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14th Brunel International Lecture Series: Australasia

Event organised by ICE

14 May 2024

This event has now ended


ICE, together with the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure (ICSI), invite you to the Australasia region lecture of our 14th Brunel International Lecture series building on the theme of resilience and sustainability in infrastructure development.

The Australasian region is one of the least densely populated areas on earth, with just 3.7 people per square km, but has its own unique challenges especially around urbanisation and the changing climate.

For example, nearly 30% of the entire population of New Zealand are resident in the city of Auckland, whilst the city of Hobart, Tasmania has seen population growth of over 60% in the last 50 years.

Climate change, especially the impact of rising sea levels, intensive rainfall and increasing temperatures, are dramatically impacting the natural environment and the region's population.
Chaired by ICE President Professor Anusha Shah, the lecture will focus on challenges, opportunities, engineering solutions, and best practice examples specific to Australasia.
The keynote address will be given by the Right Honourable, the Lord Mayor of Hobart, Councillor Anna Reynolds.

The urbanisation in Hobart, Tasmania has led to major stresses being placed on legacy infrastructure. But it’s not just urbanisation that the Lord Mayor and her team now have to deal with. A rapidly changing climate brings with it more problems. Residents of Hobart, as well as those living throughout Tasmania, now face the prospect that current 100-year coastal inundation events may become a 50-year event by 2030, and perhaps even a 2-6-year event by 2090. 

The community however is building resilience into its everyday vocabulary with initiatives such as “Whatever the Weather”, meaning that the city can respond to the impacts of an ever-changing climate. And this is happening across the Australasian region.

We will also identify how engineers can support positive change by influencing policy, improving communication and cooperating across regions to share knowledge. 
Anusha Shah will moderate an interactive discussion with an expert panel including: 

  • Michelle Meaclem, civil engineer at Tonkin + Taylor, Co-lead of WFEO Global Young Engineers Working Group on Climate Action.
  • Harry Stonehill, head of engineering & design, Engineering Management, AtkinsRéalis Australia and New Zealand.
  • Thomas Lee, former director Project Engineering and Design - Sydney Metro City & Southwest, Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

The 14th Brunel International Lecture Series shines a spotlight on equitable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure challenges around the world, providing a platform for dialogue with high-profile leaders and exploring the practical engineering issues involved in tackling climate change at the local level.

To catch up on any of the previous lectures, please visit the ICE 14th Brunel International Lecture Series page.

Sponsored by:



AtkinsRéalis is a world-leading professional services and project management company dedicated to engineering a better future for our planet and its people.

With support from:

International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure (ICSI)

International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure (ICSI)

This coalition continues to broaden participation across other stakeholder communities to accelerate innovation, adoption and scaling of strategic resilient and sustainable infrastructure solutions built upon a commitment to tangible and collaborative action.


08:00 - 08:05

Welcome by Professor Anusha Shah, ICE President and senior director – resilient cities, Arcadis

08:05 - 08:20

Keynote address by the Right Honourable, the Lord Mayor of Hobart, Councillor Anna Reynolds

08:20 - 08:25

Q&A between the Right Honourable, the Lord Mayor of Hobart, Councillor Anna Reynolds and Professor Anusha Shah

08:25 - 08:45

Introduction to panellists and panellists’ remarks

08:45 - 09:25

Panel discussion and Q&A

09:25 - 09:30

Closing remarks by Professor Anusha Shah


Event close


Prof. Anusha Shah

Prof. Anusha Shah

Institution of Civil Engineers

president 2023/24

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Prof. Anusha Shah

Anusha Shah is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and its president for the 2023-24 session. She’s the third woman and first person of colour to be elected as president in over 200 years of ICE history.

She’s a senior director for resilient cities and UK climate change adaptation lead at Arcadis, a global sustainability, design, engineering and management consulting firm.

She’s also a non-executive director at the Met Office, a trustee at the Green Alliance and a visiting professor at Edinburgh University. She was awarded honorary professorship by the University of Wolverhampton for knowledge transfer and an honorary doctorate of engineering by the University of East London for her services to address climate change.

Anusha specialises in water and environmental engineering and has over 22 years of experience in designing, managing and leading projects and programmes in the UK and internationally.

Anusha sits on various industry climate change groups. She represents Arcadis at the London Climate Change Partnership and the 50L Home Initiative of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. She’s a past chair of the Thames Estuary Partnership Board.

Anusha is the recipient of several awards, including the 2020 Top 50 UK Women Engineers Sustainability Award and the CECA Inspiring Change Award. She was recognised by Climate Reframe as one of the UK’s leading Black, Asian and minority ethnic voices on climate change.

Councillor Anna Reynolds

Councillor Anna Reynolds

Lord Mayor of Hobart

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Councillor Anna Reynolds

Anna Reynolds was elected as Lord Mayor of Hobart in November 2018 with 63% of the vote. She has nearly three decades of experience in communicating about environmental and social issues and developing campaigns for reform at the local, national and international level. 

Prior to her election to the Council in 2014, Mayor Reynolds held senior roles in government liaison, policy development and advocacy, and community sector management. In 1998 she established the Climate Action Network Australia in 1998, the first community organisation working on climate change in Australia. Having established WWF Australia’s first climate change programme in 2002, she became Deputy Director of WWF International’s Global Climate Change Programme, coordinating operations for programmes across 30 nations.

Harry Stonehill

Harry Stonehill

AtkinsRéalis Australia and New Zealand

head of engineering & design

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Harry Stonehill

Harry is a chartered civil engineer with the Institution of Civil Engineer (ICE). He holds a MEng in Civil Engineering, and an MSt in Construction Engineering from the University of Cambridge. 

Having spent the majority of his career in the UK, Harry is now based in Sydney where he is head of engineering and design for AtkinsRéalis in Australia and New Zealand. The engineering & design business in Australia is mainly focused on the power and renewable market, looking to support the energy transition in Australia by bringing global capability into local delivery of transmission, hydropower (generation & storage), battery energy storage, and wind. 

Harry is an advocate for building collaborative networks and empowering people to innovate, resulting in the successful running of projects. Having undertaken his thesis on improving collaboration, he has been able to mix both research and practical application of collaborative practices to see the improved results it can bring.

Michelle Meaclem

Michelle Meaclem

Tonkin + Taylor

civil engineer

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Michelle Meaclem

Michelle is a civil engineer at Tonkin + Taylor New Zealand with experience across civil and stormwater design, climate resilience, and infrastructure advisory.

Passionate about empowering young professionals to take action in contributing to sustainable development, she co-leads the World Federation of Engineering Organisations (WFEO) Young Engineers/Future Leaders’ Working Group on Climate Action, where she has contributed to key initiatives such as the #EngineeringChange campaign and COP26 Joint Statement of International Youth Organisations. 

Michelle was also selected for the COP28 International Youth Climate Delegate Program and as a finalist for the ENVIs Young Engineer of the Year in 2023. 

Thomas Lee

Thomas Lee



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Thomas Lee

Thomas has over 20 years’ international experience in the engineering, design and construction of multidisciplinary engineering projects. He has worked on projects across multiple industries, including large structures, residential, commercial, industrial, nuclear, air and rail. His focus is ensuring that clients and stakeholders understand project needs and requirements, delivering assets that are fit for purpose and provide value.

Thomas enjoys building teams that have the experience and resources to deliver project outcomes. He has a strong business and social network, underpinned by his voluntary work with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE),   

For more information please contact:

Paula Dinu