The Institution of Engineers, Australia has a five point plan for the preparation of a record of our national engineering heritage as part of our bicentennial celebrations in 1988. These five points embrace:
• biographies of outstanding engineers
• descriptions of outstanding engineering achievements
• preparation of histories of major engineering companies and public authorities
• assembly of artefacts and associated archival material
• assembly of plans detailing the work of our predecessors

So it gives me great pleasure to congratulate the Canberra Division on the work they have done in publishing ‘Canberra’s Engineering Heritage’. It is an example to other Divisions of this Institution and, indeed, to other learned societies who may also recognise the value of preparing a methodical record of their heritage from their not-so-distant beginnings. The principle of carrying this record through to the date of publication is a sound one.

What the Canberra Division calls the ‘planned approach’ makes available in this book the engineers, their achievements and the archival material that represents the National Capital’s component of our Australian engineering heritage.

In writing this book for the general reader, the Canberra Division has also paved the way to meeting another of the Institution’s objectives: the establishment of a better understanding between the engineering profession, other professions and the community. Readers may appreciate something of the questions faced by engineers in attempting to provide facilities for the community within the constraints of what these authors call ‘the engineer’s eternal quest for the most economical design.’

I hope that included among the book’s readers will be the group of younger people soon to matriculate and who are contemplating tertiary education. The engineering profession is a stimulating one as its new recruits, both male and female, will soon discover. Students will find in these pages the wide range of branches, and the challenges and achievements in each, that give the 36,000 members of the Institution a feeling of devotion to what they believe is a noble and very satisfying calling.

I commend this book to the general reader and to all members of the engineering profession.

J. McG. McIntyre BE, FIE Aust.,,
The Institution of Engineers, Australia,

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