Little surprise last Friday when the £4bn-plus Thames Tideway Tunnel got the green light from ministers. Communities secretary Eric Pickles and environment secretary Elizabeth Truss concluded that the 25km long tunnel is the best way to stop frequent, untreated sewage discharges into the river.
News analysis and opinion from the NCE team
Last week, a fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) bridge was installed over the River Frome at Frampton Cotterell near Bristol.
Universities are in the spotlight this week, with hundreds of budding civil engineers looking to cement their college place. So NCE continues its series on Engineering Equality by looking at whether progress is being made to stimulate gender diversity at entry level. Report by Yemesi Sofolarin and Alexandra Wynne.
The expert view
Few would argue that transport is the lifeblood of any city – a vibrant economy depends on the efficient movement of people, goods and data.
The cyclical nature of property development has made it difficult to create a stable and sustainable pipeline of graduate opportunities and skills investment. This crucial, but often overlooked sector, demands a particular mix of technical skills, pragmatism and commerciality, much of which can only really be trained “on the job“.
The Scottish independence referendum finally happens next week, with an accompanying debate that grows more convoluted by the day. Both sides of the argument have long since reached fever pitch, with the ‘Yes’ team calling foul play over British government’s refusal to allow an independent Scotland access to sterling currency and the ‘No’ team claiming that the (Scottish National Party) SNP will falter when it comes to joining the European Union as a separate state.
A revelatory moment in my thinking about procurement was when over a dinner Sir William McAlpine, of the famed construction dynasty, gave me a short extract from a John Ruskin essay.
We need more houses in the UK, especially affordable homes. One estimate of the gap between what we have and what we need is as high as 290,000 new homes. That’s a considerable challenge.
The recent announcement of Aecom’s acquisition of URS, followed quickly by news of approaches to purchase Hyder by Arcadis and Nippon Koei, continues the trend towards consolidation in the engineering consulting market. These events have the potential to radically reshape the industry and significantly impact the talent landscape.
The water industry is not immune from the attention of government and regulator in the drive to get all utilities to deliver better value for their customers.
Over the past two decades, London has been transformed by a transport revolution. Great new places have been created and existing centres have been reanimated by a massive expansion and reinvigoration of public transport provision across London.
Many of us have spent small fortunes developing our energy businesses, be it wind, wave, nuclear new build, decommissioning or waste and recycling. The rate at which projects are coming to market is disappointing to say the least.
Starting this winter and continuing for the next four years, the National Grid is planning to offer financial rewards to the UK’s heaviest energy users in return for cutting their consumption at peak times.
Ministers have proclaimed the first round of the £2bn Local Growth Fund as the centrepiece of a new decentralised approach. But many of the projects receiving money are reheated old schemes which central Government ditched over 20 years ago in the face of widespread public opposition.
The logic behind compulsory sustainable urban drainage systems (Suds) is clear: past generations of drainage engineers adopted the approach of trying to dispose of surface drainage as quickly as possible with rapid discharges to receiving river channels which cannot cope with the volumes.
There is empirical evidence to prove that profitable businesses have balanced teams of people from a range of backgrounds and experiences. When they bring their diverse perspectives to the table, they spark ideas, challenge each other, make better decisions and, in turn, create a high performance culture.
In recent years there has been increased scrutiny on public spending and the way the government carries out its procurement and delivery on major projects. Quite rightly we have seen a greater focus from government to deliver ‘more for less’ to get the best possible value for the taxpayer.
Innovation is a word on everyone’s lips in our industry. There’s a danger it simply becomes a buzzword with little meaning and even less action. However, it will be vital if we are to successfully tackle some of the major challenges around infrastructure and cities that will shape our future.
M25: still closed
Legal action: Heath&Hampstead Society are fighting plans to upgrade the park’s dams