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Inspiring Engineering Excellence 2024

Event organised by ICE

Date
30 May 2024
Time

This event has now ended

Overview

As they address the challenges facing society and the planet, engineers have a vital role to play in improving practices throughout the profession and beyond. To meet these challenges, project teams must prioritise productivity, information-sharing and excellence in design, revolutionising how infrastructure is conceived, delivered and managed.

Join us at the ICE’s third Inspiring Engineering Excellence event to hear lessons from innovative projects, exchange knowledge with your peers and explore what excellence in the profession and the wider sector looks like.

This year’s conference focuses on excellence in productivity and decarbonisation. It will show how infrastructure professionals are effecting positive changes and responding to the need for a more transparent culture in which people are willing to discuss mistakes openly and learn from them.

The interactive programme offers delegates a range of opportunities to gain both information and inspiration. As well as panel discussions and interactive workshops on the recently updated PAS 2080 standard and on how to reduce errors, there will be fast-paced presentations in the popular Japanese format known as Pecha Kucha, which is based on the ‘talk less, show more’ principle.

This is a must-attend event not only for project and technical leaders. Inspiring Engineering Excellence is essential for anyone driving improvements across the infrastructure sector who is looking to network with – and learn from – like-minded professionals. 

Partners

CROSS

CROSS

CROSS helps professionals to make structures safer. We do this by publishing safety information based on the reports we receive and information in the public domain.

GIRI

GIRI

GIRI is a group of industry experts, organisations and businesses dedicated to eliminating error and improving the UK construction industry.

Programme

08:30 - 09:00

Registration and refreshments

09:00 - 09:10

Welcome from the chair

  • Julie Bregula, chief technical officer, British Board of Agrément
09:10 - 09:40

Opening keynote: Delivering outcomes and driving innovation across projects

  • Professor Sarah Sharples, chief scientific adviser, Department for Transport; professor of human factors in the Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham

Plenary: Learning lessons to drive engineering excellence

09:40 - 10:05

Spotlight talk: Why projects and the industry need design champions

  • Harbinder Singh Birdi, founder and creative director, Birdi & Partners
10:05 - 10:30

Bridge Failure Reporting and CROSS – Improving UK Practice

  • Hazel McDonald, chief bridge engineer, Transport Scotland
  • Paul Livesey, scheme manager, CROSS
10:30 - 11:00

Refreshment break

Stream A: Excellence in decarbonisation

11:00 - 11:45

Lightning talks: Putting decarbonisation into practice

  • Ellie Carter, civil engineering degree apprentice, infrastructure, AtkinsRéalis
  • David Jackson, associate consultant, net zero, WSP in the UK
11:45 - 12:30

Panel discussion: Discussing approaches to driving change within organisations and raising the carbon agenda across the lifecycle of an asset

  • Ellie Carter, civil engineering degree apprentice, infrastructure, AtkinsRéalis
  • David Jackson, associate consultant, net zero, WSP in the UK
  • Kiro Tamer, head of environmental sustainability, Keltbray Group

Stream B: Industry behaviours

11:00 - 12:30

Interactive workshop: Reducing errors and driving better industry behaviours

  • Cliff Smith, executive director, Get It Right Initiative (GIRI)
  • Nick Francis, director, GIRI Training and Consultancy
12:30 - 13:30

Lunch break

Stream A: Excellence in productivity

13:30 - 14:15

Project talks: Putting outcomes, excellence and low carbon at the heart of projects to drive better practices

  • Professor Perry Shard, UK head of quality, John Sisk & Son
  • Professor Barbara Rossi, associate professor of engineering science, University of Oxford
  • Professor Luiza Campos, professor of environmental engineering, University College London
14:15 - 15:00

Pecha Kucha talks: Innovative solutions to industry challenges

  • Professor Monower Sadique, professor of construction materials, Liverpool John Moores University
  • Dr Iacopo Carnacina, reader in water and environmental engineering, Liverpool John Moores University
  • Ailsa Roberts, associate, Expedition Engineering
  • Professor Leon Black, professor of infrastructure materials, University of Leeds

Stream B: PAS 2080 in practice

13:30 - 15:00

Fishbowl debate: PAS 2080, decarbonisation and building a team to deliver engineering excellence

In this interactive session, you will hear insights from professionals who are driving PAS 2080 across their projects. Get involved in the discussions through the ‘fishbowl’ format, where you can lead the conversation and share your experiences and questions.

