Civil engineer star aiming for Wise Award

A leading North East civil engineer has been shortlisted for a prestigious award for her work in the UK’s STEM – science, technology, engineering and maths – sector.

Kate Cairns, Chair of ICE North East Sustainability Panel
Kate Cairns, Chair of ICE North East Sustainability Panel

Kate Cairns, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) North East's Sustainability Panel chair, has been shortlisted for the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Awards in the Health and Safety category, sponsored by Amec Foster Wheeler.

Kate said: "I am delighted to have been shortlisted from such a large number of entrants with so much expertise. The civil engineering industry has an excellent on-site safety culture. I have been working to tackle the incongruous industry complacency of deaths involving construction vehicles off-site. This recognition of my work signifies a paradigm shift in awareness and a new willingness to acknowledge and address the issue."

Kate, from Alnwick, is an independent consultant on sustainability and construction logistics. She is also a director of CEEQUAL Ltd, the sustainability assessment, rating and awards scheme for civil engineering.

She founded the See Me Save Me campaign in 2009 following the death of her sister, Eilidh, who was run over from behind by a tipper lorry whilst cycling to work in London. She has been a strong and tireless advocate for the elimination of death by HGVs ever since. Kate ran the Kielder Marathon recently to raise funds for the campaign. Donations are still being welcomed.

Kate represents the ICE on an industry-wide working group, which has designed a new national standard to manage construction HGV risk (www.clocs.org.uk). She has helped prepare representations to national government and the European Parliament on behalf of the ICE and others. Next month she will be addressing a national industry conference, Freight in the City, at the Alexandra Palace in London.

The annual WISE Awards celebrate the work of individuals and organisations that are leading the way for women in STEM areas. Kate's shortlisting follows a record number of entries from women and organisations working in the sector.

Penny Marshall, Director of ICE North East, said: "It is fantastic that Kate has been nominated for this award, because she works tirelessly to support civil engineering in the North East and her efforts are inspiring to all who work in our industry."

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