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IABSE Journey to Success – Humanitarian and International Development

25/04/2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

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“Journey to Success” is an event for early career engineers and designers where leading figures who have practiced in the fields of humanitarian and international development engineering discuss their own personal journeys. The event will discuss skills, opportunities, risks and difficulties, from the perspective of six different paths into (and out of) the field.

Chaired by David Knight and Julia Ratcliffe; final panelists to be confirmed.

Please book your tickets on Eventbrite:


For more information about a career in HID engineering, please have a look at the following resources from the IStructE:

Working in the humanitarian or development sectors – The Institution of Structural Engineers (istructe.org)

Humanitarian and international development competencies framework – The Institution of Structural Engineers (istructe.org)

Humanitarian and international development: FAQs – The Institution of Structural Engineers (istructe.org)


Julia Ratcliffe

Julia has over 25 years’ experience in structural engineering, working on a wide variety of projects in the UK and internationally.  Formerly a Director of Expedition Engineering, in 2018 she set up scale consulting ltd., to provide design advice and integrated engineering thinking across the industry and for international development organisations.

She has worked in Asia supporting reconstruction by NGOs after the Indian Ocean tsunami and advised on transitional shelters following the Kashmir earthquake in 2005.  She served as Trustee for Architecture for Humanity UK as well as providing engineering design support to their projects in London, Romania, Ghana and Ethiopia.

She has been vice-chair of the IStructE’s Humanitarian and International Development panel since it was founded in 2017.

Johannes Whittam

Johannes is currently Regional Engineering Director at Mabey Hire Ltd, managing a team of temporary works designers. Prior to his role at Mabey Hire Johannes worked for Bridges to Prosperity (B2P) in Rwanda. B2P is an international NGO working to construct pedestrian footbridges in rural parts of developing countries; to provide access to healthcare, education, and economic opportunities. During his time in Rwanda for B2P Johannes managed and led the scale-up of the organisation’s operations, securing the signing of 5-year national level MoU with Government of Rwanda to construct 355 footbridges to directly serve over 1.1million people.

Before moving to Rwanda to work for Bridges to Prosperity Johannes worked as a Senior Engineer for COWI (previously Flint & Neill), focusing on the design of bridges. During the early years of his career at COWI he gained valuable experience which set him up for success as he took his engineering skillset into the field of international development. 

Raja Narwari

Raja is currently working at AECOM as Director Transit for Europe.  In his previous roles, Raja has led a successful business unit of over 200 people at ATKINS offering a wide range of multidisciplinary services, led the business development with a team of regional account managers as Head of Rail interfacing North America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions and also as Client Director for Atkins Norway.

At heart, Raja is a passionate Engineer who constantly pushes the boundaries of engineering by combining conventional methods of designs with innovative digital tools to provide high quality and cost-efficient solutions to the clients. He has an excellent record of working to strict deadlines to deliver the projects on time and budget, focusing on economy, safety, quality, and sustainability.

Raja is a Chartered Structural Engineer with Master of Science degree in Civil and Structural Engineering. He has worked on number of major complex projects in various parts of the globe. Some of the projects close to his heart are Hung Hom Station in Hong Kong, Riyadh Metro in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Birmingham New Street redevelopment U.K., Moss – Sanbukta – Sastad in Norway to name a few.

Alastair Norris

Al currently works as part of the Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance team, at the World Bank in London using his combined engineering and finance background to support developing country governments build resilience to natural catastrophes. Prior to joining the World Bank Al was working in Nepal as a Senior Program Manager for Build Change, a social enterprise that aims to reduce the impact of earthquakes and typhoons in emerging nations. Al oversaw Build Change’s projects to deliver engineering and financial solutions to homeowners and worked closely with the Government of Nepal to build greater resilience following the 2015 Gorkha earthquake, protecting those most vulnerable to future disasters. Before joining Build Change Al worked as a Senior Consultant at Risk Management Solutions, a catastrophe risk modelling company, and Price & Myers, an engineering consultancy.

Al holds an MSc in Civil & Architectural Engineering from the University of Bath and is committed to combining his engineering and financial knowledge to improve the resilience of governments and communities across the world.

Seb Kaminski

Seb is an Associate Structural Engineer working in the Specialist Technology & Research Team in Arup London. For over a decade he has worked on structural and seismic engineering projects in humanitarian and developing world contexts in El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Ghana, Kenya, India, Haiti, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Indonesia and Bangladesh. His focus is on appropriate, sustainable and resilient schools and affordable housing in seismic areas, using a mixture of traditional and modern technologies and materials.

Seb sits on the IStructE’s Humanitarian and International Development panel, the ISO panel updating the Structural Bamboo design code, and the Eurocode 8 panel updating the seismic timber section.

Suzie Cooper

Suzie currently works as a structural engineer at Elliott Wood Limited, a private engineering consultancy firm based in London. Suzie has led on a wide range of projects in various sectors including commercial, residential and education.

 Alongside her career, Suzie volunteers as an Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Engineer with SARAID –  a British charity specialising in Search & Rescue in international disaster zones. Suzie was recently deployed to Haiti in the wake of the devastating 2021 earthquake and has previously been to Albania and Beirut on similar disaster response operations. Suzie was part of the team that set up the Damage Assessment Coordination Centre’s in these countries – helping the local government to set up and coordinate the engineering response to structural assessments and linking in international engineers. This is an important process that assesses whether buildings are safe to be inhabited. Suzie is also trained as a Search and Rescue technician. In this role she works as part of a team to search through damaged and collapsed buildings to find survivors and pull them to safety.

Siti Jamaludin

Siti currently works as the Engineering Lead for Life Science & Pharmaceutical sector for Mace within its construction engine. She is a Chartered Structural Engineer with over 20 years of experience in design and construction, working on a wide variety of projects in various sectors locally and internationally. Over the last 15 years, Siti has specialised in construction engineering and project management with main contractors in UK and Singapore.

Outside of her career, Siti volunteers with UK International Search and Rescue (UKISAR) team on behalf of the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) as UKISAR Structural Specialist. UKISAR is one of 56 Search & Rescue teams from across the world classified under the United Nations International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG).

Her role forms part of the safety component of the team to undertake structural assessments, providing advice on safe routes for rescue missions under collapsed structures, oversee structural shoring and heavy lifting operations by working collaboratively with the UKISAR command and operational teams.


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