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Seminar: How To Write A Prize-Winning Paper

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Prof. David Nethercot

Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering,

Imperial College London, UK.

Date: October 27, 2016

Time: 10:00 am

Venue: Room 201, Civil Engineering Building


For some years there has been a steady shift of emphasis when forming judgements on the merit of the work of individuals and groups away from quantity to quality. Although it is still the case that some authorities find counting easier than the making of reasoned judgements, increasingly research assessment exercises, promotion committees and appointment boards are trying to evaluate the inherent quality and value of the work submitted and not merely its volume. An important aspect of this is the production of seminal papers - reports on work that really engage the relevant community, will be seen later as important milestones in developing the understanding of the subject and which attract the attention of those responsible for industrial implementation. The session will address the preparation of top quality papers: identification of potential material, the ingredients and how to structure and write such papers. Initially, some thoughts will be presented but the emphasis will be on discussion and the drawing out of ideas so attendees are encouraged to arrive having given the topic some thought.


Prior to his retirement in the autumn of 2011 Professor David Nethercot spent 12 years as Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London. He remains active in research, consulting and professional work.

David is the author of some 450 research papers, has addressed conferences in over 50 countries worldwide, has supervised over 40 PhD students to completion and has been involved with more than 40 externally funded research projects. In 1993 he was awarded a DSc degree and elected to the Royal Academy of Engineering that same year; he is also a Foreign member of the Australian and American National Academies of Engineering. In 2003/04 he was President of the Institution of Structural Engineers and received their Gold Medal 5 years later. Awarded an OBE for 'services to Structural Engineering' in 2006, he is the current President of the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering.

In addition to his academic career David has been active professionally, including preparing Standards and Design Guides as well as acting as an Expert Witness for projects such as Wembley Stadium Roof and the New Forth Crossing.