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CE West Midlands Award Judges

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Meet The Judges

Without the support and commitment of our judges, we would not be able to run the awards every year.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to each of them, they are the unsung heroes for our awards programme.

The CE West Midlands Awards

Winners will be announced at the Awards dinner on May 12th 2022

The Judges

Mark Wakeford

Joint Managing Director
Stepnell Ltd
With over 25 years' experience in the industry and a Chartered Civil Engineer, Mark brings a technical construction background to the forefront of Stepnell's projects, and a clear understanding of risk management. Mark continues to be involved in a number of advisory committees looking at the industry's direction, and is passionate about bringing young people into construction.

Dr Nicola Thompson

Perfect Circle
Nicola is a Member of the Chartered Quality Institute and is a Chartered Quality Professional. She also has a doctorate in Lean Construction. Nicola has over 25 years’ experience in developing business processes, rationalising and streamlining working practices, developing and delivering change management programmes and configuring and developing products to help drive improvement. Prior to joining Pick Everard, Nicola was employed by a major UK contractor working on a number of high profile projects including Joint Ventures and acquisitions. This provided Nicola with the opportunity to apply her client facing and strategic skills in a range of sectors. Nicola is also Construction Excellence (Midlands) Board member, and Chairs CE East Midlands Regional Club.

Chris Hall

Acivico Group
With a proven track record of building relationships and delivering strategic growth across public and private sector clients, Chris is able lead teams through the delivery of strategic, operational and transformational change. Bridging across the public and private sector, he delivers outcomes with a foundation of civic values which enables him to build confidence, trust and long term partnerships with clients. Having spent the majority of his career in the Construction Services sector, he has made the transition from Contractor to Consultancy and therefore brings a wealth of knowledge working with clients to maximise their outcomes whilst protecting their exposure to commercial risks.

Rudi Klein

Klein Legal
Rudi Klein is CEO of the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group representing the UK’s premier trade associations in the specialist engineering sector. He is a barrister in construction law and President of the NEC Users’ Group. Rudi is acknowledged as the driving force behind the changes to improve payment performance in the UK construction industry. These include the Construction Act and project bank accounts. He helped draft the Construction Contracts Act in Ireland which was added to the Irish Statute Book in July 2013. Rudi is the author of two legal publications and countless legal articles in the construction press and academic journals. He is Visiting Professor of Construction Law at the University of Northumbria and University of Stuttgart. In 2015 he was awarded the…

Amrit Sagoo

Head of Department
Nottingham Trent University
Dr Amrit Sagoo is the Head of Construction Management and Quantity Surveying, in the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University. He leads a Department of over 40 lecturing staff who in turn are responsible for over 900 undergraduate students; 200 taught postgraduate students, and more than 200 students completing a distance learning on-line Master’s degree. In addition, the Department supervises over 20 PhDs. The department continues to achieve high student satisfaction (National Student Survey for the undergraduate courses and Postgraduate Taught Experience Surveys for postgraduate courses) and league table rankings as top 10 in for building and town planning education. The department places considerable emphasis on enriching the student learning experience by bringing the industry into the classroom with live…

Ian Griffiths

Shakespeare Martineau
Ian has experience in utilities and energy infrastructure, engineering and major construction projects both in senior in-house positions and in private practice. Ian has advised on a range of energy projects including nuclear new build, nuclear decommissioning, and gasification, advanced gasification, solar, wind and biofuel. Ian has advised nuclear new build developers, plant contractors, energy generators, technology providers, manufacturers, bio-fuel producers, specialist sub-contractors and designers. Additionally, Ian has advised on infrastructure maintenance frameworks, numerous water treatment plants, facilities maintenance agreements for defence facilities, road and bridge contracts, flood remediation contracts and many thermal treatment and recycling plants. Ian has an MSc from King’s College London in Construction Law and Arbitration. He is an advisory panel member to the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Legal…

Julie Bell-Barker

Head of Project and Works
City of Wolverhampton Council
Julie has over 30 year’s experience in the construction project delivery service, working initially in a consultancy (Architect/PM) and then later moving into a number of client side project commissioning roles. She is currently Head of Capital Projects and Compliance & Maintenance at the City of Wolverhampton Council. She also sit on the Quality & Compliance Forum that is delivered through CE Midlands together with sitting on the CE Midland Board. Her experience at being exposed to a cross diversity of construction project challenges has led me to focus and embed quality mechanisms into the project life cycle stages, extending through into the building occupation period. Understanding the challenges in construction projects together with the project opportunities is important in managing the risks that impact…

Peter Lakin

Peter leads the Programme, Cost and Consultancy team in the Midlands. Peter has over 25 years of experience in all aspects of cost and project management within the construction industry. His experience covers many forms of procurement including traditional, design and build and management contracts via two stage, negotiated and competitively tendered procurement routes.   Peter is a team player who strives to deliver projects whilst minimizing risk and will always focus on adding certainty to the delivery process

