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New Trustee Board members elected by Council

17 April 2019

Five new members will join the ICE Trustee Board from November 2019.

New Trustee Board members elected by Council

ICE is pleased to welcome five new members to the ICE Trustee Board for the 2019/20 presidential year from November.

They are Keith Howells and Richard Threlfall (Vice Presidents), Liz Waugh (ordinary member), Emma Kent and John Beck (Council Appointee members).

They join current Vice Presidents CK Mak, Ed McCann, Emer Murnaghan, Rachel Skinner and Dr Jane Smallman and Council Appointee Member Karen Britton and will work with incoming President Paul Sheffield.

Kyle Clough will stand down as vice president in November at the end of his three-year term.

Presidential succession

The ICE Council has confirmed Keith Howells as a succeeding vice president from November 2019, with a view to becoming president in November 2022, subject to interim annual election by Council.

The ICE Council has also confirmed the election of Rachel Skinner as succeeding vice president and that based on seniority, she should be considered as a candidate for the presidency in November 2020, subject to formal election by Council in December 2019.


Keith Howells

Chairman, Mott MacDonald

Having graduated in civil engineering in 1974, Keith Howells joined one of the founder members of the Mott MacDonald Group and spent the first 10 years of his career in infrastructure design and project management, mostly in the water and transport sectors.

Howells has built career-long experience in the planning and design of hydraulic structures, hydropower, urban drainage, sewerage, water supply and river engineering.

He’s worked in numerous countries including Nigeria, Iraq, Kenya, Pakistan, Nepal, Hong Kong, China, Iceland and India, as well as in the UK.

He ran the firm’s Water and Environment business from 1997 to 2002, before becoming the group managing director in 2004, leading the firm’s expansion in North America and Australasia.

Howells was made chair of Mott MacDonald’s executive board in 2011, responsible to shareholders for the performance of the company and its strategic direction. He:

  • directed a strategic review of the business to provide greater focus on customers, sectors, technology, and efficiency.
  • reformed the company’s governance structure by creating a supervisory board.
  • led various policy initiatives across the business including ethics; equality, diversity, and inclusion; digital; sustainability; and “China Outbound”.
  • led the buy-out of a JV partner to create a wholly owned business in North America.

Howells was chair of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering in 2013, is a member of the CBI’s Construction Council and a member of the Cranfield School of Management Advisory Board.

He’s an ICE Fellow, a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng).


Richard Threlfall

Partner, Global Head of Infrastructure, KPMG International

Richard Threlfall has over 25 years’ experience in infrastructure policy, governance, strategy and financing, working with public and private sector organisations in the UK and overseas. He’s currently global head of infrastructure at consulting firm KPMG.

Threlfall began his career as a civil servant at the UK Department for Transport where he held positions in the road, rail and aviation directorates. Between 1996 and 1998 he was private secretary to the Secretary of State for Transport and the Deputy Prime Minister. He subsequently moved to the Infrastructure Advisory team at Citigroup before joining KPMG, where he led the UK Infrastructure, Building and Construction sector until 2018.

Threlfall has an extensive network of contacts across the infrastructure, transport, utility, and construction markets and the related political, financial and legal communities, in the UK and internationally.

He works with national and local infrastructure and transport authorities, private infrastructure owners and promoters of infrastructure schemes. He’s advised on the governance and financing of some of the worlds’ most complex civil engineering projects.

Threlfall is an ICE Fellow. He was chair of the Northern Powerhouse Steering Group, a member of the National Needs Assessment Committee and chair of the Project 13 Governance Working Group as well as representing ICE on numerous occasions globally.

He’s a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Infrastructure and a member of the Infrastructure Board of the Confederation of British Industry.

He chairs the Advisory Council of The Infrastructure Forum, an independent think tank which brings together organisations with involvement in UK infrastructure from public, private and regulatory perspectives.

He’s also a prolific writer on infrastructure and transport and is quoted regularly in the trade and national press.


Liz Waugh

Managing Director, Coast Communications

Liz Waugh is a communications professional with over 25 years’ experience in industry and public sector, specialising in stakeholder engagement with critical infrastructure and crisis management.

She provides expert advice to public and private sector, including central government (Cabinet Office, BEIS and Defra), Scottish and Welsh governments, as well as local authorities.

Waugh is currently adviser to critical infrastructure portfolios totalling in excess of £15.7bn, including 11 energy from waste projects, major road and rail schemes, and separate regeneration programmes for three major South West towns.

Waugh mentors three engineers and is a regular speaker at Women in Leadership, Construction and other forums to promote engineering and career progression. She’s a member of the Great Western Railway Advisory Board, South West Infrastructure Panel and Vice Secretary (UK) to Anglo American Real Property and Infrastructure Institute.

Previously she chaired the Local Transport Board, BBC Audience Council (representing England) and was ex interim CEO of Heart of the South West LEP.

She lectures for Bournemouth, Plymouth and Leeds University and is an expert witness to several public inquiries on the impact of critical infrastructure on the tourism economy.

Waugh is managing director of Coast Communications, a strategic technical communications agency based in Cornwall, London and Cardiff, with a roster of national and international clients.

In her (limited) spare time, Waugh enjoys walking in the Black Mountains with her dog, paddle boarding on the coast and photography. She’s also learning Welsh, with nominal success.


Emma Kent

Construction Director, Metropolitan Police

Emma Kent has over 10 years’ experience designing and delivering projects of all sizes in London and further afield.

She’s construction director for the Metropolitan Police. She’s leading the construction work for a programme of 40 construction projects, totalling £500million of project value over five years.

These capital projects underpin the Met’s ambitious Estate Transformation Strategy.

Kent has been a keen supporter of ICE for many years, including a position on the ICE New South Wales Committee when she lived in Sydney, followed by a three-year term as chairman of the Editorial Advisory Panel for Civil Engineering when she returned to the UK.

In 2017, Kent was elected to the ICE Council where she’s taken an active role for the last two years. More recently, Emma has been elected to the Trustee Board of the ICE, where she will help deliver the strategic direction for the ICE, set by members and the ICE Council.

She’s a passionate advocate for engineers in their mid-careers as well as pursuing a more inclusive engineering industry. She wants the ICE to be the first-choice authority on matters of societal importance such as climate change and infrastructure.


John Beck

Chartered Civil Engineer, Chartered Surveyor, Independent Consultant

John Beck is an independent dispute resolution consultant. He has expertise in construction and commodity contracts and international arbitration.

Primarily a civil engineer and surveyor, Beck’s worked in the public, charitable and commercial sectors.

As the chief executive and secretary of the third largest Church of England diocese, he has experience of running a multi-million-pound charitable organisation.

He was also formerly director general of the International Cotton Association, member of the Commercial Courts Users Committee, and past president and honorary secretary of the UK section of Société des Ingénieurs et Scientifiques de France.

Beck has worked closely with ICE many times in the past. He’s a former ICE Director International, representing the institution’s interests and UK influence around the world, and served as an ICE Council member in 2012-15, 2016-18 and 2018-21. He is a member of the ICE Audit Committee, Nomination Committee and Standards Panel’.

Beck was awarded a Moscow State University Jubilee Medal for services to Engineering and Education in 2002.

For more information about the Trustee Board, see the ICE Trustee Board webpage.