As a result of a research for independent expert consultants for the World Fair Exhibitions in 1913, a number of consulting engineers met to discuss the possibility of forming a global Federation. The meeting was a success in that it led to the formal constitution on 22 July 1913 of FIDIC, Fédération Internationale des Ingénieurs Conseils, or later, the International Federation of Consulting Engineers. The founding principles adopted were Quality, Integrity, and Sustainability. There were 59 participants at the inaugural meeting; official delegates from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the USA. Three countries, Belgium, France and Switzerland decided to found the Federation. The other countries maintained provisional links during the initial years. However, due to the World Wars and other major political disturbances, FIDIC development was slow until the late 1940’s. The number of member countries changed constantly, and all came from Europe. In 1959, they were joined by Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the USA. This made FIDIC a truly international Federation.
FIDIC, the Global Voice of Consulting Engineers
The Federation developed gradually over the years into a truly global organisation with Member Associations representing countries from all regions of the world. Today, more than ever, the role of FIDIC has become essential for the consulting engineering industry. FIDIC not only represents the countries where Member Association are located, it has become the voice of the consulting engineering industry in a globalised world. For instance, FIDIC partnership with the World Bank and other Multinational Development Banks working in the different geographical regions ensure the application of international standards designed by engineers for engineers to finance and deliver the world infrastructure. Other FIDIC partnerships with the United Nations and international humanitarian organisations allow the industry to join forces with other sectors to achieve common goals! Dedicated professionals from consulting engineering firms and associations contribute day-to-day with their work to develop and promote FIDIC over the world: the FIDIC President, the FIDIC Executive Committee, members of FIDIC committees; members of task forces and working groups; FIDIC Directors and Secretaries, FIDIC Past Presidents; FIDIC Adjudicators; FIDIC Accredited Trainers; and Young Professionals. FIDIC is, today, the result of a century of volunteer and committed leadership! Its core principles remain unaltered after 100 years: Quality, Integrity and Sustainability.
FIDIC towards the future
Over the last century, consulting engineers have made a truly significant impact on society worldwide. Innovative advances in transport, water supply, energy, buildings, and vital infrastructure have all led to improved health and economic development, and hence a much better quality of life. However, much of mankind still struggles for food, clean water, and even survival. These issues need to be addressed more effectively. Technical solutions alone are insufficient in the broader discussions on effective governance and restricted finance. Engineers will need to become more involved in the political and social debate and its impact on the solutions offered for global challenges, to better match available resources to the needs of society. The past one hundred years of engineering excellence contribution have shown what can be achieved. The foundations for a sustainable future have been provided, with the consulting engineer now established as an essential partner for an improved society. Effective engineering is clearly fundamental for humankind, but the strategic planning skills of engineers need to be universally recognised and used for the benefit of everyone.
FIDIC’s promise is to be recognised as a trusted adviser to decision makers involved in the planning and construction of a sustainable infrastructure for future generations! FIDIC will collaborate with other like minded organisations to achieve this objective.