Sean Bowles

Regional MD Midlands
Morgan Sindall
Sean has been Managing Director of Morgan Sindall’s central region since 2016. With both operational and commercial experience, he is responsible for business activities across central England and Wales with offices in Solihull, Nottingham, Cardiff and Slough. Sean places emphasis on employee growth to establish strong, high performing teams that deliver value for customers. He is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, Professional Member of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and Chair of the Constructing Excellence Midlands Leadership Council. Sean is also passionate about ensuring the construction sector attracts the next generation of construction workers. He was instrumental in creating a partnership between Morgan Sindall and Nottingham Trent University that focuses on developing the region’s workforce, supporting teaching and learning, and encouraging innovation in the sector.

Ben Stanton

BRE BREEAM Professional Champions 2019 I am a qualified Electrical & Mechanical Engineer with over 30 years experience . A practical Director, I am responsible for the strategy and development of a growing multi disciplined Engineering Consultancy offering full M&E Design, Low Carbon Consultancy , and Building Physics services. As a practice we are driven by our visions & values. Flexibility, communication and collaboration are amongst the traits that ensure we delight our clients

Stephen Barker

Development & Construction Director
Birmingham Airport
Stephen Barker. MSc MBA MEI C.Eng FAPM Stephen is a Fellow of the Association for Project Managers, qualified Chartered Engineer, Member of the Energy Institute and experienced Director skilled in Programme Management leading the delivery of complex Programmes in the nuclear, aviation, industrial and construction sectors. Stephen is a IPA High Risk Reviewer and currently the Birmingham Airport Executive Director responsible for Development & Construction. Most recently Stephen oversaw the Birmingham Airport Covid-19 response to capital works having previously delivered the first phase of the £600m London Stansted Airport Transformation Programme between April 2017 and April 2019. Previously Stephen led the Gatwick Airport Development team and from 2012 to 2016 he was a Partner with Arcadis, formally EC Harris where he led the team which…

Karen Heppenstall

Head of Rail
Midlands Connect
Karen is a Chartered Project Professional, with more than 17 years of diverse rail experience spanning both public and private sectors. She started her career at Network Rail, working as a Project Sponsor in both the LNE and Sussex routes. After a short spell at WYCA, Karen joined Transport Planning and Engineering Consultancy WSP, where she spent 6 years growing a nationally recognised rail strategy and appraisal team. In April 2021 Karen joined Midlands Connect as Head of Rail. During her career, Karen’s experience ranges across all stages of the project lifecycle and a diverse range of infrastructure and operational projects. Her constant is ownership of business cases for rail investment with a razor-sharp focus on delivering outcomes for the end-user. Karen is passionate about…

Lorraine Gregory

Bio coming soon.....

Mark Lyddon

Turner + Townsend
Mark Lyddon is Turner & Townsend’s Infrastructure Lead for the Midlands region, managing a large, diverse, high performing and ambitious team, delivering better outcomes that have a positive impact on the world around us. Mark has 25 years industry experience, with both Main Contractors and Consultants. His experience has been gained whilst working across a broad range of infrastructure assets in many sectors including utilities, rail, aviation, road, power and defence.

Paul Hampton

University of Wolverhampton
Paul is a chartered building surveyor and a fellow member of various professional bodies. During 2012-2015 Paul was the first academic to be elected as RICS West Midlands Chairman and prior to this was previously the youngest West Midland Chairman of the ICWCI. Paul holds a wealth of managerial and practical experience within the built environment spanning over 30 years and has worked with a host of high profiled practitioners. Originally working within the City of Birmingham Architects department, Paul has held various titles from Architectural technician, Senior Clerk of Works, Building surveyor, line manager and later Chartered Building Surveyor running a team of ten litigation surveyors. Educated at the University of Wolverhampton to degree level and later at Sheffield Hallam (MSc) Paul was invited…

Keith Blizzard

Keith is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, Chartered Construction Manager, Chartered Arbitrator, Panel Adjudicator, Commercial Mediator, Accredited Dispute Board Member, Forensic Surveyor and Visiting Lecturer. He is a non-solicitor Partner in the Construction & Engineering Team working with other Quantity Surveyor and Solicitor colleagues to provide a complete one stop shop of integrated services in a combined team of experienced construction professionals and specialist construction lawyers advising a wide range of Public and Private Sector Clients and Contractors to manage construction risks and to avoid or resolve both contract and non-contract construction issues. Amongst other appointments, Keith is a Director and Company Secretary of CE Midlands.

