Since joining NCE Been the first construction journalist into Iraq following the second Gulf War (and won IBP News Reporter of the Year as a result), was on the scene in tsunami-struck Sri Lanka, reported on a fatal bridge collapse in Portugal, covered a tunnel blaze in Baltimore, and exposed fundamental design failings in the Windsor's Jubilee River. My most moving experience to date was talking exclusively to acquitted Hatfield engineer Nick Jeffries over how he is putting his life back together after his five-year ordeal. Worst experience to date has to be getting lured into a night out in Scotland with the ICE graduates and students, waking up with a raging hangover with the grim reality dawning that I had missed my flight home. Never again. Areas of Interest Engineering disasters, design cock-ups and personal traumas are a staple of NCE, but fortunately are few and far between. Water and environment issues are my main area of responsibility.
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Two very different flood defence schemes scooped top honours at NCE’s British Construction Industry Awards in 2014. Described as “blueprints for technical excellence” by 2013/14 ICE president Geoff French, the awards recognise excellence in project delivery. Top honour went to the Medmerry Managed Realignment scheme in Chichester, West Sussex.
ICE president for 2014/15 professor David Balmforth has clear views on the future engineer. With a broad background and a deep expertise in fl ood risk management, he knows what behaviours and skillsets he sees as key for civil engineers seeking to shape a better world. “I want to be sensibly challenging to the profession and industry in terms of the future challenges we face,” he told NCE in October, ahead of his inauguration address.
Selling the value of investment in roads should be the new mantra for engineers, with the government backing the industry in ways almost unprecedented in modern times.
- Infrastructure in 2015: a special report on prospects for the year ahead
- Ramboll UK environment team doubles with acquisition of US environmental consultant Environ
- Serious R&D effort needed to make 3D printing a reality, says digital fabrication expert
- Feminism and pride: key engineer qualities
- More industry bosses declare themselves feminists
- NCE and industry leaders link up over supply chain skills
- Grasp government roads opportunities
“We want to change the way people do infrastructure design,” proclaimed software giant Autodesk’s senior vice president, industry strategy Andrew Anagnost on the eve of the firm’s annual convention in Las Vegas last week. “And the way we’re going to do it is by using the power of the cloud.”
Mining is the new roads sector for UK consultants eyeing up a £200bn global pot of cash.
The stock of the engineer as innovator is rising, driven by client demands for better cost and time certainty on increasingly complex projects. So much so that it is prompting enlightened consultants seriously rethink attitudes to research and development and the way they treat their technically-minded engineers.
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- Railtrack haunts Cameron's plan for road privatisation
- Old problems threaten to derail new era of light rail
- Localism in transport sounds death knell for major schemes
- 2012: the year of the one stop shop
- Life on Mars stalks a squeezed industry
- Are one stop shops key to cracking the global market?