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ICE appoints academic to help fight climate change

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Guymer is an expert on the mixing and transport of pollutants in water. Photograph: ICE
Guymer is an expert on the mixing and transport of pollutants in water. Photograph: ICE

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has appointed University of Warwick professor Ian Guymer as its first academic in residence.

Guymer will work with ICE members and the industry to identify new areas where civil engineers can offer contributions. These include areas such as climate change, resilience and innovation.

The work is part of the ICE’s ‘Shaping the World’ initiative, which aims to address the major infrastructure challenges the world currently faces.

Guymer is the joint lead of University of Warwick’s Sustainable Cities Global Research Priority programme.

Guymer’s work will focus on projects that “trail-blaze” new civil engineering interventions and he will work in partnership with others to pilot new ideas. His brief is to “engage across the boundaries” with other disciplines such as social sciences, economics, planning and computer sciences.

He will advise the ICE on what projects to take forward for the campaign.

Guymer is an expert on the mixing and transport of pollutants in water, from drinking water supplies, through rivers to coastal environments.  His work at Warwick University addresses urban issues of overcrowding, transport, housing, public health and infrastructure. 

He is also the engineering co-Investigator, on Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded centre for doctoral training in “urban science and progress”, which advocates an interdisciplinary approach, using big data to tackle urban challenges. It also aims to establish urban science as a field of study and focus of scientific inquiry.

According to Guymer, civil engineering has struggled to accelerate its pace of change compared to the technology and healthcare sectors, which have “leapt forward into the future”.

 “Humanity is entering an age where machines can think for themselves and cities grow beyond the tens of millions. Climate change and technological innovations are disrupting construction activities around the world – presenting new challenges for civil engineers.

“To catalyse changes and advancements in the sector, the Shaping the World programme identifies and supports great ideas, nursing them to fruition,” he said.