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Event Organiser: ICE

ICE Strategy Sessions: Engineering Rebellion – the future civil engineer

  • Lecture
  • Online
  • 21 July 2020
  • 11:00 - 12:30
ICE Strategy Sessions: Engineering Rebellion – the future civil engineer

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The ICE strives to stay abreast of wider economic, political, cultural and technological developments as they relate to industry and, specifically, the civil engineering profession. The grasp of such macro factors is critical to the ICE’s ability to define the role and purpose of the civil engineer and to identify, engage and embrace her or him in both a personal and professional capacity. Major shifts in digital developments, environmental and community focus, climate change priorities and the skills crisis make this need all the more complex and pressing.

It is against this backdrop that the ICE is exploring how the profession should evolve, from where the pipeline of future talent should be sourced and the ways the Institution, not only meets these challenges, but is able to thrive.

Recognising both the transformative and forward-thinking aspects at the core of this study, it has been named – Engineering Rebellion, a campaign for change. In this session, speakers, all members of the Engineering Rebellion steering group, will share their views on the disruptive factors at play and give an update on the project so far, which aims to launch in 2021.

In this session, a series of future-thinkers will outline how they see the profession evolving in key areas such as sustainability, business models, systems thinking, data, digital transformation and skills.

There will then be a 20 minute Q&A session for delegates to quiz speakers on the project and discuss its practical application.


Paul Sheffield

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.

Brittany Harris

Brittany Harris

Brittany is a Civil Engineer turned Entrepreneur. After years working in construction and engineering, she and her co-founder Jade Cohen decided to turn their talents to tackling global challenges by driving change in construction. In April 2018 they founded Qflow, a software platform that capitalises on cutting edge technology such as IoT and AI to enable construction teams to get real value from their data, and deliver productive, profitable and sustainable projects
Hayley Jackson

Hayley Jackson

Site Engineer

Hayley graduated with a First-Class Honours Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Nottingham in July 2018. During her time at university, she was an ICE Undergraduate QUEST Scholar, sponsored by Taylor Woodrow. She completed three summer placements on Victoria Dock Portal and Whitechapel Station, Crossrail and the M5 Junction 4a-6 Smart Motorway Upgrade.

After graduation, Hayley joined Taylor Woodrow (VINCI Construction) as an Assistant Engineer working on HS2 in Birmingham, Phase 1 North, as part of the Early Works Contractor in the Land Access team. She has since been promoted to a Site Engineer working in Pre-Construction where she is responsible for defining construction methodologies and planning for when works start on site.

Katherine Bew

Katherine Bew

Founder and Managing Director

Katherine is the founder and Managing Director of the specialist built environment consultancy firm PCSG Ltd. In 2000, at the age of 29 and having spent almost 10 years in the civil engineering division of John Laing Construction, Katherine left Laing to set up her own company with a clear focus on helping contractors with their pre-construction activities, in particular business strategy and bidding. 20 years on, a lot has happened, including the merger of her business with that of her husband Mark Bew (former Chairman of the UK Government BIM Task Group).

She now has a 50+ strong team based in the UK and Australia. Katherine’s passion is bringing about better social, environmental and financial outcomes by enabling transformational change through the use of digital data and developing high performance collaborative team cultures.

Dr Anna Plodowski

Dr Anna Plodowski

Knowledge Content Producer

Anna previously worked as a cognitive neuroscientist before pursuing her interest in climate change and sustainability. Seeing business and innovation as an essential part of any effective response, she undertook PhD studies in innovation, focusing on collaboration in a large renewable electricity project utilising multiple technologies. This increased her appreciation of civil engineering and civil engineers and since 2017 she has worked as part of the Engineering Knowledge team at the ICE, helping produce knowledge with and for practising civil engineers.

Emma-Jane Houghton

Emma-Jane Houghton

Chair of Engineering Rebellion

Emma-Jane is a highly experienced infrastructure specialist with a strong executive advisor background in major infrastructure projects. Her expertise is based on both coal-face delivery and Big 4 advisory. In the first half of her career she developed solid commercial skills in a range of pre and post contract delivery environments – highlights include her roles at Terminal 5, East London Line Extension, Thameslink and London 2012. Emma-Jane is a chartered quantity surveyor and her comprehensive delivery experience has enabled her to gain first-hand commercial experience across the end-to-end construction supply chain. It was this mix of roles, and the very different delivery environments within which she operated, that sparked a deep interest for Emma-Jane regarding the link between commercial ‘ethos’ and the resulting performance of project teams and their extended supply chains.

