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Presentation by President’s Future Leader followed by the President’s Address

Event organised by ICE

08 October 2021

This event has now ended

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ICE President, Rachel Skinner will give a version of her Presidential Address and Cliff Francis, President’s Future Leader will talk about the future role of civil engineers.

The event will begin with a presentation from Cliff Francis, President’s Future Leader. With the daunting challenge ahead of us to meet the demands of a net zero industry, the future role of the civil engineer may look quite different to those who have gone before.  Cliff will take a few minutes to consider what qualities our future engineers will need to embrace for this carbon revolution to succeed.

Rachel Skinner will give an abridged version of her President’s Address.


Rachel Skinner

Rachel Skinner


executive director

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Rachel Skinner

Rachel Skinner is an executive director at WSP, sitting on the UK Board to lead Corporate Responsibility (ESG) and Government Relations. Prior to her current role, she led WSP’s 600-strong UK transport planning and advisory team for several years. In 2020-21, Rachel served as the 156th President of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and she is a Patron of Women in Transport (a not-for-profit), having been one of its founding board members since 2005.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a chartered engineer and a chartered transport planner. She was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Leeds for services to transport, engineering and industry diversity and is an honorary fellow of the Society for the Environment.

Rachel was awarded a CBE for services to infrastructure in the 2022 New Year Honours list.

At present, Rachel chairs the Infrastructure Carbon workstream of the Infrastructure Client Group (ICG), the ICE’s Decarbonisation Advisory Board and the UK Department for Transport Taskforce that is focused on employment and skills. She also served two years as an Infrastructure Commissioner for Scotland from late 2018. In 2016, Rachel was listed as one of The Telegraph’s inaugural UK Top 50 Influential Women in Engineering; in 2017 she was named the Most Distinguished Winner and Best Woman Civil Engineer at the Women in Civil Engineering Awards, and in 2019 she was confirmed by the Financial Times as one of the UK’s Top 100 Women in Engineering.

Rachel has authored, scripted and hosted publications and films on topics including “Shaping Zero” about climate action for infrastructure, “Making Better Places” on place-making and future mobility, and before that about digital technology and its potential for infrastructure, industry innovation and collaboration. She is regularly invited to give keynote conference presentations and to chair international and national industry events.

Cliff Francis

Cliff Francis

Balfour Beatty plc

Sub Agent

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Cliff Francis

I think that we are facing unprecedented times.

We have a great opportunity to shape a positive outcome from the challenges societies are facing, with "new-normal" distancing and protective measures in place.

The world is in great need of leaders who are capable of making a recognisable impact on climate change.

Whilst we respond to an immediate threat, our innovative practices can be developed and adopted to create a long-term shift in our industries approach to construction.

I hope to be a real part of ensuring we have a sustainable future.

For more information please contact:

Anne Denning