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Our vision is to be the Institute of Choice for Highway Engineers. Our mission is to provide professional development opportunities, support and leadership for individuals to achieve and maintain professional recognition.

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Steve Spender retires as IHE chief executive

  • Tuesday July 9, 2024

Steve Spender is retiring from his role as chief executive of the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE), after taking what he described as ‘one of the hardest professional decisions of my life’.

He informed the IHE Council today of his decision, thanking the entire IHE team for their outstanding work and support.

Mr Spender will see out his notice period of a couple of months, which will roughly bring him to the end of a five-year term in charge of the leading professional body in the UK highways sector.

Overseeing a dramatic expansion of the IHE’s fortunes through increased membership, training courses and events, Mr Spender leaves behind a healthy legacy for the next chief executive to build on.

He is also a past President of the IHE, serving from 2010-2012, and prior to taking on the chief executive role, was head of highways at Hampshire County Council.

Newly appointed IHE President Katherine Kelly said: ‘Steve has had an outstanding time as CEO and has propelled the organisation to new levels of excellence and influence in the realm of highway engineering. Steve’s strategic vision and unwavering dedication to the institute have been instrumental in reinforcing its position as a leading authority in the advancement of best practices and professional standards within the industry.

‘Steve has transformed the institute into a thriving and financially secure entity, and we are incredibly grateful for the hard work and commitment he has shown, not just as CEO, but over the past 30 years as both a member and past president.

‘Our recent flagship event in Stirling is a huge testament to Steve’s achievements and demonstrates the firm foundation he has already laid down for the institute. The indelible mark of Steve’s leadership will continue to inspire our Council and its members, and thanks to him we are incredibly optimistic for our future.

‘We wish Steve all the very best for his retirement and extend our heartfelt thanks for his exemplary leadership.’

Mr Spender said: ‘I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the IHE in the role of CEO, and although my tenure has been difficult, initially dealing straight away with the effects of Covid, I believe it has been highly successful.

‘I have had the honour of working with not only dedicated members of the Presidential team but also with a truly dedicated and extremely hard working staff team, and therefore this has been an extremely difficult decision, possibly the hardest personal/ professional decision of my life since joining the IHE back in the 1990s.

‘Through hard work and real dedication, we have managed to build a secure foundation for the Institute of Highway Engineers to go forward and grow even further and I would like to wish the Institute, particularly the staff but equally the Presidential Team and Council every success for the future.

‘I will continue to work with the Institute over the coming months to assist in the transition towards finding the next CEO, but I know that when I leave it will be a momentous day in my professional life.’

Article courtesy of Dom Browne, Highways Magazine

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