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Press release

Exhibition inspires young people to build a net zero world as civil engineers

16 June 2022


High-resolution photos of the exhibition are available here

This week sees the launch of a major new exhibition highlighting the central role civil engineers play in creating the infrastructure needed to tackle climate change. The exhibition will tour the country starting with Bristol Airport.

Time is Running Out - Help us Engineer a Net Zero World explores the future of infrastructure and focuses on the ways in which civil engineers are coming up with sustainable solutions in sectors such as transport, energy and water.

The exhibition, created by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), aims to inspire young people who are passionate about the environment to consider civil engineering as a career where they can make a tangible difference on climate change issues.

Based around three illuminated ‘pods’, the exhibition features original hand-drawn illustrations and profiles of civil engineers.

Six questions are explored: Why don't we value water? What can we do to end waste? Can we keep travelling? Do we need smarter cities? Where will our energy come from? How do we live with flooding?

TV presenter Rob Bell talks to children about the questions in a series of short films embedded within the pods.

Miranda Housden, South West Regional Director for ICE and the exhibition curator, said: “Civil engineers are the people who design, build and maintain the modern world around us.

"They are at the forefront of addressing some of the major impacts of climate change, and civil engineers are also playing a vital role in helping us transition to a low carbon future, from building renewable energy facilities to upgrading our road networks for electric vehicle charging.

“The exhibition raises awareness of the connection between civil engineering and carbon neutrality and speaks directly to young people who want to be part of future solutions that can help us live better lives without costing the planet.”

Ed McCann, ICE President, launched the free exhibition on Wednesday 15 June at Bristol Airport, where it will be available to thousands of families as they embark on their summer holidays until 31 July.

Simon Earles, Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Director at Bristol Airport, said: "We are delighted to be the host venue of the new major exhibition from ICE to highlight and promote the central role of civil engineers in creating the essential infrastructure needed to assist in tackling climate change.

"With a busy summer expected, this new exhibition will be on show to thousands of families travelling through the departure lounge and customers will have the opportunity to see what methods civil engineers are developing to create a sustainable solution in the future to reach a net zero world.

"At Bristol Airport, sustainability is a key focus for us all and we became a carbon neutral operations airport in 2021, four years ahead of schedule, and also brought forward our next aim to achieve net zero airport operations by 2030.

"We are always looking to explore different technologies which can help us reduce our impact on the environment.

"We’re committed to being net zero for all our emissions, including flights, by 2050. Our region has a unique cluster of aerospace and aviation expertise, which places us at the forefront of efforts to decarbonise flight.

"We’ve brought together companies such as Airbus and GKN Aerospace with EDF and Wales & West Utilities to form Hydrogen South West, a partnership that aims to develop a hydrogen ecosystem in our region, and accelerate the move to net zero flights."

The exhibition will be on display at Rochester Cathedral 4-30 August and Leeds Station (northern concourse) 3-8 October.

Throughout 2022-23, it will tour railways stations and high-profile locations in Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Plymouth.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to visit during the 18 month-long tour.

Anyone can explore the exhibition website,, which also provides information about infrastructure, net zero challenges and careers advice on how to become a civil engineer.


Notes to editors

High-resolution photos of the exhibition are available here:

For more information about the exhibition, contact: Miranda Housden, Regional Director, ICE South West

M: 07917 508039  | E: [email protected]

To learn more about the launch at Bristol Airport, contact: Jacqui Mills, Public Relations and Community Manager, Bristol Airport

T: 0117 457 5024 | E: [email protected]

About the Institution of Civil Engineers

Founded in 1818, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) is a UK-based international organisation with more than 95,000 members, ranging from students to professionally qualified civil engineers.

As an educational and qualifying body, with charitable status under UK law, we support our members throughout their careers, and help society to have trust and confidence in infrastructure professionals.

Under our Royal Charter, ICE has become recognised worldwide for its excellence as a centre of learning, a public voice for the profession and a leading source of expertise in infrastructure and engineering policy.

Bristol Airport

Bristol Airport was accredited in late 2021 by the Airports Carbon Accreditation Scheme as having achieved carbon neutral operations – covering the Airport’s scope 1 and 2 emissions, such as buildings and vehicles.

The airport had set itself the target of achieving this by 2025. 

Bristol Airport has a target of net zero operations by 2030, requiring scope 1 and 2 emissions to be cut as much as technology allows, with any small remaining emissions removed from the atmosphere.

Scope 3 emissions must be net zero by 2050, including surface access and flights.

Achieving net zero operations by 2030 requires the use of specialist airside zero emissions vehicles.

Bristol Airport has entered into a sustainability partnership with easyJet, which included a world-first Ultra-Low Emissions Turnaround Trial that completed earlier this year.

This trial demonstrated that emissions from the turnaround of aircraft on the ground could deliver a 96% reduction in emissions.

To achieve our net zero 2050 target for all emissions, Bristol Airport has launched its Airport Carbon Transition (ACT) Programme.

This provides £250,000 of funding per annum for innovative projects to reduce emissions at the airport.

The first round of funding was provided to five organisations, ranging from investigating the potential for sequestering carbon on-site to emissions from employee surface access.

Hydrogen South West is a partnership of Bristol Airport, Bristol Port, Airbus, GKN Aerospace, Hynamics (EDF), Wales & West Utilities, Costain, and the consultancy Wood.

It's supported by GW4 (Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Cardiff universities), Western Gateway, EY, Business West, and Copper.

Hydrogen South West aims to create a hydrogen economy in the region and provide the supply of fuel required to decarbonise flight.

Hydrogen South West is working together on a number of pilot projects, including developing a hydrogen-powered ground power unit at Bristol Airport.

The exhibition creative was led by agency, Wind & Foster.

  • Kai Tabacek, media relations manager at ICE