Clark Lecture 2024: Building Connections for a Nature and People-Positive World

Building Y8, School of Engineering
Wednesday 26 June 2024 (16:00-19:30)

Alema Khatoon

Professor Anusha Shah, the 159th President of the Institution of Civil Engineers

The 2024 Clark Lecturer is Professor Anusha Shah, the 159th President of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

The lecture is to be delivered on Wednesday 26 June at 17:15. It will be preceded by refreshments and a poster display from 16:00 in the new School of Engineering building (Y8), followed by a buffet reception.

Synopsis: What kind of legacy will engineers and infrastructure professionals leave for future generations?

In 2023, Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) President Professor Anusha Shah put her lifelong passion for nature, social equity, and sustainability at the forefront of her vision for the infrastructure industry.

Humanity has taken from nature for many years. But we cannot continue to do so with impunity.

Globally, we’re off-track to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Global warming is likely to surpass 1.5C in the next decade, despite decades of warnings. We are losing biodiversity at an unprecedented rate. The problem is getting worse and we’re running out of time.

In this lecture, Professor Shah will highlight the interdependence of climate and nature, of ecosystems and human societies. She will call on the engineers and infrastructure professionals of today and tomorrow to focus not on building assets, but connections: leading a collaborative, transdisciplinary, ethics-based movement towards system-wide interventions that provide humanity with multiple benefits and restore and rejuvenate nature, rather than just minimise harm to it.

The challenge ahead has never been greater. But neither has the opportunity.

Anusha is a Senior Director for Resilient Cities and UK Climate Adaptation Lead at Arcadis, and currently seconded to the Effiage, Kier, Ferrovial and BAM Nuttall joint venture on High Speed 2 as Senior Director of Environmental Consents. An ICE Fellow, she is also a Non-Executive Director at the Met Office, and a trustee at the Green Alliance board. Anusha completed a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor stint at King’s College London on Climate Adaptation, Sustainability, and Inclusive Design. In 2021, she was conferred an Honorary Professorship for knowledge transfer by the University of Wolverhampton and a Doctorate for services to climate change in engineering by the University of East London. In addition, Anusha is a Visiting Professor at the University of Edinburgh and has been invited to deliver lectures at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

With a specialisation in Water & Environmental Engineering, with over 23 years’ experience in designing, managing and leading projects and programmes both in the UK and internationally, Anusha has worked with the government, NGOs, consultants, contractors, regulator, and utility companies. She has led various multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural projects on water, environment, flood risk management, mining and rail.

Anusha has previously been Chair of the Thames Estuary Partnership Board, a charity working towards sustainable management of the Thames Estuary. She has been involved with the ICE for several years in various guises. In addition to her role on the Trustee Board, she is a passionate member of the ICE Fairness, Inclusion and Respect Panel. Prior to that she was Co-Chair of ICE London and South-East Diversity Task Force. In 2010 Anusha was the youngest and first female Chair of ICE London Region, and has been a Non-Executive Director of the Thomas Telford Ltd Board, Member of the Executive Board, and Member of both the Research & Development Panel, and Qualifications Panel.

Her passion for nature runs through everything she does. She works with various industry NetZero and Climate Change groups and represents Arcadis at the London Climate Change Partnership, London First and 50L Home Coalition of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. She has written extensively on water, climate change, diversity, equity and inclusion topics for national and international publications. Anusha is honoured to have this dedication recognised by a number of industry awards including 2020 - Top 50 UK Women Engineers Sustainability Award and CECA FIR Inspiring Engineers Award 2019. She is regularly invited to panel discussions, media interviews and asked to deliver keynote speeches. In 2020, Anusha was named as one of the UK’s leading BAME voices on climate change by Climate Reframe.


Registration for this event is free, but space is limited. Please secure your place by registering your attendance, ideally by 16:00 on 24 June 2024.

If you have any queries or need any assistance with registration, please contact either Alema Khatoon or