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One civil and one structural engineer on 'most influential' list

Civil engineers have been largely shunned in a list of the most influential people working in a range of sectors.

Debrett’s 500 People of Today chose 20 engineers to recognise for their achievements, but the list is dominated by automotive engineers, with a few aeronautical, defence, telecoms and mechanical engineers.

Only Arup board of trustees chairman Terry Hill makes the grade as a civil engineer, while Jane Wernick is the only structural engineer celebrated.

Terry Hill

Hill: only civil engineer on the list

NCE singled out Hill for outstanding achievement at last year’s Consultants Awards in part for his role in creating the High Speed 1 rail link to St Pancras.

“The impact and influence of HS1 cannot be underestimated and in fact played a crucial role in the success of London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games as it connected the UK to the rest of Europe, and Stratford to the rest of Londonallowing the Olympic site to be reached in seven minutes,” said Debretts.

The list was published this week as debate about the level of public recognition of civil engineers’ work rages on in NCE’s Letters pages.

The panel which decided who would be included in the engineering category was chaired by former chief executive of BAE Systems John Weston.

A separate panel decided on the top 20 most influential architects.

Debrett’s – a publisher that is often cited as the trusted adviser on etiquette - said the listing was aimed at inspiring social mobility and equal opportunities.

“As we celebrate the achievements of the best of British, it is a fantastic opportunity to consider how we can inspire the next generation of leaders,” said Debrett’s chief executive Joanne Milner.

Jane Wernick

Wernic: only structural engineer on the list

“Debrett’s is uniquely placed to help provide the ‘social capital’ needed by young people from less privileged backgrounds to ensure they have an equal opportunity to succeed.

“The Debrett’s Foundation will combine Debrett’s expertise on business etiquette training with access to Debrett’s influential networks, so that these young people benefit from expert coaching in skills such as interviewing and networking, together with access to a network that is able to facilitate internship and work experience opportunities.”

Aeronautical Gordon McConnell, Airbus A350 chief engineer
Automotive Colin Smith, engineering and technology director, Rolls-Royce
Automotive Paul Mascarenas, chief technology officer, Ford
Product Neville Jackson, chief technology officer, Ricardo
Automotive Ron Lee, Group Chief Engineer, Powertrain Jaguar
Automotive Ian Callum, design director, Jaguar
Automotive Gerry McGovern, design director, Land Rover
Product Sir James Dyson, inventor and founder of Dyson
Product Trevor Baylis, inventor
Civil Terry Hill, chairman, board of trustees Arup
Aeronautical & defence Sir Richard Olver, chairman, BAE Systems
Automotive Adrian Newey, lead car design engineer, Red Bull F1
Telecom Eben Upton, technical director, Broadcom
Mechanical Dame Ann Dowling, head of engineering, Cambridge University
Mechanical Dame Julia King,
vice chancellor Aston University
M&E John Loughhead, executive director of UK Energy Research Centre
Telecom Sir Martin Sweeting, executive chairman of Surrey Satellite Technology
Mechanical Patrick Kniveton, president of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Automotive Richard Parry-Jones, former group vice president global product development, chief technical officer and head of global R&D operations at Ford
Structural Jane Wernick, structural engineer

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