou who was invited by ECCE to attend this meeting was given the ECCE Book “Notes on the history of civil engineering”.

ECCE participated also in the Global Engineering Congress with two speakers. The ECCE New President Aris Chatzidakis was a speaker on the third day of the GEC in the “Energy stream”. He delivered a presentation titled “Sustainable structural design: energy efficiency vs structural efficiency”. The main goal of his presentation was to bring up the case of the need for structural safety and integrity of buildings as part of the sustainable structural design. As he quoted “Smart buildings are safe and secure buildings”, wanted to get through the message that a holistic approach is necessary when it comes to the upgrade of an existing building or the design of a new one. The structural safety of a building is a prerequisite for any energy efficiency upgrade interventions that would make a “smart” one.

The ECCE Immediate Past President Wlodzimierz Szymczak also participated as a speaker and moderator of the closing plenary session on the third day of the GEC. He was member of a panel consisting of Sir John Armitt, Chair of the UK National Infrastructure Commission and ICE Past President and Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the UK Environment Agency. His keynote address was dedicated to the European Year of Civil Engineers. In his speech, Szymczak highlighted that activities and initiatives have taken place across Europe throughout 2018 to encourage interest and involvement in civil engineering.

You can read the round-ups of each day of the Global Engineering Congress following this link.

Photographs from the London ECCE events can be downloaded from the links below:

ECCE ExBo Meeting

68th ECCE General Meeting

ECCE Gala Dinner

ECCE’s participation in the GEC


The European Council of Civil Engineers would like to express its gratitude to the Institution of Civil Engineers for the successful organization of the 68th ECCE General Meeting and the Global Engineering Congress.