Conference Profiles

We are delighted to have the following speakers at the Future of Design Birmingham Conference 2019:

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Tristram Carfrae | Deputy Chairman and Fellow at Arup“] Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in the Making

Tristram Carfrae is a leading structural designer. He has been responsible for the structure of a dazzling array of award winning buildings over his 37 years with the firm, both in Australia and the UK. His particular skills relate to the integration of engineering and architecture to provide the best holistic solution. Tristram has been fortunate to work with many of the world’s leading architects on projects where the structure forms a major aesthetic component.

He has an unswerving commitment to designing better buildings that consume less resource: materials, energy, time and money; yet give more pleasure. He has helped design six structures that have won Special Awards from the Institute of Structural Engineers – the world’s premier structural accolade.

Tristram is Arup’s Deputy Chairman. He is one of 42 Arup Fellows (out of a global staff of 15,000). This accolade honours those who have significantly contributed to the firm’s reputation for excellence in innovation and design and designates him as a leader with the role of ensuring this continues.

In 2001 he was named as Australian Professional Engineer of the Year and was recognised in 2004, 2005 and 2006 as one of Australia’s top 100 most influential engineers by Engineers Australia. In 2006 The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) awarded him the title of Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) in recognition of his achievements in engineering design and he was also awarded the Milne Medal by the British Group of the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering (IABSE), which recognises Tristram’s work as a designer and for his continuing contribution to design excellence. In 2008 Tristram received the Hero of Innovation Award from the Warren Centre. In 2009 he received the MacRobert Award, the highest engineering recognition available for a project, and was also named as one of twenty ‘Heroes of the Green Age’ in a publication printed for the Copenhagen 15 Summit. In 2014 he was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal award by the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE). The Award recognises Tristram’s exceptional contribution to the science and structural engineering professions. In 2017 The Royal Society of Arts (RSA) announced Tristram as  incoming Master of the Faculty of Royal Designers for Industry. In 2018 he became only the fourth Briton to receive the IABSE’s International Award of Merit in Structural Engineering in its 42-year history.

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Angus Low | Consultant to Arup“] No More Pile Caps

Angus Low is retired but he remains a Consultant to Arup. He has worked for Arup in London over 50 years starting on the design of building structures and finishing as a director. After time on site building a road he switched to bridge design and has spent most of his career designing a wide variety of bridges, big and small, for roads, railways and cycleways, in concrete and steel, in many countries. Highlights include Byker Viaduct, Wye Bridge in Chepstow, Oresund Bridge and Medway Viaduct on HS1. In 2007 he was awarded the Milne Medal based on submissions on three recent projects: Arstaviken Viaduct in Stockholm, and two cycle-bridges in the Netherlands, Nesciobrug and the Drachten Ring.

He has advanced the design theory of prestressed concrete in several papers. In retirement he has advanced the theory of Track-Bridge Interaction, and has recently completed three years on a CEN Working Group writing a report on it. He has an ongoing involvement in HS2. He has been active in IABSE for 27 years, for five years as Secretary of the British Group.

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Cezary Bednarski | Founder-director of Studio Bednarski Ltd “] Life is a Bridge, Cross it but Build no House on it

Cezary Bednarski is the founder-director of Studio Bednarski Ltd, which he established in 2001. Between 1994 and 2001 he was a founder/director of Studio E Architects. He is a chartered architect with 38 years of varied experience, which includes a number of master plans, buildings and structures, including private residences, many of them listed and most of them located in historic and protected areas of London, where he has been working since 1981. He is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and of the RIBA Panel of Competition Assessors, a Fellow and past Advisory Council Member of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA); a Fellow and a past Member of Fellows Committee of the 21st Century Trust / Salzburg Global Seminar, a member of the London Borough of Brent Design Review Panel and the London Borough of Islington Conservation and Design Panel, an architectural consultant to UNESCO. Between 2007 and 2011 he was an architectural and urban advisor to the mayor of Warsaw, and in 2009 World Architecture Festival World’s Best House Award jury member. He was also the Chief Consultant in Architecture, Urban Planning, Landscaping and Urban Aesthetics to Zwierzyniec Town Council ( a historic garden town in SE Poland ). He frequently works in sensitive urban locations and has worked as the architect member of an international consortium for an EU funded project involving Via Appia in Rome. For UNESCO he dealt with cases of contemporary structures and urban environments proposed in internationally sensitive historic contexts in Cairo and Luxor in Egypt. He is an Advisor to the Acholi people of Northern Uganda, and to Lekki Beltway Concession Development Ltd, Lagos, Nigeria, and recently completed four eco-town master plans in Angola.

