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Infrastructure in 2014: Celebrate the UK's best

Last week the government released a revised “infrastructure pipeline” that sets out a whopping £375bn of potential infrastructure investment to 2020 and beyond.

Delivering this programme of infrastructure investment will demand a massive increase in workforce capacity across most economic infrastructure types, but there are concerns that the lack of supply of engineering and technical skills, coupled with an ageing workforce and competition from overseas and other industries, threaten these plans and ambitions.

Talent management and succession planning are becoming key priorities for engineering and construction businesses. Next year NCEaims to showcase the firms and individuals that will be leading the way, ensuring the investment happens, on time, on budget, sustainably and to the highest standards. We will be looking for the future champions of our profession; those who will make the difference, inspire a generation and ensure that government commitment will not waver.

We want to see:

  • Commitment to your career and to championing engineering – what was the Eureka moment when you realised you could make a difference? Who was it in your firm who inspired you?
  • Where you expect to be in your career in 10 to 15 years – what skills and experiences gained from your firm and/or personal development will you be drawing on most?
  • How in your work you have completed and contributed to challenging projects – what one of your firm’s projects stands out?
  • How you have addressed challenges you have encountered – what one bit of innovative or lateral thinking (or sheer hard work) saved the day?
  • Innovation and vision in your thinking or working practices – how do you plan to change the way your firm works for the better?

Does your firm the bill? Do you have people like this? If so contact


Flint & Neill associate Hugo Wood is one to watch for the future. He specialises in geotechnical design and assessment, and is experienced in designing retaining structures, deep excavations, piled and shallow foundations, embankments and cuttings, and support and stabilising measures for unstable slopes.

“The most exciting aspect of engineering is watching a scheme develop, whether that be through realisation of an innovative solution to provide a safe and economical design, or watching teams come together to achieve a successful project,” says Wood. “I have worked with a number of inspirational engineers through my career who have given me the confidence to develop my own skills and to pass my experience on to others.”

Hugo Wood

Hugo Wood

As part of a desire to provide support to the wider engineering community, Wood has been a member of the British Geotechnical Association executive committee for over two years, where he is responsible for overseeing activities for younger engineers, including the Cooling Prize competition and the bi-annual young geotechnical engineers’ symposium.

“This gives me the opportunity to witness and encourage the interest for engineering in those who will in turn be the future of the industry,” he says.

Wood’s long-term aim is to continue growing Flint & Neill’s geotechnical team and lead the firm’s input into the offshore wind farm foundation market.

NCE will be publishing full profiles of some of the industry’s future leaders - including Hugo Wood - in the New Year.


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