Institution of Civil Engineers’ Asia Pacific Presidential Address Paul Sheffield

It was an absolute pleasure to host the Institution of Civil Engineers’ President Paul Sheffield last week for our Asia Pacific Presidential address.   Paul personally welcomed our new Chartered Civil Engineers and Fellows within the region and discussed the international, reach and value of reaching professional milestones.  Paul shared new technologies and where they could be applied and listened to our members sharing their own innovations and ideas.     We discussed how global Governments are keeping economies moving by injecting money into infrastructure this is especially evident in Australia and NZ.  Where Federally Scott Morrison has pledged $10B over 10 years.  With NSW Gladys Berejiklian has pledged $10B over 4 years with a view to creating 88,000 jobs in infrastructure.   In New Zealand Jacinta Ardern has recently committed an addition $3B to the existing $12B infrastructure budget.  With this in mind, our infrastructure profession is going to be in the limelight for the foreseeable future, challenged to efficiently deliver upon the our government commitments and kick start our respective economies.

Paul talked about the challenges associated with a growing population using ageing infrastructure and how governments need to not only build new infrastructure but look to extend the life of existing assets.  It is our role to deliver this infrastructure efficiently harnessing innovation through design, construction methodology, materials and technological advances.  Our profession needs to continue to apply and achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as we are at a pivotal moment in time where we can reset the construction industry to deliver sustainable infrastructure.

I found the whole experience enlightening hosting a question and answer through a system being managed from the UK, speaking to people based across Australia, NZ, Malaysia, Hong Kong and China.

What a big world we live in, but it is amazing how technology can bring us all together to share ideas.

Date: Sep 7, 2020
AUTHOR: Matthew Colton