The Young Professionals Panel (YPP) supports and informs the Commission’s work and ensures a strong voice for the next generation of infrastructure leaders in the Commission’s programme.
The YPP brings together professionals from across industry, including quantity surveyors, engineers, economists and rail experts. Established in 2018 to provide fresh thinking to the National Infrastructure Commission’s work in long term infrastructure planning, a key goal of the panel is to raise awareness and engage younger audiences in shaping the future of the UK’s infrastructure.
A new cohort was appointed in July 2020 and a short biography of each member is set out below.
The first panel of 16 young professionals was appointed in 2018 and their tenure ended in April 2020. Details of the work undertaken by them can be found on their ‘Generational Shift’ pages, via the link below.Generational Shift
Ann Zhang (Chair)
Economist - PA Consulting
Ann is an economist at PA Consulting and specialises in policy and regulation. She is passionate about supporting better decision making for investment and believes that mission-driven infrastructure policy is the key to tackling some of the biggest challenges facing society today.
Ann works with policymakers to understand the socioeconomic value of infrastructure, and the ways in which we can set investment incentives to deliver its full potential. She also leads PA’s State aid practice and has advised on several publicly funded infrastructure schemes including the Local Full Fibre Networks Challenge Fund. In her spare time, Ann enjoys urban planning in Animal Crossing as well as being an avid traveller.
Transport Engineer - WSP
Calum is a transport engineer at WSP working in transport modelling and development planning. His current role is as a consultant with Transport for Greater Manchester supporting the rapid transit Metrolink expansion across Manchester.
He applied to join the Young Professionals Panel as he has always wanted to have an appreciation of the factors that contribute to the north-south differences when it comes to infrastructure. He hopes to be in a position to influence change in this area as my career advances.
Calum holds a Masters in Town Planning and worked in transport for over five years. He began as a transport engineer, moved into microsimulation modelling and is now widening his experience into the development of public transport interventions, in particular rapid transit schemes.
Calum also sits on WSP’s national committee for young engineers helping to create a platform for the younger generation’s voice, supporting career growth and building professional networks.
Asset Management Advisor - Mott MacDonald
Caroline is an asset management advisor at Mott MacDonald. With a background in civil engineering, she previously worked in the design and build part of the business, Mott MacDonald Bentley. She works primarily in the water sector, specialising in water and wastewater infrastructure planning and climate resilience. Her most recent projects have looked at the role of nature-based solutions and innovative technology to improve resilience to extreme weather events, increasing water scarcity and providing alternative low carbon solutions to help clients achieve their net-zero ambitions.
Caroline was attracted to a career in infrastructure to work on meaningful projects which create a lasting and sustainable difference for the environment and communities through social outcomes. She also promotes these values in her outreach work with local students, and her leadership roles for Girlguiding and The Scout Association.
Engineer - University of Cambridge
Sam is a structural engineer with interests in historic structures and structural health monitoring. Having previously worked in industry on a range of construction projects, he is now undertaking PhD research at the University of Cambridge, applying novel sensing technologies to gain new insights into the behaviour of masonry railway bridges.
Sam’s work aims to integrate these new sources of data into improved asset management decision-making. In this way, more effective use can be made of our existing infrastructure, repairs can be better targeted to preserve our built heritage, and costly, often carbon-intensive replacements of these structures can be avoided.
Consultant Engineer - Atkins
Mike is a consultant engineer at Atkins, an engineering, design and project management consultancy. Working in its Infrastructure division, he delivers design and consulting projects with a focus on low-carbon energy, most recently for clients in the transportation sector.
Mike’s technical design work covers a range of applications, including district energy networks, sustainable buildings and energy infrastructure for major assets such as airports. His consulting work includes energy strategy development, helping public- and private-sector organisations to fulfil their decarbonisation objectives, and advisory work such as techno-economic analysis.
Mike has a keen interest in infrastructure policy, particularly strategies for achieving ‘net-zero’ and addressing regional inequality.
Senior Sponsor - Network Rail
Sophie is a Senior Sponsor with Network Rail in York. She is accountable for the delivery of power supply upgrades on the East Coast Main Line as part of the £1.2bn East Coast Upgrade.
She studied Geography at the University of St Andrews before joining Transport for London on their Graduate Scheme. She worked on a variety of projects, including implementation of intelligent traffic control systems on the road network, crowd modelling for London Underground and feasibility design for Crossrail 2.
Through working on complex major infrastructure projects, Sophie has recognised the importance of taking a cross disciplinary approach and is looking to learn more about how cross sector working can optimise existing and future infrastructure.
Quantity Surveyor - Turner & Townsend
Jo is a quantity surveyor at Turner & Townsend and delivers commercial and contract management roles within the infrastructure sector. Having graduated from the University of Houston in 2014 with a degree in Mathematics, Jo has since completed a Master’s degree in Surveying and Construction and has spent the first 6 years of her career helping to drive and deliver value for money projects for major infrastructure clients in the aviation, utilities and currently in the rail sector.
Jo is passionate about diversity and inclusion and has helped to establish an employee network aimed at driving equality and creating a better working environment.
Co-Founder - Qualis Flow
Brittany is a Civil Engineer turned Entrepreneur. After years working in construction and engineering with Mott McDonald and BuroHappold in Infrastructure and Water engineering, she decided turn her talents to tackling global challenges and driving change in construction. In April 2018 she co-founded Qualis Flow (Qflow), a software platform that enables a positive shift in the way teams collect and use environmental data on live construction sites.
Qflow uses a unique combination of AI and machine learning to automate the time consuming and error prone process of data capture and analytics, enabling engineering teams to deliver quality and sustainability and minimise project risk. Brittany has built a team of amazing developers and data scientists to help realise her vision for a more sustainable future and launch Qflow on major construction projects across the UK.
Consultant - AECOM
Monica is a Consultant in the Economic Development team at AECOM, with extensive international education in urban sociology and economic development gained at University of Milano-Bicocca, Sciences Po Paris and the London School of Economics (LSE).
Monica has experience working on socio-economic and policy assessments for major property and infrastructure projects, a track record in feasibility studies and optioneering for urban infrastructure schemes and experience with the application of Sustainable Return on Investment (SuROI) in regeneration and community projects.
Monica is also a regular contributor to international thought leadership; she recently attended by invitation the World Policy Forum, international conference developing policy recommendations for the G20, and the 2019 World Bank Youth Summit to discuss sustainable infrastructure and inclusivity in smart city frameworks.
Policy Manager - Ofgem
Cissie is a policy manager at Ofgem, responsible for setting and implementing price control regulation for GB’s energy transmission network companies.
Cissie has led policies that shape the efficient management and development of existing, and future, energy infrastructure. This includes designing mechanisms to ensure price controls can flexibly consider investment needs, driven by fast-evolving policy environments, innovation, and the energy system transition, to meet the needs of consumers and enable a net zero future.
Previously, Cissie has worked in public affairs, advising clients on the impacts of legislative changes in both GB and Canada within the forestry, rail, and energy sectors. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Politics, and a Master’s degree in Public Policy.