Every year, the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) celebrates the best the industry has to offer. Championing the best people, initiatives and companies from across the engineering and consultancy world, the Consultancy & Engineering Awards recognise the achievements of both ACE members and non-member organisations. This year, leading professionals from the consultancy and engineering industry gathered at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on Thursday 6 June for the announcement of the winners of this year’s Awards edition across 11 categories. An all-female presentation team presented the winners of the 2019 Awards.
We are delighted that IMC Worldwide won in the Environmental Initiative of the Year category, and IMC’s Philippa Jefferis won the Emerging Professional of the Year Award. In addition, IMC was highly commended for the Emerging Professional Employer of the Year.
Environmental Initiative of the Year – IMC Social & Environmental Safeguarding Team, Freetown Landfill Feasibility Study
The IMC Worldwide ‘Environmental and Social Safeguarding’ Team worked on the Freetown Landfills Project in 2018. The team was able to prevent a series negative environmental impacts thanks to the assessments commissioned by Oxfam, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone and Freetown City Council. The team’s approach was collaborative, pragmatic and innovative, building on local knowledge and solutions that have been successful in other parts of Sierra Leone. They worked with local teams and local people, demonstrating high adaptiveness and excellent communication skills.
Samina, leader of the Environmental and Social Safeguarding Team added: “We championed a two-way learning method, and we incorporated local knowledge wherever possible, complementing it with top international standards in the field of environmental science. Throughout the process, we actively listened to the requirements of the local population, we met the Mayor and listened to her priorities and envisioned how these could be achieved.”
Before IMC undertook the assessment, waste and site data was very limited. In order to collect data, the team worked hard together with other organisations that managed previous projects. The team showed resilience, excellence and collaboration once again by setting a new data baseline and making it available for future projects.
Each simple change that was suggested as part of this assignment, will prevent the current major environmental and social damages caused by poorly managed waste. This project provides the starting point to ensure that sustainable waste management is introduced in one of the least developed countries in the world and will steer future activities along the same path, guided by IMC’s data collection and our expertise working on a range of different projects in Freetown.
Emerging Professional of the Year Winner – Philippa Jefferis, IMC Worldwide
Philippa is a civil engineer with wide ranging experience including highways, water supply systems, drainage and flood defence design, with a passion for innovative yet appropriate design. Philippa is an enthusiastic and determined engineer who wants to ensure that engineering design focuses on the end user and brings sustainable change and development through implementation of appropriate technology.
Over the past year Philippa worked on the Freetown Water Rehabilitation project in Sierra Leone. This £35 million project aims to provide desperate improvement and repair to the existing infrastructure to ensure access to safe water for 2 million people in Sierra Leone’s capital. Philippa worked closely with the UK Department for International Development and the project manager, alongside the IMC Team Leader as a Programme and Contracts Manager to ensure successful application of the NEC Contracts, as well as managing the two contractors to IMC on the project.
Philippa is now based in Kathmandu working on the Mugu Humla Link Road project, part of the UK Aid sponsored ‘Rural Access Programme’ in Nepal which started in 1999 and is managed by IMC Worldwide since then. The project aims to connect remote parts of North West Nepal through the first road connection to the rest of the country, therefore unlocking plenty of opportunities and access to services for many rural villagers. In her spare time, Philippa is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) ambassador, leading workshops and training for school science clubs – and even stand-up comedy.
Emerging Professional Employer of the Year – Highly Commended – IMC Worldwide
IMC Worldwide was highly commended as an emerging professional employer for the many personal development and learning, wellbeing and flexible working opportunities that the company provides. In 2018 IMC introduced the ‘Emerging Professional’ training scheme which assists those on the programme to have focused leadership and people skills development, individual bespoke development, special projects and support from a coach and mentors. All of those that took part also received comprehensive feedback to help them further develop and grow.
As a closing remark, ACE Chief Executive Hannah Vickers added: “I’d like to congratulate all of our winners and nominees, who have shown that the future of consultancy and engineering is incredibly exciting.”
We could not be more excited to be part of and shape the future of consultancy and engineering. We will continue to find innovative solutions and make a connected impact through our work.
Key performance indicators increase donor accountability, hold multilateral development banks to account and ensure money goes to projects that are likely to work. However, they are not a silver bullet and are sometimes discarded for political reasons.