Engineers for International Development, London

17 October, 2017 | 09:15 - 17:30

Engineers for International Development, London

About this event

Watch the recording

  • 00:00:11 - Sakthy Selvakumaran - Department of Engineering, Cambridge University
  • 00:13:01 - Brian McSorley - Water and Sanitation Advisor, Oxfam Global Humanitarian Team
  • 00:34:09 - Hayley Sharp - Head of Construction Delivery, Infrastructure and Projects Authority, HM Treasury and Cabinet Office
  • 00:49:48 - First Q&A session with the above 3
  • 01:20:36 - Katie Creswell-Maynard - Chief Executive, Engineers Without Borders UK
  • 01:42:06 - Gareth Sharp - Recruitment Manager, Mott MacDonald
  • 01:55:10 - Brittany Harris introduction slide - Civil Engineer, Buro Happold Engineering / Co-Founder at WASHable International
  • 02:15:03 - Second Q&A session with the last 3

This free event will introduce graduates, academics, professional engineers, NGOs and funders to the opportunities and challenges of working in the international development sector.

Delegates will understand civil engineering demand in the developing world, learn how to meet the needs of international organisations and hear first hand experiences from the field.

The morning conference programme will be followed by a stimulating four hour afternoon workshop run by the Happold Foundation that will address some of the issues raised in the conference and explore how engineers can best offer support in the international development sector.

Workshop booking

Spaces for the afternoon are strictly limited and must be booked separately to the main conference.

Please register your interest by sending your name and organization details to Ingrid Zanchetta at: to request a place.

Morning programme

08:45 Registration and coffee

09:15 Welcome and introduction
               David Balmforth, Past President, Institution of Civil Engineers

09:20 Results of ICE research on the interest and demand for civil engineering in the
               international development sector

               Sakthy Selvakumaran, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

09:35 NGO perspective on work and training opportunities in international development
               Brian McSorley, Water and Sanitation Advisor, OXFAM Global Humanitarian Team

09:55 International development from a donor perspective
               Hayley Sharp, Infrastructure Advisor, Department for International Development

10:10 Panel question and answers

10:40 Coffee break

11:10 Capacity building
Katie Creswell-Maynard, Chief Executive, Engineers Without Borders

11:30 Employers perspective (HR) - Employing engineers in the international development
Gareth Sharp, Recruitment Manager, Mott MacDonald

11:50 Personal experience in the sector
Brittany Harris, Graduate Engineer, Buro Happold

12:05 Panel questions and answers

12:35 Summary from the Chair, end 

Afternoon programme

13:40 Design sprint
               Anna Bruni, Happold Foundation

14:50 Coffee break

15:00 Design sprint
               Anna Bruni, Happold Foundation

16:10 Coffee break

16:30 Summary and discussion
               Anna Bruni, Happold Foundation

17:30 Summary from the Chair, end
               David Balmforth, Past President, Institution of Civil Engineers


David Balmforth

David Balformth, MWH Global and Past President ICE

David Balmforth is an Executive Technical Director with the international engineering company MWH (now part of Stantec), which he joined in 1999. His recent work ranges from the oversight of £multi-million engineering programmes, to flood advisory work in the UK, Singapore and New Zealand. Over the last ten years his work has focussed on how we can adapt towns and cities to cope with the growing threat of floods, and he has written a number of guides and papers on the subject.

David chairs the ICE Shaping the World Programme Board and has a particular interest in the role civil engineers have to play in the developing world. He is a visiting professor at Imperial College.

Sakthy Selvakumaran

Sakthy Selvakumaran, Cambridge University

Sakthy is a Chartered Civil Engineer who has worked in fields ranging from post-earthquake housing reconstruction to structural design and construction of bridges, tunnels and infrastructure. Her work also includes the design and development of innovative products and solutions for the UK construction sector. She has experience living and working in several countries, including Peru, Sri Lanka, Spain, and Canada. She is currently researching the use of satellites for remote monitoring, and prediction of infrastructure failure at the University Cambridge. This work is supported by the National Physical Laboratory and in collaboration with the German Aerospace Centre (DLR).

She is a former volunteer of and consultant to Engineers Without Borders UK (serving twice on their National Executive), is a trustee for the Peruvian grass roots charity EcoSwell, and has undertaken research to support Practical Action (ITDG Soluciones Prácticas) in Peru. She has been named in the Top 30 Under 30 in Europe by Forbes Magazine and in the Top 30 Under 30 in Engineering and Manufacturing by the UK Government Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and has recently been awarded a IET Postgraduate Scholarship for her work on remote monitoring of infrastructure.

Brian McSorley

Brian McSorley , OXFAM Water & Sanitation Engineering Adviser

Brian is a Water & Sanitation Engineering Adviser for the Horn and East Africa region. He first joined Oxfam in 2003 as a Public Health Engineering Adviser in Eritrea. In 2006 he became WASH Coordinator for Oxfam in Kenya, responsible for overseeing Oxfam's water and sanitation work to pastoralist communities in Northern Kenya, as well as residents of Nairobi slums and refugees.

