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CE Midlands Construction Summit 2023

CE Midlands Construction Summit took place on October 18th at the Holte Suite, Villa Park Stadium in Birmingham with a line-up of distinguished keynote speakers: Fergus Harradence and Dame Judith Hackitt.


The summit will delve into crucial topics that are shaping the construction industry today. Building safety, a paramount concern, will be explored in-depth, addressing the latest regulations, practices, and advancements in ensuring safe and resilient structures. The urgent need to combat the climate crisis will also take centre stage, emphasizing sustainable construction practices and innovative solutions for a greener future.

Additionally, the summit will shed light on the importance of future skills in the industry, exploring emerging trends, technological advancements, and the evolving role of professionals in an ever-changing landscape. Smart construction, another focal point, will showcase how digitalization, automation, and data-driven approaches are revolutionizing the way we design, build, and manage projects.

This event presents an opportunity to gain valuable insights, engage in thought-provoking discussions, and network with industry leaders, experts, and fellow professionals. Don’t miss out on the CE Midlands Construction Summit, as it promises to be a pivotal event in shaping the future of the construction industry.


  • 8.30am Registration & Networking
  • 9.30am Welcome: Andrew Carpenter, CEO CE Midlands
  • 9.40am Building Safety: Chaired by Kevin Blunden, Acivico
    • Keynote Address: Dame Judith Hackitt
    • An insurance perspective: Tracy Keep from Gallagher and Chris Doran of Weightmans
    • Panel session with Dame Judith Hackitt, Chris Doran, Kevin Blunden & Tracy Keep
  • 10.50am Tea/Coffee & Networking
  • 11.20am Climate Crisis: Chaired by Mark Wakeford
    • Keynote Address: Fergus Harradence, Department for Business & Trade
    • Disruptive Sustainability: Georgia Elliott-Smith, Element Four
    • Re-purposing buildings: Stuart Smith, Morgan Sindall
    • Timber in Construction: David Hopkins, Timber Development UK
    • Future Homes Standard: David Adams, Future Homes Hub
    • Panel session with Fergus Harradence, Georgia Elliott-Smith, Stuart Smith, David Hopkins & David Adams
  • 1.30pm Lunch & Networking
  • 2.30pm Future Skills: Chaired by Cem Budak
    • Keynote Address: Wendy Osborn, Engagement Director England, CITB
    • Specific requirements for offsite construction: Gaynor Tennent, Offsite Alliance
    • Leadership skills for decision makers: Marina Robertson, Acivico
    • Panel: Wendy Osborn, Gaynor Tennent and Marina Robertson
  • 3.45pm Final Thoughts: Andrew Carpenter
  • 4pm Afternoon snack and networking
  • 5pm Depart

Exhibit at the Summit

We are offering space on the day to exhibit at £250 + VAT.

All interested parties please contact

This event is kindly sponsored by Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) and Acivico Group


Dame Judith Hackitt

Fergus Harradence

Georgia Elliott-Smith, Element Four

Managing Director, Element Four, former UNESCO special Junior Envoy for Youth & Environment, and legal activist

An environmental engineer, Chartered Environmentalist, and former UNESCO Special Junior Envoy for Youth & the Environment, Georgia started her career as one of UK construction’s first Environment Managers.

Founder and Managing Director of sustainability consultancy Element Four, Georgia now works with organisations such as Amnesty International, Patrizia, Grosvenor Estates, Nike, and Bank of England delivering her “disruptive sustainability” approach – a combination of best practice and activism that drives meaningful change in industry.

Georgia is a director of One YMCA Development Company and sits on the steering committee of She Changes Climate, a global campaign for promotion of women in climate negotiations and solutions. In 2021, Georgia successfully challenged the UK government in the High Court over the UK Emissions Trading Scheme’s failure to uphold the Paris Agreement. She is an Extinction Rebellion activist and contributor to leading technical committees including the UK Green Building Council and London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI).

Stuart Smith, Morgan Sindall

Stuart has been Senior Business Development Manager at Morgan Sindall since 2021. Based out of the Nottingham office he is responsible for ensuring the Midlands Area develop a sustainable pipeline of opportunities with clients and consultants who are culturally aligned with the values and procurement strategy of the company. In addition to winning new business he also supports a suite of frameworks across the region that service a wide variety of public sector clients enabling them to streamline their procurement process, whilst maximising their budget and integrating their carbon / net zero goals.

