Ian Firth is one of the world’s leading bridge designers. He has extensive experience in the conceptual and detailed design of bridges, including some of the world's longest spans, in a variety of environments and contexts. His work also includes feasibility studies for new crossings and the inspection, assessment and management of existing structures. His bridge projects range in scale from the delightful little Bridge of Aspiration in London's Covent Garden to the enormous proposed Messina Strait Bridge in Italy, and include many winners in international design competitions. Ian also works on other project types, such as long span and lightweight stadium roof structures.

"Through my work with COWI (previously Flint & Neill), and in collaboration with many architects and other design professionals, I have been fortunate to work on the design of many notable bridges and structures in the UK and internationally."

Ian is Chairman of the British Group of the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering. He is also Trustee of Bridges to Prosperity, the charity tackling extreme poverty caused by rural isolation by building footbridges over impassable rivers among some of the world's poorest, remote communities. "This is life-saving and livelihood-transforming engineering at its most impactful, and it is such a privilege to be a part of this vital work."

He is a regular speaker on the subject of bridge design, the author of over 35 technical papers and publications, and the recipient of several awards. His 3-part online Industry Insights film on Bridge Engineering (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) provides a short introduction for those interested in the subject.

"I see bridges as much more than just a means to cross an obstacle. They are in many ways the purest form of architecture and deserve the best of our creative skills. Structural engineering is about making our buildings, bridges and structures safe, durable and sustainable, but we must also make them beautiful when, like bridges, they will be seen and enjoyed by so many for so long."


  • Structural engineering advice
  • Feasibility and planning studies
  • Conceptual design
  • Independent peer review
  • Membership of competition jury and design review panels
  • Teaching and coaching