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SWIP climate adaptation workshop 2: the client's view

Event organised by ICE

23 May 2024
10:00 - 16:00 BST (GMT+1)
South West Institute of Technology
Rennes Drive
Exeter, EX4 4RN
United Kingdom
Add to Calendar 23-05-2024 10:00 23-05-2024 16:00 false Europe/London SWIP climate adaptation workshop 2: the client's view South West Institute of Technology , Exeter

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Creating infrastructure that is resilient to the effects of climate change is critically important to the South West. But how quickly and effectively the region can adapt is the urgent question. The increasing severity of storms, floods, heatwaves, and droughts are already impacting the region’s vital infrastructure such as water, transport, energy, and telecommunications networks. Clients across these sectors are having to innovate, think differently and collaborate to adapt existing infrastructure to provide resilience today while also planning new pathways to a more resilient future.

In the second of three face-to-face workshops exploring climate adaptation in the region, the South West Infrastructure Partnership (SWIP) will be focusing on adaptation through the lens of infrastructure clients operating in the region. The workshop will bring together representatives from a wide range of sectors to discuss the most pressing adaptation challenges for infrastructure clients and possible solutions. The event will also consider how those working with infrastructure clients can influence change and innovation in climate adaptation.

The format of the event will include presentations and case studies to help inform and inspire delegates, combined with breakout discussion groups to share opinions, and expertise. There will also be time for inter-sector networking, where professionals can exchange ideas with those outside their own sphere.

An earlier workshop held in Bristol in February identified client education and engagement on climate adaptation as a key area of opportunity for the region. Building on these findings, the latest event will discuss what needs to change for infrastructure decision makers, how to make a compelling business case to funders for climate adaptation and where collaboration needs to happen to form effective adaptation partnerships.

A buffet lunch and refreshments are included. A short tour of the University of Exeter’s engineering-related  facilities is available as an optional extra after the workshop. 

There is level access to the venue and throughout the ground floor where the presentations, breakout sessions and lunch will take place. There are accessible toilets in the building and disabled parking is available on the site.

The W3W location for the event is note.added.pencil

Please note, a photographer will be taking photos throughout the day for ICE South West, SWIP and the University of Exeter to use on their websites and social media channels. Anyone wishing not to be photographer should email [email protected] before the event.

The third and final workshop in November 2024 will focus on the end user perspective of climate adaptation.



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South West Institute of Technology
Rennes Drive
United Kingdom


10:00 - 10:30

Arrivals and networking with tea/coffee

10:30 - 10:40

Welcome and introductions by Paula Hewitt, SWIP chair

10:40 – 11:00

A perspective on the climate adaptation of infrastructure

11:00 - 11:25

National Highways perspective

11:25 - 11:30

Introduction to breakout session 1 by Professor Colin Taylor, SWIP

11:30 - 12:05

Breakout session 1 – What are the barriers to factoring climate adaptation in infrastructure decisions?

12:10 - 12:40

Climate information for decision makers

12:45 - 12:50

Feedback from breakout session 1 by Paula Hewitt and Colin Taylor

12:50 - 13:45

Lunch and networking

13:45 – 13:50

Introduction to the afternoon session

13:50 – 14:05

Funding model case study 1

14:10 – 14:25

Funding model case study 2 - South West Rail Resilience Programme by Julie Gregory, Network Rail

14:30 – 14:45

Case study 3

14:45 – 15:30

Breakout session 2 – What do you need to help you make the business case? What is needed to build collaborative partnerships across sectoral boundaries?

15:30 – 15:45

Feedback from breakout session 2 by Colin Taylor

15:45 – 16:00

Workshop close by Paula Hewitt

16:00 – 16:45

Tour of University of Exeter facilities (optional)


Paula Hewitt

Paula Hewitt

South West Infrastructure Partnership


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Paula Hewitt

Paula Hewitt is the chair of the South West Infrastructure Partnership. She was deputy chief executive, lead director for Economic and Community Infrastructure and also the director of commissioning at Somerset County Council, where she had a diverse mix of responsibilities including economic development, highways and transport, waste, planning, property, environment, registration services and libraries. Paula was acting CEO at Somerset County Council during 2022.

She has led a number of high-profile programmes, delivering innovation and partnerships. Paula’s led the Council’s work in relation to accommodating and securing a legacy from the largest construction project in Western Europe, the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. Other notable achievements securing significant Government and private sector investment in regeneration, environmental and transport schemes and the development of a network of innovation and enterprise centres to deliver increased productivity and prosperity.

Paula was heavily involved in co-ordinating the Local Authority response to the devastating Somerset winter 2014/15 floods and led the work to minimise future flooding in the county through the establishment of the Somerset Rivers Authority. As a result, she was asked to be an expert advisor to the European Committee of the Regions in relation to disaster resilience. Paula is a past president of the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT).

Julie Gregory

Julie Gregory

Network Rail

senior programme manager

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Julie Gregory

After working as meteorologist and climate scientist at the Met Office, Julie moved to Network Rail where she has been for more than 20 years in a variety of roles. She spent five years as senior sponsor for a programme of weather and climate resilience works on the Devon Coast, securing funding for over £160m and seeing four out of five projects into delivery. Julie is now working as a Senior Programme Manager for the Weather/Climate Risk Task Force in Network Rail’s Wales & Western Region where her role is to lead work to make the railway more resilient to extreme weather, both now and in the future.

Colin Taylor

Colin Taylor

University of Bristol

emeritus professor

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Colin Taylor

Professor Colin Taylor is an ICE Policy Fellow for Sub-National Decarbonisation. He has over 40 years’ research and practice experience in assessing the impact of natural and other hazards on all kinds of infrastructure systems. He was Bristol lead academic, and a national leader, of the £138m UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC). He is continuing his UKCRIC related research in the area of Future Cities and Smart Infrastructure, with an emphasis on improving understanding of the nexus between people and physical systems. 

Colin is championing the South West Infrastructure Partnership (SWIP)’s net zero route mapping activities, advocating a systems learning, thinking and practice approach to both characterise the South West decarbonisation challenge and to identify a long-term, adaptive development route map to solve the challenge.