  • Mark Hansford, director of engineering knowledge, ICE
  • Adrian Johnson, executive technical director, Stantec
  • Karen Hills, technical director, AtkinsRéalis
  • Paul Toyne, sustainability leader, Grimshaw
  • Mark Crouch, global decarbonisation discipline lead, Mott MacDonald
15:00 - 15:30

Refreshment break

Plenary: Excellence in the profession

15:30 - 16:15

Spotlight talk: AI and engineering excellence in a new engineering world

  • Dr Michael Rustell, lecturer, Brunel University / CEO Inframatic.ai
16:15 - 17:00

Panel discussion: Engineering excellence in the profession – assessing, challenging and inspiring change

  • Liz Baldwin, director of the southern integrated delivery alliance, Southern Renewals Enterprise
  • Emer Murnaghan, innovation director,GRAHAM Civil Engineering
  • Richard Lee, head of engineering, Anglian Water @one Alliance
  • Njemile Faustin, principal geotechnical engineer, AECOM
17:00 - 17:10

Chair’s final reflections and close of conference

17:10 - 18:30

Networking reception

Speakers

Julie Bregulla

Julie Bregulla

British Board of Agrément

chief technical officer

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Julie Bregulla

Julie is chief technical officer at the British Board of Agrément (BBA), which she joined in 2023. She oversees the quality and assurance teams, supporting the BBA in driving industry safety and quality through providing services that help clients by enabling innovation, identifying risk and demonstrating fitness-for-purpose. Julie has previously worked at TEDI-London (the Engineering and Design Institute London) and BRE (the Building Research Establishment). She is also a former ICE Trustee. 

Sarah Sharples

Sarah Sharples

Department for Transport

chief scientific adviser

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Sarah Sharples

Professor Sarah Sharples is chief scientific adviser for the Department for Transport. She is a professor of human factors in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham, where she was pro-vice-chancellor for equality, diversity and inclusion, and people in 2018-21. 

Sarah has led research projects focusing on transport, manufacturing and healthcare. Her particular interest is the design of systems that successfully integrate novel technologies and people in complex systems, in settings including railways, roads and aviation. She was president of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors in 2015-16.

Harbinder Singh Birdi

Harbinder Singh Birdi

Birdi & Partners

founder and creative director

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Harbinder Singh Birdi

Harbinder is the founder of Birdi & Partners, a London-based consultancy that provides guidance on design and procurement to government bodies, academic institutions and businesses. As a chartered architect with more than 25 years’ experience, he has delivered several of the largest projects in the UK, notably on the Elizabeth Line, where he was the principal architect for the design of Tottenham Court Road station, and the central section of the Thames Tideway tunnel. 

Harbinder is a Fellow of the ICE, the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Royal Society of Arts, where he collaborates with industry partners on innovation within the infrastructure sector. He is a visiting professor at the University of Cambridge, lecturing on interdisciplinary design and mentoring architectural apprentices.

Ellie Carter

Ellie Carter

AtkinsRéalis

civil engineering degree apprentice, infrastructure

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Ellie Carter

Ellie is a civil engineer degree apprentice at AtkinsRéalis, with more than two years of experience in design teams for cross-country water supply pipelines and wastewater projects. She is passionate about contributing to the understanding and development of innovative sustainable solutions. To this end, she has helped to develop tools that highlight the sustainability impacts of design on her projects. 
 
Ellie’s commitment to advancing industry standards and driving innovation, alongside her efforts to inspire STEM professionals and promote diversity, earned her the 2023 New Civil Engineer Degree Apprentice of the Year and Outstanding Contribution to Net Zero awards, recognising her contributions to the industry at this early stage of her career.

Cliff Smith

Cliff Smith

GIRI

executive director

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Cliff Smith

Cliff is an ICE Fellow with more than 40 years’ experience in the construction industry, 38 of which were with contractor Sir Robert McAlpine. Latterly, he has worked as a consultant offering specialist engineering and technical support, project and design management and strategic quality leadership. 

Cliff has been a director of GIRI since its formation in 2017. He was involved in the development of the Guide to Improving Value by Reducing Design Error and several research reports on the use of technology in the construction industry. He leads an agile delivery team covering administration, communications, finance and research.

Nick Francis

Nick Francis

GIRI Training and Consultancy

director

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Nick Francis

Nick is director of education for the Get It Right Initiative (GIRI). He has extensive experience throughout the construction industry, having worked around the world. He now splits his time between teaching at universities, running education programmes for GIRI and conducting industry consultancy.

Professor Perry Shard

Professor Perry Shard

John Sisk & Son

UK head of quality

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Professor Perry Shard

Professor Perry Shard is a chartered civil engineer with more than 25 years’ experience in areas including quality, sustainability and operational excellence. He has led several change programmes across large construction organisations, while also helping to shape the development of industry-wide initiatives within the ICE, BREEAM Infrastructure and the Get It Right Initiative.

