Event archive

Event Organiser: ICE

How London’s pioneers built our city, London

  • Lecture
  • London
  • 06 March 2018
  • 18:30 - 20:00
How London’s pioneers built our city, London

About this event

Over the last 200 years, civil engineers have transformed London from a small town to a world city. London's sewer system saved the city from a major public health crisis; our roads, railways and bridges allowed the city to grow; our flood defences have continued to provide reliable protection; and engineers have continued to provide the ever growing city with clean water and energy.

Civil engineering's pioneers built with the future in mind, for example providing us with a sewer system that has seen us through from Victorian times up to the present day.

This lecture will celebrate our great past and look at what current day civil engineers can learn from the past as they strive to ensure London's continued growth and resilience.


Janet Miller, CEO, MOLA

Janet Miller

Museum of London Archaeology

Janet Miller joined MOLA in January 2017 as Chief Executive Officer. MOLA is one of the UK's leading organisations engaged in archaeological excavation and research in London and the UK. She studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge University, working initially as Field Archaeologist, before moving on to join Gifford and Partners and later Atkins, where she rose to Director Cities and Development, leading the Atkins Future Proofing Cities programme.

Alistair Lenczner

Alistair Lenczner

Director, Expedition

A Fellow of the ICE, Alistair Lenczner has over 30 years cross-discipline design experience working on major building and infrastructure projects in London and internationally. He joined Expedition Engineering in 2014 after having spent 16 years with architects Foster + Partners and 13 years with consulting engineers Arup before.

Projects on which he has played a significant part in shaping include the new Wembley Stadium, the Millau Viaduct in France and the Slussen Masterplan in central Stockholm. Whilst at Foster + Partners Alistair was instrumental in developing a proposal for a new Inner Thames Estuary Airport.

Recently has been involved in the design of the new HS2 Station at London Euston. Alistair is currently also a tutor at the Architectural Association.

Robert Hulse

Robert Hulse

Museum Director, The Brunel Museum

Robert is director of The Brunel Museum in the original Thames Tunnel engine house: Scheduled Ancient Monument, International Civil Engineering Landmark and National Heritage Site. In his two books The Brunels' Tunnel and Brunel's Great Eastern (jointly published Institution Civil Engineers), Robert reclaims Brunel as a London pioneer and proposes three Brunels - a dynasty of engineers - as shapers of the city.

Robert has degrees from the Universities of Oxford and London and has worked in education and museums for over 30 years. He taught at London University and City University; lectured at Chiba University, Tokyo, the Royal Institution of Great Britain and Tel Aviv University. He is recently returned from a second lecture tour of America, organised by the English Speaking Union, where he introduced Americans to Citizen Brunel and his son Isambard, the man whose London ship laid the first successful trans Atlantic cable.

Robert strongly supports museums in their search for a new and dynamic role within their local & engineering communities. The Grand Entrance Hall, where Isambard Kingdom Brunel began his extraordinary career, is open again after 150 years. This huge underground chamber above the Thames Tunnel now hosts music and opera as well as conferences, and is just up the river from the launch ramps of the Great Eastern, Brunel's last project built on the Isle of Dogs.

Robert worked with Transport for London to re-open the chamber and organise the first public walks through the Thames Tunnel, and daily heritage boat trips and train journeys over and through the Tunnel. He is now busy with an exciting project to build a new visitor centre in The Brunel Museum, to house the Thames Tunnel Archive, recently acquired at auction and described as the most significant Brunel drawings in existence. The Brunel Museum was proud to receive the Queen's Award.

Oliver Green

Oliver Green

Research Fellow, London Transport Museum

Oliver Green is a museums consultant and historian who started his career at the Museum of London. He later became head curator of the London Transport Museum, and is now LTM's first research fellow. He has lectured widely and written several books on the history, design and construction of London's transport systems including Underground: how the Tube shaped London and Frank Pick's London: art, design and the modern city.


Steve Lee

Steve Lee

Associate Director, Infrastructure, Turner & Townsend

Steve has over 17 years' consultancy experience within the infrastructure sector and currently runs a Global Programme Management Office to report and drive improvement across Shell's Real Estate portfolio. Prior to this he led a major change programme within Network Rail and has worked extensively with public sector bodies, including eight years in a client based project management role with the Environment Agency.

Steve is currently Junior Vice-Chair for Knowledge on the ICE London's Regional Committee and a member of the ICE London Regional Executive Board.

Event venue

Institution of Civil Engineers
One Great George Street
London SW1P 3AA
United Kingdom

For more information please contact:

Nalini Solanki

e: nalini.solanki@ice.org.uk