Nitesh Alagh

Galliford Try
Nitesh is a new generation business leader with experience of leading multiple teams in the utilities, construction, civil engineering and professional services industry across operational and corporate domains. Skilled in delivering large scale improvement projects, influencing positive behavioural change and creating generative safety culture, Nitesh currently heads the Performance, Business Improvement and Innovation functions at Galliford Try’s Water business. With a background in Electronics Engineering and a NEBOSH Diploma, Nitesh has successfully leveraged the advancements in AI and Machine Learning to implement innovative solutions to improve health, safety, environment, quality and wellbeing outcomes. Skills gap in the construction industry, ED&I, ESG and Climate Tech are high on Nitesh’s agenda and he hopes to improve collaboration amongst clients, supply chain partners, industry bodies, educators and policy…

Malcolm Davidson

Malcolm is Director for WSP’s UK business leading a team of Civil and Structural Engineers in our Birmingham Office. He is a Chartered Civil and Structural Engineer and has 31 years of experience in delivering civil and structural engineering building design and analysis solutions for small and major projects across many sectors including rail, retail, residential, commercial and healthcare having joined WSP in 1988. He has technically delivered projects both in the UK Egypt and in the Middle East with internationally renowned architects. As a major projects’ specialist, Malcolm’s strong management skills are key to his ability to effectively engage with clients, global design teams and project stakeholders. Malcolm is also Location Director for WSP UK’s 700+ strong Birmingham office and Vice Chair of the…

Donna Seward

My role is to work with Architects, Technical Managers and Energy assessors to help them achieve Building Regulations Compliance in terms of thermal performance. I have worked in the Insulation Industry for almost 30 years. And I am a qualified Energy assessor.

Alec Gilham

University of Birmingham
I am a mechanical engineer with 20+ years Senior Management experience working within Higher Education, Engineering and Manufacturing sectors including Automotive, Aerospace, Civil Engineering and Rail My work and career history to-date has involved responsibility for implementation of Organisational Learning & Development, Operational Productivity and Efficiency, Change Management, and introduction of World Class Manufacturing methodologies within a multi-site complex matrix industrial environemnt. Operations Director (2005-2015) for the development of the embryonic West Midlands Manufacturing Club SME Network which attracted £5million European and UK regional development funding to support implementation of digitization and innovation focused change management activities including consultancy and delivery of learning programmes to a network of over 500+ businesses in the Black Country and West Midlands. As Head of Industrial Partnerships & Engagement…

Noel Street

3D Reid
Noel is a Chartered Architect with over 30 years of experience in the construction industry with an international mind-set providing an in-depth knowledge of complex developments operating in a highly regulated and commercially fluid environment. A familiar presence within the Midlands property industry, Noel currently Chairs both the Sustainability & Innovation Forum for Constructing Excellence – Midlands and also Construction focus group for Innovation Alliance. He formerly Chaired the Construction Industry Council – West Midlands and Birmingham Best Practice Club – Constructing Excellence. Noel is a Director of 3DREID Architects where he has the responsibility for the Birmingham Studio working on award winning Urban design and Regeneration projects across the UK and Internationally in the sectors of: Residential, Retail & Leisure, Hospitality, Offices and Industrial…

Richard Cymler

Ball & Berry
Richard worked on landmark projects including the iconic Fort Dunlop conversion of a six-storey industrial building into offices, the 60,000m2 Body in White building at JLR Castle Bromwich, the relocation of Birmingham City University, the National College for High Speed Rail, and led on the Building Schools for the Future programme in Birmingham. He graduated from Birmingham City University with a BSc in Building Surveying, before embarking on a 20-year role as a principal consultant with Birmingham City Council. Richard left the council in April 2012, joining Acivico as a principal consultant before progressing through the ranks to head of building consultancy. He remained in the role until November 2019, when he joined Ball & Berry as regional director

Dhiran Vagdia

Vagdia and Holmes Architects
Dhiran is a chartered architect, and is a director of Vagdia and Holmes, Chartered Architects, Coventry. He schooled in Coventry, and read architecture at the University of Nottingham. He became a Chartered Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects in February 2003, and is now a practising architect, running an architectural practice based in Coventry. The Practice client and project portfolio include ecclesiastical buildings, conservation work, private one-off residential projects, retail and commercial projects, and developer-led initiatives. Dhiran has contributed significantly to the profession and to the industry, through roles such as chairing the RIBA West Midlands, chairing the local Constructing Excellence Group FORCE, and a Past Chair of the Coventry Branch of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.

Ruth Griffin

Gowling WLG
Ruth Griffin is a partner who has over 17 years' experience of construction and engineering transactional work, acting for all parties involved in such transactions including employers, contractors, consultants, sub-contractors, funders, purchasers and tenants. She advises clients on how to most effectively manage the varied risks arising from the carrying out of construction and engineering projects by reviewing, drafting and negotiating the multitude of documents involved in such projects in order to reflect her clients' interests and objectives, be they carrying out the works or services in relation to a project or procuring, financing or utilising the project. As part of the firm's appointment as Official Legal Advisers for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Ruth is a member of the firm's executive team for B2022,…

The CE West Midlands Awards

Winners will be announced at the Awards dinner on May 12th 2022

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