Womens Engineering Society: Inspiring women as engineers, scientists and technical leaders

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Jean Venables

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Dr Jean Venables, OBE

Awards: ICE Garth Watson Medal for Services to the Institution, 2001; FREng


Jean's OBE follows the MBE she received for services to Civil Engineering. She was recently awarded Honorary Doctorates from Nottingham University and Kingston University. She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

She is currently Chairman of The Thames Estuary Partnership. Jean is Chief Executive of the Association of Drainage Authorities which is the membership organisation for those involved in water level management including Internal Drainage Boards, Local Authorities, Regional Flood Defence Committees, consultants,  contractors and suppliers. She is a Visiting Lecturer at Southampton University and at Imperial College, London.

At the same time Jean is active in Venables Consultancy, the specialist training company she runs with her husband, and Crane Environmental Limited that has developed CEEQUAL, the Civil Engineering Environmental Quality Assessment and Award Scheme. Lecturing at Kingston University and her earlier service with the Greater London Council's Department of Public Health Engineering provided the foundations for her subsequent career.

Jean was awarded the Garth Watson Medal for Services to the Institution in 2001. This was, to her, a most significant award, as she had worked closely with the then Secretary as ALGS Chairman, and because Jean's connection with ICE began in 1967 at the time of her successful application for a Scholarship to support her undergraduate studies at Imperial College.

During her career Jean has served the Institution as a Member of the Council on three occasions, 1975 to 1978, 1993 to 1996, and from 2003, being elected a Vice President at the commencement of the 2003 session.

In 2002, she became the first woman to be elected to the Smeatonian Society and is a member of the Worshipful Company of Engineers. Jean serves as the Institution's representative on the Court of Imperial College.

Jean has been a member of many ICE Committees including the Disciplinary Board, the Investigating Panel, the Ethics Committee, Membership Committee and the Waste Management Working Party on Construction Waste. Her involvement with the ICE's Benevolent Fund has spanned over 30 years.

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