16 Oct 2023
Institution of Civil Engineers celebrates engineers working to improve the industry and world
Professor Barbara Rossi receives ICE Bev Waugh Award which recognises leadership skills and development of a people-centred, ‘best for project’ culture
Engineers and civil engineering projects that are leading the way in tackling climate change and improving the industry have been recognised by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Awards 2023. Among this year’s winners are projects that have contributed to decarbonisation, climate change adaptation and productivity improvements.
Associate Professor of Engineering Science Barbara Rossi was this year’s winner of the ICE Bev Waugh Award (Productivity & Culture).
The Bev Waugh Award seeks to recognise a leader or individual who quietly broadens the perspective of the team, leads with kindness, values the views of others, and constructively questions the status quo to create a people-centred, ‘best for project’ culture.
Professor Rossi leads the Sustainable Metal Structures Research Group at the University of Oxford, where her research focuses on the role of key materials such as metals in structures to improve the construction sector’s sustainability. Her work has been published in 80 papers, in peer-reviewed international journals, in industrial magazines and at conferences.
Over the past decade, she has advocated tirelessly in her community for equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) alongside sustainability. As EDI fellow of New College, Oxford, and EDI sub-committee member in her department, she contributes to supporting long-term gender diversity at postgraduate level in Engineering Science and authored a brochure featuring women in STEM. Professor Rossi led on the sustainability aspects of the New College Gradel Quadrangles during the design and construction process, leading the team of this £60m project in saving more than 55% of embodied carbon by using less carbon-intensive materials and techniques. She was instrumental in the successful application for ICE Carbon Champions status for this project.
She says of the award, “Just as Bev Waugh's legacy inspires us, I believe in the power of positive and kind leadership to drive efficient and meaningful change. I have the immense privilege of working with brilliant young minds. I believe in open dialogue and in kindness to lead my team. Being a kind leader is essential to success. When you show empathy, you receive trust and in turn it creates a happy place where people thrive and are empowered and inspired to deliver results. This happy place is where you and your team will then quietly reach your aim.”