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Event Organiser: ICE

ICE Strategy Session – What makes good design? online

  • Webinar
  • Online
  • 08 September 2020
  • 09:00 - 10:30
ICE Strategy Session – What makes good design? online

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“Design is about how something works and how it looks. It matters for infrastructure projects at every scale, whether the infrastructure is visible and used physically by people, or whether it is hidden and used to provide services to people.

“Great infrastructure uses design to solve problems and seeks to maximise the different types of benefits it provides over its whole life. When visible, it should look good too. Projects shape the landscape for decades, even centuries. Generations of people will see them, use them and be affected by them every day”. Introduction to the National Infrastructure Commission’s design principles for national infrastructure.

The National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC) design group and ICE have formed a partnership to explore how the conscious decisions of civil engineers aligns with the NIC’s design principles, to achieve better outcomes for climate, people, places and value in the planning and delivery of major projects.

In this seminar, members of the NIC design group will discuss:

  • The thinking behind the NIC’s design principles – how they can be used; what they are and what they are not. Professor Sadie Morgan OBE
  • The drivers and barriers of successful infrastructure planning and delivery. Judith Sykes
  • The concept of context. Andrew Grant
  • Perspectives on the rail sector. Anthony Dewar
  • What is ‘good’ design? Professor Hanif Kara

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.


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.

Professor Sadie Morgan OBE

Sadie Morgan

Sadie is a Co-Founding Director of dRMM. Over a 25-year career Sadie has played a key role in the advocacy of exemplary design and architecture through her professional practice and advisory roles.

Sadie has led a number of award-winning projects, including the innovative residential scheme, No. One Centaur Street. Elements of Sadie’s design thinking can be found throughout dRMM’s projects, from the Stirling Prize-winning Hastings Pier to Trafalgar Place, Clapham Manor Primary School and Faraday House at the Battersea Power Station.

In her role as a design champion Sadie’s involved in a number of advisory roles including chairing the Independent Design Panel for High Speed Two and being one of ten commissioners for the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC). She has been instrumental in setting up the NIC’s Design Group which will place design at the heart of all new major infrastructure projects.

In 2017 Sadie was chosen as a Mayor’s design advocate for the Greater London Authority and became a non- executive director of the Major Project Association. She is a non-executive director of U+I, overseeing delivery of their commitments to community engagement in PPP projects.

In 2019, Sadie was awarded a RIBA Honorary Fellowship and appointed as a member to the Homes England board, the UK government’s housing accelerator. She recently founded the Quality of Life Foundation – a new independent body aimed at raising people’s quality of life and wellbeing through the improvement of the built environment.

Sadie lectures internationally on the work of dRMM and the importance of infrastructure which connects back to people and place. In 2013 she became the youngest president of the Architectural Association, and in 2016 she was appointed professor at the University of Westminster and awarded an honorary doctorate from London South Bank University.

In 2017, she was named New Londoner of the Year by the NLA for her work championing the importance of design at the highest political level and most recently she won ‘Female Architectural Leader of the Year’ at the BD awards and AJ100 Contribution to the Profession.

In the New Years Honours 2020, she was awarded an OBE by the Queen for services to design advocacy in the built environment.

Judith Sykes

Judith Sykes

Judith is a Chartered Civil Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Senior Director of Expedition Engineering. Judith is a highly experienced civil engineer with expertise in environmental planning, sustainable design and strategy.

Her technical expertise spans water, energy, the circular economy and urban resilience. She has over 20 years’ experience in urban development and infrastructure delivery on projects around the world.

Judith is a member of the National Infrastructure Commissions Design Group, is a past editor of Engineering Sustainability, and sits on a number of design review panels. She is also a member of VeloCity, the winning proposal for the NIC’s ideas competition.

She was a member of the steering committee for the ICE’s 2020 State of the Nation Policy Report on Net Zero Carbon and the Research Director for an ICE cofounded research into Maximising Social Value from Infrastructure Projects.

Andrew Grant RDI, CMLI, Hon FRIBA, FRSA

Andrew Grant

Andrew is a Landscape Architect whose work explores the connection between people and nature. He started his company, Grant Associates, in 1997 which has grown into an international design studio with offices in Bath and Singapore.

His approach is based around using creative ecology to find solutions to the major challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and improving human quality of life, health and wellbeing. Each of his projects responds to the place, its inherent ecology and its people and promotes quality and innovation in landscape design.

In 2012 he was awarded the title of RSA Royal Designer for Industry in recognition of his pioneering global work in landscape architecture such as the multi award winning Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. The 54-hectare park explores the technical boundaries of landscape and horticulture in an Asian city and won the Building Project of the Year Award at the 2012 World Architecture Festival.

He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Sheffield, an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA and a member of the National Infrastructure Commission Design Group. Based in the city of Bath he is Chair of the Bathscape Landscape Partnership and a member of the Bath World Heritage Site Advisory Board. He is also co-founder of the pop-up festival Forest of Imagination which engages the wider community of Bath in the reimagining of city spaces and our relationship with nature in the city.

Anthony Dewar

Anthony Dewar

As Professional Head Buildings and Architecture Anthony is responsible for setting the strategic direction of Network Rails Built environment covering all elements of design including Architecture and Civil Engineering. He is responsible for Network Rail’s national standards, policies, new technology and international benchmarking for all Network Rails built environment assets.

He has led on elevating the importance of design within rail infrastructure and his notable achievements include forming the Network Rail (NR) independent design panel, development of NR design principles, reinvigorating NR’s design approach via design competitions and introduction of built environment design guidance.

An experienced transport professional, Anthony has over 20 years of industry experience and a proven track record in asset management, programme engineering and project development within government, client, consultant, contracting and risk environments in the UK and Europe.

Anthony has spent his career in a number of private sector bodies including working as a consultant for Jacobs Babtie, Louis Berger Inc and Railtrack; as well as a number of public sector bodies including Network Rail and Network Rail (High Speed) where he was the Head of Civil Engineering and Environment on HS1.

Anthony is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Royal Society of Arts. He is as a member of the National Infrastructure Commission Design Group.

Professor Hanif Kara

Professor Hanif Kara

Professor Hanif Kara is co-founder and Design Director of AKT II, a design-led structural and civil engineering firm based in London, UK. Hanif has gained international standing in the field of the built environment, through practice, pioneering research and education in interdisciplinary design. His work is widely published and currently he is Professor in Practice of Architectural Technology at Harvard GSD. He was also Professor of Architectural Technology at KTH Stockholm 2008 to 2012.

Hanif has led the practice in being associated with the most innovative construction projects and the practice has won over 350 design awards including the RIBA Stirling Award for the Peckham Library, London in 2000, for the Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge in 2012, and for the Bloomberg European HQ, London in 2018. The practice also was awarded by Building Magazine as ‘Engineering Consultant of the Year 2019, and Hanif was elected UK ACE Engineering Ambassador in 2011.

Hanif’s career extends into wider areas of design beyond the structural/civil engineering disciplines. He was the first structural engineer to be appointed on CABE (Commission for Architecture and Built Environment) and to be appointed on the Steering Committee for the highly regarded international AKAA (Aga Khan Award for Architecture) where he continues to serve. He was a trustee of the Architecture Foundation 2010 to 2019. He is currently a Member of the Kensington and Chelsea Quality Review Panel and the HS2 Design Review Panel.

Event venue

United Kingdom

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