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Scruton lecture 2023: winds of change

Event organised by ICE

01 November 2023

This event has now ended

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The 2023 Scruton lecture will be delivered by Gordon Breeze, former head of wind engineering at the Building Research Establishment, who has held a distinguished career examining the nature of wind and experimental methods on structures.

The title of the lecture, winds of change, is a metaphor for not just the wind, but for the more general changes and challenges experienced during the speaker’s extensive wind engineering career. In other words, a changing world of wind engineering will be examined through the speaker’s lens of experiences.

The lecture itself is intended to be enjoyed by a wide (technical and non-technical) audience. Some wind engineering topics covered will include present-day issues of controversy, but the intention of the lecture is to be neither overtly controversial nor confrontational.

To be able to understand the changes that have occurred, the nature of the wind and experimental methods will first be described. Since the speaker’s distinguished career was mainly built upon commercial wind tunnel testing, there will be an emphasis on this subject. Nevertheless, because of their increasing importance over time, the subjects of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and wind energy will also be considered. Comments will also be made concerning the UK wind loading code of practice.

The lecture will then consider a range of subjects which rarely (if ever) are considered to be worthy of note, but nevertheless are very important in today’s commercial working environment. In particular, over the speaker’s career-span, the consultancy environment of wind engineers has changed out of all recognition. More general trends – which might only be noticed over a long career – and ‘game-changers’ will also be noted and described.

Following Gordon’s address, an audience Q&A will be chaired by Stefano Cammelli, chair of the Wind Engineering Society.

Organised with

The UK Wind Engineering Society

The UK Wind Engineering Society

The WES exists to promote the advancement and application of knowledge in all aspects of wind engineering.


19:00 – 19:05

Introduction by Stefano Cammelli, chair, Wind Engineering Society

19:05 – 20:00

Keynote address by Gordon Breeze, former head of wind engineering, Building Research Establishment

20:00 – 20:30

Q&A session


Stefano Cammelli

Stefano Cammelli


technical director

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Stefano Cammelli

Stefano Cammelli has 20 years’ experience in experimental and computational wind engineering. As part of WSP UK’s Specialists Group, he leads the Advanced Structural Analysis team which provides a range of complex analyses and simulations in support of the structural engineering design activities of the business.

This dovetails with his head of wind engineering role in the company which allows him to also continue to work on wind engineering technical challenges across a wide range of commercial projects.

Gordon Breeze

Gordon Breeze

Building Research Establishment

Former head of wind engineering

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Gordon Breeze

Gordon began his career in the mid-1980s at Cranfield University as a research assistant. In the 1990s, he moved to Bristol University as a lecturer for 10 years, before spending over 20 years with the Building Research Establishment as senior consultant, principal consultant & head of wind engineering.

Gordon’s published papers include:

  • The Aerodynamic Performance of Wind Microturbines and Their Dynamic Response (2016);
  • Determining wind actions using Eurocode 1 : Part 3: Worked example - calculation of forces on a tower using the full dynamic method (DG 436-3) (2015);
  • Dynamic comfort criteria for structures: A review of UK codes, standards and advisory documents (2011);
  • Dynamic response of buildings to wind loads - Comparing Eurocode prEN1991-1-4 with other current UK methods (2004).

For more information please contact:

Elena Arrobbio