Department of Engineering / News / Professor Peter Guthrie appointed Vice-President at the Royal Academy of Engineering

Department of Engineering

Professor Peter Guthrie appointed Vice-President at the Royal Academy of Engineering

Professor Peter Guthrie appointed Vice-President at the Royal Academy of Engineering

Professor Peter Guthrie

Congratulations to Professor Peter Guthrie who has been appointed Vice-President at the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Peter Guthrie is the first Professor in Engineering for Sustainable Development in the UK, and was the Director of the Centre for Sustainable Development from 2000 to 2016. He continues to work on various research projects.  His research is focused on the assessment of large scale projects for sustainability, resilience of infrastructure, and energy efficiency in buildings, in UK and in developing countries.

As Vice-President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Peter chairs the Operating Committees Group, and chairs the Pandemic Preparedness Panel as part of Engineering X. He is a member of the Conduct Panel, Frontiers of Engineering for Development, and a Trustee of the Panasonic Trust. 

Peter is currently engaged in research in resilience of infrastructure, working with Lloyd’s Register Foundation and Arup on The Resilience Shift global initiative to accelerate the adoption and practice of resilience for critical infrastructure systems. He led a three-year programme of research into energy efficiency and retrofit in buildings, funded by Kingspan Limited.

He was Co-I on a programme of energy efficiency in buildings in China (funded by EPSRC and NSF).  He has experience of research in the sustainable development of infrastructure in developing countries, including the challenging of the appropriateness of technical standards, waste management, the potential for waste materials to be used as materials in construction, and the engineering of earth roads. He has worked with FIDIC (International Federation of Consulting Engineers) to produce a report on sustainability assessment for infrastructure.

A civil engineer with geotechnical specialisation by background, Peter has worked in countries such as Nigeria, Lesotho, Sudan, Philippines Ethiopia, and Botswana, and on major infrastructure projects such as London 2012, Orange County Great Park (California), Channel Tunnel Rail Link, CrossRail, West Coast Mainline Route Modernisation and Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester Airports, and major building projects such as Eden Project Phase 4, and large scale schemes for the Prison Service and the Ministry of Defence. He has advised on policy matters related to waste and environment in Russia, Mauritius, Seychelles, Romania and Portugal.

He was Director of Research on a research programme on Energy Policy and Efficiency in the Built Environment, supported by Grosvenor, SIG plc and EPSRC, was Principal Investigator for the Cambridge elements of the EPSRC funded Retrofit 2050 Project (completed 2014), the TSB funded project on embodied energy in construction (Project Butterfly), and the EPSRC project ISSUES as part of the Sustainable Urban Environments programme. He was recently  Co-I on research on the efficacy of energy efficient measures in 50 NHS hospitals in England(NHS Guidance Document) .

He supervises and advises PhD research on sustainable development in international development, looking at stakeholder engagement, decision-making in infrastructure, disaster recovery, shelter in emergencies, assessment post hoc, and the role of international consultants. He was the Principal Investigator on the Land Securities plc funded programme of research into sustainability of the Ebbsfleet Valley scheme. He has acted as expert witness on the proposals for Dunsfold Park Eco-Village in Surrey.

Peter was a member and latterly Vice-Chair of DEFRA’s Scientific Advisory Council (2003-2011) and led the Waste Sub-Group. He was on the DECC Project Board for the Severn Tidal Power scheme study. He was a member of the Lead Expert Group for the Government Office of Science Foresight project on Reducing Risks of Future Disasters, and chaired the Natural Environment Research Council Programme Advisory Group on Resource Recovery from Waste.

In 2011/12 Peter chaired the Global Agenda Council (GAC) on Disaster Management for the World Economic Forum, and was then a member of the Catastrophic Risks GAC (2012-2014).

He chaired the Sustainability Panel and the Quality Panel for the Northwest Cambridge Project (now called Eddington) for the University until 2016. Peter was a member of the Review Panel for the Government of the Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) programme which reported in 2012.

He was awarded the OBE in 1993. He was Vice-President of the Institution of Civil Engineers in the late 1990s, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bristol.

In 1980, following an assignment working with the Vietnamese Boat People in Malaysia, he was involved in the founding of RedR, a charity that provides engineers and other personnel to relief agencies in disasters. In recognition of this initiative he was awarded the Beacon Prize for charitable giving in 2005.

He was a Trustee/Director of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) which is a student inspired organisation that seeks to help students make a contribution to the relief of poverty, and he is now an Advisor. He was a Trustee of Practical Action (formerly ITDG)

He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Civil Engineers, and the City and Guilds Institute, and was a Non-Executive Director of Buro Happold Consulting Engineers from 2009 to 2015.

He is a Fellow of St Edmund's College.

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