Between 2010-2013 Brian managed Oxfam's refugee programme in Dadaab, which provided water and sanitation to over 80,000 refugees from Somalia. Following successful completion of a large payment by results project aimed at contributing towards Kenya's Millennium Development Goals WASH targets, Brian took up his current role as a technical adviser in April 2016.

Hayley Sharp

Hayley Sharp, Department for International Development Infrastructure Advisor

Hayley is a chartered civil engineer, and currently works as an infrastructure advisor for the Department for International Development where she leads on economic infrastructure policy. Hayley previously worked at the UK’s Infrastructure and Projects Authority (part of Cabinet Office and HMT), where she worked with UK government departments to develop their capability to deliver infrastructure, and also spent two years with DFID in Nepal, working on rural infrastructure and improving the seismic safety of buildings and was part of the response team after the 2015 earthquake. Before that, Hayley worked in engineering consultancy and with Save the Children, including in South Sudan, Bangladesh, and Ecuador.

Katie Cresswell

Katie Cresswell-Maynard, Engineers Without Borders Chief Executive

Katie is the Chief Executive of Engineers Without Borders UK, a charity dedicated to focusing engineering on achieving sustainable development. To do this Engineers Without Borders UK drives a movement for change in how engineering is perceived, taught and practiced in the UK and addresses unequal access to water, sanitation, energy and built environment provisions with partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America. As Chief Executive, Katie has overall responsibility for leading the organisation to achieve its strategic aims and all aspects of operational performance.

Brittany Harris

Brittany Harris, BuroHappold Engineering Ground Engineering

Brittany graduated from the University of Bristol in 2015 with a First Class (Hons) Masters in Civil Engineering. While at university she was awarded the Royal Academy of Engineering Advanced Award and the Undergraduate of the Year Award in Design and Construction Engineering (Target Jobs) which enabled her to spend a summer working in Hong Kong with Laing O Rourke and Arup. Focused on the application of engineering in sustainable development, on graduating she went on to work with Engineers Without Borders on the three month placement looking at alternative sanitation solutions for a remote community on the northern coastal desert of Peru.

In January of 2016 she joined BuroHappold in their water team in Bath, working on floor risk and water resource management, using her passion for sustainability to drive change both within the company and industry as a whole. In the summer of 2016 she joined World Merit in New York to develop an action plan for the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which she then presented in the UN. It is this passion for the SDGs that she presented during the NCE Graduate Awards and has been the back bone of her campaign to engage Civil Engineers in enabling global sustainable development. As one of the ICE Presidents Apprentices she is working across institutions, alongside RIBA and the IStructE to promote the role of engineering in achieving the UN SDGs.

She continues to work for BuroHappold and pursue her love of working in the remote communities, this time in Kenya looking at water access, but her primary focus is to engage engineers in the contributing to a more sustainable future a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Queen Mary College in London. After spending a few years in the aerospace industry I gravitated into the technical recruitment industry initially in the aerospace sector before moving into the civil engineering sector. I then spent about seven years recruiting exclusively for civil engineering consultants internationally. During this time I recruited engineers from all over the world into more than 60 countries. I came in house to work at Mott MacDonald about 10 years ago and have been responsible for recruitment of engineers worldwide mostly for Mott MacDonald’s power business.

Anna Bruni

Anna Bruni Sabhaney, Happold Foundation & Capita Trustee (Happold Foundation) Principal Engineer (Capita)

Anna's involvement with the Happold Foundation started in 2009 as a Happold Foundation Scholar. Anna supported an Engineers Without Borders (EWB ) Design Challenge in India, where she worked with rural communities to tackle water infrastructure problems. She has since been an EWB Mentor, a Career Accademies UK mentor and during her time at BuroHappold helped to set up the Share Our Skills Initiative.

Anna joined the Happold Foundation as a Trustee in 2016. As part of her role she has been consolidating the Foundation's community of collaborators, promoting discussions on critical challenges faced by society and encouraging likeminded organisations to develop the tools and skills needed to maximise their contribution to positive change in the industry.

Anna's principle areas of interest are strategic water engineering, flood risk management, cities resilience and the use of systems thinking. As a Chartered Principal Civil Engineer at Capita, Anna also leads multi-disciplinary teams under the WEM Framework. Recently her responsibilities have included acting as Lead Supervisor on a costal flood defence scheme in Newhaven, managing the detailed design for a flood defence scheme in Surrey and being part of the Environment Agency's Supporting Communities Remaining at Risk programme that aims to improve resilience and response efficiency during major flooding incidents across the UK. Previously, at BuroHappold, Anna has led the delivery of water resource management strategies for international cities and masterplans in a range of countries including the UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, North America, Africa and China.