The recent news that the economic benefits of the HS2 project are unclear was quickly picked up by the national press, including the BBC.

The construction industry has been less than quick, institutions such as the ICE are yet to comment. Perhaps it is our education as engineers that makes us less likely join the debate…the lack of economics in engineering courses and in day to day engineering practice must play a part in our hesitation to offer a view on this particular topic.

Perhaps more subtle but potentially more influential is the lack of critical appraisal or ‘open’ peer review within engineering teaching or practice that makes engineers unused to voicing their concerns? Architects grow up in such an environment; building confidence in presentation and confrontation but ultimately building strength in collaboration.

We witnessed this collaboration and sense of purpose in architecture at a recent industry event; Cullinan Studio advertised a talk by Smith and Wallwork, Ted Cullinan and Meredith Bowles of Mole Architects at their offices. How many engineers would think of inviting one of their ‘competitors’ to speak at their offices let alone to their office drinks?