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Sam Cocking, CSIC PhD Student, is among 10 new members of the National Infrastructure Commission Young Professionals Panel.

I'm particularly interested in using this opportunity to explore upcoming trends in infrastructure research, that will have a direct impact on younger infrastructure professionals over the course of their careers, as well as the ways in which both new infrastructure and our built heritage can contribute to regional prosperity and a sense of place. Sam Cocking

Announced by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), the new members met virtually at the end of July with a remit to build a stronger voice for younger infrastructure creators and users in the Commission’s work, at a time of increased focus on infrastructure as a key engine of economic recovery. 

The new members will aim to build on the legacy of the members of the first Young Professionals Panel (YPP) – which included Dr Sakthy Selvakumaran (2018-2020), Co-Founder of tech start-up BKwai and Isaac Newton Trust/Newnham College Research Fellow in Engineering at the University of Cambridge – and ensure the Commission’s work draws upon the creativity and diverse viewpoints of potential future leaders from across infrastructure.

Dr Jennifer Schooling OBE, Director of CSIC, said: “We are delighted for Sam and wish him all the best as part of the Young Professionals Panel. It is essential that our future infrastructure and construction is shaped by young engineers. Sam’s ongoing research as part of the team at CSIC, and his expertise as a structural engineer with interests in historic structures and structural health monitoring, will make valuable contributions to his tenure.” 

Sam said: “I'm very excited to be joining the Young Professionals Panel for 2020 to 2022. The Commission has a vital role in advising the UK Government on our country's long-term infrastructure needs and established the YPP because they recognised how important it is to have the voice of younger infrastructure professionals and users at the heart of this advice. Alongside the other YPP members, I look forward to supporting the NIC and building on the great work done by the previous Panel. I'm particularly interested in using this opportunity to explore upcoming trends in infrastructure research, that will have a direct impact on younger infrastructure professionals over the course of their careers, as well as the ways in which both new infrastructure and our built heritage can contribute to regional prosperity and a sense of place."

Over the next two years, Panel members will be asked to help improve the Commission’s engagement with younger generations and contribute to the decision-making process guiding the Commission’s work.
National Infrastructure Commission Chair Sir John Armitt said: “Our work is all about thinking 30 years ahead and helping government to make the right decisions now to ensure the prosperity and quality of life of citizens of all ages, now and in the future. So it makes sense for those of us who’ve been involved in infrastructure for some time to continue to listen carefully to those bringing fresh perspectives, and I know Commissioners look forward to having our thinking challenged.”
The 10 members of the panel represent sectors and professions including engineers, economists and planners. They were selected to be fully representative of the next generation of professionals, many of whom may eventually be tasked with implementing some of the major strategic shifts recommended by the Commission.

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