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State of the Nation Strategy Session: how to improve the productivity of infrastructure projects

Event organised by ICE

18 October 2022

This event has now ended

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Great infrastructure is needed like never before, but the dwindling carbon budget and financial pressures worldwide mean that projects must be more productive.

In response to this challenge, this year’s ICE State of the Nation report focuses on productivity and what civil engineers can do to make sure infrastructure projects are:

  • More effective: maximising a much wider range of benefits to people around the world
  • More efficient: delivering that value with fewer resources and eliminating waste wherever it is found

It also introduces the Infrastructure Lifecycle Guidance – a new toolkit from the ICE that allows professionals to pinpoint advice on boosting productivity tailored to their role at every stage of a project.

To launch the report ICE President Ed McCann will be joined by Darren James, CEO of Keltbray Group Holdings Ltd; Andy Alder, VP Major Projects and Programmes at Jacobs and programme director for Tideway; Janet Greenwood, director, Major Projects Advisory, Infrastructure Advisory Group at KPMG UK LLP; and Lucy Howard, UK head of markets (Infrastructure) at Turner & Townsend.

They will explore the main findings of the report and delve into what can be done at every stage of the infrastructure lifecycle to enhance our productivity. Issues covered will include:

  • Committing more time and resource to the fundamental decisions made at the front end of projects
  • Improving the effectiveness of design processes
  • The importance of a culture of transparency and psychological safety, drawing lessons for infrastructure from manufacturing’s productivity revolution
  • Ensuring that productivity improvements are embedded in our commercial and procurement strategies


08:30 - 09:00

Registration and refreshments (in person attendees)

09:00 - 09:05

Welcome by ICE President Ed McCann

09:05 - 09:30

Speaker addresses

09:30 - 10:20

Panel discussion and Q&A session

10:20 - 10:30

Closing remarks


Event close


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.

Janet Greenwood

Janet Greenwood

major projects advisory, KPMG


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Janet Greenwood

Janet is a specialist in major and mega project and programme development, delivery and assurance with over 25 years’ experience.

She has experience in carbon and sustainability at both strategy and project delivery levels and is a member of leading industry carbon forums.

Janet Greenwood is a Director in KPMG’s Major Projects Advisory practice and has over 25 years’ experience developing and delivering major infrastructure programmes, having worked in the water, wastewater, flood defence and transport sectors.

She led two task groups of the Institution of Civil Engineer’s Carbon Project and is a founder member of the Cambridge University Centre for Smart Infrastructure in Construction’s Achieving Net Zero Roundtable.

A Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, she has extensive experience in shaping and delivering major construction projects and supporting Infrastructure clients to deliver their most challenging programmes.

She is Chair of the Major Projects Association Sustainability Ambassadors Group.

Her experience includes roles in government, as a client and as a consultant, working on failure investigations, in site supervision, project management, programme management and sponsorship.

She has worked on the development and delivery of major projects including Thameslink, the South West Route Capacity Programme and Crossrail and held leadership roles at Tideway and the Lower Thames Crossing.

Darren James

Darren James

Keltbray Group

chief executive officer

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Darren James

Darren James was appointed chief executive of the Keltbray Group in April 2020. Prior to this, he spent 30 Years at Costain Group PLC starting on their graduate development programme and rising through the ranks to the chief operating officer. An honours graduate in Civil Engineering from the University of Surrey, Darren has undertaken further postgraduate executive programmes at Harvard, Wharton and London Business Schools.

Darren is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and was the inaugural winner of the James Rennie Medal in 1996.

Lucy Howard

Lucy Howard

Turner & Townsend

uk head of infrastructure markets

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Lucy Howard

Lucy has been contributing to improving infrastructure for 23 years. Originally from the North-East of England, she studied Civil Engineering at Imperial before leading as a Principal Contractor PM on London Rail infrastructure at Kings Cross, East London Line and DLR.    

Her consultancy experience includes work with London Overground, Network Rail, Heathrow Express and Heathrow Airport. As Head of Infrastructure Markets she now works across our full national team of sector, service, and regional experts to ensure we arm our team with the best of industry innovation and solutions for our clients across Transport, Utilities, Power and Defence.  

Lucy is active in industry including with the Institution of Civil Engineers on Productivity, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Programmes with Purpose Report and long-term investment in Project 13 since 2017 with the Infrastructure Client’s Group as Development Board member and co-chair of the Capable Owner workstream. 

Andy Alder

Andy Alder

Jacobs and Tideway

vp for major projects and programmes, jacobs and programme director, tideway

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Andy Alder

Andy is Jacobs Vice President for Major Projects and Programmes in the UK. He is also Programme Director for Tideway, where he is responsible for delivery of all infrastructure on the project.

Andy joined Tideway from Crossrail where he was Chief Tunnel Engineer during the detailed design phase, managed procurement of a number of the tunnelling contracts, and was Project Manager for construction of all tunnelling work through the West End of London.

Andy has previously been responsible for the design of the LU Tottenham Court Road Station Upgrade, and DLR Extensions to London City Airport and Woolwich. Other projects that Andy has worked on include the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, the Jubilee Line Extension and tunnelling / metro projects In Ireland, Egypt, and Malaysia.

Andy is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, an ICE Council Member and an ICE Trustee. He is co-chair of the Productivity Community Advisory Board as well as Chair of the Finance, Assurance and Risk Committee and a member of the Fellowship Panel. Andy is also a Fellow of the Association for Project Management and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Sun Yan Evans CEng FICE

Sun Yan Evans CEng FICE

Mott MacDonald

technical director

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Sun Yan Evans CEng FICE

Sun Yan Evans is a Technical Director at Mott MacDonald, a global consultancy headquartered in London, United Kingdom.

Sun Yan is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a chartered member of The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM); a technical reviewer for CIWEM journals and a member of the EA/Defra/Welsh Government R&D Theme Advisor Group on Incident Modelling and Management.

Sun Yan has over 30 years’ experience in all aspects of water engineering. She has worked on numerous major UK and international projects, providing expertise in river and coastal flood modelling and management, water quality modelling, real-time forecasting, decision support systems, flood resilience and expert witness.

For more information please contact:

Gabriella Lai