In his current role as head of quality for John Sisk & Son, Perry has used his knowledge and passion to deliver this ICE award-winning project with a team of experts from the organisation. Touching on vision and relationships, challenges and improvement, then empowerment to fun, his talk will summarise the principles, successes and lessons that enable the business to make data-informed decisions about the cost of quality.

Professor Barbara Rossi

Professor Barbara Rossi

University of Oxford

associate professor of engineering science & tutorial fellow of the new college

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Professor Barbara Rossi

Barbara leads the Sustainable Metal Structures Research Group at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the role of metals in structures to improve the construction sector sustainability and resilience. Barbara joined the University of Oxford in March 2019 as Associate Professor and Tutorial Fellow in Engineering Science (Structures & Mechanics). Prior to this, she was an associate professor in Engineering Technology at KU Leuven in Belgium, where she led a research group exploring the structural behaviour of metallic structures, with a special interest in stainless steel and harsh environments, where corrosion plays an important role.

Barbara gained ICE Carbon Champion status for her work on the Gradel Quad development in New College Oxford, which used less carbon-intensive materials and techniques to dramatically reduce the project’s embodied carbon.

Monower Sadique

Monower Sadique

Liverpool John Moores University

professor of construction materials

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Monower Sadique

Professor Monower Sadique FICE, an ICE Fellow, has been at the forefront of industrial and academic research for more than a decade. His pioneering work has involved successful collaborations across the UK and global construction sectors. 

Monower’s projects with international academics have attracted global recognition. His collaborations and innovations have harnessed sustainable practices and the green economy to deliver impactful research, increasing knowledge on a local and global scale to make a positive contribution to business, industry and society.

Dr Iacopo Carnacina

Dr Iacopo Carnacina

Liverpool John Moores University

reader in water and environmental engineering

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Dr Iacopo Carnacina

Dr Iacopo Carnacina has 10 years’ experience of developing experimental hydraulic models in laboratory conditions. He has worked in areas such as flood modelling and the design of flood protection systems, as well as the development of sensors for field and lab analysis. 

Iacopo was principal investigator for the South East Asia small grant fund for the development of a digital twin for monitoring and simulation of the electrocoagulation process, and co-investigator for the ICE R&D project analysing the durability of cement-free breakwaters developed using waste-based geopolymer binder and recycled aggregate. He was also project manager at AIR Worldwide for probabilistic UK storm surge models, which included the analysis and simulation of the failure of coastal and intertidal flood protections across the country.

Ailsa Roberts

Ailsa Roberts

Expedition Engineering

associate

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Ailsa Roberts

Ailsa is a chartered civil engineer with 10 years’ industry experience in a range of sectors and materials. The question of the impact of construction materials on biodiversity emerged from her work on the Eden Project Dundee and was supported by the ICE’s Research and Development Enabling Fund.

Leon Black

Leon Black

University of Leeds

professor of infrastructure materials

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Leon Black

Professor Leon Black is an analytical chemist by training, but has spent more than 25 years researching the durability of construction materials. 

His studies have focused on the durability of low-carbon concrete in particular. He is interested in how the careful selection of constituents can improve the concrete in aspects such as its structural performance, longevity and sustainability. His presentation will cover work analysing the impact of mix design parameters on concrete’s thermal conductivity.

Adrian Johnson

Adrian Johnson

Stantec 

technical director - net zero & sustainability

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Adrian Johnson

Adrian is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Technical Director at Stantec, specialising in carbon and sustainability. In recent years he has been helping UK water companies to develop and implement strategies for carbon reduction and climate change across their capital investment programmes and make progress towards their net zero commitments. He has also led various research and pilot studies on carbon accounting, sustainable water systems, natural and social capital, climate change and resilience.

Adrian is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and is currently supporting the ICE’s Carbon Project – Toward Net Zero for Infrastructure. He chaired the Technical Advisory Panel for developing the PAS 2080 specification on carbon management in infrastructure for the UK’s Green Construction Board. Adrian is an Honorary Professor in the School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society at Heriot Watt University.

Liz Baldwin

Liz Baldwin

Southern Renewals Enterprise (Octavius)

southern integrated delivery alliance director

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Liz Baldwin

A Fellow of the ICE and project management professional, Liz has over 25 years’ experience in engineering and construction. Liz has built on her skills as an army officer in the Corps of Royal Engineers to deliver projects across a variety of sectors, including transport and highways schemes, leading a local authority project delivery team, and leading major multi-disciplinary infrastructure projects in the rail sector as both a contractor and consultant.

