The British Airways i360 Observation Tower

John Roberts, Jacobs UK, who led the engineering design team will give you the inside story of this £48m project.

The British Airways i360 Observation Tower at Brighton is 162m high and only 3.9m in diameter – it is the world’s tallest moving observation tower and is officially recognised as the “World’s most slender tower” by Guinness World Records. It was completed in early August 2016 and has already carried more than 500,000 passengers. The project follows on from earlier work by Jacobs on the London Eye and numerous other visitor attraction projects.

The engineering design team has been led by Dr John Roberts who will deliver this presentation. John is an Executive Director of Operations of Jacobs and is one of the UK’s leading structural engineers, having been President of the IStructE in 1999/2000 and Gold Medallist in 2005. He graduated from the University of Sheffield in 1969 with a BEng (Hons) in Civil & Structural Engineering, and then carried out a 3-year research project on impact overload on steel structures leading to a PhD, also at Sheffield, in 1972. Since 1981 he has worked as a Consulting Engineer for Allott & Lomax, who joined Babtie in 2000 and then Babtie joined Jacobs in 2004. He is also a Visiting Professor in Engineering Design at Manchester University. He has been involved in the design of a number of high profile steelwork structures.

This is a unique opportunity to hear the inside story of this £48 million project from the first design proposals (back in 2005), the detailed design through to the construction work on site, and the operating arrangements. The steel tower has been designed with two novel structural systems to mitigate any dynamic responses during high winds and was erected, without the use of a crane, by a “top-down” jacking method specially designed for this site.

Unusually, John is also a “client” for the project, as he is a Director and the Chief Engineer of Brighton i360 Limited which owns and operates the British Airways i360 Observation Tower as a visitor attraction.

The Sponsor - The C F Lunoe Trust

Christian Frederick Lunoe was born in Denmark in 1891 and educated at Copenhagen University. He came to England with Knud Holst in 1918 and established Holst and Company Ltd, a firm specialising in the design and construction of reinforced concrete. Holst and Company became public in 1956. Christian Lunoe’s interest in people inspired him to institute a Trust Fund in 1960 for the benefit of certain charitable purposes and for the furtherance of support to technical training, education and research. This is known as the C F Lunoe Trust Fund.

Tea/coffee available from 6.00 pm. The lecture will be followed by drinks and canapés.

Tickets for the lecture are available at: