Meet The Judges

East Midlands Award Judges

Andrew Carpenter

CEO CE Midlands

Andrew joined the UK construction industry in 1977 with the manufacturing giant CRH, which in the UK now includes Forticrete Ltd and Ibstock Brick, and held a series of sales and business development roles in his early years.

It was the ground breaking Rethinking Construction Report of 1998 that was to change Andrew’s career path as he became involved in change management and best practice, first within CRH and then later as a Board Member and Director of Constructing Excellence. During this time he was the inaugural chairman of the national ‘Best Practice’ Club network and the public face of Constructing Excellence being responsible for marketing, events, communications and membership.

From 2008 – 2010 he worked as a consultant in ‘lean’ measures, which included Andrew helping to set up and then become one of the first fifteen students of the CWA (Collaborative Working Academy).

Andrew was delighted to be asked to become Chief Executive of the Structural Timber Association (then the UKTFA) in January 2011. Andrew is now helping to spearhead the drive for Sustainable Construction by the use of more structural timber in building with a ‘Fabric First’ approach.

Andrew was appointed Director of Constructing Excellence South West in September 2013. 

In 2011 Andrew was rewarded for his services to best practice within the UK construction industry by being awarded the ‘Achiever Award’ in the 2011 CIOB/CESW South West Built Environment Awards.


Andy Hands

Commercial Director, Morgan Sindall Construction

Andy leads the commercial strategy across the central region in Morgan Sindall Construction.

This includes the Midlands, Wales and Thames Valley corridor – a region that delivers approximately £200 million of diverse construction projects that create places where people live, learn and work, play, care and create.

With 25 years’ experience in our industry, six of which have been with Morgan Sindall Construction, Andy has been involved in the delivery of some exciting projects.

This includes the major renovation of the Grade I listed Birmingham Town Hall, setting it as a top venue for concerts and popular assemblies.

The refurbishment and vertical extension of 55 Colmore Row was another highlight, and one that delivered state-of-the-art Grade A commercial space for businesses to thrive and grow.

Most recently, Andy was part of the team that designed and constructed the University of Birmingham’s award winning Collaborative Teaching Laboratory – an innovative three storey mixture of world-class laboratories that are inspiring the next generation of researchers.


Darren Eaton

Area Commercial Director, Morgan Sindall Construction

Over the past 20 years, Darren has held senior commercial management posts within the construction sector and has been responsible for a strong team and performance ethic across national construction businesses.

In various non-executive director roles, this experience and procurement insight has also supported specialist SME’s to understand the processes large contracting organisations adopt and enabled them to successfully further develop their businesses.

Throughout his career, Darren has always considered that people are any company’s most important asset and was responsible for Academy initiatives within the businesses he has worked at and continues to see training and development of staff as an important part of the role of all company directors.

Pursuing this interest in people and team development; he has recently completed an MSc in Management Psychology at the University of Nottingham.

In Darren’s current role as Commercial Director for Morgan Sindall in addition he has responsibility for financial and legal performance of a £ 100 million business unit. He is also has responsibility for part of their graduate programme and supporting their strategic relationship agreement with Nottingham Trent University and CITB research initiatives.



Director at Interclass Plc

With over 25 years in the construction industry, Des has a strong track record of developing management teams and leading all facets of a business to maximise company growth, profitability and efficiency.

Des is experienced in managing and delivering construction projects up to £40m across the Midlands, South West, South East and London.

As an experienced Director, he possesses excellent sustainable and profitable relationships with clients, consultants and supply chain partners across a wide range of sectors, having managed teams of up to 250 direct employees and over 2000 subcontract personnel for several regional and national construction organisations.

Owning to his vast experience gained in construction delivery Des is a Director of Interclass Plc and a Constructing Excellence Midlands Board Member with a keen interest in people development and innovative practices in construction.


Glen Irwin

Technical Director at Hydrock

Glen’s background is in building services consultancy having previously been a design engineer for 17 years. He is a chartered member of CIBSE and has specialised in sustainability, leading consultancy based-teams.