Cezary won a number of commendations and awards, including the Manser Medal 2001, given for the best one-off house ( in a Barnes conservation area ) designed by an architect and built in the UK between 1998 and 2001, Ideal Home Show Blue Ribbon Award 2013 for the best self-built house, Award for Residential Design (“for designs that push forward the boundaries of house design”) in the Daily Telegraph Homebuilding & Renovating Awards 2012, and RIBA Awards. In 2006 his low cost housing project in Nairobi won the CITYSCAPE / ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW global award for community projects in the emerging world (selected from over 250 submissions). He was the outright winner in 23 UK and international architectural and urban design competitions.

Cezary served as an external examiner at the University of Cardiff Architecture School, was a Rome Scholar with the British School at Rome, a Diploma Unit Master at the Architectural Association School of Architecture ( jointly with the artist Peter Fink ), and a visiting Professor of Architecture at Instituto Superior Politécnico José Antonio Echeverría, in Havana, Cuba. He lectures internationally and publishes on the subject of architecture, design of bridges, transportation, photovoltaics and energy efficient design. His work has been exhibited and published internationally.

Cezary was invited as a participant in the Polish Section BBC World Service debate on Iraq, with Peace Nobel Prize winner Lech Walesa and a Labour politician, he was consulted by Daimler Chrysler on Smart car design and its marketing in the UK, and by Toyota cars on car interior design. He was a volunteer architectural advisor to the Sociological Research Centre of the SOLIDARITY Trade Union in Warsaw. In 2009 Cezary was featured among 34 creative Londoners of Polish origins selected for LONDON CREATIVES POLISH ROOTS exhibition at the Museum of London. In 2014 the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs named Cezary as a recipient of the Polish Medal of Bene Merito, first time given to an architect.

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”David Collings | Technical Director at Arcadis “] Opening Bridges, Iconic and Efficient

David is a highly accomplished engineer with wide-ranging experience of major infrastructure projects in the UK and overseas, from feasibility through to construction completion. His work has included projects like the BCI Award winning UK-Bangladesh friendship Bridge, a multiple span concrete cantilever bridge over the Meghna River. He has worked in Kuala Lumpur where he led the technical team working on several major bridge, viaduct and tunnel projects including the 17km Second Penang Crossing recently awarded the ICE Brunel Prize. He has advised on feasibility studies for new bridges of all kinds including a number of complex or ‘iconic’ structures. More recently he has been helping develop ARCADIS major bridge capability. In all his work, quality, elegance and constructability are key factors.  David is renowned for making the complex simple.

David is a researcher and visiting lecturer at University of Surrey. Research publications include papers on compressive membrane action, multi-span bridges, long span bridges and environmental aspects of bridges. David has been active in various industry groups and is past chairman of the IABSE group in Malaysia and the Post Tensioning Association in UK. He is a reviewer for ICE Proceedings and a member of the ICE Bridge Engineering overseeing panel. David was awarded the Telford prize for his paper on in-plane membrane (arching) actions in slabs. He is the author of a popular book on Steel-concrete composite bridges.

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Sunil Singh Johal | Project Director at Argent “] Cities of the Future

Sunil is a born and very proud ‘Brummie’ and has a real connection with his city, Birmingham. As a Project Director for the Paradise Development Scheme in Birmingham City Centre, Sunil is involved in one of the UK’s most important city centre developments and one of the biggest development schemes Birmingham has seen for a generation. He has developed a reputation with Argent for prompt and strategic decision making, his ability to work with key stakeholders and his creativity and vision in delivering a very challenging, complex project. He is someone who brings abundant levels of energy, leadership, optimism and resilience to the team and industry. Sunil has a number of business achievements and notably won British Council for Offices (BCO) and Midlands Rising star award winner 2016.

Sunil is committed to personal development and throughout his career has ensured he has pushed himself not only professionally but also academically, completing all of his higher educational achievements part?time and in parallel to his career progression. Sunil believes that time is the most precious commodity and should not be wasted. He believes investing in oneself and in others is fundamental to improving focus, maintaining focus and improving effectiveness

Sunil believes that giving back is an essential part of becoming a great leader and a role model to aspiring younger professionals. Sunil believes that engaging with community and industry outside of work is vitally important to help impart a different perspective and share experiences to help wider stakeholders, partners and indeed decision makers understand a balanced view. Sunil is very passionate about the benefit that additional perspectives provides and how it can help enhance the value of decision making and more importantly inspire the next generation.

