Event archive

Event Organiser: ICE

The Big Debate 2018: Will civil engineers exist in the next 200 years? London

  • Lecture
  • London
  • 16 July 2018
  • 18:30 - 20:00
The Big Debate 2018: Will civil engineers exist in the next 200 years? London

About this event

New digital technologies and processes are undoubtedly changing the way we plan, design and build our infrastructure, and there have been many discussions at the ICE on Digital Transformation and its impact on the built environment.

While the ICE celebrates and reflects upon its bicentennial anniversary, it is also crucial that we think about the future of the Institution. But how will the role of Civil Engineers change over the course of the next 200 years?

The Big Debate will argue whether or not Civil Engineers will exist in the next 200 years. Discussions will include both the positive and negative impact of; digital technologies, automation, artificial intelligence, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, global trends, how we work and ultimately – the future of the profession.

This debate will enable engineers to think about how we need to adapt and transform to ensure we are here to change the world for another 200 years to come.


Chaired by Ine Steenmans

Research Associate in Foresight and Futures at UCL STEaPP

Dr Ine Steenmans

Research Associate in Foresight and Futures, UCL STEaPP

Dr Ine Steenmans is a Research Associate in Foresight and Futures and her work aims to develop UCL's role as a global centre of excellence in foresight for public policy. Prior to joining UCL, Dr Steenmans worked as an analyst within the Government Office for Science's UK Foresight programme, contributing significantly to the programmes 'Future of Skills and Lifelong Learning' and 'Future of Cities' projects. Before joining the Civil Service, she worked as a strategy consultant at Buro Happold, working on several planning and engineering projects for the World Bank and Ford Foundation.

Tom Mossop

Associate, Arup

Tom is an Associate and BIM manager at Arup, and is currently the Project Information and BIM Lead for the HS2 Euston Station design. He specialises in developing and managing BIM and digital processes on large scale transport infrastructure, his focus is on enabling better design through the use of digital tools and technology. Tom has a reputation for challenging the established thinking and developing innovative strategies that deliver improved efficiency and increased quality of design information. Tom also sits on the London Regional Executive Board and Regional Committee of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Sakthy Selvakumaran

PhD Researcher, University of Cambridge

Sakthy is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Cambridge where her research is on risk and resilience of infrastructure through the remote measurement and monitoring of assets using satellites. Sakthy has experience as a civil and structural engineer in design consultancy and contracting applications across multiple roles, continents and cultures (including UK, Canada, Sri Lanka, Peru and Spain). In 2013 she was asked to join the Engineering Excellence Group of Laing O'Rourke, working on developing new design solutions and technologies to change the way infrastructure is designed, constructed and maintained. In 2016 Sakthy was name in The Forbes, inaugural, 30 Under 30 Europe list for Industry.

Elspeth Finch MBE

CEO and Founder, IAND

Elspeth is a successful engineering entrepreneur and business leader, from founding two technology driven start-ups to leading Innovation for Atkins. Through her experience in engineering and tech, Elspeth is active in shaping the Government's engineering policy with a focus on innovation. In 2010, Elspeth was chosen as one of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders and in 2013 she was awarded the Silver Medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering for creating new markets in engineering services. In 2017, Elspeth was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to Engineering and Enterprise.

Aimee Betts-Charalambous

Technology Policy Lead at Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

Aimee is responsible for policy development to ensure integrated smart energy and smart home solutions, looking across the telecoms, IT and the energy sectors. Before joining Government, Aimee was programme manager at techUK, promoting smart infrastructure across energy, transport and urban systems. She was shortlisted for a Young Energy Professional Award in 2016.

Event venue

Institution of Civil Engineers
One Great George Street
London SW1P 3AA
United Kingdom

For more information please contact:

Nalini Solanki

e: [email protected]