Conference Profiles

We are delighted to have the following speakers at the Future of Design North Conference for 2018:

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Ed McCann | Director, Expedition Engineering“]

We are excited to have Ed present on the topic of:

The Design Problem….reflections on how and why we get it wrong from time to time

After graduating from Imperial College. He started his career with Binnie & Partners where he worked on over 50 projects around the world from sewerage schemes in India to child friendly zones in a refugee camp in Kenya. He also got a Master’s Degree from the National University of Mexico.

He joined Expedition Engineering in 2002 helping to lead its development from back bedroom start-up to Engineering Consultant of the Year 2011.  Ed was Expedition’s Project Director for the 2012

Olympic Velodrome and the highly acclaimed Infinity Bridge both of which received the Institution of Structural Engineers Supreme Award for Excellence.

He is a Vice-President of the Institution of Civil Engineers and is involved in a number of cross industry initiatives. He recently co-authored a report in to the costs and root causes of error in the UK Construction Industry.

He is actively involved in education and skills development particularly in relation to design and construction and is a Royal Academy Visiting Professor Strathclyde University.

He was one of the inventors of the CONSTRUCTIONARIUM and recently co-authored the RAEng’s Best Practice Guidance on Experience Led Learning, E-Learning and Industrial Engagement in Higher Education.

He has also appeared on some 35 television documentaries about engineering and architecture.


[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Martin Knight | Director, Knight Architects“]

We are excited to have Martin present on the topic of:

Infrastructure and a Sense of Place

Martin Knight is one of the leading UK architects specialising in the design of bridges and transport infrastructure.  He founded international bridge designers Knight Architects in 2006 following nine years at Wilkinson Eyre Architects, where he was responsible for bridges including the RIBA Stirling Prize-winning Gateshead Millennium Bridge.   His practice completed multiple bridges at Stratford City for the London 2012 Olympic Games and recently completed the £14m Hatea River Crossing in New Zealand, the Destructor Bridge in Bath, UK and twin 100m-long footbridges at Leverkusen in Germany.

Current projects include the £600m Mersey Gateway, UK, the Kienlesbergbrücke in Ulm, Germany and the competition-winning 1100m £75m Krunnusillat Bridges in Helsinki. The practice is working on the M4 Corridor around Newport and the dualling of the A465 in Wales, and the A82 and A9 highway schemes in Scotland, all in sensitive and protected environments.  A passionate believer in the importance of good design in infrastructure, he is leading his practice’s work on the A303 Stonehenge bypass and sits on the HS2 Design Panel and the Design Commission for Wales Design Review Panel.

Martin was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 2016.



[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Hazel MacDonald | Network Bridges Manager, Transport Scotland“]

We are excited to have Hazel present on the topic of:

The Future of Design, The View from Transport Scotland

Educated at Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities, Hazel has been involved in maintenance and asset management of Trunk Road structures with Transport Scotland for 12 years. Previous experience with Cumbria County Council in design and maintenance followed a PhD in ‘Temperature Effects in Concrete Box Girder Bridges’ and bridge inspection and assessment for Mott MacDonald.

In Transport Scotland, Hazel leads a team managing the inspection, maintenance and improvement of Scottish Trunk Road structures with a budget of £62.5m. Hazel also holds specialist portfolios for concrete standards, hidden defects and resilience.





[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Dmitri Jajich | Director of Structural Engineering, SOM“]

We are excited to have Dmitri present on the topic of:

Structure as Architecture

As a Director of Structural Engineering in the London office, Jajich leads the delivery of innovative structural engineering solutions to realize ambitious building designs. Working in close collaboration with the entire design team, Jajich develops structural solutions that are appropriate, efficient, practical, and buildable. Jajich believes that good structural design requires both early involvement and a focused, sustained effort through all phases of the project, from concept through construction.

Jajich’s high-rise project experience includes the design of office, residential, laboratory, and multi-use structures. Jajich’s work is characterized by elegantly integrated design, with an emphasis on clear structural expression and carefully crafted details. Since joining SOM in 2000, Jajich has developed engineering expertise in a range of materials including steel, concrete, timber, and glass.

Jajich has led the structural design of award-winning museums, cultural spaces, transportation hubs, and private residences. He has also collaborated with numerous renowned artists. His past projects include Fisher’s Island Residence in New York, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Lee Hall III project (an addition to the College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities at Clemson University) the James Turrell Skyspace at Rice University, the private museum Glenstone II, and Denver Union Station in Denver, Colorado. Recent projects include Karlatornet tower in Gothenburg, Sweden, which will be the tallest building in Scandinavia, and Manhattan Loft Gardens in London, which features an ambitious notched, double-cantilevered construction.

Jajich is an active chartered member of the IStructE in the UK, and a licensed Structural and Civil Engineer in both Illinois and New York.

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Charles Cocksedge | Director, AECOM“]

We are excited to have Charles present on the topic of:

Do we ever learn – what the profession seems to forget

In a career spanning over 40 years Charles has primarily worked on large structures, from long span bridges to optical & radio telescopes. This includes working on over 40 suspension bridges, including fifteen with spans in excess of 1,000 metres. His greatest knowledge and expertise relates to the inspection, assessment, strengthening and rehabilitation of major suspension bridges.

On graduation he started working for Freeman Fox & Partners on a diverse range of engineering challenges. Over the years he became more focussed on long span bridges including the strengthening and widening of Tamar Suspension Bridge, design of River Usk tied arch, and leading the investigation work into the condition of the cables on Forth Road Bridge, which ultimately lead to the decision to construct the new Queensferry Crossing. This was punctuated with work on the Subaru Telescope located on a 4200m high extinct volcano in Hawaii, and work to keep the Lovell Telescope operating at the Jodrell Bank Observatory.