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Millan Martin | Engineering Director at Taylor Woodrow – Vinci Construction UK “] Digital Design Management

Millan is responsible, as Engineering Director, for management of the Technical Services and Digital Engineering departments for Vinci Construction UK. He directly manages Taylor Woodrow’s Engineering team, overseeing all technical aspects of planning, methodology, engineering and design for the civil works division. This includes review of Permanent and Temporary Works, Digital Engineering and BIM, Tender design, establishment of methods of construction, planning and production rates, cost estimates and value engineering.  The role also includes selection and management of Design Consultants for delivery of detailed designs for each of our projects and the establishment of collaborative relationships.

Millan is involved in the development of Company Design Management Procedures, introduction of Construction Engineering Strategies, Planning procedures, Lean design and production procedures, shaping the company to get BIM level 2 compliance and organising the engineering function in projects and tenders to make it truly effective giving the client the required service.

Millan is a forum member of i3P, helping to shape the innovation in UK and having an active role in implementing the digital engineering and innovation within Vinci and the wider industry. He would like to think of himself more as an engineer than a manager, albeit having the responsibility to manage extensive teams, and the mission to transform Taylor Woodrow and Vinci to its current leading engineering and digital capabilities in the UK. He always gets stuck into the detail on a daily basis and actively contributing to resolve complex problems.

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Neven Sidor |Partner Grimshaw “] Curzon Street Station – coherent, convival, connected

Since joining Grimshaw in 1981, Neven has led design teams on 21 major completed projects, six of them international. Career highlights include the Stirling Prize shortlisted Bijlmer Station in Amsterdam, and Waterloo International Terminal which garnered more architectural awards than any other Grimshaw project. He is currently a member of the Stewardship Group, which oversees the values, ethos and standing of the practice, both internally and externally. More recently widening the practice’s gaze has been one of Neven’s priorities. This has included forays into large scale master planning such as the competition winning northern extension to the City of Tirana, as well as technical research projects such as the recently delivered CTBUH paper entitled the ‘The Vertical Master Plan’ that proposes methods of phasing tall buildings in a similar manner to conventional master plans.

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Peter Chipchase | Director WSP “] Long Span Structures

Peter Chipchase is a Director and Head of Stadium Design at WSP. He is a chartered structural and civil engineer in the UK and a licenced professional engineer in the U.S. Peter studied at the University of Leeds and Pennsylvania State University and received a Masters Degree in Architectural Engineering in 1994. He has significant experience in the structural design and mutli-discipline management of large and complex building projects. Peter is particularly interested in long span structures and where the structure is expressed as a fundamental part of the Architecture, such as Al Qadsia Stadium, HS2 Curzon Street, and the Du Headquarters. With all such projects Peter works very closely with the Architect to help create structures that are elegant, efficient and are fast and simple to construct. Peter joined WSP in 2014 from Arup where he had recently completed the Abu Dhabi Investment Council HQ as project director with Arup providing 15 engineering design disciplines. Peter is very much focused on fundamentally good structural design leading to efficiency and successful delivery, and remains very close to the detail of his projects all the way through to completion. As well as the UK and UAE, Peter has also worked in the U.S, where he was involved in a number of highprofile projects with signature Architects including the Santiago Citade da Cultura with Peter Eisenman, Yale University Department of Arts and Architecture with Richard Meier, and Renssalaer Polytechnic Experimental Media and Performing Arts Centre with Grimshaw. Peter has developed strong relationships with Architects and contractors and is particularly interested in the use of graphical tools and 3D modeling to develop and communicate designs, and to deliver coordinated information to ambitious deadlines

Guest Panellists

We are excited to have the following Guest Panellists for this year’s Discussion Panel based around the Future of Cities:

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Anthony Breach | Analyst at Centre for Cities“]

Anthony is an Analyst at Centre for Cities, where he works as part of the research team on housing and urban economics. Centre for Cities is a non-partisan thinktank that works to understand and improve the UK’s urban economies. He has worked on reports on commercial property and city centres, productivity across cities, cities’ exports, and advanced manufacturing. Anthony is currently working on projects looking at the relationship between wealth and economic geography, and new housing supply in existing suburbs.