In the second half of her career in consulting Emma-Jane specialised in this area. Specifically, she developed core expertise in the creation and optimisation of collaborative structures including partnerships, alliances and joint ventures. Highlights include designing complex commercial models for rail alliances of multi-parties, advising boards across a range of sectors on collaborative procurement models – particularly the merits of procuring for value instead of lowest capex cost - and working with infrastructure organisations to build high performing integrated delivery teams.

Emma-Jane chairs the Crossrail 2 Expert Cost, Commercial and Risk Group (ERG) and is a Major in Engineering and Logistics Staff Corps commissioned to provide impartial and confidential advise to the British Armed Forces. She enjoys a range of equestrian sports and spends as much of her spare time as possible at the farm where she keeps her horses.

David Richards

David Richards

Head of the School of Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

David is a Professor in Ground Engineering and since 1 August, 2018, Head of the School of Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Southampton.

His technical interests include the geotechnical aspects of ageing infrastructure, large-scale field monitoring, the engineering behaviour and characterisation (pre and post processed) of landfill wastes, and the mechanical characterization of chalk using CT imaging techniques and cyclic simple shear tests. He has undertaken extensive studies into the rate loading effects of electricity transmission tower (shallow) footing systems involving both scaled physical modelling techniques in a geotechnical centrifuge and through large scale field monitoring. More recently he has been investigating the design and performance of Overhead Line Electrification (OLE) foundations and establishing the validity of empirical design methods and increased loads through extensive field testing programmes. In both cases, the work has informed the development of more appropriate design standards that capture the inherent resilience of near surface foundation systems. Current work includes a review of the management of scour for rail assets using sonar technique and screwpile anchor performance for offshore applications.

He is PI for the £26M BEIS/EPSRC funded UKCRIC National Infrastructure Laboratory on the Southampton Boldrewood Campus and UKCRIC Coordination Node (CN) Director of Strategy – the CN is working to deliver a networked suite of national research test facilities and establishing collaborations and technical input to major rail infrastructure projects including HS2 and East West Rail.

Teaching covers all aspects of geotechnics and foundations with particular interests in the broad aspects of engineering design, sustainability and temporary works design. Working with industrial collaborators and recent graduates, he leads the Civil Engineering Part 1 Constructionarium undertaken at the National Construction College, Norfolk requiring students to consider all aspects of project management including time management, financial implications, risk management and health and safety issues and more recently PAS2080 concepts.

David was awarded a Gledden Senior Visiting Fellowship by the University of Western Australia, Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems in 2001. He is a co-recipient of the IMechE Thomas Hawksley Gold Medal and the John F Alcock Memorial Prize, 2007, an ICE Telford Premium, 2009 and the ICE Curtin Medal, 2016.

Huda As

Huda As'ad

Head of Infrastructure Performance

Huda is a Chartered Civil Engineer with over 16 years of experience in the UK construction and infrastructure market. Having started her career working for one of the UK’s largest contractors delivering major projects throughout London and the South East, she subsequently joined EY (formerly known as Ernst & Young) to work on some of the largest infrastructure programmes including the London 2012 Olympics (7 years of reporting to the ODA’s Chief Risk Officer managing the co-sources internal audit and assurance team), Dublin Airport T2 project (setting up the capital projects internal audit function), National Grid (redesigning the governance process for the £30bn capital delivery programme within Electricity Transmission), Thames Tideway Tunnel (advised both management and government on risk and cost analysis), and Network Rail (conducted internal reviews of Infrastructure Projects).

Having left as a director in the Capital and Infrastructure Advisory team, Huda now works for the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, which reports jointly to the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury, advising ministers and senior officials on infrastructure performance. Leveraging her years of experience advising Board executives, a sold commercial background and a portfolio of procurement related roles, she is focussed on the government’s Infrastructure and Construction procurement agenda. Huda currently sits on several government programme boards fulling different roles – as an advisor, as the government (funder’s) representative and as a non-executive director.

Huda cares passionately about lots of things, the main four are - in no particular order: transforming and improving the diversity and sustainability of the construction industry, STEM in education and encouraging more girls into it (she’s a construction ambassador), family and baking.

Event venue

United Kingdom

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