Highways UK 2020 Laureate and Associate Laureates
This year’s Highways UK culminated in the Thales-sponsored 2020 Laureates Awards which saw Highways England’s first Chief Executive Jim O’Sullivan recognised for his outstanding contribution to the sector.
The award was presented by Steve Gooding, Director of the RAC Foundation, at the end of a special interview to mark Jim’s five years as the head of Highways England. The interview was valedictory in that Jim is leaving Highways England in the New Year. The candid and insightful conversation touched on the highs and lessons learnt through Highways England’s first five-years.
Steve Gooding, who was DfT’s roads director general at the time Highways England was being set up, described Jim’s Laureate Award as very well deserved.
In accepting the accolade, Jim O’Sullivan said: “It is a great honour to be awarded this and I’m proud to have been part of Highways England and write a little bit of the history of our roads. Don’t underestimate how humbled I feel and how grateful I am to the great people in our sector who do so much.”
The ceremony also saw the award of two Associate Laureates, to Yousef Majeed of Arup and Lara Young of Costain. The Associate Laureates celebrate the up and coming in the industry, the future leaders who are making a difference and transforming the industry for the future.
Yousef works in Intelligent Transport Systems and he has been an associate with Arup for the last four years. His citation was given by DfT’s Darren Capes, who in his capacity as lead for the Transport Technology Forum, has sponsored Yousef’s ground-breaking project to bring together local authority data to create a national dataset that has supported the covid response. Yousef, said Darren, brought energy and creativity to the process and it is illustrative of the person and engineer that he is, that we were given a very unclear problem and we’ve built something that is absolutely brilliant and demonstrates why he is a worthy recipient.
The second Associate Laureate was awarded to Lara Young, Group Carbon Manager at Costain. In nominating her for the award, Costain’s Chief Digital Officer Nathan Marsh described Lara as someone who has always wanted to make a difference.
With a background in biology and sustainable development, Lara joined Costain in 2015 having identified infrastructure as an area in which she could make a big and lasting impact. Nathan described Lara as passionate about demystifying carbon and net zero, specifically empowering individuals, business and clients to take ownership and action in the common cause of removing carbon from infrastructure delivery and operation and making carbon management accessible to us all. She is open to challenging the norms and innovating to achieve positive change across the industry. She was also the instigating and driving force behind Costain’s Climate Change Action Plan and the roll-out of the company’s Resource Efficiency Matrix which is focused on whole life carbon reductions, saving to date nearly £25M in capital savings and 1.5Mt of embedded and operational carbon.
In closing this year’s Highways UK, Mark Garrity, Director, Strategy Sales & Marketing for Thales, sponsor for the Laureates Awards said: “I’m proud to be involved and engaged in the Laureates, both as Thales and personally. Congratulations to Jim and our two Associates Yousef and Lara. Seeing the flair, passion and intellect of the leaders coming through excites me for the future.”
Highways UK remains open until 20 November for registered users (new registrations cannot be taken), so you have some time to revisit the bits you missed, including the full Laureates Awards and Jim O’Sullivan’s valedictory interview with Steve Gooding.