What net-zero emissions means for civil engineers

GREG GUTHRIE | August 1, 2019

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On 27 June 2019 the UK government amended the Climate Change Act 2008 to raise its target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by from 80% of 1990 levels by 2050 to 100%. This would effectively end the UK's contribution to global warming in just over 30 years.

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ENGINEERING TECH

What ‘on the ground’ infrastructure delivery can expect in the year ahead

Article | July 1, 2021

While an important milestone, the remainder of Phase 2B connecting Birmingham to Leeds awaits similar backing. Delivery programmes can often become constrained by timescales associated with land acquisition, procurement and site mobilisation at the start of a project. As this legislation makes its way through Parliament, continuous and prompt delivery of the integrated route must be supported. This will enable efficiencies and benefits to be realised during both delivery and operation phases of the complete HS2 route, as well as Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR). HS2 will provide 50% of the infrastructure for NPR; a project designed to transform the rail network in the north of England. Encouragingly, the Queen’s Speech recognised that improving existing processes can be equally conductive to positive transformation. The Planning Bill will modernise our current systems with simpler frameworks, enabling those on the ground to deliver environmental and commercial opportunities more promptly. This will also support delivery of the UK’s ambitious net zero target. While efficiencies are encouraging, the importance of public consultation, as many major infrastructure projects currently undertake from conception to completion, should not be forgotten.

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On Engineering in Crisis: Choosing Gratitude

Article | April 29, 2020

It is important to find a balance right now and keep yourself surrounded by people you love, your family and friends. Stress is bound to happen during these extraordinary times. Meditation and connecting with yourself would help reduce any anxiety or panic that the mind creates. I am grateful that I am safe and healthy surrounded with my family, and I am thankful for having the gifts of life. It is up to us, to be grateful or be stressed. I treat this time as a luxury, time that I would have never gotten in my hustling life. I am trying to tick all the items in my to-do checklist that I have been postponing due to lack of time.

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ENGINEERING TECH

Why infrastructure policies need engineers' 'bigger picture' view

Article | July 6, 2021

One way or another, we all work on infrastructure; whether design, construction, operation or maintenance. We solve problems and make things work – often without the public realising the complexity of our task. We sit in the background and don’t make waves. We are good at the technical challenges, but how often do we take a step back and think about how our work or project fits into the ambitions of wider society? Who is commissioning it? Why are they commissioning it? What are the political drivers? What do they want the outcome to be? What has changed since we started work on it? This sort of questioning will help us deliver better projects, as we see the bigger picture, beyond our technical solutions. With so much of our infrastructure delivered through public bodies, it is important that civil engineers understand, and give professional advice to, the political process that drives infrastructure investment for our communities.

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ENGINEERING TECH

Infrastructure Policy Watch: UKIB goes live, Singapore brings in global sustainability experts

Article | June 29, 2021

The new UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) recently opened, with its remit confirmed by the UK government in a new Framework Document. The document sets out the role of the bank as providing: "leadership to the market in the development of infrastructure and new infrastructure technologies, crowding-in private capital and reducing risk through its cornerstone investments and range of financial products. It will bolster the government’s lending to local government for large and complex projects through its expertise and scrutiny, and help to bring private and public sector stakeholders together to regenerate regions and create new opportunities." It will have two strategic objectives, to help tackle climate change and support regional and local economic growth. Given these two objectives may conflict, the Framework Document suggests "where an investment is primarily to support economic growth, the Company will ensure that it does not do significant harm against its climate objective."

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VPI Technology Group is a privately held professional technology services company that specializes in providing a full spectrum of product development and manufacturing services. VPI Technology Group is comprised of several different divisions, providing support to clients through the entire product life cycle.

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