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Abigaile Bromfield | Associate Director and Planning manager at Arup“]

Abigaile is a qualified town planner and mediator with a mix of public and private sector experience. She currently manages the planning and economics teams for Arup Midlands and leads on key regional projects including the UK Central Hub Growth and Infrastructure Plan (HS2 Interchange station design). She was seconded to the Cabinet Office Implementation Unit for the Prime Minister (2015/16) advising on improving the implementation of housing, infrastructure and development related policies.

Abigailes’ Arup work combines practical planning experience with a strong track in stakeholder engagement. Her recent experience includes managing the policy documents for new towns and supporting the delivery of consents for major infrastructure for road, rail and airport schemes – all with complex multiparty engagement/ consultation requirements.

Abigaile was an appointed mediator for the Department for Communities and Local Government renegotiation of S106 Agreements programme and is co-author of the ‘Mediation in Planning’ national guide and the Planning Performance Agreements (PPAs) Guidance Note.

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Malcolm Davidson | Director WSP“]

Malcolm is a Structural Engineer and a Director of WSP, and leads the department of Civil and Structural Engineering out of their Birmingham office.  He has 30 years of experience in delivering structural engineering, building design and analysis solutions for award winning and major projects in the retail, healthcare, rail, residential and commercial sectors.                                                          

He has delivered award winning designs both in the UK and in the Middle East, working alongside                               internationally renowned Architects. As a major project specialist, Malcolm’s strong management skills are key to his ability to effectively engage with clients, global design teams and project stakeholders.

Malcolm has created and integrated strategies for multi-disciplinary engineering design teams, preparing projects for site suitability and project feasibility studies, and managing structural reports and specifications running of major projects from inception to completion.

With his leadership skills and detailed technical knowledge and experience in the                                                       field of structural engineering Malcolm shows exceptional commercial acumen and a good working knowledge of resourcing, benchmarking and ensuring clients receive outstanding value for money.

Malcolm has a keen interest in technical innovation and is a member of WSP UK’s Structural Technical Strategy Group.  In 1997 he was Young Railway Engineer of the Year Award, for his work on Canning Town Station in London; a project that later became multiple award winning including a Concrete Society Supreme Award.

In 2014 he led a multidisciplinary design team on Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, winning the BCIA Prime Ministers Award for Public Buildings.

More recently Malcolm and his team have been involved in designing the indoor ski and snow play structures for clients in Egypt, Oman and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

He is currently leading the teams working on two of Birmingham’s major regeneration placemaking developments; Arena Central and Martineau Galleries, which is adjacent to WSP’s HS2 Curzon Street Station.

Malcolm’s attention to detail and focus on clients leads to a high level of repeat business.

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Simon Delahunty-Forrest |Birmingham City Council“]

Simon is the Head of City Centre and Design within the Planning and Development service area for Birmingham City Council. As a qualified Architect Simon is Birmingham City Council’s lead design advisor championing design quality within the built environment. Having responsibility for ‘Specific Specialist Areas’ such as the City Design Team, City Centre Planning Management, City Centre Development, Enforcement and Householder Simon encourages and enables the highest standards of Place Making, Planning, Architecture, Urban Design, Arboriculture, Historic Conservation and Landscape Design across all new development in the City for the benefit of all the citizens of Birmingham. Simon is known for his ability to successfully combine Architecture, Urban Design and Planning to create holistic environments resulting in the delivery of high profiled projects such as ‘Birmingham Curzon HS2 Masterplan for growth’, ‘Birmingham Smithfield Masterplan’, ‘Langley Sustainable Urban Extension’ and most recently the ‘Commonwealth Games Athletes Village’. This includes acting as the focal point on design issues and stimulating design quality through multi-agency project team working and close interaction with external developers, key stakeholders and partners in relation to the design of new development being promoted and managed through the Planning and Development Service that reflects the international standing of the City of Birmingham. Simon is listed in the Birmingham Central University ‘Sphere of Influence’ the 50 top influencers within the architecture and landscape sector to graduate from the Birmingham School of Architecture.

Discussion Panel Chair

[separator headline=”h2″ title=”Antony Oliver |Editorial Consultant & Journalist“]

Antony works with a range of clients across the infrastructure sector to boost communication and marketing strategies and to stimulate discussion and action in the industry. He spent the last two decades working as a journalist and editor with New Civil Engineer magazine, and most recently was creator of the website Infrastructure Intelligence. He is a chartered civil engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and started his career with Owen Williams and Partners and Balfour Beatty. He is a member of the Construction Leadership Council’s communications and strategy groups, assists the Green Construction Board’s Infrastructure Working Group and is a Trustee of the Built Environment Trust.

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