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ICE Strategy Session: How do we prioritise climate resilience in UK infrastructure policy?

Event organised by ICE

26 April 2022

This event has now ended


Civil engineers design infrastructure for extremes. But as the definition of ‘extreme’ changes with increasingly unpredictable temperatures, wetter winters, drier summers and higher winds resulting from climate change, are the UK’s infrastructure systems ready?

A recent ICE Presidential Roundtable highlighted the early consequences of climate change that are already becoming apparent. Modelling shows that the impact will become more evident in the future regardless of how well we meet carbon emission reduction targets. New infrastructure must be designed and operated to cope better with thenew weather extremes of the future.

Storm Arwen showed the dramatic cascade failures that can occur across the infrastructure system if climate resilience is not factored into system design. Without retrofitting and adapting our existing assets, we risk increased repair bills, poorly performing infrastructure, and a series of failures – with potentially devastating consequences. The recent IPCC report reinforced the urgent need to plan climate resilience and adaptation alongside climate mitigation.

This event will bring together representatives from UK public bodies who will offer their expertise on how climate resilience can be embedded across planning, prioritisation, funding/financing and delivery stages of infrastructure systems development, as we begin to adapt and protect the infrastructure networks that already exist.


10:45 - 11:00


11:00 - 11:05

Welcome – ICE President Ed McCann

11:05 - 11:10

Opening Statement - Professor Richard Dawson, Newcastle University and Climate Change Committee

11:10 - 11:15

Opening Statement - Julia Prescot, Commissioner, National Infrastructure Commission

11:15 - 11:20

Opening Statement - Shailaja Annamraju, Deputy Chief Economist, UK Infrastructure Bank

11:20 - 11:25

Opening Statement - Matthew Vickerstaff, Deputy Chief Executive & Head of Project Finance, Infrastructure and Projects Authority

11:25 - 12:25

Q&A session

12:25 - 12:30

Closing Remarks – ICE President Ed McCann and event closes


Ed McCann

Ed McCann

Expedition Engineering

Senior Director

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Ed McCann

Ed is an experienced project director and is the Immediate Past President of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He was fundamental in growing Expedition from a startup to Building Magazine’s Engineering Consultant of the Year in 2012. As a senior director at Expedition, Ed provides invaluable leadership and experience to our organisation.

He is technical, an excellent communicator, enthusiastic, and has a deep understanding of the construction process. He is particularly skilled in strategic consultancy, feasibility studies, and design.

Ed’s career has taken him to lead projects all over the world. He was the project director for the multi award-winning Infinity Bridge and the Olympic 2012 Velodrome. Environmental factors and efficiency are drivers for Ed’s current projects that see him work with infrastructure clients to improve processes and implement new technologies. Projects include creating and delivering a productivity workstream for HS2, designing the Rolls-Royce SMR Program Site Factory for BAM Nuttall, and helping develop the Berkeley Homes modular housing system.

Ed is a founder trustee and trustee board member, former chair of the USL Board.

He is passionate about developing talent in the industry with quality training and education, a passion that led him to become the co-creator of the Constructionarium. This non profit organisation delivers education and training to students and professionals across the built environment sector. He is also co-founder of the Get It Right Initiative which aims to reduce errors in the industry.

As a respected thought leader, Ed is often invited to speak at various events, write articles, and deliver lectures, and has also made television programmes on civil engineering.

Professor Richard Dawson

Professor Richard Dawson

Newcastle University and climate change committee

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Professor Richard Dawson

Professor Richard Dawson CEng FICE is Director of Research & Innovation in the School of Engineering at Newcastle University.

Richard’s research focuses on the analysis and mitigation of environmental risks to catchments, cities, and infrastructure networks.

In 2019 Richard was appointed to the UK’s Committee on Climate Change and he is also a Lead Author of the Cities, Settlements and Infrastructure Chapter of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 6th Assessment Report.

Julia Prescot

Julia Prescot

National Infrastructure Commission


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Julia Prescot

Julia Prescot is co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Meridiam and sits on the Executive Committee of Meridiam SAS. In addition, she is a non-executive director at Infraco Asia and Infraco Africa Investments, a non-executive director of the IPFA, and a member of the Advisory Board of Glennmont Partners, a fund focussed on renewable energy. She was previously a non-executive Director at Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund.

She is a Visiting Professor at the Bartlett School, University College London. Julia has also sat on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Infrastructure and contributes to the Brookings Institute Initiative on Urban Accessiblity, and is currently involved with the OECD Blended Finance Initiative. She was also the co-founder of the Women Leaders in Infrastructure Group.

Matthew Vickerstaff

Matthew Vickerstaff

Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA)

deputy chief executive and head of project finance

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Matthew Vickerstaff

Matthew has been Deputy Chief Executive of the IPA since November 2016.

Prior to the IPA he worked in investment banking for 25 years at Hambros Bank PLC and Societe Generale as Global Head of Structured Finance with experience of working in infrastructure across multiple sectors such as health, transport, energy and other social infrastructure, and other structured finance areas including project finance, real estate, asset and export financing.

Matthew has worked and managed teams in London, Paris, New York and Toronto, as well as on multiple cross border transactions in the Americas, Australasia and EMEA.

Shailaja Annamraju

Shailaja Annamraju

UK Infrastructure Bank

deputy chief economist

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Shailaja Annamraju

Shailaja is the Deputy Chief Economist for UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB). She is currently on secondment from Foreign Commonwealth Development Office where she led the Economic Growth and Financial Aid team within the Overseas Territories Department, where she also led on the economic development infrastructure and financial aid programmes.  Previously, she headed the team developing the South Asia regional climate change portfolio and led the policy work across FCDO on adaptation financing and resilient infrastructure.  She also formerly led the economics team for our shareholding team for the Multilateral Development Banks.

For more information please contact:

Jessica George