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14th Brunel International Lecture Series: Americas

Event organised by ICE

Date
19 September 2023
Time

This event has now ended

You can catch-up on details or any broadcast and downloads here.

Overview

The ICE, together with ICSI, bring you the latest event in the 14th Brunel International Lecture Series focusing on resilience and sustainability in infrastructure development and maintenance in the Americas.

Hosted by David Smith, senior vice president, director of strategy at Stantec and co-chair of the ICE Sustainable Resilient Infrastructure Community Advisory Board, the event will highlight the importance of climate equity and support for cities in emerging economies.

We will have keynote addresses by Mayor Carolina Basualdo from the rural area of Despeñaderos in Argentina, and Mayor Sharon Palacio from Belmopan, the capital city of Belize, to share how they are tackling the issue of creating resilient infrastructure in two very different environments.

From the T-MEC rail corridor, which connects Mexico’s Pacific coastal port of Mazatlán to Winnipeg in Canada, to the Anillo Vial Periférico highway development in Lima, Peru, the Americas are currently experiencing a renaissance in infrastructure projects.

The United States’ Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which sets aside $550 billion in new spending to overhaul the country’s infrastructure, is a further illustration of radical development across the region.

The pursuit of climate resilience and adaptation is often separated from the net-zero agenda. However, alongside global efforts towards green energy and decarbonisation, there is an opportunity to embed resilience within new infrastructure projects, as well as to combine mitigation and adaptation more effectively.

Join us as we explore subjects including:

  • quantifying and understanding risk.
  • modular construction and the idea of circularity to support progress to net zero.
  • overcoming the challenges of investment in green technologies and infrastructure.

We will also identify how engineers can support positive change by influencing policy, improving communication and cooperating across regions to share knowledge.

David Smith will also moderate an interactive discussion with an expert panel, including:

  • Mayor Sharon Palacio, Belmopan City, Belize
  • Motoko Aizawa, author and researcher on sustainable infrastructure
  • Iain Dimond, project director, Darlington SMR, AtkinsRéalis
  • Dr Jose Macharé Ordoñez, professor in the Department of Geology, Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería, Lima
  • Dr Mari Tye, project scientist at the Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado

The Brunel International Lecture Series shines a spotlight on equitable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure challenges around the world, providing a platform for dialogue with high-profile leaders and exploring the practical engineering issues involved in tackling climate change at the local level.

To catch up on any of the previous lectures, please visit the ICE Brunel International Lecture Series page.

Sponsored by:

AtkinsRéalis

AtkinsRéalis

AtkinsRéalis is a world-leading professional services and project management company dedicated to engineering a better future for our planet and its people.

With support from:

International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure (ICSI)

International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure (ICSI)

This coalition continues to broaden participation across other stakeholder communities to accelerate innovation, adoption and scaling of strategic resilient and sustainable infrastructure solutions built upon a commitment to tangible and collaborative action.

Programme

16:30 - 16:40

Welcome by David Smith, senior vice president, director of strategy, Stantec and co-chair of the ICE Sustainable Resilient Infrastructure Community Advisory Board

16:40 - 16:45

Keynote address by Mayor Carolina Basualdo, Municipality of Despeñaderos, Argentina

16:45 - 17:00

Keynote address by Mayor Sharon Palacio, Belmopan City, Belize

17:00 - 17:30

Introduction to panellists and panellist remarks

17:30 - 17:55

Panel discussion with keynote and panellists

17:55 - 18:00

Closing remarks and thanks, David Smith

18:00

Event close

Speakers

David Smith

David Smith

Stantec

senior vice president, director of strategy, corporate and global

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David Smith

David is senior vice president, director of strategy, corporate and global, Stantec and co-Chair of ICE Sustainable Resilient Infrastructure Community Advisory Board.

David heads Stantec’s corporate and global strategy. He has over 30 years of utility and infrastructure sector experience and advises on infrastructure strategies using knowledge of trends and best practices from across the world. He holds board director positions within Stantec’s Global, Europe and UK operating companies.

David has completed the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership; he is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program; and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He co-founded the ICE/Heriot-Watt/Stantec prestige lecture series on resilience and has co-authored recent publications and articles such as ‘Community Futures’ and ‘Beyond Sustainability’. David is also co-chair of the ICE Sustainable, Resilient Infrastructure Community Advisory Board.

Carolina Basualdo

Carolina Basualdo

Argentina

Mayor of Despeñaderos

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Carolina Basualdo

Carolina Basualdo is a social communicator, Mayor of Despeñaderos, Argentina and President of the Santa María Regional Community. In 2022, under Basualdo’s leadership, Despeñaderos finalised its Local Climate Action Plan, outlining key policies and actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. A strong believer in the power of networks to spark meaningful change, shechairs the Forum of Women in Local Governments, collaborating with Red Argentina de Municipios Frente al Cambio Climático, and serving as the chair of the GCoM Regional Mayors Forum in Latin America. As a young female leader, Mayor Basualdo brings a diverse and critical perspective to accelerating climate action at the local, regional, and global levels, including placing gender equity at the heart of climate policies.

