Immediate Past President of the Institution of Civil Engineers and Professor of Civil Engineering Geotechnics
Founding Director of the Institute of Resilient Infrastructure at the University of Leeds
Barry Clarke, immediate Past President of the Institution of Civil Engineers and Professor of Civil Engineering Geotechnics, is a founding Director of the Institute of Resilient Infrastructure at the University of Leeds. He is a Past President of the Engineering Professors Council; represents higher education on the Board of CITB ConstructionSkills, the training body for the UK construction industry; is chair of E4BE, a UK Construction Industry Council led body that focuses on the educational base of professionals working in the built environment; is a member of the Engineering Strategic Advisory Team of EPSRC; and is Chairman of the Engineering Accreditation Board, a body that brings all the UK professional engineering bodies together to address the education of engineers.
Presentation: Engineering a resilient infrastructure for society’s health and well being
The increased understanding that the resilience of society is interlinked with the resilience of infrastructure implies that the role of civil engineers in addressing the immense environmental challenges ahead will change. This means that the skill sets of engineers have to change and, given the scale of the challenges and the demands for new and upgraded infrastructure, the number of engineers will have to increase. Engineers are renowned for their problem solving skills, creating products and processes that did not exist before, but creating a resilient infrastructure at a time of uncertainty, which can adapt to the changing environment and meet society’s aspirations means that a different approach is needed. We will have to adapt the built environment to cope with resource depletion, population growth, water, energy, food and bio security, urbanisation, poverty, pandemics and climate change. Engineers will have to use their habit of mind to enable problems to be solved when solutions are not obvious; take a leadership role in society; and be able to deal with transformational change and uncertainty. This requires a paradigm shift in the education of engineers and a new approach to design to take into account developments in technology and society aspirations yet cope with environmental issues at a time of immense and rapid change.