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Introducing the exciting new team of industry leaders driving ICE's knowledge programme

20 May 2021

An outstanding group of industry experts has been enlisted to lead the development of ICE’s knowledge programme. ICE Director of Engineering Knowledge Mark Hansford introduces them.

Introducing the exciting new team of industry leaders driving ICE's knowledge programme
CE has recruited 11 industry leaders and experts to drive its knowledge programmes.

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has this month made a significant step forward in revitalising and re-energising its knowledge programme by welcoming a new team of outstanding industry leaders and experts into its knowledge community.

The 11-strong team has been appointed by ICE Council to lead the development of the knowledge programme. They will chair all-new Community Advisory Boards (CABs) that will seek to harness the power of ICE’s extended membership to drive the production of trusted, authoritative, independent insight into the major issues facing the industry.

These boards will spearhead delivery of relevant and engaging CPD-focused knowledge content for members. They will also take ownership of ICE’s Engineering Awards, which seek to recognise, reward and – crucially – share the knowledge of some of our industry’s most inspirational people and projects.

It is a major development for ICE’s knowledge programme. Advisory boards will focus on the biggest issues facing society and the key specialisms in which our members work. The chairs have been carefully selected by ICE Council for the energy, enthusiasm, expertise and influence that they bring.

Leading carbon and productivity

Hugely encouragingly, current ICE President Rachel Skinner will continue to lead ICE’s vital work to support the move towards net-zero carbon by chairing an all-new decarbonisation advisory board. This will build on the work of the Carbon Project, which is now concluding its one-year commission to explore the interventions that ICE should be seeking to make and is guiding the development of a new five-year carbon strategy for the institution.

The ICE Plan also identifies driving the productivity of our industry as a key focus for the next three years. This work will be led by a productivity advisory board chaired by Keltbray group chief executive Darren James and supported by Tideway programme director and ICE trustee Andy Alder as vice chair.

James was appointed Keltbray chief executive in April last year after a 30-year career with Costain. A chartered civil engineer and ICE Fellow, he has been at the heart of delivering many of the UK’s major infrastructure programmes. He was the inaugural winner of ICE’s James Rennie Medal in 1996, which is presented to the best Chartered Professional Review (CPR) candidate – an award he now judges today.

Alder is an ICE Fellow and a member of the Association for Project Management. He joined Tideway in 2015 from Crossrail, where he was project manager for construction of all tunnelling work in the west area of Crossrail.

Data and digital at the heart

Putting data and digital at the heart of infrastructure is another vital activity strand for the knowledge programme, and co-chairing the all-new data and digital advisory board are two more exceptional leaders and thinkers. Rikesh Shah, head of commercial innovation at Transport for London (TfL), has played a key role in pioneering open data at TfL and, through establishing TfL’s Innovation Hub, is leading the way start-ups and large corporates can innovate at scale to help London grow and make life in the capital better for its residents.

He is joined by Mark Enzer, head of the National Digital Twin Programme at the Centre for Digital Built Britain, who is also a keen champion of innovation in the context of collaborative delivery models, with a particular interest in transformational change in the infrastructure industry.

Ethics and resilience

Leading the knowledge, ethics and insights advisory board is Julie Wood, Arup director and global leader of programme and project management. Wood is a firm believer in sharing knowledge and skills development and will be working to ensure that these are key priorities for the board.

Leading the resilience advisory board is KPMG global infrastructure head and ICE Vice President Richard Threlfall. Threlfall was recently appointed to spearhead KPMG’s sustainability business, KPMG Impact, bringing together expertise from across the globe to help businesses, governments and organisations to address the pressing environmental, societal and governance issues that they and the world are facing.

This strand of the knowledge programme will be delivered in close collaboration with the International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure, of which ICE is a founding partner, and Threlfall will sit on its board.

Water, transport, structural engineering

Four more advisory boards will explore issues facing civil engineers working in flooding, water and sanitation, transport and mobility, and structural and geotechnical engineering.

The flooding board will be led by Fiona Barbour, Mott MacDonald’s global practice leader for water resources and flooding. Barbour is a chartered civil engineer specialising in integrated urban drainage modelling. She has been involved in various flood prevention schemes, carries out surface water management schemes and sustainable drainage system designs and is a committee member of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management’s Urban Drainage Group.

The geotechnical and structures board will be headed up by Arup director Alison Norrish. Norrish leads the design of major infrastructure projects in the rail, road and aviation sectors and specialises in tunnelling and underground construction. She has worked on a variety of infrastructure projects in the UK, Europe and South East Asia.

The transport and mobility board will be led by Atkins client director Rand Watkins. Atkins joined Atkins in 2018 from TfL, where she led the coordinated engineering input of its Future Stations Programme, driving innovative design solutions for the next generation of London Underground station upgrades. She is an ICE Fellow and a passionate ambassador of diversity in the profession.

Lastly, the water and sanitation advisory board will be chaired by Institute of Water (IoW) vice president of engineering Jo Parker. Parker is a chartered civil engineer and ICE Fellow who has worked in the water industry for more than 40 years. She is an independent consultant specialising in the management of water mains and is recognised internationally as an expert in the field. Parker's role as chair of the advisory board alongside her position at the IoW will strengthen ties between the two institutions, which already have a knowledge-sharing collaboration agreement.

How the Community Advisory Boards will work with others

These boards will seek to leverage supporting networks such as ICE’s Communities of Practice (CoPs), Specialist Knowledge Societies such as the British Tunnelling Society and the Railway Civil Engineers’ Association and other industry stakeholder groups in creating expert insight and engaging digital knowledge programmes for ICE members.

Each will work to deliver its own programme but will also work closely with other CABs, professional networks and communities on projects that have multiple target audiences. In addition, the advisory boards will identify gaps in knowledge or dissemination and propose the creation of new professional networks or CoPs to fill them.

ICE members and other infrastructure professionals can get involved through their Communities of Practice. If you are interested in providing insights, case studies, blogs or presentations, please contact us.

  • Mark Hansford, director of engineering knowledge at Institution of Civil Engineers