Event archive

Event Organiser: ICE

ICE Strategy Session: The value of community engagement on infrastructure projects, online

  • Webinar
  • Online
  • 10 November 2020
  • 09:00 - 10:30
ICE Strategy Session: The value of community engagement on infrastructure projects, online

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Civil engineers make an essential contribution to society by designing and shaping the natural and built environment. It is often said that people and the community are at the heart of what the profession does, with consulting firms/contractors sharing their success stories of adopting approaches which involve the public in decision making to ensure local benefit as far as possible.

However, is this always the case? To what extent are the public truly engaged in the process? Are cost and client expectations preventing us or hampering efforts to actually work with the community to build and maintain infrastructure assets which actually benefit and improves their lives.

Community engagement is important and can lead to improved outcomes on infrastructure projects. It increases acceptance of decisions and community commitment to outcomes as local knowledge from diverse groups shapes and creates inclusive, effective solutions.

Engineers have historically been criticised for designing infrastructure without successfully engaging the community. Whereas the follow-on effect of active participation is increased trust in organisations and governance to make better public decisions.

This event aims to demonstrate good practice principles for community engagement, identifying specific examples of good practice where infrastructure professionals have worked with the public on infrastructure projects to achieve the optimum solution for the community.

In this seminar, panellists will discuss

  • The changing needs of the community. Anusha Shah
  • The Fishlake floods and the value of working with the community. Peter Trimingham
  • Sustainable infrastructure development - why is engagement important? Monika Szczyrba
  • Good practice principles for community engagement on infrastructure projects. Prof. Sarah Bell

The discussion will be followed by a 20-minute Q&A session for delegates to quiz speakers on the design principles project and discuss its practical applications.


Mark Hansford

Director, ICE

Mark Hansford

Mark is passionate about civil engineering. He is a civil engineer; he is a Fellow of the ICE; and throughout his 20-plus year career he has sought roles that have allowed him to work with others to both promote the profession and provide professional engineers with the information to help them become better engineers.

That passion for the industry stems from his 20-plus year association with it. He has a MEng in Civil Engineering (First class) from the University of Birmingham and spent three years as a practicing engineer with consultant Atkins before joining New Civil Engineer in 2000, a title he edited for five years before joining the ICE in February 2020.

As a practicing civil engineer he carried out water supply and distribution analysis in the UK and overseas, spending several months in Ghana conducting a fixed asset condition and revaluation study of its 100 largest urban water schemes.

At New Civil Engineer he visited and wrote technical reports on some of the world’s most spectacular structures in including the Burj Khalifa, the Brenner Base Tunnel and Vladivostok’s Russky Island bridge.

He also reported from the scene of a host of international engineering disasters including a bridge collapse in northern Portugal, a tunnel fire in Baltimore and tsunami-struck Sri Lanka. And in 2003 he was the first construction reporter into Iraq following the second Gulf War.

Beyond the ICE Mark volunteers time to judge numerous industry awards and in recognition of his efforts to promote the profession was in 2016 invited to join the Worshipful Company of Paviors, a City of London Livery Company that works to promote the highways industry and provide opportunities for young people through its London Highway Academy.

Anusha Shah BEng, MSc, CEng, FICE

Director, Resilient Cities Arcadis

Anusha Shah

Anusha is a Director-Resilient Cities at Arcadis. She is also a Royal Academy of Engineering-Visiting Professor at King’s College London on Climate Adaptation, Sustainability and Inclusive Design. A Fellow with the ICE. she has recently been appointed as the succeeding Vice President at the ICE.

Anusha is an External Examiner at Leeds Beckett University and represents Arcadis at the London Climate Change Partnership. She is also the immediate Past Chair of the Thames Estuary Partnership Board.

Anusha has specialisation in Water & Environmental Engineering with over 20 years’ experience in designing, managing and leading projects and programmes both in the UK and internationally. She has worked with the government, NGO’s, consultants, contractors, regulator and utility companies, and has led various multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural projects on Water, Environment, Flood Risk Management, Mining and Rail.

She was the Co-Chair of ICE London and South-East Diversity Task Force and a member of the ICE Fairness, Inclusion and Respect Panel. Anusha was the youngest and first female Chair of the ICE - London Region in 2010, General Council Member and Trustee of the ICE for two consecutive terms, Non-Exec Director-Thomas Telford Board, Member, Member - ICE Executive Board, Member-ICE Research & Development Panel and Member - ICE Qualifications Panel.

Peter Trimingham

Deputy Lead Flood Warden, Fishlake

Peter Trimingham

A geographer, with long experience of teaching A level, Peter has always had a strong interest in the causes, impact of and prevention of flooding. Particularly so, since he grew up in, and subsequently returned to, a village in the flood plain of the River Don, although until 2019 the village had not flooded in the previous 70 years.

During his career Peter was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work in industry in a leadership training role, this industrial experience proved crucial to his later career as a headteacher. Retiring from Headship of a successful secondary school in a challenging environment, Peter then worked part time as a consultant Headteacher supporting schools in difficult circumstances.

Fully retired, and blessed with an abundance of energy, Peter settled into a number of roles in village life, as a parish councillor, flood warden and neighbourhood watch coordinator and as a member of a local conservation group. The role of a Flood Warden in the Fishlake flood of 8 November 2019 resulted in an invitation to present a radio programme on the flood which led nicely into fighting Fishlake’s corner in arguing for better protection from flooding from the EA, the Internal Drainage Board and Doncaster MBC.

Monika Szczyrba

Civil Engineer, Stantec

Monika Szczyrba

Monika is a civil engineering graduate at Stantec and a co-founder of the ICE Community of Practice on Community Engagement in Infrastructure.

In 2019, in her role as one of the ICE President’s Future Leaders, Monika developed and proposed a set of strategic recommendations to ICE Council to improve community engagement within the industry at the earliest stages of projects. One of the recommended actions led her to co-found a Community of Practice in Community Engagement with Dr Sarah Bell (UCL).

Monika is a member of the ICE Carbon Project, developing an industry-wide response to achieving net-zero. She holds a degree in civil engineering with Spanish from the University of Sheffield and is an awardee of leadership scholarships from the Royal Academy of Engineering and Institution of Civil Engineers.

Sarah Bell

Professor of Environmental Engineering, University College London

Sarah Bell

Sarah Bell is Professor of Environmental Engineering in the Institute for Environmental Design at UCL. Her research focusses on the sustainability of urban water systems, with particular emphasis on community engagement with infrastructure.

Sarah is an EPSRC Living With Environmental Change Research Fellow, Chartered Engineer, and Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management. She is chair of the ICE’s Community of Practice on Community Engagement.

Event venue

United Kingdom

For more information please contact:

ICE Events Team

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