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Speakers' corner


The debates at Civils 2002 present a golden opportunity to consider the issues affecting civil engineering today, with senior industry figures offering their opinions and encouraging discussion. There are five debates over the three days of the show.

Audience participation is welcomed.


11.00 Civil engineering is of no interest to young people A dramatic fall in the number of young people applying for civil engineering degree courses suggests the profession is failing to sell itself as an attractive career option. What should the industry be doing to attract young people and ensure the profession's future?

Chair: Stuart Doughty, chief executive, Costain For: David Rowley director, Young Engineers' Club; Andrew Richards, associate director, Hochtief and engineering charity Bridging the Gap Against: Saffron Beetham, winner of the Henry Palmer Award 2001; Jonathon Goring, director, Symonds 14.00 Civil engineers: environmental protectors or destroyers?

The relationship between civil engineers and the environment is becoming increasingly critical. Is the industry responsible for destroying our natural resources, or do civil engineers hold the key to safeguarding the environment for future generations?

Chair: Peter Head, director, FaberMaunsell Protectors: Bernard Gambrill, head of public affairs, Union Railways; Stephen Tarr, operations director, Balfour Beatty Destroyers: Chris Baines, environmental consultant and broadcaster; Henry Oliver, head of policy, Council for the Protection of Rural England


11.00 Paying civil engineers more is the only answer to the skills shortage Civil engineering is struggling to recruit and retain high quality staff. In the face of competition from the IT and finance sectors, is better pay the answer to skills shortages?

Chair: Antony Oliver, editor, NCE For: Martin Hurst, chairman, Dean & Dyball; Roger McLaughlin, chairman of the Progress Network, Association of Consulting Engineers Against: Hugh Blackwood, chief executive, Scott Wilson Railways;

Dick Harris, head of engineering, Halliburton KBR 14.00 Extra road capacity is the best way to solve Britain's transport congestion Transport is one of the key battlefields of UK politics. The rail industry may be in crisis, but passenger numbers are at their highest since the 1950s and massive improvements are planned. And, despite environmental protests, experts continue to favour increasing road capacity to get the country moving.

Chair: Steven Norris, former minister for transport in London For: Tim Matthews, chief executive, Highways Agency;

Malcolm Noyce, chairman British Consultants and Construction Bureau Against: Stephen Joseph, executive director, Transport 2000; Phil Goodwin, professor of transport infrastructure, University College London


11.00 The construction industry does not take training and development seriously The industry's problems in attracting and retaining skilled staff have opened the debate on training and development. Many civil engineers feel their career development is not taken as seriously as it would be in other sectors.

Chair: Peter Lobban, chief executive, CITB For: Richard Haryott, ICE vice president and director, Arup; Roger Bullivant, chairman Roger Bullivant Against: Bob Devonshire, recruitment and development manager, Edmund Nuttall; Rowan Sharples, managing director, Carillion Infrastructure

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