Graduating with a Civil Engineering degree, Stuart has held a number of operational positions over the last 25 years and was part of the management team that successfully delivered the Space Centre in Leicester. He is passionate about developing the next generation of talent and has been a student mentor for the University of Birmingham since 2020. Stuart also sits on the College of Science & Engineering Industry Advisory Board for the University of Derby, which promotes links with the sector whilst ensuring that course syllabus’s remain relevant to the changing needs of an evolving industry.

In 2023 Stuart was appointed to join the Constructing Excellence Midlands Board which is is a progressive membership organisation committed to improving business performance by driving innovation and best practise in the construction industry.

Marina Roberston

Marina has over 30 years’ experience in the Built Environment sector. She is passionate about the role infrastructure plays in affecting social change and in the sector’s response to the changing climate. She has undertaken academic research on the effectiveness of local authority owned companies in delivering social housing and more recently on the skills boards need to
make effective decarbonisation investment decisions. Marina loves nothing more than working with others to affect real and lasting change. She is a creative and energetic thinker capable of translating vision and strategy into tangible results.

Marina has held a variety of senior service delivery and transformation roles in regeneration, housing, economic development, property, and capital programme delivery in the public and private sectors where she led award winning schemes, initiatives and services. Marina forges lasting formal and informal collaborations across the sector that enable high quality, sustainable and innovative service solutions, delivering value for the stretched public purse and transforming people’s experience of their environment.

A member of both the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, and the Chartered Institute of Housing, Marina is a strong advocate of building skills for the future and the role we all play in creating a culture of technical excellence to advise and inform built environment projects and their impact on future generations.
For Marina, diversity is an organisational super-power. A strong advocate of the positive role currently under represented groups can play in addressing future capacity in the sector you will frequently see and hear Marina talk passionately about opportunities for mentoring, planning for the future and levelling up the skills gap. In her spare time, Marina is a proud Vice-Chair of the Board of Waltham Forest Housing Association

Cem Budak

Cem Budak is a director and leads Arup’s business in the Midlands.

He specialises in growing diverse businesses and teams, and delivering large-scale, complex infrastructure and cities projects. With more than 25 years’ experience, he has worked across Europe, Africa, Asia and the USA on projects spanning several industries, including rail, highways, renewable energy, cities and property.

In his role, he leads almost 1,000 engineers, planners and specialists across two offices in the Midlands, Birmingham and Nottingham. As a project director, he has worked with clients from bidding to conception, design and construction stages.

Before his current role, he was based in Istanbul, leading Arup’s rail business in Europe and leading Arup’s Infrastructure and Cities Group in Türkiye. He led teams not only to deliver defined projects but also to create projects that would help enable sustainable city growth.

Wendy Osborn, CITB

The Construction Industry Training Board exists to support the construction industry to recruit and retain a skill and competent workforce.  The organisation supports construction companies through grants and funding, helps them to recruit apprentices and new trainees and plays a leading role in setting standards. Wendy is the Head of Engagement and leads a team that give hands on support to companies in England.

Prior to joining CITB Wendy spent many years working in Higher Education with a particular focus on widening participation and higher and degree apprenticeships and vocational degrees.  

David Hopkins, Timber Development UK

A passionate campaigner for the decarbonisation of construction and the built environment for over 20 years, David Hopkins speaks on behalf of the £10bn UK Timber industry as head of Timber Development UK.

David is a former environment journalist and has worked for the Times, Guardian, Independent and BBC, as well as editing a number of trade & industry titles focused on utility and environmental markets. His first paid editorial work was writing bad jokes for “Roy Hudd’s News Huddlines” on Radio 4.

Alongside his duties with Timber Development UK,  David sits on the Government’s Timber in Construction Working Group, is a director of the Confederation of Timber Industries and is a former board member of the Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA).

David co-founded Carbon Communications International in 2002, a clean-technology and environmental industries consultancy working with the London Stock Exchange and the World Bank. He is also a founding non-executive director of the low-carbon community charity Carbon-Leapfrog which provides pro-bono professional services for social enterprise.

In 2021, David launched the Tropical Timber Accord at COP26 with a coalition of tropical country partners to tackle illegal deforestation. This initiative is now being developed by a coalition of international Government and industry bodies as the BMRC.

David Adams

David has a broad base of experience across manufacturing, construction and policy, engaging with initiatives that drive progress within the net zero home retrofit and new build arenas.

He leads on operational energy/carbon for the Future Homes Hub and was Co-chair of the Ready for Zero report, providing evidence for DLUHC’s forthcoming Future Homes Standard Consultation.