Sharon Palacio

Sharon Palacio

Belize

Mayor of Belmopan

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Sharon Palacio

Sheran “Sharon” Constance Palacio, born February 17, 1965, holds a Master’s Degree in psychology from the University of Santa Clara Cuba.  She is affectionately well known as SharPal and is the one feminine representative amongst her six brothers. She became the first black Garifuna Mayor of the Capital City of Belmopan on 4 March 2021.

Her occupational history is wide and to mention a few:

  • Consultant psychologist for United Nations High Commission for Refugees (1994 to 1999)
  • Family services counselor in the Department of Human Development
  • Internal coordinator for Gang Truce in the Ministry of National Security
  • Coordinator on the Convention of the Rights of the Child where she was instrumental in the law reform for families and children of Belize
  • Personnel manager for the amalgamated Citrus Products of Belize Limited where she was instrumental in getting the Company HAACAP and ISO certified (1999 to 2002)
  • 2002 – 2020 – Director of student affairs (University of Belize)
  • City councilor for three years with the promotion of Tourism as her portfolio (2004 to 2007)
  • Chairperson - Trade License Board, Belize
  • Board member - Reconstruction and Development Corporation (Recondev)
  • Recipient of the Pan African Award
  • Secretary - Mayors’ Association of Belize
  • Vice president of the CC35 Coalition

Palacio is a farm owner of Palacio’s Mountain Retreat and plants soursop and limes for profit along with her brothers. She created, owns, and manages one NGO Youth for World Peace and two private companies. Her NGO was established in 2004 and is dedicated to carrying out Service Learning Opportunities/Cultural Immersion/Homestay/Land and Sea Adventure for professionals, professors, faculty, and students.

Palacio is a well-known spokesperson and diabetes ambassador as she is interested in the prevention, reversal, or elimination of type 2 diabetes and is the owner/manager of a nine-year-old Diabetes Marathon. 

Mayor Palacio served as director of student services at the University of Belize for 18 years from 2002 to 2020 before she retired in September 2020 to take up her role as deputy campaign manager and zone leader for Belmopan Central to elect Hon. Oscar Mira as area representative for Belmopan (Capital City of Belize).

Motoko Aizawa

Motoko Aizawa

author and researcher on sustainable infrastructure

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Motoko Aizawa

Motoko Aizawa is the former President of the Observatory for Sustainable Infrastructure, a research organisation that aims to bridge the sustainability gap of mega-infrastructure development, investment and finance through data collection and policy research. Ms. Aizawa spent more than two decades at the World Bank Group in various capacities, including as Sustainability Advisor to the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Network. She is the principal author of the original IFC Performance Standards; she also led the creation and implementation of the Equator Principles. In both cases, she helped these standards incorporate the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Ms. Aizawa began her career as a business lawyer, specialising in due diligence in mergers and acquisitions at Baker & McKenzie, and project financing of infrastructure projects at IFC’s Legal Department. After she left the World Bank, she served as Managing Director USA of the Institute for Human Rights in Business between 2014 and 2016. She currently serves as the Chair of the District of Columbia’s Commission on Human Rights.

Iain Dimond

Iain Dimond

AtkinsRéalis

project director, Darlington SMR

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Iain Dimond

Iain Dimond is Project Director of Nuclear New Builds at SNC-Lavalin. He has extensive experience in project delivery in the energy sector, with a focus on low carbon energy solutions. Iain’s areas of expertise include design engineering, construction, and large project estimating, schedule development, and risk planning. Iain is focused on advancing the energy industry toward solutions such as solar, hydro, and nuclear power. Currently living in Canada, Iain is leading the deployment of the first commercially viable small modular reactor in North America, having spent a decade on other nuclear new builds in the US and China.

Dr Jose Macharé Ordoñez

Dr Jose Macharé Ordoñez

Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería, Peru

professor in the department of geology

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Dr Jose Macharé Ordoñez

José Macharé is an engineer geologist at the National University of Engineering, in Lima. He holds a master's and doctoral degree in Earth Sciences from the University of Paris at Orsay, and a Diploma in Public Management from the Center of High National Studies of Peru.
 
He has served both the private and public sectors as a research scientist and engineer. His investigations deal with the role of the active faults on the seismic hazard assessment, and on past global changes. In the applied field, he worked on the influence of geological structures on metallogeny and mineral exploration.
 
José has been the Scientific Director of the Geophysical Institute of Peru and of the Geological Survey (INGEMMET). Currently, he teaches tectonics, structural, marine and Quaternary geology, in Lima.
 
José is a member of the National Academy of Science, the Peruvian Association of Engineers, the Geological Society of Peru, a fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists, the America Geophysical Union, and the European Geoscience Union. He holds the Medal of Peruvian Engineering and was awarded Knight of the Order of the Academic Palms by the French government.

Dr Mari Tye

Dr Mari Tye

National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado

Researcher in the Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory

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Dr Mari Tye

Dr Mari Tye is a researcher in the Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, the recent past chair of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Committee on Adaptation to a Changing Climate and co-chair of the ASCE INSPIRE conference. Prior to her current appointments, Mari served as a Policy Intern with the Climate Adaptation team in the Scottish Government and was a Principal Engineer at AECOM. After a decade of Civil Engineering consultancy, Mari decided to pursue a PhD to bridge the gap between civil engineering needs and current climate science.

For more information please contact:

Gabriella Lai

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