News & events

DGA's Nigel Clifford supports University of Brighton's Civil Engineering Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) - 18 Jun 2024

DGA’s Nigel Clifford has been involved, on a voluntary basis, with the University of Brighton (UoB) since 2012 where his aspiration was to “give something back” into civil engineering since graduating in 1990. He guest lectures each year to 1st year students with a talk titled “A Career in Civil Engineering” with the hope of inspiring the students to keep to the path they are currently on, as well as lecturing on Health & Safety in Construction to 2nd year students. After joining the IAB in 2015 he was elected as Chairman in 2019 where he will hold the post until the end of 2025.

The purpose of the IAB is to help incorporate industry awareness and experience into the students' curriculum. The 10 industry members on the board achieve this through a review of modules, the promotion of Health & Safety, arranging site visits, presenting guest lectures, assisting the UoB attain course accreditation, holding Surgery sessions with the students (one of Nigel’s initiatives) as well as Mock Interviews. Several experts have also presented to the students through the IAB’s networks. IAB industry members are also able to cross-pollenate their company’ skills to help each other out when the need arises.

The ICE President’s Visit on 30 April 2024

Following Nigel’s direct approach via LinkedIn, the current President of the Institution of Civil Engineers Dr Anusha Shah accepted his invitation to visit the UoB. The visit was then co-ordinated by the Civil Engineering staff, led by Head of Civil Engineering Dr Saniul Alam. 

On a bright and sunny Brighton day Dr Shah toured the UoB Engineering laboratories, had lunch with Vice Chancellor Debra Humphris and the Dean of the School Dr Imran Rafiq, addressed the extremely appreciative students with a an impactful talk titled “Building Connections for a Nature and People-Positive World”, and met with the IAB and academic staff in a round the table forum. 

Dr Shah is an incredibly influential individual on the global stage, whose message is that due to the amount of expected construction in the next decades, and the effect that we have had on climate, we need to build better, and replenish nature at the same time. Dr Shah quotes in her Presidential address video “nature doesn’t need us, we need nature”.

It was the second time in three years that Nigel has arranged for the residing ICE President to visit the UoB after Ed McCann’s visit in 2022. Nigel said:

 “The UoB has been on an upward trajectory in the University rankings in the last few years, reaching 12th in 2023 for Civil Engineering, and 6th in the quality of feedback given to students. I would like to think these visits, as well as the IAB interactions, are helping the students feel appreciated and valued resulting in this improvement, and we can continue to arrange similar visits in the future.”