Prior to joining the Southern Integrated Delivery Alliance, Liz was the alliance manager on Wessex Capacity Alliance, a £450m rail infrastructure project, where she developed her passion for collaboration. She moved to Mott MacDonald as a project director working on HS2 and Crossrail 2 and was the principal account leader for the 140-strong foundations and geotechnics section within the metros and civil division. Most recently, she was the managing director for the highways and intelligent transport systems division. 

Liz is also a supervising civil engineer, Women in Rail mentor and led Mott MacDonald’s Armed Forces initiative. She was shortlisted for Mentor of the Year 2022 at the Women in Construction and Engineering Awards and for outstanding contribution at the Ex-Forces in Business Awards 2024.

Emer Murnaghan

Emer Murnaghan

GRAHAM Civil Engineering

innovation director

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Emer Murnaghan

Awarded the OBE in 2015 for services to civil engineering and further education in Northern Ireland, Emer has a long history of supporting and influencing industry in her previous roles with the ICE, of which she was appointed a Trustee  and vice president in 2018. 

In 2019, she was invited to become an ambassador for Women into Science and Engineering (WISE) to promote gender balance at the highest levels of these fields in the UK. The following year, she supported the launch of the WISE Hub NI. 

In 2021, Emer joined the trustee board at the Engineering Council. She was also one of the founding members of what has developed into the Get It Right Initiative (GIRI), an industry-led initiative analysing the causes and significant costs of errors in the construction industry.

Richard Lee

Richard Lee

Anglian Water @one Alliance

head of engineering

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Richard Lee

Richard is a chartered civil engineer and a member of the ICE. After starting his career as a site engineer more than 20 years ago, he has held leadership roles in consultancies, design-and-build businesses and capital delivery alliances. 

Working as far afield as Hong Kong, India and New Zealand,  Richard has led multidisciplinary teams delivering water, waste and aviation design services for clients in the private and public sectors. Today he is developing new working methods and solutions to address the challenges facing the UK water sector. 

Njemile Faustin

Njemile Faustin

AECOM

principal geotechnical engineer

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Njemile Faustin

Njemile is a principal geotechnical engineer at AECOM. Her expertise has driven solutions for landmark projects like London's Elizabeth Line, High Speed 2, Rome's Metro C line and the UK's first carbon capture storage facility in Teesside.

Njemile’s doctoral research focused on using innovative fiber optic sensors and novel centrifuge model experiments at Cambridge University to understand the performance of circular shafts, a key component of urban tunnelling projects. She received the British Geotechnical Association Case History Award 2022 for her publication on circular shaft construction in London.

Njemile serves on the ICE's Community Advisory Board for Productivity and co-authored their "State of the Nation 2022: Improving Infrastructure Productivity" report. She also sits on the ICE’s Fairness, Inclusion, and Respect (FIR) Committee, promoting a more inclusive and equitable engineering profession.

Dr Mike Rustell

Dr Mike Rustell

Brunel University

lecturer in structural engineering

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Dr Mike Rustell

Dr Mike Rustell is a chartered engineer and doctor of engineering in design automation. With a background as a software developer and maritime structural engineer, he has extensive experience in highly regulated sectors, including oil, gas and nuclear energy. 

On top of his teaching responsibilities at Brunel, Mike works as the director of Inframatic, a specialist in artificial intelligence. His focus here is on creating AI solutions, backed by thorough validation and verification protocols, designed to establish a solid foundation for generative engineering.

Luiza Campos

Luiza Campos

University College London

professor of environmental engineering

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Luiza Campos

Luiza Campos is a civil engineer with a PhD from Imperial College, UK, and an MSc in Water and Sanitation from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Prior to relocating to the UK, she accumulated 10 years of experience working for the state water and sanitation company of Goias and another 10 years as a lecturer at the Federal University of Goias in Brazil. Currently, she holds the position of Professor of Environmental Engineering at the Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering at UCL, where she has been employed since 2007.

During her tenure at UCL, Luiza has held various roles including Undergraduate Admissions Tutor (2009-2013), Director for the Environmental Engineering Undergraduate Programme (2010-2014), Departmental Equal Opportunities Liaison Officer (2015-2018), and led the Athena Swan application resulting in the Department being awarded a Bronze Award for advancing gender equality practice in 2016. Presently, she serves as the head of the UCL Water Research Group, director for the UCL MSc Engineering for International Development, co-director of the UCL Centre for Urban Sustainability and Resilience, co-chair of the South East and London Water Alliance, and chair of the IWA Specialist Group in Sanitation and Water Management in Developing Countries. 

