Who’s who in MACE – Meini Su
Dr Meini Su is one of our lecturers in Structural Engineering and a chartered civil engineer. She teaches at undergraduate level and works in the Structures in Extreme Environments research group in the areas of structural testing, numerical modelling and the development of design guidance in marine environments.
Meini did her bachelor’s degree at The University of Hong Kong. She then went on to complete a PhD at The University of Hong Kong joint with Imperial College London.
Earlier this year, Meini successfully completed the chartership process to become a professionally qualified civil engineer with the ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers), which is a fantastic achievement! So we sat down to catch up with Meini and hear more about the process of achieving chartered status.
Congratulations on your recent chartership! Can you tell us a little bit more about the ICE and the process to become a chartered civil engineer?
The Institution of Civil Engineers has thousands of members across the world and supports civil engineers throughout their careers. The department has strong links with the ICE, and last summer they came to visit us to give a series of talks about the process of applying for chartered status. This is when I began preparing all the necessary documents to apply myself. It is a long and thorough process which has three stages:
Stage one (Become a graduate member) This is based on your education and academic qualifications. I had to gather information and evidence about my undergraduate degrees and accreditation.
Stage two (Career Appraisal) Stage two focuses on work experience and professional development. As I work in academia and have limited experience working in industry, I worked closely with mentors from the department’s industrial panel. They ensure our teaching material is up to date and relevant for current industry needs. This helped me develop and demonstrate my engineering skills, knowledge and experience required to be a professional qualified civil engineer.
Stage three (Professional Review) The final part entails demonstrating that you fulfil all the required attributes of a professional chartered civil engineer. This involves submitting an application and a 5,000 word report outlining your continuing professional development, experience and skills in order to prove your technical knowledge, health and safety, understanding and commitment to sustainability etc. A panel of experienced civil engineering professionals then interviews you, and also have to undertake a two-hour written exam.
Wow! That is a thorough process. What are the benefits of chartership?
It’s an internationally recognised standard that formally recognises your qualifications, skills and experience. And I found the process very helpful in developing my knowledge in particular of the industrial side of civil engineering. Although I have worked in industry, my career path has been mainly in academia. So it was really beneficial to work closely with our industrial panel, visiting companies on site and seeing important industrial elements of civil engineering, such as risk control and health and safety, in the flesh.
Not only that, I feel that my students benefit from my chartered status, as the things I learned during my application translate to the classroom. For example, I work on a project-based design module and meeting regularly with industrial partners means I have added in some material to this course which makes the project task even more realistic and industry-relevant.
“It’s really exciting to see how the outcomes of our research can be applied in the real world”
What do you love the most about your job?
I really enjoy the freedom and the flexibility in academia. I can follow my interests and things I am passionate about and it’s really exciting to see how the outcomes of our research can be applied in the real world. That’s one aspect that is very fulfilling – seeing results of your research in action making a difference.
All our undergraduate and MSc courses in Civil and Structural Engineering are accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators. This means our degrees provide the academic base (stage one of the chartership process) to apply to become a member of a relevant professional institution and a chartered civil engineer. Go to the MACE website for further information about the accreditation of our Civil Engineering courses.