Leading infrastructure experts come to Exeter for climate adaptation event


Creating infrastructure that is resilient to the effects of climate change will be the focus of an event at the University of Exeter today (Thursday 23 May).

Business leaders representing around 60 different employers from across the South West are expected to attend the climate adaptation workshop, hosted by the University of Exeter on behalf of the South West Infrastructure Partnership (SWIP), a collaboration of organisations and professionals with an interest in how we shape the region.

The workshop, held at the South West Institute of Technology on Exeter’s Streatham campus, will bring together representatives from a wide range of sectors to discuss the most pressing adaptation challenges for infrastructure clients and possible solutions, as well as how to influence change and innovation in climate adaptation.

How quickly and effectively the South West can adapt to climate change will be the urgent question, with the increasing severity of storms, floods, heatwaves and droughts already impacting the region’s vital infrastructure such as water, transport, energy and telecommunications networks, leading businesses and organisations to innovate, think differently and collaborate in order to adapt existing infrastructure.

The University of Exeter is well placed to support industry to influence change and innovation in climate adaptation as well as supporting regional development. 

Its Civil Engineering Degree Apprenticeship programme sees the University work in partnership with industry in developing the next generation of talent entering the workforce.

Dan Hallam, Head of Degree Apprenticeships at the University of Exeter, said: “How we adapt our infrastructure to create greater resilience to climate change – both here in the south west and further afield – is a pertinent and increasingly urgent question for society, so I am glad so many experts from industry are able to attend what I am sure will be an instructive event.

“Working together with our partners in industry, the University of Exeter’s unique Civil Engineering Degree Apprenticeship programme, delivered in our newly refurbished labs, tackles such pressing environmental issues, and looks to provide solutions by giving apprentices the tools, skills and knowledge they will need to thrive as the Chartered Engineers of tomorrow.”

The University is also renowned for its environmental research and education, with over 1,500 people (including 5 of the world’s top 21 climate scientists) working to deliver game-changing solutions.

The Green Futures Solutions team unites Exeter’s academic, business and professional service expertise, providing access to the knowledge, data, skills, innovation and research capability that businesses and governments require to transition to a net zero economy.

The South West Infrastructure Partnership (SWIP) was founded by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) South West, with a panel of infrastructure sector experts. It has representation from local and national bodies, including academia, local enterprise partnerships and organisations who plan, design, deliver and operate infrastructure, plus many other stakeholders.