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CIC Yorkshire & Humber announces speakers for fifth annual conference

Posted: 27th October 2015

The Northern Powerhouse and regional investment in infrastructure is a topic of hot debate all over the country. The 2015 CIC Yorkshire & Humber annual conference will look at what this actually means for Yorkshire and the Humber and will ask: Are we planning for new infrastructure that is already outdated?

Stefanie Stead, CIC Yorkshire & Humber Chair, has today announced the full line-up of regional experts who will speak at the conference. They are:

Dr. Rachael Unsworth, an urban geographer with experience of both commercial and academic research, will look at connectivity through infrastructure and whether it is critical to the growth and strength of Yorkshire and the Humber. She will ask if there has there been enough joined up thinking on integrated transport plans, public transport, effective utilisation of airports and clear consideration as to how region to region connectivity can be improved?

Rob Wolfe, Executive Director of Renew, has worked in physical and social regeneration for 15 years. Partnership working, leadership and social benefit are at the heart of his experience and expertise, ensuring projects and people achieve the combined objectives of the private, public and third sectors, while benefiting the communities they serve. It is predicted that across the UK, investment will result in the need to recruit almost 100,000 additional workers across the board, and they will need to be equipped with a range of skills. As a region, how can Yorkshire and the Humber respond to this, and create a skilled workforce fit to meet the challenges of building the future?

Sakthy Selvakumaran is a civil-structural engineer working on innovative products and solutions in construction for the Engineering Excellence Group of Laing O'Rourke. Sakthy was named one of the Top 30 Under the Age of 30 in manufacturing as part of the “Make it in Great Britain” campaign by the UK Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and has worked in fields from sustainability consultancy to structural design of infrastructure. There is a direct correlation between efficient infrastructure and economic development, however, what are the environmental costs of decommissioning past infrastructure? What are the implications of modern infrastructure? Although the internet of things, artificial intelligence and the collaborative economy sound like fringe ideas, the fact that the Chancellor has allocated £40million to them reinforces the fact that this is very much the future. But how does this new infrastructure affect the construction industry and the communities we build? How does this affect our homes, our carbon footprint and our future workforce?

There is a clear demand for greater investment in infrastructure in the region in order to replace ageing infrastructure and for additional infrastructure to support new ways of working and living for a growing population. Dr Phil Studd is the director responsible for environmental consultancy at Ramboll UK. He is experienced in managing environmental liability on behalf of clients and of demonstrating due diligence in anticipation of developing legislation, such as Waste Management Regulations and the Water Framework Directive. He often acts as the interface between client and legislator to broker solutions that are both compliant and economically viable.

Since the 12th century, the Humber owes its existence to its port and its prominent position facing Northern Europe. This 'old' infrastructure is having a rebirth with the ports along its banks becoming the centre for green industries and energy imports. Can such a rebirth be a lesson for other post-industrial cities and what does this mean for Yorkshire? Speaker Stephen Taylor formed Port Centric Logistics Partners Ltd to provide investors and operators with advisory services in market analysis, port operations, infrastructure capacity analyses and business opportunity evaluation. PCLP works with clients and their professional advisers to build competitive advantage and to deliver viable investment projects at or adjacent to ports.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Is this the Future of Infrastructure in Yorkshire? – will take place at Elvington Air Museum in York on Thursday 12 November 2015 and will once again be hosted by poet, journalist, broadcaster and Yorkshireman, Ian McMillan.

Book here.