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Part of the 12th International Brunel Lecture series.
It is no secret or surprise that a transport boom is overtaking the world. On every continent and in every government, transportation infrastructure is seeing a call to action as hasn't been heard in decades. The reasons driving these are many, and the time for all institutions, private industries and members of the public to put a shoulder behind this boom is now.
Why is this so? Why now? The answer is because the next generation is "dreaming big" and they are crying out for:-
The two key factors in bridging the gap between poverty and prosperity are education/skills, and mobility. Mobility is, of course, the goal of great transportation projects. Transport puts the wind in the sails of young adults starting off in the world; economically disadvantaged individuals making it to steady employment; small business enterprises connecting their products with customers; and growers, creators and workers with the education/skills to deploy moving forward. Mobility is the wind.
Future societies increasingly value all people, including those who need multiple diverse pathways for their transport. Now, in every single extended family, we each have at least one loved one, who – because of health, physical incapacity – a wheelchair, loss of sight, a potential for seizures, learning or mental differences, and, increasingly due to fragile old age – are not able to drive. Diverse transport options are, for them, the difference between imprisonment at home or freedom.
Climate change and the counting of our Carbon Footprint are no longer far away, abstract concepts, or a burden in the hands of our scientists! They are overtaking us today and the next generation is already changing the way we create every political decision we make, every bite of food we eat, every way we move. Dramatic, quantifiable environmental benefits are springing from intelligent transport projects, and new innovations – both from engineers and from all creative thinkers in all walks of life – are generating a leap-frogging of the benefits each year.
New government priorities, funding models and stakeholder engagement methods are being crafted. What else is needed? What do leaders and engineers in great, powerful, intelligent transport projects need to do, and how can they thrive amidst the changing nature of engineering and the emerging needs and capacities of the next generation?
During the 12th Brunel International Lecture Series, Linda Miller OBE will address all of these concepts, using six "inescapables" to embrace and act upon. These will give practical examples, using concrete examples from recent projects on three continents.
Find out more about the Brunel Lecture series.
Linda is a Bechtel leader currently serving as the Director of Civil Infrastructure on Texas Central’s High Speed Rail, which will carry future passengers at over 200 mph from Dallas to Houston Texas. Using proven Japanese technology, the scope includes 3 Stations, 2 Train Maintenance Facilities, a Control Center and elevated track alignment across 240 miles through 10 Texas counties. This project is on course to be the first true high speed rail system in the USA, transforming transportation possibilities for the next generation.
Prior to this, Linda was the Construction Director on the new Sydney Metro Tunnels & Stations Excavation team and previously the Project Manager of London’s Crossrail Farringdon Station, Project Manager for Crossrail’s Connaught Tunnel Project, which inspirationally included bringing a 135-year old disused tunnel back to life. Crossrail is currently Europe’s largest construction project, adding 42km of new East-West tunnels and 10 new Stations under the heart of central London. As a result of this work, Linda has been featured on several recent TV Documentaries on the BBC.
For over 25 years, Linda has worked for Bechtel on significant projects, including a new Space Launch Complex at Cape Canaveral, Florida, the "Big Dig" highway tunnel under Boston, Massachusetts and many other challenges across the globe.
Linda was born in the USA and began her career as a US Army Officer & Helicopter Pilot. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering from West Point Military Academy, New York and a Master Degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of California, Berkeley.
In November 2017, Linda was selected in The Queen's Birthday 2017 Honours List as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), for her work in promoting diversity that evolved from a personal passion for encouraging girls & women to join the global engineering & construction industry.
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