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Having worked both in consultancy in the UK and for NGOs in disaster settings, Simon Bird will describe the satisfaction of achieving solutions, yet the challenges faced working in these settings.
Specific examples will include bridges built with local labour in DR Congo and designing housing shelters in Haiti that resist hurricane loading, whist using local construction techniques. He will argue that the simple and robust solutions developed are valid expressions of engineering science.
Simon is passionate about the role of engineering in disaster situations. He is a chartered civil engineer and REDR member, with many years' experience in engineering consultancy. He also worked in rural development in N Thailand and on several occasions with Medair - a Christian disaster relief and recovery NGO based in Switzerland - and a couple of other NGOs.
This took him to N Iraq, Indonesia, Haiti, Congo and Nepal. He recently worked for DFID overseeing road rehabilitation in DR Congo. He is now part-time infrastructure advisor for Medair, and spends the rest of the time as a tunnel engineer with Mott MacDonald. He studied Civil Engineering at Bristol University and Soil Mechanics at Imperial College.