Bridges of the past, present and future and the Karen Burt Award, London

4 November, 2015 | 18:00 - 21:00

ICE members are welcome to join this lecture, brought to you by the Women in Engineering Society
ICE members are welcome to join this lecture, brought to you by the Women in Engineering Society

About this event

Past bridge designs will be discussed by Sue Threader MICE, Clerk of the Rochester Bridge Trust, who will tell us more about the history of bridges and the Bridge Trust itself.

Sandi Rhys Jones will talk about the bridges of the present day, focusing on the Waterloo Bridge, sometimes called the Ladies Bridge, which was built during the Second World War by women construction workers.

Caroline Tong MICE will consider bridges of the future which will look to provide more than just connectivity. Technical advances are likely to be small but a greater focus is being given to providing user experiences, some more challenging than others.

There is also a heightened emphasis on increasing prosperity through simple provision in developing countries but far more widely in the developed world.

Karen Burt Award

Note that, in addition to the lecture, the prestigious Karen Burt Award will be given out this evening. Please see the tab on the right for more information.


The lecture will be chaired by Dana Skelley MICE, Director of Asset Management, Transport for London.

Please register to attend (free of charge) using the 'book now' buttons.

Karen Burt Award

This year's winner of one of the most prestigious prizes in engineering is a born problem solver and champion of engineering for women and girls.

Helen Randell
Helen Randell

Helen Randell, a chartered civil engineer who graduated only five years ago, started acting as an ambassador for the engineering profession while she was still a student at Cambridge. Since then she has worked on major projects with Interserve Construction including Severn Trent Water, Glasgow Energy from Waste Scheme, motorway and A-road new junctions and widening and Hereford and Worcestershire Energy from Waste Scheme.

Her work on these projects, coupled with a significant contribution to the promotion of engineering to young people and women in particular, has earned her a place on the roll call of winners of the Karen Burt Award, given by the Women's Engineering Society (WES) to honour the best of the year's newly qualified women engineers.

During her career, Helen has mentored many young people embarking on careers in engineering; presented at science fairs; given talks to schools and even developed her own school learning packs to introduce children to surveying, earthquakes, bridge building, water filtration and renewable energy. She continues to inspire young engineers through her new role at Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd while mentoring engineering apprentices.

Linda Maynard, chair of the judging panel for the award, said: "As in previous years the nominees were of an exceptional standard with very few marks separating the top four candidates. Helen's application was remarkable in all aspects of the judging criteria and all three judges agree she is a very worthy winner of the 2015 Award."

Helen said of her award: "I am thrilled and honoured to receive this prestigious award. I feel extremely fortunate that my love of problem solving has formed the basis of my career. It is so rewarding to have the opportunity to share my experiences with other young women and to know that some have been inspired to join the exciting and ever changing world of engineering where we really can make a difference."

Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Head of Education and Inspiration, John Laverty, added: "We are delighted to see Helen presented with this highly valued award - she is an articulate, engaging engineer who exudes passion and conviction.

Helen greatly impressed her professional review panel with her knowledge, aptitude and leadership potential, and she has impressed many others through her enthusiasm for ICE initiatives and her drive to inspire the next generation of female engineers. She is an outstanding example of a chartered civil engineer in every respect and will be an excellent role model for others on their path towards professional qualification."