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The Royal Institution of Naval Architects   1860 - 2010


Foreword by Trevor Blakeley CEng FRINA FIMarEST FIMechE,  Chief Executive Officer

"to promote and facilitate the exchange of technical and scientific information ... thereby to improve the design of ships"

RINA 150th BookIn 1860, the Institution's mission statement -if the founding members would have recognised such a term -was "to promote and facilitate the exchange of technical and scientific information ... thereby to improve the design of ships", and of course, that has remained its aim over the past 150 years. Over that same period, there has been tremendous development of the naval architecture profession and the global maritime industry, to the extent that the founding members would perhaps not recognise. However, I am sure that they would approve of the significant contribution which the Institution has made to that development, both collectively as an international organisation and individually through the work of its members. It has been 150 years of which the Institution and its members can be rightly proud.

In this Commemorative Book, individuals give their personal views on the development of the naval architecture profession and of the maritime industry - not all in existence for the past 150 years Their views therefore provides a history of the Institution as reflected in the history of the naval architecture profession and the maritime industry over that period.

But of course, and as the past 150 years has shown, the naval architecture profession and the maritime industry will continue to evolve. This Commemorative Book therefore looks also forward - if not quite for the next 150 years - to what changes there might be in the future -a future which members today might not recognise. However, whatever that future, I am sure that when the history of the Institution comes to be written again, it will show that the Institution too has evolved, in order that it might still fulfill its mission statement "to promote and facilitate the exchange of technical and scientific information ... thereby to improve the design of ships"

Read The Royal Institution of Naval Architects  1860 - 2010 online

The Royal Institution of Naval Architects   1860 - 2010 - 10 Years ON


Foreword by Trevor Blakeley CEng FRINA FIMarEST FIMechE,  Chief Executive Officer

Time has not stood still since 2010 and neither has the Institution.  .The last decade has also seen significant change.  In 2013, the Board of Trustees was formed, assuming the responsibility for the governance of the Institution, previously held by the Council, which became responsible for the professional activities of the Institution – much the same as the Council in 1860 – whilst the Board focused on the governance and financial management of the Institution.  It was recognized  that to be a successful, modern international professional institution, the Institution also required to be a successful business, and it was therefore considered that the governance of the Institution would be more effectively exercised by a Board of 12, rather than a Council of 50+. 

In 2013, the Institution sold the 40 year balance of the 200 year lease on its Headquarters at 10 Upper Belgrave Street, and used part of the the proceeds to purchase the freehold of its current Headquarters at 8-9 Northumberland Street.  Such a move provides the Institution with the more modern facilities which it requires as an international organization, but also provides a valuable asset which gives assurance that whatever the future of the Institution, that future lies in its own hands – at least as far as its Headquarters are concerned.

The third significant change during the past decade came in 2019 with the grouping of members’ countries into six global Regions, each with appointed Vice Presidents, and with members in each Region nominating and electing their own  members of Council.  The composition of Council therefore now reflects the international membership of the Institution.  Such change will further demonstrate the internationalism of the Institution, and enable its members in all 90+ countries to take greater ownership and achieve closer engagement with their Institution.

I am not sure what the Chief Executive would be writing about the Institution in future decades but I believe that, as I wrote in the Foreword in 2010, he or she could be confident that John Scott Russell, Edward Reed, Nathaniel Barnaby and the others who formed the Institution of Naval Architects in 1860 would be proud of their legacy

Read The Royal Institution of Naval Architects 1860 - 2020  - 10 Years On online

Trevor Blakeley