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Water and environment: how to be better prepared for a climate changed future

Event organised by ICE

Date
09 November 2023
Time

This event has now ended

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Overview

This panel discussion will examine the readiness of the water and environment sector to address the pressing environmental challenges and include resilience for a future impacted by climate change. It aims to explore ways to enhance preparedness for a changing climate.

We will delve into some of the pressing issues facing us today including flooding and drought, the ever-growing challenge of urbanisation and its strain on existing infrastructure, concerns around sewer overflows and the vitality of our waterways, and the significance of incorporating green and blue infrastructure and meeting the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Conversations will also consider the efforts to address these urgent concerns and enhance their resilience in the face of a changing climate.

Together, we will explore these topics and seek potential solutions for a brighter future.

Programme

18:00 - 18:30

Panel discussion

18:30 - 19:00

Questions to the panel

19:00 - 19:15

Closing

Speakers

Richard Woodhouse

Richard Woodhouse

Northumbria Water Group (NWG)

sustainable drainage manager

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Richard Woodhouse

Richard has 30+ years’ experience in water and wastewater. He has been the sustainable drainage manager for Northumbrian Water Group since 2021 and also the programme manager for the Northumbrian Water Drainage and Wastewater Management Plan (DWMP).

He was programme manager in the Capital Delivery team between 2008 and 2021 mainly leading a team of project managers delivering wastewater network projects. Previously a project manager for wastewater and water projects.

Jess Cook

Jess Cook

North of Tyne Combined Authority

net zero programme manager

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Jess Cook

Jess is net zero programme manager at North of Tyne Combined Authority, the accountable body for the Net Zero North East England initiative – a new partnership across private, public, voluntary, and academic sectors, formed to accelerate the transition to net zero in the region, creating a cleaner, greener, and fairer North East.

Prior to this, Jess worked for the charity National Energy Action, where she led the water poverty work programme to align both policy and practical action to encourage positive change for households struggling to pay their water bills.

Jess has 12 years' experience across regulated industries, both in direct customer delivery roles and in strategic and policy-focused positions, across both private and charitable sectors, and is passionate about delivering positive change through partnership.

Simon Wilson

Simon Wilson

Environment Agency

area flood and coastal risk manager

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Simon Wilson

Simon has worked in flood and coastal erosion risk management for over 15 years, starting his career in a Local Authority setting working at Sedgefield Borough and South Tyneside Councils. During his time at South Tyneside, he led works to replace the coastal defences at Littlehaven Beach, South Shields, and helped the Council transition to their Lead Local Flood Authority responsibilities in relation to surface water. He was involved in developing a partnership approach to flood mitigation delivering some of the initial schemes in what is now the Northumbria Integrated Drainage Partnership.

Moving to the Environment Agency in 2015, Simon took on responsibility for delivering the Environment Agency’s Capital Flood and Coastal Programme in the North East. After undertaking various programme and project delivery roles, Simon is now the area flood and coastal manager for the North East. His main areas of responsibility include delivery of the Environment Agency’s capital programme, the EA’s approach to incident management, partnerships, community engagement, and evidence in the North East. In this wide and varied role, Simon is keen to ensure maximum delivery for all at risk communities in the North East, focusing on innovation and partnership working. He maintains a keen interest in surface water issues and works to influence changes to this area of work at a national level.

Chris Austin

Chris Austin

Jacobs

senior associate director

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Chris Austin

Chris Austin is a chartered civil engineer with over 25 years experience in the appraisal, design, construction and commissioning of engineering projects in the water and environment sectors in the UK. Chris brings experience with both client and consultancy organisations in the delivery of a broad range of projects and programmes spanning flood risk management, water and wastewater infrastructure. Chris currently leads Jacobs Water team in the North East of England and so brings a supply chain partner view of the environmental challenges faced by the sector both now and in the years ahead. 

Pavlina Theodosiou

Pavlina Theodosiou

Newcastle University

lecturer in environmental engineering

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Pavlina Theodosiou

Pavlina’s work focuses on wastewater treatment innovations. She is passionate about bridging the gap between industry and academia and raising awareness of STEM careers. Her PhD and postdoctoral work were dedicated to developing microbial electrochemical technologies (METs) for wastewater treatment and energy recovery from various waste streams. She spent time in remote locations in Africa, installing and maintaining these technologies on a pilot scale. Now, she is leading a spin-out company from Newcastle University called METzero, which aims to bring the first retrofittable and energy-saving wastewater treatment technology for hydrogen recovery from wastewater to the market.

In this panel, Pavlina will speak on how she contributes to developing the next generation of Environmental Engineers who can help address global sustainability and environmental challenges. Also, she will speak on the importance of promoting STEM careers through outreach activities in schools and welcoming diverse voices in the water sector.