David also supports the Building Performance Network, UKGBC and Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group.

Previously he was a director of, and the architect behind, the Zero Carbon Hub and chaired a series of ZCHub task groups. He was co-owner of Melius Homes, established to deliver ultra-low energy assured performance ‘Energiesprong’ domestic retrofits and new build homes. He also delivered area wide and local low energy retrofit schemes as technical director with Willmott Dixon Energy Services and general manager for Polyfoam, an insulation manufacturing business (formerly part of Knauf Insulation).

He is a board member of Good Homes Alliance and formerly a Director of EnergiesprongUK, member of the Each Home Matters review board and was chair of the advisory board for the London-Loughborough Centre for Doctoral Research in Energy Demand.

Gaynor Tennent

Gaynor has established a presence in the UK as a leader in removing the barriers of entry to improve efficiency and productivity across the sector by increasing the uptake of offsite construction.

As Founder and Chair of the Offsite Alliance, Gaynor is passionate about her cause to reform industry, update policy, and promotes the behavioural and cultural changes needed to achieve this. Her deep understanding of the modern demands upon the UK’s construction sector has helped her to lead the Offsite Alliance’s powerful collaboration of a diverse set of members to drive real industry transformation.

Prior to founding the Offsite Alliance, Gaynor was Chief business development officer at Modularize.  Gaynor has a solid grounding in every aspect of running MMC projects from concept through to successful deployment of homes on-site and is active in a number of NED roles that allow her to share her passion and experience with a range of exciting new MMC start-ups.

Mark Wakeford

Mark is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, with over thirty years in the industry, mostly at director level for companies throughout the supply chain, from client through to subcontractor. He now uses this experience to support construction sector businesses in his positions as Vice-Chair of Constructing Excellence Midlands, Chair of the Major Contractors Group for the NFB and as a Governor at Moulton College.

Mark is passionate about renewables and reducing corporate carbon emissions and as Chairman of EvoEnergy has the support and expertise to help others. Mark believes success comes from knowledgeable teams and encourages people to share their ideas and work across boundaries to find the best solutions for our clients. This is put to good use in his role as director within Brackley Holdings Ltd.

Tracy Keep

Tracy has over 30 years’ experience in insurance and looks after a number of construction clients

ranging from house builders to civil engineers and piling and build contractors. She has led a

project in Gallagher to review construction policy wordings with insurers in the mid-corporate area

to highlight the best of breed wordings on the major clauses.

Chris Doran

Chris is a partner in Weightmans LLP, and specialises all forms of construction, engineering and general contractual and tortious disputes, including professional indemnity disputes, in the High Court (Technology and Construction Court), arbitration (both domestic and international), adjudication and mediation.

He has experience in working for developers, contractors, sub-contractors, project professionals and their respective insurers including CAR/EAR, property and professional indemnity insurers, in construction, engineering and infrastructure disputes.

Andrew Carpenter

Andrew joined the UK construction industry in 1977 with the manufacturing giant CRH 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 chair 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)’ Diploma in collaboration in construction’. Andrew was delighted to be asked to become Chief Executive of the Structural Timber (then the UKTFA) in January 2011. Andrew is now helping to spearhead the drive for Sustainable Construction using more structural timber in construction with a ‘Fabric First’ approach.

Andrew was appointed Chief Executive of Constructing Excellence South West in September 2013 and Chief Executive of Constructing Excellence Midlands in May 2018. 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. Andrew is also currently a member of the Construction Leadership Council Construct Zero Board & Housing Forum Board and sits on the Government’s Timber in Construction Working Group.



The CE Midlands Summit is Partnered with:


Constructing Excellence Logo

Fergus Harradence

Constructing Excellence Logo

Georgia Elliott-Smith

Constructing Excellence Logo

Georgia Elliott-Smith

Constructing Excellence Logo

Kevin Blunden

Constructing Excellence Logo

Marina Robertson

Constructing Excellence Logo

Stuart Smith

Constructing Excellence Logo

Tracy Keep and Chris Doran

Constructing Excellence Logo

Wendy Osborne

Constructing Excellence Logo

Dame Judith Hacckitt

Constructing Excellence Logo

David Adams

Constructing Excellence Logo

David Hopkins

Event Details

  • Date: 18th October
  • Time: 8:30am - 5:00pm
  • Cost: £75.00 – £150.00
  • Event Category: Regional
  • Venue: The Holte Suite
  • Map Link: + Google Map


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