The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) is the world's leading professional body for structural engineering based in the United Kingdom. It has 22,000 members in 105 countries. The Institution is a learned body and provider of professional accreditation for structural engineers. The Institution publishes a monthly journal, 'The Structural Engineer'.
The Institution gained its Royal Charter in March of 1934. It was established at the Ritz Hotel, London on 21 July 1908 as the Concrete Institute, as the result of a need to define standards and rules for the proper use of concrete material in construction industry. The first headquarters were established at No. 8, Waterloo Place, Pall Mall, London; the first President was the Right Honourable Robert Windsor-Clive, 1st Earl of Plymouth, in whose honour the largest meeting room at the current headquarters at 11 Upper Belgrave Street, London, SW1X 8BH - is named. Incorporated in 1909 as a charitable company limited by guarantee, it was renamed the Institution of Structural Engineers in 1922, when its areas of interest were extended to cover 'structures' of all kinds; 'structures' being defined as 'those constructions which are subject principally to the laws of statics as opposed to those which are subject to the laws of dynamics and kinetics, such as engines and machines'.
The Institution introduced an examination to qualify for membership in 1920. By 1925 the Institution had 1,700 members, growing over the years to the 22,000 currently.
Qualifying examinations for membership were introduced in 1920. At the same time, the first regional branches were formed, Lancashire & Cheshire being the first in 1922, followed by Western Counties in 1923. In 1937 the South Africa Branch became the first to be established outside the UK. There are now 32 branches, divisions and sections across the world.
Membership of the Institution comes in different levels:
Only Members & Fellows of the Institution of Structural Engineers may call themselves a chartered engineer. To become a Member it is necessary to sit and pass the professional review interview and examination. The examinations are held once per annum on the first Friday in April. The examination is a test of the candidate's professional competence, taking the form of a seven hour examination in structural engineering design and practice, and the candidate must display a grasp of structural engineering principles, an ability to initiate and communicate structural design and provide an effective solution to a structural design problem.
The Institution is headed by 'The Council', consisting of the President, four future presidents, four past presidents, elected members (with three year terms), representatives from regional branches and co-opted members.
The Council elects from its members the 'Executive Board', which is the governing body of the IStructE.
The IStructE's library contains over 35,000 entries and volumes, including textbooks, reports, journals, standards and audiovisual material.
The Institution of Structural Engineers presents a number of different awards to individuals and organisations for achievements in structural engineering.
The most prestigious award the Institution presents is the Gold Medal, which is presented to those who have made exceptional and outstanding contributions to the advancement of structural engineering.
The Institution also makes annual awards to the structural designers of projects, in eleven categories: