Young professionals selected to sit on NIC panel and shape future UK infrastructure

Sixteen young architects, engineers, designers and energy specialists in the first few years of their careers have been handed a unique opportunity to have a real influence over how the UK’s infrastructure is developed over the next three decades.

More than a dozen of the UK’s top young professionals have been selected to sit on the National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC) Young Professionals Panel after a judging team trawled through more than 500 applications. 

The panel was launched today by NIC chair Sir John Armitt with the aim to provide a platform for the infrastructure sector’s future leaders and give them a chance to inform and have a say on the commission’s work.

Armitt said he was looking forward to working with talented individuals who “could end up designing and managing world-leading infrastructure” long into the future. 

“The commission exists to identify what infrastructure the country needs up to 2050,” Armitt said. “So it’s right we give the next generation of infrastructure leaders a say in our work. I look forward to working with these young professionals, some of whom could end up designing and managing world-leading infrastructure built as a result of commission recommendations.”

Plans for a Young Professionals Panel, were announced by the NIC in November 2017 and was advertised as an opportunity for young hopefuls to advise the chair of the NIC and fellow commissioners as they develop the country’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment.

Entrants had to be in the early stages of their career and submit a detailed application, with shortlisted candidates presenting to a selection panel including Sadie Morgan from the commission, an external panellist and members of the NIC team.

Professor Sadie Morgan, commissioner and chair of the YPP Selection Panel, said: “The selection team was blown away by the quality of the short-listed candidates. It was tough choosing from over 500 fantastic entries, but in these sixteen young professionals we have a passionate and diverse group which I hope will inspire the commission with their creative ideas about the UK’s future infrastructure needs.”

The panel meets for the first time today at the Churchill War Rooms in London to discuss their programme of work, ahead of a first formal meeting later in the summer. Members will work with the commission across the full range of its work, as well as developing its own ideas and recommendations to government for meeting the country’s infrastructure needs up to 2050 and beyond.

Phil Graham, chief executive of the NIC, said: “An important aim for the commission has always been to broaden our reach and find ways to engage new and different groups in our work. The Young Professionals Panel is a fantastic example of this – bringing together talented individuals from different professions, backgrounds and regions to provide fresh perspectives on the country’s infrastructure challenges.” 

Members of the panel include:

  • Matthew Ball – manager, Ofgem – based in London
  • John Bradburn – senior sonsultant, Atkins - based in Manchester
  • Alison Caldwell – principal engineer, WSP – based in Birmingham
  • Laura Daniels – project lead, Innovation, UK Power Networks - based in Reading
  • Joshua Dickerson – association, Deetu - based in Nottingham
  • Jennifer Holgate – managing associate, Womble Bond Dickinson – based in Bristol
  • Dr Rosie Hughes, Innovation & Continuous improvement lead (Strategic Highways Europe), AECOM - based in Derby
  • Annette Jezierska, co-founder, The Future Fox - based in London
  • Madeleine Kessler, project architect, Haptic Architects - based in London
  • Petra Marko, co-founder, Marko & Placemakers - based in London
  • Henry Metcalf, graduate engineer, Peter Brett Associates - based in London
  • Charlotte Mitchell, associate, Quod - based in London
  • Christian O’Brien, engineer, Bellway Homes - based in Southampton
  • Martin Plant, civil engineer, SNL Lavalin Atkins - based in Surrey
  • Sakthy Selvakumaran, civil engineer/PhD researcher, University of Cambridge - based in Cambridge
  • Victor Frebault, consultant, Arup - based in London
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