[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Ewan Angus | Major Bridges Director, Amey“]

We are excited to have Ewan present on the topic of:

Use of technology in the operation and maintenance of the Forth Road Bridge/Queensferry Crossing

Ewan Angus is Major Bridges Director for Amey within their Forth Bridges operating contract for Transport Scotland. Ewan is responsible for all engineering and technical matters on Forth Road Bridge and the new Queensferry Crossing. Ewan leads a team carrying out a wide range of inspection, assessment, design, repair, enhancement and asset management projects.  Ewan has taken a leading role in the implementation of a range of technology on the Forth Road Bridge which now has one of the most advanced systems on major suspension bridges globally.

Ewan is a chartered engineer with 35 years’ experience of major road and bridge projects across the UK.  Ewan was a leading member of the Amey team mobilised to deal with the emergency closure and the reopening of the Forth Road Bridge in December 2015.


[separator headline=”h2″ title=”John Roberts| Director, Laing O’Rourke“]

We are excited to have John present on the topic of:

The Edinburgh St James Shopping Centre Redevelopment

John has thirty years of international experience across a wide range of project types. Previously based in London, Los Angeles, Bangalore and Hong Kong, he has designed with a variety of materials from long span structures and Class 1 nuclear structures, through basements and modular construction, down to cladding and furniture.

Since joining Laing O’Rourke at the start of 2014 he has led the Civil Engineering team in their Engineering Excellence Group, developing products and processes that enable offsite delivery across infrastructure sectors. He is recently the Design Director of their Infrastructure Business. John is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and sits on the UK steering group for IABSE.

Previously he worked at Arup (1986 to 2004) in the UK and Los Angeles and led the design of projects including the Canary Wharf Jubilee Line Station, the Reichstag, the Hollywood Bowl and a 180m span retractable roof baseball stadium. Joining Atkins in 2005 he became the chair of their Structural Network, led the development of an offshoring team of 170 from India, delivered stations for MTR from Hong Kong, steered implementation of BIM globally and worked on site constructing Class 1 nuclear buildings.


[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Bill Harvey | Bill Harvey Associates“]

We are excited to have Bill present on the topic of:

The perils of false knowledge and false assumptions

Bill was a committed bridge engineer from the age of 7, though he has had a few distractions. He is now 17 years into his third career. After BSc, PhD in Leeds he did a milk round training at Leeds City Engineer as the quickest way to chartership. From there he moved to Humber Bridge then Ouse Bridge (1300m plate girder concrete deck M62), Dunkeld bridge on the 89 (70,90,70m span plate girder launch) and back to Humber building the footbridges before the demands of family took him to Dundee University and career two as an academic where he began researching masonry bridge behaviour. In 1984 he wrote the first version of Archie which remains popular for arch bridge assessment. In 2000 he set up his own consultancy as a specialist on arches, though he has also been consultant to Pembroke County Council on the Cleddau bridge which is hardly an arch. Most of his current work involves gaps in understanding that persist after maybe 3000 years of arch bridges.

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Liz Davidson | Senior Project Manager,  Glasgow School of Art“]

We are excited to have Liz present on the topic of:

The Mackintosh Building Restoration, Glasgow School of Art

Liz is involved in the restoration of the badly fire damaged and A Listed Mackintosh Building – the masterwork of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s architectural output – in this the 150th year since his birth on June 7th 1868.

Since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art as a post graduate in Architectural Conservation, Liz has been involved in most aspects of Scotland’s built heritage.

Prior to working on the ‘Mack’ Liz was head of Heritage and Design at Glasgow City Council with an active statutory role in maintaining standards of historic building repair and maintenance in conjunction with encouraging the best and most inspirational designs in contemporary development.  Previous to this she led the £10 Million Heritage Lottery funded Townscape Heritage programme to regenerate the Merchant City through an extensive arts led programme of building repair, repaving and lighting of main streets, proactive cultural and creative business strategy,  public art commissions, street markets, and the now annual Merchant City festival. Earlier posts included that of Director of Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, a charitable property developer rescuing and bringing back to life numerous historic buildings including St. Andrew’s Square Church, the Tobacco Merchants House,  Wellpark Enterprise Centre and the iconic blue ‘Tardis’ police boxes, not long since threatened with an ignominious death-by-crusher.

Whilst at the Trust, Liz also pioneered  Doors Open Day which introduced the UK’s first free mass architectural participation event, providing access to significant modern and historic buildings and to interiors which had rarely before been glimpsed, even by their closest neighbours.

A two year secondment to Historic Scotland also saw the development and launch of the multi million pound Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) programme whereby urban areas from Whithorn to Wick devised programmes of restoration and transformation of some of Scotland’s finest historic burghs encompassing the relearning of traditional skills, repaving of public squares and streets and meticulous conservation – leading to wider economic and social regeneration for communities throughout Scotland.  Previous to that, case work across Scotland for the Scottish Civic Trust gave Liz an extensive background in local vernacular architecture in addition to trustee positions on the former Historic Buildings Council for Scotland, the Architectural Heritage Fund and Strathclyde Building Preservation Trust.  As former chair of the UK Association of Building Preservation Trusts, Liz gained a deep insight into both those organisations which seek to raise funding and investment to maintain and restore the country’s best architectural inheritances and those organisations that wish to support these efforts through grants and loan finance.

 In 2010 Liz received an OBE for services to conservation and the built heritage in Scotland.

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”John Ward | Director,  Robert Bird“]

We are excited to have John present on the topic of:

The MeyGen Project Phase 1A