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Stepping into the top level position last week (September 29) was David Wilkes, an associate director for engineering consultancy firm Arup. Mr Wilkes will provide the presidential theme for the year ‘thought leadership’, which will focus on training, sharing expertise and best practice.

Taking over from Gerard Morris, Mr Wilkes will look at how to train the next generation into qualified professionals and work towards providing an independent and trusted public voice, using his extensive environmental experience.

In his role at Arup, Mr Wilkes has worked on a range of projects involved with flood risk, environmental matters and planning, and one of his major clients is the Environment Agency, where he worked for 30 years.

In addition, Mr Wilkes managed the Thames barrier and flood defences for London and managed the protection of water resources for Yorkshire during the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic.

In his opening speech at the inauguration ceremony, he said: “What an honour this is, to stand here as the new President of CIWEM, but also daunting, the stakes are high; we have only got one planet to sustain us now and into the future.

“CIWEM can help by encouraging engagement of the issues by proving evidence and providing know-how and by showing ways to that better future.”

Carys Matthews

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