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Event Organiser: ICE

Graduate voting rights – the debate, online

  • Webinar
  • Online
  • 20 October 2020
  • 09:00 - 10:30
Graduate voting rights – the debate, online

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Voting rights for ICE Graduate members

ICE members are invited to take part in a debate about voting rights for Graduate members, whether these should be changed and if so, what those changes should be.

Graduate members are currently entitled to elect Graduate members to Council. The debate will discuss whether their voting rights could be extended to allow them full voting rights to elect all Council members and on all other matters affecting the By-laws. Or whether their rights should remain the same until they become professionally qualified.

ICE Council raised this issue last year and now wishes to engage the ICE membership in an open debate before taking its recommendations to the Trustee Board. Any change to voting rights will involve amending the By-laws which will then require approval by Corporate Members in a ballot.

To book your place please email [email protected].


09.00  Opening remarks from the Chair, President ICE Paul Sheffield
09.05  Séan Harris, Director of Membership, ICE
09.20  Daaoud Shafi, Chair GS Net, ICE
09.30  Louise Hetherington, Structural engineer, Atkins, President Future leader
09.35  Chris Burton, Executive Managing Director, Tony Gee
09.50  Q&A session
10.25  Closing remarks from the Chair, President ICE Paul Sheffield
10.30 Event ends


Chair - Paul Sheffield

ICE President

Paul Sheffield

Paul studied civil engineering at the University of Surrey graduating in 1983, becoming Chartered in 1987.

Following graduation, he spent 31 years with the Kier Group, initially working on a wide range of civil engineering and construction projects in various parts of the world including a gold mine in Papua New Guinea, a commercial development in London, a concrete gravity dam in Snowdonia where he was the Chief Engineer and latterly as Project Director on a power station in Hertfordshire, a desalination plant in Saudi Arabia and underground railways in Hong Kong.

Between 2005 and 2010 he was on the Board of Kier with responsibility for their global civil engineering and construction activities and from 2010 to 2014 he was CEO of the Group with overall revenues of £3bn and activities spanning construction, support services, property development and high rise residential.

In 2014 he joined Laing O’Rourke to head their UK and Middle East construction business with close involvement in major infrastructure and construction projects such as Thames Tideway Tunnels and Hinkley Point C nuclear power station and various hospitals, schools, retail and residential projects.

Paul is currently a non-executive Director of Southern Water Services and is on the Supervisory Board of the Dutch Construction Group BAM. He is also an Industrial Advisor to the Board of Manchester Airport Group working on their capital expansion work at both Manchester and Stansted airports. He is a chartered engineer, an ICE Fellow and President of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). He was awarded a CBE in 2014 for services to construction and charitable fundraising.

Séan Harris

Director of Membership, ICE

Séan Harris

An engineer of thirty years’ experience, Séan commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1989 and thereafter served with the Brigade of Gurkhas for most of his career; he served twice in Hong Kong and Brunei, Iraq, Angola, Sierra Leone, Falkland Islands, Kosovo as well as Nepal and Europe.

His penultimate role in the British Army was as Corps Colonel Royal Engineers where he oversaw the Institution of Royal Engineers as it gained and implemented the Engineering Council licence to qualify members as Engineering Technician, Incorporated Engineer and Chartered Engineer. He sees professional development and whole life learning as being core to the membership offer of the Institution.

His final role saw him in the role of Defence Attaché to Nepal and Commander British Gurkhas where he was responsible for the delivery of the UK’s defence diplomacy programme. In 2015, he led the UK military response to the Nepal earthquakes which included stabilisation and rebuild operations for the country’s 30,000 Gurkha ex-servicemen. In a distinguished career, he has built up significant, operational, planning and financial experience.

Séan has a real focus on meeting the needs of members. He recognises the importance of the global membership and has begun placing the needs of members at the heart of our policy and planning. All programmes being delivered are aimed at enhancing the quality and depth of the offer and raising the standard of what members can expect from the ICE. With an increasingly diverse and gender balanced membership, he sees inclusion as being the catalyst to ever stronger bonds between ICE and those it serves in society.

Séan took over as the Director of Membership in August 2015.

Chris Burton

Director, Tony Gee

Chris Burton

Chris has over 30 years of experience of working in the civil engineering industry and is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of both ICE and CIHT. His career has extended through a variety of roles with major contractors and consultants. He is a Partner at Tony Gee and Partners which he joined in 2013 and is the Business Development Director.

Alongside his day job Chris has held numerous industry roles for organisations such as ICE, CITB and TAC. He has been involved with ICE since the mid 1990’s and has chaired or engaged with several Membership and other panels for which he received the 2018 Warren Medal. He is currently Chair of the ICE Professionalism Panel and a member of the Membership Committee.

More recently he has also been Chair of the Technical Apprenticeship Consortium.

Daaoud Shafi

Chair Graduate & Student Network

Daaoud Shafi

Daaoud Shafi is the outgoing Chair of ICE’s Graduate and Student Network (GSNet). He works for the Carey group as a design engineer for Careys Design Team. Daaoud's interest is in structural engineering with a particular focus on building structures.

GSNet over the past two years has worked hard; representing the views of aspiring members to the many ICE panels and ultimately, to Council. Together GSNet has contributed to everything from Streamlining 2.0; to Graduate Voting Rights; to the Institution's Governance reforms.

The GSNet executive committee has made history by appointing the first modern apprentice to Chair GSNet. It has strengthened existing links with international regions through the Emerging Engineers competition and improved the function of GSNet in promoting best practice - especially so during this COVID 19 period. As outgoing Chair, Daaoud's final task is to promote the right to vote for the 20,0000 graduates he has had the honour of representing. This, in addition to GSNet's and the ICE's ongoing reforms, will secure graduate engagement for the generations to come; through greater integration and representation.

Louise Hetherington

Structural engineer, Atkins

Louise Hetherington

Since joining Atkins in 2016, Louise has been working as a structural engineer. She has worked on small renovation and analysing projects through to assessments on Hinckley Point C, she has experience in new build structures as well as heritage assets.

She is currently working on a defence project which allows her to expand her technical knowledge into an area she has not previously worked in. Alongside this, she is the co-chair of the Atkins Disability Network and a co-founder of “Constructing Mindsets”, a construction industry mental health podcast which aims to open the conversation about different mental health conditions.

Prof. Paul Jowitt

Past President, ICE

Paul Jowitt

Paul is Professor of Civil Engineering at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh. He is currently President of the Commonwealth Engineers Council and a Past President (2009-10) of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). In 2003 he chaired the ICE Presidential Commission - “Engineering without Frontiers” - to examine society’s expectations of the civil engineer in the 21st Century and the engineer’s contribution to meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals. He was awarded a CBE in 2011.

Paul was the author of the ICE’s 6th Brunel International Lecture “Engineering Civilisation from the Shadows” which addressed the twin issues of Poverty and Climate Change. The lecture was delivered at over 40 venues in 16 different countries.

He is Chair of Engineers Against Poverty and a Trustee of Engineers for Change (Sierra Leone). He is also a member of the Steering Group for the GCRF-DfID-funded Africa Catalyst Programme, managed by the RAEng.

Event venue

United Kingdom

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ICE Events Team

e: [email protected]