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Event Organiser: ICE

State of the Nation 2021: Six ways for civil engineers to act on climate change, webinar

  • Webinar
  • Online
  • 05 October 2021
  • 09:00 - 10:30
State of the Nation 2021: Six ways for civil engineers to act on climate change, webinar

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With infrastructure responsible for more than half of the UK’s carbon emissions (and similar numbers globally), it is time that we seriously address how to do things differently. Civil engineers are responsible for infrastructure – and that makes them responsible for supporting efforts to change and make our planet more sustainable.

Next month, the UK Government is hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. Leaders of the world will come together to show true global leadership to tackle climate change, driving home to importance of acting now.

Each year, ICE produces a State of the Nation report which aims to stimulate debate and highlight the actions needed to improve the UK’s infrastructure services.

Last year’s report examined UK infrastructure’s contribution to achieving the net zero carbon target by 2050 and recommended a series of policy solutions. State of that Nation 2021 builds on last year’s recommendations and focuses on the role of civil engineers in this challenge. It underlines the actions the profession must take to act on climate change.

The State of the Nation 2021 report accepts that we all have a role to play and outlines:

  • our assessment of the current state of the nation as regards the current infrastructure carbon footprint and its trajectory;
  • our assessment of our civil engineers’ current state of readiness to tackle carbon through regional workshops and
  • our checklist of six key actions civil engineers must take to act on climate change.

Join ICE President Rachel Skinner and members of the State of the Nation 2021 Project Board as they set out our key actions for civil engineers to tackle the climate emergency.


Rachel Skinner BSc MSc(Eng) FREng CEng FICE CTPP FCIHT

Rachel Skinner

President, Institution of Civil Engineers, Executive Director, WSP, Patron, Women in Transport

Executive Director (Transport) at WSP. She is a Patron of Women in Transport (a not-for-profit) having been one of its founding board members since 2005.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a chartered engineer and a chartered transport planner. Rachel chairs the Carbon stream of the Infrastructure Client Group (ICG) and was recently invited to join the external expert panel established to support the UK Department for Transport’s Acceleration Unit that is focused on a faster, better and greener recovery beyond COVID-19. She served two years as an Infrastructure Commissioner for Scotland from late 2018.

In 2016, Rachel was listed as one of The Telegraph’s inaugural UK Top 50 Influential Women in Engineering; in 2017 she was named the Most Distinguished Winner and Best Woman Civil Engineer at the Women in Civil Engineering Awards, and in 2019 she was confirmed by the Financial Times as one of the UK’s Top 100 Women in Engineering.

Rachel has authored, scripted and hosted publications and films on topics including “Shaping Zero” about net zero carbon for infrastructure, “Making Better Places” on place-making and future mobility, and before that about digital technology and its potential for infrastructure, industry innovation and collaboration. She is regularly invited to give keynote conference presentations and to chair international and national industry events. Rachel is involved with strategic projects for clients across the public and private sectors, including leadership of a growing portfolio of future mobility projects in the UK and overseas.

Shamit Gaiger, Director of Strategic Advisory, Consultancy, AECOM

Shamit Geiger

Shamit leads AECOM’s Advisory Practice. She is a Trustee and Board Member for Campaign for Better Transport and recently asked to Join Women in Rail as A Trustee and board member.

Shamit has more than 20 years’ experience in developing national and sectoral policies and strategies for the UK in areas such as innovation, technology, industrial strategy, sustainability, risk sharing, productivity, decision taking, funding and financing, skills and leadership.

Most recently, she led the negotiations on the Rail Sector Deal on behalf of HM Government. She was personally asked to take specific industry roles and conduct reviews of industry policy.

Until February 2020, Shamit was a Non-Executive Director at the Department for Transport’s Passenger Services, and a member of the Franchising Advisory Panel to Secretary of State.

Shamit has won various international awards and she was recently named by Rail Magazine as one of the most influential women in rail.

Kaye Pollard, ICE President’s Future Leader 2020-21 and ICE Carbon Champion

Kaye Pollard

Kaye Pollard is an ICE President’s Future Leader 2020-21 and a civil engineer at Mott MacDonald working in the water sector. Kaye has recently been awarded the title ICE Carbon Champion.

Kaye is passionate about climate change and climate adaptation and says that much of the impact will come through the water cycle, which has steered her career so far.

Kaye works within her employer’s water consultancy business and has been involved in projects such as the Boston Barrier, Thames Water’s water resource management plan and United Utilities’ Thirlmere aqueduct project.

She studied civil engineering at the University of Bristol. Kaye became involved in Engineers Without Borders during her studies, becoming inspired by the group of people who came together with her to improve the lives of communities across the world using their technical skills.

Kaye’s first involvement with the ICE was when she won a Quest Scholarship which sponsored her through her degree. It gave her the opportunity to undertake summer placements with Skanska and Black & Veatch during her studies.

Bridget Rosewell CBE, Commissioner, National Infrastructure Commission

Bridget Rosewll

Bridget Rosewell is an experienced director, policy maker and economist, with a track record in advising public and private sector clients on key strategic issues. She is a Commissioner for the National Infrastructure Commission in the UK, Chair of Atom Bank and of the M6 Toll Company and a non-executive for Northumbrian Water Group, as well as founder and Senior Adviser of Volterra Partners. She has been Senior Independent Director for Network Rail, Chair of Risk for Ulster Bank and Chief Economic Adviser to the Greater London Authority. Her book, ‘Reinventing London’ was published in 2014. She has worked on HS1, Crossrail, Crossrail2 and HS2

She was appointed CBE in December 2018 and is also a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Academy of Social Science and the Society of Professional Economists. She writes on finance, risk and uncertainty as well as infrastructure and modelling validation.

She has worked extensively on cities, infrastructure and finance, advising on projects in road and rail and on major property developments and regeneration. She has given expert evidence in many planning inquiries and has recently chaired a review of the operation of these inquiries for MHCLG and is a member of the Independent Panel Reviewing Transport for London’s finances. She has been a member of a number of Commissions looking at the future of public services, local government finance and city and regional economies.

Dr Jannik Giesekam, Chancellor’s Fellow, University of Strathclyde

Dr Jannik Giesekam

Dr Jannik Giesekam is a Chancellor’s Fellow in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. His research focusses on the policy and practices required to deliver a net zero carbon in the built environment and a more circular economy.

He has undertaken work for the Green Construction Board, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Committee on Climate Change and the Scottish Government, including the development and provision of National Indicators. He has contributed to guidance documents, served on steering groups and acted as a technical reviewer for groups such as the UK Green Building Council, the Institution of Structural Engineers and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

He also undertakes a small number of consultancy projects each year for clients such as Zero Waste Scotland, the Rail Safety and Standards Board and the International Finance Corporation.

He received the 2019 Richard Trevithick Fund Prize from the Institution of Civil Engineers for his work on embodied carbon, and authored the ICE’s 2020 update of progress against the Infrastructure Carbon Review. He is actively involved in a range of cross industry initiatives such as The Embodied Carbon Group, the Net Zero Infrastructure Industry Coalition, and the ICE’s Carbon Project.