For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow …

John Staves, Managing Director at Michael Aubrey Partnership has been awarded fellowship of the Institution of Structural Engineers (FIStructE) as a reflection of his outstanding individual achievements, success and expertise within the engineering profession.

The fellowship was awarded to John by Alan Crossman FIStructE, President of the Institution of Structural Engineers at a prestigious ceremony at the Institution’s headquarters in London.


Key note speaker for the event was Simon Pitchers, Chartered Engineer and commonly known as “Crack Man” for his appearances on The Jeremy Vine show and with Sarah Beeny on C4’s “Help my house is falling down”.

Simon expressed what a privilege it was to be attending the presentations.

Simon Pitchers

What is a Structural Engineer?

Simon talked about how he is often asked “what is a structural engineer?” and one way of thinking about what a structural engineer does is to imagine the human body.

“If the human body was a building, structural engineers would be responsible for the skeleton”. 

Structural engineers take dreams and make them a reality.  We are guardians of public safety and rarely get the recognition we deserve.

The Journey to Fellowship

The journey to fellowship starts early in education – you can’t fail at anything. You need a degree and relevant experience to be allowed to even to apply for an interview.

Only if you pass the interview are you permitted to sit the professional exam.

For every 10 people who sit the professional exam only 2 or 3 pass.

It’s a rigorous process and only the committed engineers will pass and become Chartered.

John’s Route to Fellowship

After leaving Durham University in 1988, John worked at Arups in Newcastle on their graduate program. One of his first projects was working on the Ponds Forge Swimming complex in Sheffield for the World Student Games.

Following a move to a small engineering practice in Bristol and then to Mercury Communications in Bracknell, having achieved Chartered Status, John was keen to set up his own practice and founded Michael Aubrey Partnership in 1994.

John contributes to the wider structural engineering profession through his work as a Trustee of the Institution of Structural Engineers, as well as encouraging others to join the profession through school careers events and professional reviews of prospective members.

Talking about achieving the Fellow grade of membership, John said “I feel very honoured to have received this recognition from my peers and colleagues for the contribution I have made to the profession of structural engineering, both through strategic input to the Institution’s direction and my technical work at Michael Aubrey Partnership.”



Leave a Reply