Computing is a science and an engineering discipline as well as a craft to be mastered. Engineers in practice are now skilled in the craft of using tools for tasks such as numerical analysis, drafting, detail design and project planning. Current and future computing opportunities and challenges require more scientific applications of computer science principles. Also, these principles need to be adapted and enriched to account for the unusually demanding application contexts that are common in engineering.

Opportunities and challenges are present at all stages of engineering projects, including infrastructure management. Within each stage, there are themes such as representation, reasoning, visualization and user-interface design, collaboration, control and change management. Intelligent computing is the application of advanced computing methods to improve performance in areas such as complex representations that are clear to users and easily modifiable; exploration and search in exponentially complex search spaces; visualization tools and flexible engineer-computer interfaces that empower rather than hinder; active control for learning, self diagnosis and repair; and computer supported collaborative work for higher quality communication. The goal is to make decision making more reliable, spontaneous and creative.

EG-ICE is the acronym for the European Group for Intelligent Computing in Engineering. The focus of EG-ICE is to promote research and applications of advanced informatics to all aspects of engineering. The primary goals of the group are to promote advanced informatics research across Europe by improving contact between researchers, fostering research collaboration and enhancing awareness of the latest developments. With this latter aim in mind, the group maintains active contact with similar groups in countries outside Europe and encourages membership by non-Europeans. The group has a further aim to increase the awareness of industry of advanced informatics as well as the economic benefits that can be gained by implementation.

To achieve its aims, the group runs a yearly workshop and is active in the promotion, dissemination and exchange of ideas in order to provide effective links between research, industry and teaching. The origins of the group are from the structural engineering community but in recognition of a growing number of members with interests outside this area, the sphere of interest was widened in 2001 to include all of engineering.

Membership of the group is not restricted to engineers. Thus, computer scientists, architects, psychologists and other interested people are encouraged to participate.