Local consultant commended for ‘excellent contractor performance’

The work of ICE Fellow and local sustainability expert Kate Cairns has been recognised by Newcastle University with an award.

Kate Cairns presented with the project CEEQUAL award by ICE President Tim Broyd at ICE NE Awards Dinner in May.
Kate Cairns presented with the project CEEQUAL award by ICE President Tim Broyd at ICE NE Awards Dinner in May.

Kate's company, Cairns Consultancy, was Highly Commended for 'Excellent Contractor Performance' in the category 'Contribution to Ethical, Social and Environmental Responsibility'.

Kate acted as the CEEQUAL Verifier on the Urban Sciences Building (USB) project, a flagship development for Newcastle University on the Science Central site where it gained a 'Very Good' CEEQUAL Award earlier this year.

The project vision is to provide a unique environment for academics, students and business working with cutting edge facilities to discover and demonstrate solutions to the most important global sustainability challenges.

The building will house a wide array of sustainability research including the Urban Observatory - the UK's largest set of publicly available, real time urban data – and Smart Grids, the UK's largest project developing power networks that are optimised to work with low carbon technologies such as solar panels and wind farms.

More than a building, the USB development has included a vast array of SUDS (sustainable urban drainage system) features, which work as a 'living laboratory' for urban infrastructure design and provide an evidence base to be used by city planners and future developers.

CEEQUAL is an awards and assessment scheme for improving the sustainability performance of civil engineering, landscaping and public realm projects. Kate was involved in the inception of CEEQUAL over 15 years ago and has contributed to its evolution as a trainer, assessor and as a board member for several years.

Penny Marshall, ICE NE Regional Director said:

"This award shows that Kate is a fantastic ambassador for civil engineering and a wonderful role model for young women. She has already been awarded Fellowship of the Institution of Civil Engineers – our highest grade of membership, which is the ultimate mark of distinction for civil engineers. She has achieved this while running her own sustainability consultancy and bringing up a family. She is proof that women can succeed and indeed thrive in our industry."

On top of this, Kate was recently awarded Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) status from the Society for the Environment.

Delighted Kate said: "Chartered status gives credit to my work and ongoing ambition to protect and enhance our precious and fragile environment."