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President, Institution of Civil Engineers
Rachel is Executive Director (Transport) at WSP. She was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2019 and is a Chartered Engineer, Trustee and Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers. She is also a Fellow of the Institute of Highways & Transportation and a Chartered Transport Planner.
In 2016, Rachel was named as one of The Telegraph’s inaugural Top 50 Influential Women in Engineering and in 2017 she was named as “Most Distinguished Winner” and “Best Woman in Civil Engineering” at the European Women in Construction and Engineering Awards.
In late 2018, she was appointed by the Scottish Government as an Infrastructure Commissioner for Scotland and is a Patron of Women in Transport, a not-for-profit networking organisation working to improve gender equality, having been one of its founding board members in 2005.
Co-Chair Belfast Climate Commission, Professor of Green Political Economy, Queen’s University Belfast
John is father of two children and Professor of Green Political Economy and Director of the Centre for Sustainability, Equality and Climate Action at Queens University Belfast. What keeps him awake at night is the life opportunities and future wellbeing of his children.
His areas of academic research include post-growth and heterodox political economy; the politics, policy and political economy of climate breakdown and climate resilience; and socio-technical analyses of low carbon energy transitions. His latest book is The Politics of Actually Existing Unsustainability: Human Flourishing in a Climate-Changed, Carbon-Constrained World (Oxford University Press).
Since January 2020 John is the co-chair of the Belfast Climate Commission, and was a Green Party councillor from 2011-2018 on Ards and North Down council.
Head of Energy, NI Water
Damien is the Head of Energy for Northern Ireland Water and leads the team across a number of ongoing energy efficiency and renewables projects. Damien is a Civil Engineer with more than 10 years’ experience in the energy and renewables industry in Northern Ireland.
Associate Director, Arup
Diane lead Arup’s Belfast office, which is home to over 100 staff working across all aspects of the built environment. She also leads Arup’s environmental, town planning, project management and transport planning services in Northern Ireland, supporting government, public and private sector clients on a wide range of advisory projects across the region.
Diane’s work has a focus on sustainability and resilience and her passion lies in embedding sustainable development in projects, policies and strategies. She is experienced in leading multidisciplinary commissions, delivering policy level support to government departments, coordination of public sector programmes in energy, waste and carbon management, developing corporate sustainability strategies and project specific master-planning and design advice.
In 2020, Diane was appointed to the Belfast Climate Commission, which provides an exciting opportunity to influence the city’s response to the climate emergency, supporting Belfast’s resilience planning to enable the creation of a better future for Northern Ireland.
Vice President, Institution of Civil Engineers
Recognised for actively raising the profile of civil engineering, Emer was first elected to the ICE Council in 2012 and in November 2018 became a Vice President and member of the ICE Trustee Board in London. She is also a Vice Chair of ICE Northern Ireland. In June 2015, Emer was awarded the OBE for services to civil engineering and further education in Northern Ireland. In 2019, she was invited to become a WISE Ambassador to act as role model and to work to promote gender balance at the highest levels within STEM across the UK.
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