The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) has announced the election of Deborah Sims as its president for 2021/22.
Ms Sims is a senior lecturer in the School of Engineering at the University of Greenwich, and a chartered engineer with over 25 years of experience in road safety engineering, highway design, asset management and maintenance.
The theme for her presidential year is ‘Route to Professionalism’ and the CIHT said that during the next 12 months it ‘will highlight just what it means to be a professional and the benefits of embracing continual improvement and enhanced professional ethics’.
Ms Sims outlined her theme and plans for the year via an online video address at CIHT’s Presidential Inauguration event on Wednesday (22 June).
She said: ‘It is a great personal honour to be elected as President of CIHT, and the last 12 months have shown how important it is to be part of an active community. As a professional body we have a unique responsibility for the development of our members and the reputation of our sector.
‘Today marks International Women in Engineering Day and we must do more to encourage children and young people to think about careers in engineering, highway engineering, and transport. To me it is particularly important that girls and young women consider these careers.
‘Careers in highways and transportation are varied, exciting and interesting. To develop solutions which fully meet the needs of the people we serve, we need full representation in our industry from men, women and indeed all sectors of the community.’
The CIHT said Ms Sims, who is a STEM Ambassador, will focus on supporting its core business over the next few months, which will see many new activities and initiatives emerge including a call for more professionals to sign up as STEM ambassadors and increased support for CIHT members’ professional development.
AECOM has appointed Rachel Billington as head of equity, diversity & inclusion (ED&I) in Europe.
The infrastructure consulting firm said she will be responsible for leading its ED&I strategy across the region, with a focus on developing inclusive people practices and leadership and collaborating with clients to drive change in the industry.
AECOM’s chief executive – Europe, Colin Wood, said: ‘Rachel’s appointment reinforces our commitment to ED&I and she takes on an important new role that will help to shape our inclusive culture to attract, grow and retain a diverse network of professionals.
‘She brings extensive experience in developing, leading and implementing innovative ED&I initiatives with tangible results, which will be a great asset as we continue to implement our ED&I strategy.’
Ms Billington added: ‘AECOM’s scale and reach across multiple geographies and markets in Europe brings together a truly diverse network of talent.
‘I look forward to working with everyone across AECOM Europe to push forward its ED&I journey, developing and leading exciting initiatives that will enable everyone to have the opportunity to thrive.’
Ms Billington joins AECOM from the Metropolitan Police, where she was HR diversity and inclusion lead. AECOM described her as a diversity and inclusion specialist, senior leader, coach and mentor with more than 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors, including financial services and policing.
It said that she delivered a number of successful ED&I initiatives at the Metropolitan Police, including its first-of-its-kind Women Returners Programme and Met Baby, a bespoke parenting support service.
She introduced disability and carer’s passports and a workplace adjustments process redesign to improve support for disability in the workplace. She was recently programme manager of the retention workstream for the Mayor of London’s Race Action Plan, where she worked with senior leaders to implement race commitments and created local employee resource groups.
Tilbury Douglas has appointed Catherine Brookes as highways sector director for its infrastructure business.
Ms Brookes joined the company formally known as Interserve on Monday (7 June) from Highways England, where she was director for operations business transformation and performance.
Tilbury Douglas said she would support and drive its highways business, focusing on growth within existing and new frameworks for strategic and local authority customers. She will sit on the Infrastructure Senior Leadership Team, reporting to Chris Tyerman, managing director for Infrastructure.
Mr Tyerman said: ‘Catherine brings with her a wealth of experience from her most recent roles that allows us to ensure our customer propositions are fully aligned to their needs and develop our future thinking and approach.’
A Chartered Civil Engineer, Ms Brookes has over 30 years’ experience in the sector. She began her career in the private sector working for Gifford and Partners, and Mouchel, as well as running her own limited company for a period, focusing on bridge design and heavy civils.
She joined what was the Highways Agency as a bridge engineer and progressed through the company with roles as regional operations director for the Midlands and East regions and a period of time as chief highways engineer.
Women in Transport has announced that Jo Field (pictured) will take over from Katie Hulland as the organisation’s new President after being elected to a four-year term at its Annual General Meeting on 13 May 2021.
Members of the highly praised not-for-profit professional membership network also elected five new board members from within the membership, including Marny Moruzzi as Vice-President.
The full list of new Women in Transport Board members is:
- President: Jo Field
- Vice President: Marny Moruzzi
- Past President: Katie Hulland
- Events Lead: Steve Griffiths
- Marketing Lead: Nicola McMillan
- Regional Co-ordinator: Asiya Jelani
- Regional Lead - West Midlands Alliance: Daljit Kalirai
Ms Field said: ‘I look forward to advocating for Women in Transport and boosting our connections with industry employers, parliamentarians and government to enable us to create positive change for our members and ensure we have an even greater voice on the issues that matter to us.
‘As the transport industry recovers from the pandemic, there has never been a more important time to ensure gender diversity is central to policymaking and that a gender-balanced workforce is involved in the planning, design, construction and delivery of services to enable the industry to build back better.’
Departing President Katie Hulland said: ‘It has been an absolute pleasure and a great privilege to play such a special role with an incredible team and supportive members over the past three pivotal years for the advancement of women in transport.
‘I look forward to supporting Jo and the new board members to settle into their roles and helping to deliver the exciting new initiatives they have planned for the months and years ahead.’
Transport secretary Grant Shapps has appointed Sir Jonathan Thompson as a non-executive director 'to represent the Government’s interests' on the board of HS2 Ltd.
The appointment of such directors was recommended by last year’s Oakervee Review of HS2 and follows three other non-executive directors taking places on the board last year. Ian King, Elaine Holt and Tom Harris were appointed to strengthen oversight and scrutiny of what is the UK’s largest infrastructure project
The Department for Transport (DfT) said Sir Jon brings strong financial management and experience in leading major projects. He is currently chief executive of the Financial Reporting Council and was previously the permanent secretary at both the Ministry of Defence and HM Revenue and Customs.
HS2 minister Andrew Stephenson said: ‘Sir Jon will be an invaluable asset to the board of HS2 Ltd and will strengthen oversight and accountability as this vital project is delivered.
‘He joins HS2’s board at an exciting time as construction of Phase One ramps up and Phase 2a has been given the green light to begin - creating thousands of jobs, driving our economic recovery from COVID-19.’
Sir Jonathan Thompson said: ‘I am delighted to have been appointed to the Board of HS2, a project in the national interest, and one where hopefully I can contribute strongly to delivering on time and to budget.’
The DfT said the process of appointing a new chair of HS2 Ltd is now underway after the current chair, Allan Cook CBE, confirmed his intention to leave the company this summer.
Officials said construction of Phase One of HS2 is underway and is now supporting over 15,000 jobs and over 500 apprenticeships. In February, the Phase 2a Bill was given Royal Assent.