Top Civil Engineering Professional Bodies in the World

Civil Engineering is the oldest engineering profession in the world, and has been at the forefront of developing infrastructures such as buildings, roads, bridges, towers, sanitary and water supply systems, etc for the benefit of mankind. Different professional bodies have been formed in different countries to foster competence, development, unity, and coherence in the civil engineering profession. This article highlights the biggest civil engineering professional bodies in the world whose members are widely recognised as professionals.


(1) The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

The American Society of Civil Engineers was founded in the year 1852, and represents more than 150,000 members of the civil engineering profession in 177 countries. It is the oldest engineering society in the United States of America. ASCE stands at the forefront of a profession that plans, designs, constructs, and operates society’s economic and social engine – the built environment – while protecting and restoring the natural environment.

Through the expertise of its active membership, ASCE is a leading provider of technical and professional conferences and continuing education, the world’s largest publisher of civil engineering content, and an authoritative source for codes and standards that protect the public. ASCE publishes about 35 technical journals to build professional knowledge.

The Society advances civil engineering technical specialties through nine dynamic Institutes and leads with its many professional- and public-focused programs. Members have special benefits of free PDHS, mentorship, discounts on journal and articles, free and paid webinars and conferences with discounts, career enhancements, etc.

ASCE has different membership cadres such as:

  • Student member
  • Member
  • Affiliate member
  • Associate member
  • Fellow
  • Life member
  • Distinguished member

(2) Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)

The Institution of Civil Engineers UK was formed in the year 1818 and boasts of about 95,000 civil engineer members in more than 150 countries. ICE can be regarded as the oldest civil engineering professional body in the world. The Institution aims to support the civil engineering profession by offering professional qualification, promoting education, maintaining professional ethics, and liaising with industry, academia and government. Under its commercial arm, it delivers training, recruitment, publishing and contract services.


ICE is a licensed body of the Engineering Council and can award the Chartered Engineer (CEng), Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and Engineering Technician (EngTech) professional qualifications. ICE publishes hundreds of civil engineering journals.

The membership grades of the Institution are;

  • Student
  • Graduate (GMICE)
  • Associate (AMICE)
  • Technician (MICE)
  • Member (MICE)
  • Fellow (FICE)

(3) International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE)

The International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE) was founded in the year 1929, and has its seat in Zurich, Switzerland. It is a scientific / technical Association comprising members in 100 countries and counting 55 National Groups worldwide.

The aim of the Association is to exchange knowledge and to advance the practice of structural engineering worldwide in the service of the profession and society.

The objectives of the association are;

  • to promote cooperation and understanding among all those concerned with structural engineering and related fields by worldwide exchange of knowledge and experience
  • to encourage awareness and responsibility of structural engineers towards the needs of society
  • to encourage actions necessary for progress in structural engineering
  • to improve and foster cooperation and understanding between organisations having similar objectives.

Different membership cadres are available and they are;


  • Student member
  • Individual member
  • Collective member (for organisations)
  • Fellows

(4) The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE)

The Institution of Structural Engineers is the largest professional body dedicated to the practice of Structural Engineering. It was founded in the year 1908 as the Concrete Institute, and have been known since the year 1922 as the Institution of Structural Engineers. The Institution has over 27,000 members in 105 countries. They are the publishers of The Structural Engineer magazine, and the journal Structures by Elsevier.

The Institution strives towards a structural engineering profession that is built on competence, accessibility, and community. Members are offered a wide range of opportunities to develop, refresh and extend personal competencies. The Institution also help members specialise by offering tailored courses, resources and specialist qualifications.

Membership cadres;

  • Student member
  • Graduate member
  • Member (MIStructE)
  • Fellow (FIStructE)
  • Technician member (TIStructE)
  • Associate-Member (AMIStructE)
  • Associate (AIStructE)

(5) International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE)

The ISSMGE is the pre-eminent professional body representing the interests and activities of Engineers, Academics and Contractors all over the world that actively participate in geotechnical engineering. ISSMGE provides a focus for professional leadership to some 90 Member Societies and around 20,000 individual members the world. 

The ISSMGE originated in the International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, held in June 1936 at Harvard University as one of many events held to mark the university’s 300th anniversary.

The aim of the International Society is the promotion of international co-operation amongst engineers and scientists for the advancement and dissemination of knowledge in the field of geotechnics, and its engineering and environmental applications. Benefits of membership include:

• possibility to submit papers to many conferences and symposia 
• lower conference registration fees 
• possibility of membership of one the many technical committees working on specific topics 
• access to work of ISSMGE in various fields of activity, including Education, Communications,
   Technology Transfer
• opportunities to demonstrate leadership in Technical Committee, conference and other activities 
• opportunities to build lasting world-wide relationships 
• a clear demonstration of interest and professionalism in the field of Geotechnics 

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