In recognition of her contributions, Luiza was honoured with the Gold Medal awarded by the Institute of Civil Engineers for engineering excellence in 2023. Her research focuses on water and sanitation systems, with particular interest in (1) advancing developments in water treatment technologies; (2) exploring interlinkages in the water nexus; and (3) promoting improvements in sanitation, hygiene, and health.

Dr David Jackson

Dr David Jackson

Sweco UK

associate consultant – net zero, WSP

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Dr David Jackson

David spent seven years as a Weather Forecaster at the Met Office where he saw first-hand the impact climate change was having on our environment. Rather than predicting worsening events, he decided to change paths and do something to mitigate the impact of climate change.

David undertook an MSc in Carbon Management and a PhD researching carbon management tools for the built environment and how to embed carbon management practices within organisations, both at the University of Edinburgh.

Since then he has worked for Costain, Sweco UK and WSP to embed PAS 2080 and carbon management practices within projects, and support organisations developing strategies and working towards achieving net zero targets. He is a Chartered environmentalist and Member of the Institute of Environmental Measurement and Accounting and Associate Member of the Institute of Civil Engineering.

Mark Hansford

Mark Hansford

Institution of Civil Engineers

director of engineering knowledge

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Mark Hansford

Mark is the director of Engineering Knowledge at ICE. He is also a civil engineer and Fellow of ICE, and throughout his 20-plus year career he has sought roles that have allowed him to work with others to both promote the profession and provide professional engineers with the information to help them become better engineers.

He has a MEng in Civil Engineering (First class) from the University of Birmingham and spent three years as a practicing engineer with consultant Atkins before joining New Civil Engineer in 2000, a title he edited for five years before joining the ICE in February 2020.

At his previous role with New Civil Engineer, he’s visited and written technical reports on some of the world’s most spectacular structures in including the Burj Khalifa, the Brenner Base Tunnel and Vladivostok’s Russky Island bridge.

He’s also reported from the scene of a host of international engineering disasters including a bridge collapse in northern Portugal, a tunnel fire in Baltimore and tsunami-struck Sri Lanka. And in 2003 he was the first construction reporter into Iraq following the second Gulf War.

Hazel McDonald

Hazel McDonald

Transport Scotland

chief bridge engineer

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Hazel McDonald

Hazel has been immersed in the management of highway structures for more than 30 years, nearly 19 of which she has spent with Transport Scotland. 

After gaining a PhD in civil engineering at the University of Strathclyde with a thesis on temperature effects in concrete box-girder bridges, she worked on bridge design, inspection and assessment at Mott MacDonald. She followed that with roles at Cumbria County Council and Capita Symonds focusing on design, monitoring and maintenance. 

At Transport Scotland, Hazel leads an 18-strong team managing the inspection, maintenance and improvement of trunk road structures. She also chairs the UK Bridges Board.

Paul Livesey

Paul Livesey

Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures (CROSS)

scheme manager

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Paul Livesey

Paul is a chartered structural engineer with 30 years’ experience as a consultant, project manager and technical director in the building industry. Before becoming CROSS’s scheme manager in 2021, he served several leading civil and structural engineering consultancies, where he worked to ensure the technical excellence and successful delivery of structures in a range of sectors, from conceptual design through to construction.

Responsible for the overall management of CROSS, Paul works closely with a range of stakeholders and expert panellists who share his passion for ensuring that knowledge is shared, safety lessons are learnt and best practice is adopted across the industry. 

Karen Hills

Karen Hills

AtkinsRéalis

technical director for carbon

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Karen Hills

With more than 30 years’ experience in environmental consultancy, Karen works across the globe supporting AtkinsRéalis on carbon management, climate resilience and sustainability as part of its engineering net-zero programme. Her focus is on developing tools and processes to embed a consistent approach to whole-life carbon management.  

Karen, who was a technical adviser to the recent project updating the PAS 2080 carbon management standard, is leading a team of digital and carbon experts that’s working to develop a platform to aid the proportionate application of PAS 2080 principles. She also founded the AtkinsRéalis carbon academy, an intensive training programme for future carbon leaders.

Mark Crouch

Mark Crouch

Mott MacDonald

global decarbonisation discipline lead

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Mark Crouch

Mark Crouch is Mott MacDonald’s Global Decarbonisation Discipline Lead and an MSc qualified carbon management and sustainability leader with over 18 years’ experience. Mark has led Mott MacDonald’s PAS2080 verification process since 2018, where on an annual basis the global business is independently verified for conformity with the specification, with the business being one of the first organisations to be verified using the major 2023 update. Mark has also led PAS2080 implementation and assessment projects for a range of clients internationally and brings experience from leading greenhouse gas assessments on major and high-profile projects and programmes.