Jean Venables


Jean has been closely involved in Flood Risk Management matters for many years and her service as Chairman of the Thames Region Flood Defence Committee was recognised by the award of the OBE in the 2004 New Year's Honours. This adds to her MBE she received for services to Civil Engineering.

At the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2010, Jean received at CBE for services to the Civil Engineering profession. She was awarded Honorary Doctorates from the University of Nottingham, the University of Kent and Kingston University and is a Visiting Lecturer at Southampton University and at Imperial College in addition to being a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Jean was awarded the Garth Watson Medal for Services to the Institution in 2001. This was, to her, a most significant award, as she had worked closely with the then Secretary as ALGS Chairman, and because Jean's connection with ICE began in 1967 at the time of her successful application for a Scholarship to support her undergraduate studies at Imperial College.

In 2002, she became the first woman to be elected to the Smeatonian Society and is a member of the Worshipful Company of Engineers. Jean serves as the Institution's representative on the Court of Imperial College. In addition to other voluntary positions; Jean is also part of the advisory board for the Bartlett 2050 Leadership programme at UCL and a governor at Tiffin School.

Jean was Chairman of the Thames Estuary Partnership from 2003 to 2010. Jean is Chief Executive of the Association of Drainage Authorities which is the membership organisation for those involved in water level management including Internal Drainage Boards, Local Authorities, Regional Flood Defence Committees, consultants, contractors and suppliers. In addition to this Jean is currently a council member of the RNLI and Non-Executive Director of HR Wallingford. Jean was also appointed chair of the Nuclear Liabilities Fund in July, 2014.

At the same time Jean is active in Venables Consultancy, the Consultancy Company she runs with her husband Roger Venables, and Crane Environmental Limited that has developed CEEQUAL, the Civil Engineering Environmental Quality Assessment and Award Scheme. Lecturing at Kingston University and her earlier service with the Greater London Council's Department of Public Health Engineering provided the foundations for her subsequent career.

During her career Jean has served the Institution as a Member of the Council in 1975 to 1978, 1993 to 1996, and in 2003 was elected a Vice President. In 2008, Jean became the 144th President of the ICE and the first woman to be elected to the position. Jean currently chairs the ICE Professional Conduct Panel.

Jean has been a member of many ICE Committees including the Disciplinary Board, the Investigating Panel, the Ethics Committee, Membership Committee and the Waste Management Working Party on Construction Waste. Her involvement with the ICE Benevolent Fund has spanned over 30 years. This combined has led to the creation of the Jean Venables Medal awarded to the best Technician Technical Review candidate.

Jean is married to Professor Roger Venables and has two sons.