Return to Nottingham for eminent engineer

Peter Hansford on campus
24 Mar 2011 13:25:00.000


One of the UK’s most high-profile engineers returned to his alma mater when he visited The University of Nottingham on March 28.

Peter Hansford, who graduated from the University in 1975 and has risen to become the President of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), was the guest of honour at a series of events and meetings on campus.

Mr Hansford met the Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Greenaway, and other senior colleagues, and gave the Presidential Address before a Q&A session with staff and students.

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His visit also included a tour of the Department of Civil Engineering — to see how it has changed in the 36 years since he graduated. A campus tour will take in the Nottingham Geospatial Building, which opened last year, and the Creative Energy Homes project, a street of prototype houses on University Park that is breaking new ground in the development of low-energy and low-carbon living (pictured above).

As a civil engineering undergraduate in the early 1970s, Mr Hansford played an active part in University life, serving as a member of the Students’ Union Council and on the Karnival Committee which raises funds for charity. He also met his wife Pamela — herself a Nottingham alumna, in Mathematics — who attended with him on March 28.

Speaking before the visit, Mr Hansford said: “As an alumnus of The University of Nottingham, I am very much looking forward to making an official visit to the University as President of the ICE.

“The University is at the forefront of developing innovative ways of reducing energy consumption and it will be interesting to see the work that is being done in this area.

“I am passionate about attracting talented individuals into the profession and I am pleased that this visit will give me the opportunity to engage directly with the next generation of civil engineering graduates in the region.”

The Department of Civil Engineering was ranked second in England for the quality of its research in the last Research Assessment Exercise. The Department is recognised for its world-class learning environment and its international reputation for new knowledge generation. Engineers and architects in the Faculty of Engineering are at the forefront of new research and developments, working on new, sustainable technologies that will have a major impact on 21st-century life.

Professor Hai-Sui Yu, Dean of Engineering at The University of Nottingham, said: “We were delighted and honoured to welcome Peter Hansford back to the University.

“We were able to show him how today’s civil engineering students are following in his footsteps — and how campus facilities for teaching and research have developed over the last three decades.”

Mr Hansford is currently an Executive Director of the Nichols Group, London. A specialist in project and programme management, he has more than 30 years experience in the creation, development and execution of major projects. He has worked for government, public and private clients, consultants and contractors in a variety of industry sectors in the UK and overseas.

His early career was with Amey Roadstone Construction, followed by Maunsell Consultants Asia in Hong Kong. He joined Nichols in 1986 as a Consultant and was assigned as Engineering Manager for the Docklands Light Railway City Extension, followed by Project Manager for the Beckton Extension. He was appointed Managing Director of Nichols Associates Ltd in 1996.

Mr Hansford was Executive Director of Infrastructure at the Strategic Rail Authority from 2000 to 2002 and was a founding Non-Executive Board Member of Cross London Rail Links Limited, the Crossrail company. He was a partner at Gardiner & Theobald from January 2003 to June 2004.

He served as a Vice-President of ICE from 2005 to 2008, firstly as Vice-President of Finance and Business Management and latterly as Vice-President of Membership and Diversity. He was elected as a succeeding Vice-President from May 2009.

During his inaugural address as President of the ICE, Mr Hansford announced that engaging with youngsters to ensure fresh, new talent is attracted into the engineering profession would be a core goal during his presidential year. His centrepiece schools initiative, a major schools competition called Create Sport, aims to do just that — challenging 12 and 13-year-olds across the UK to plan, design and construct a model for a new sports venue in their region.

He also spoke about finding new and innovative ways to reduce carbon emissions through low carbon infrastructure solutions.

— Ends —

Notes to editors:

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) was founded in 1818 and is an independent professional association, based in central London, representing civil engineering. Like its early membership, the majority of its current members are British engineers, but it also has members in more than 150 countries around the world. In 2009, its total membership stood at more than 84,000.

The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.
The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

More news from the University at:

Story credits

More information is available from Tim Utton, Deputy Director, Communications, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 846 8092,; or James Taylor, Communications Executive, Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) East Midlands, +44 (0)115 823 2654,

  Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park

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