More recently, Glen has combined both disciplines as MEP & Sustainability Manager working with main contractor/developers and he has recently taken up a new role with engineering consultancy, Hydrock as Technical Director to lead a post construction service.

Glen has broad experience of many elements of building design, construction and operation. In particular he has been extensively involved in design development relating to sustainable buildings and their practical delivery.

He also has extensive experience across all sectors of the industry, and has worked in a number of countries worldwide. Remaining ‘hands-on’, Glen’s particular passion is Post Occupancy Evaluation and investigations into optimum performance of operational buildings.


Julie Bell-Barker

Head of Capital Projects and FM Maintenance at the 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.

Julie is currently Head of Capital Projects and FM Maintenance at the City of Wolverhampton Council. an also sits on the Quality & Compliance Forum that is delivered through CE Midlands together with sitting on the CE Midland Board.

Her experience in being exposed to a cross diversity of construction project challenges had lead Julie 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 on quality, particular once the building moves into occupation


Kevin Harris

Director of Operations, Bamboo Technology Group Ltd

Kevin has worked at a senior level in the construction industry for the best part of twenty years. Along the way he has become Chairman for Constructing Excellence Gloucestershire, Board Member for Constructing Excellence South West and Chairman for the CESW Leadership Council.

Having worked with numerous clients and design teams from concept design through to project completion, he brings a unique perspective and understanding to projects.

His varied roles have given him a wide range of skills which are proving invaluable for his work in the sector.


Marc Preite

Project Manager at Nottingham Trent University

Marc is currently a project manager in the Estates Capital Department Team at Nottingham Trent University who as a team are delivering £150m of new and redevelopment projects.

He previously spent 3 years specialising in Lean, Collaborative and Service Improvement programmes across a number of organisations and was instrumental in developing a successful “Good to Great” service improvement programme within a leading retirement housing organisation which was presented as a case study to Central Government.

He has been involved with Constructing Excellence for 7 years including working directly them both nationally and in the South West. Marc firmly believes that people, relationships, culture and behaviours are paramount to the success of delivering positive change to the construction industry.”


Mark Robinson


Mark Wakeford

Joint Managing Director of Stepnell Ltd


Nicola Thompson

Director of Compliance and Performance at Pick Everard


Noel Street

Director of 3DReid Architects

Noel is a Chartered Architect with over 30 years of experience in the Construction industry working with both Public and Private clients across multiple sectors of the industry.
A familiar presence within the Midlands property industry,Noel chairs both the Sustainability & Innovation Forum for Constructing Excellence Midlands and the Construction focus group for Innovation Alliance West Midlands. He formerly chaired the Construction Industry Council - West Midlands and Birmingham Best Practice Club - Constructing Excellence.
Noel is a Director of 3DReid Architects, in the Birmingham office of this national award winning architectural practice, where hebrings an international mind-set providing an in-depth knowledge of complex developments operating in a highly regulated and commercially fluid environment to deliver whole life carbon and circular economic future solutions rooted in creative, practical and economically efficient thinking.


Paul Meadows


With over 30 years' experience in the industry, Paul takes responsibility for strategic projects that Salus undertakes and for the specific regulatory roles that the company performs - to ensure that all professional and non-technical staff deliver a first-class building control service.  

He is one of a selected panel of building control professionals chosen by the Construction Industry Council to assess the competencies of Approved Inspectors as they apply and reapply for inclusion on the Approved Inspectors Register on behalf of the Department for Communities.

Paul maintains a personal, contactable relationship with any client who uses the services provided by Salus, negotiating complex issues with architects, developers and fellow Fire Engineers relative to meeting the building regulations.


Richard Whittaker

Director of Development, Citizen Housing

Richard is currently Director of Development for Citizen and responsible for delivering 500 high quality new homes per year  as well as introducing Modular construction and BIM modelling.

Richard is also a board member of Constructing Excellence Midlands and chairs their Construction Clients Group.

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