Steering Group

SWIP is governed by a steering group made up of 15 members who represent a cross section of specialist fields from the region, and representatives from across industry, business and local government.

Paula Hewitt


Chair, South West Infrastructure Partnership

SWIP Role: Chair and Local Government Sector

Paula was Deputy Chief Executive and Lead Director at Somerset County Council, where she was responsible for a diverse mix of services ranging from highways and waste to economic development, property, registration and libraries.

She has led a number of high-profile service transformation programmes, delivering innovative ways of delivering services, customer benefits and financial savings.

Paula was heavily involved in co-ordinating the local authority response to the devastating Somerset winter 2014/15 floods and leads the work to minimise the effect of future flooding through the Somerset Rivers Authority.

She also served as president of the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport (ADEPT).

Miranda Housden


South West Regional Director, Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)

SWIP Role: Chief Executive Officer

As the South West Director at the Institution of Civil Engineers, Miranda is responsible for raising the profile of civil engineering in the region, maintaining professional standards, encouraging a diverse future workforce and providing leadership and direction to the ICE South West team and more than 6,000 ICE members.

Prior to moving to the South West, she was the ICE Director for London and South East England, having previously been the London Director for the Royal Institute of British Architects. Miranda has produced a number of films including Engineering the London Underground, Engineering Plymouth and Engineering Happiness for which she was awarded the Institution of Civil Engineers Garth Watson medal.

Former voluntary posts include Foundation Governor at Central Foundation Girls School, Bow; Board of Trustees Member for the Community Land Trust, St Clements, Bow; Campaign for Drawing Board Member and a Vice Chair on the Artists Advisory Board, Chisenhale Arts Place. She is currently Secretary to the Torpoint Mooring Association and Board Member of the Mayflower Rowing Club. Miranda is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, holds a first-class BA (Hons) degree in Fine Art from Falmouth University, MA in Fine Art from University of the Arts London, and was a Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome. She has a studio in Cornwall and has had several exhibitions both in the UK and internationally including the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, Nová Sín Gallery, Prague and Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre.

John C Chaplin


Director of External Affairs and Special Projects, The Bristol Port Company

SWIP Role: Maritime Sector

John is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers.  After working in consultancy and contracting John joined The Bristol Port Company in 2000.  He was promoted to the position of Director of Engineering in 2003 and subsequently to the Director with responsibility for External Affairs and the delivery of major schemes.

John has managed an extensive range of projects for The Port.  He is the Port Company’s agent on various national and regional bodies and represents the Port in their dealings with neighbours, central and local government and stakeholders including Highways England, Network Rail and National Grid.

John was appointed Chair of SevernNet in 2019, a social enterprise run by and for the businesses, neighbouring community, and other stakeholders in the Port’s hinterland.

Jessie Curnow

National Environmental Assessment & Sustainability (NEAS) Deputy Director, Environment Agency

SWIP Role: Environment

Jessie is a Deputy Director at the Environment Agency, where she leads the sustainability and environmental risk management of major projects and programmes including flood risk management solutions. She is proud to live and work in the South West, delivering long term solutions to create a better place for all.

Jessie has worked across the Environment Agency for 25 years and has a diverse range of experience across waste, water quality, water resources and natural flood resilience. She has won Environment Agency and DEFRA awards for her inclusive style of leadership across the business. Jessie is proud to be an active part of the disability networks across DEFRA, championing inclusion for all regardless of disability. She firmly believes that being authentically you will help you to shine in all that you deliver.

Kate Doodson

BEng (Hons)

Joint Chief Executive of Cosmic

SWIP Role: Digital Sector

Kate is the Joint Chief Executive of Cosmic, one of the leading social enterprises in the South West and recognised across the UK for its achievements and ongoing development. Kate is a girl geek having spent 18 years in the IT industry, many of which running a wholly female owned IT software business.

Kate specialises in Digital Futures and the strategic use of Digital to transform business processes. She is passionate about ensuring businesses use the full range of digital services available to them to give them the edge they need to thrive, particularly in the rural economy.

Kate regularly delivers lectures regularly across the UK and internationally on Digital Transformation.

Kate is a steering group member of the South West Cyber Security Cluster, Tech South West and a STEM ambassador in Schools. Her previous career in Civil Engineering enabled her to work extensively in both the UK and overseas.

Kate has been shortlisted for the Women in IT awards, as IT Advocate of the Year, and received awards from Tech4Good, Social Enterprise UK and Venus awards

Richard Fish


Independent consultant

SWIP Role: Structures Sector

Richard is an independent consultant specialising in bridge asset management. A graduate of Southampton University, he spent just over 30 years in local authorities in the South West. He was Cornwall County Council’s Chief Bridge Engineer for 10 years before taking on wider responsibilities, with the last 7 years of his public sector career as the County’s Director of Planning, Transportation and Estates. During this period, Richard was a member of the UK Roads Liaison Group and chaired the UK Bridges Board.

Since starting his business in 2009, Richard has worked for many public and private sector clients including commissions in the USA, New Zealand and Turkey. He acts as the Technical Secretary of the Bridge Owners Forum (based at Cambridge University) and in that role continues to serve on the UK Bridges Board.

Richard has been an active member of the ICE since joining as a student in 1973. He was a member of Council (with two spells of the Executive Board) from 2009 to 2015 and has served on several committees and panels. He is a former Chair of ICE SW and the ICE Audit Committee, and currently ICE SW Policy Rep. Richard is a former Chair of SWIP and a current member of SWIP’s Strategy Group.

Darryl Goddard

Regional Manager, Wales & West Utilities

SWIP Role: Utilities Sector

Darryl has over 33 years’ experience in the gas industry, predominantly with British Gas, National Grid (Transco) and currently within the leadership team at Wales and West Utilities. He has post-graduate qualifications in business management from the University of Plymouth.
He has worked across the country in various roles within the National Transmission System, gas distribution, and emergency and meterwork.

Darryl has a proven track record as a senior leader with experience in strategic project engineering, operations management and business transformation. He is extremely focused on innovation within the utilities sector, employee development and customer satisfaction.

As regional manager with Wales and West Utilities, he leads a large multi-disciplinary team of direct employees and contract partners. His responsibilities encompass all below-ground activities across the region, as well as the logistical support activities across the network.

Andrew Goodenough

BSc (Hons) MRICS

Infrastructure Director, Bristol Airport

SWIP Role: Aviation

Andrew is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and project manager and member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. After working in consultancy for 10 years, Andrew joined TBI Airports where for 4 years he project managed numerous projects in London Luton, Belfast International and Cardiff Airports.

In 2007, Andrew joined Bristol Airport and was promoted to Infrastructure Director in 2016 with responsibility for capital expenditure and asset maintenance. Andrew was heavily involved in the planning of the expansion of the airport to 10 million passengers per annum and latterly 12 million passengers per annum. He has managed a wide variety of projects for the Airport juggling the need to expand and business continuity on a constrained site.

Andrew is a founding board member of Constructing Excellence South West and was appointed Chair for a two-year period in 2019, promoting best practice, future skills and collaboration across the construction supply chain.

Jason Hones

Regional Director – South West, Operations Directorate, National Highways

SWIP Role: Highways Sector

Starting in the Royal Engineers as a Troop Commander in the 1990s, Jason deployed on operations to the Falkland Islands, Saudi Arabia, Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Jason led his squadron of 220 soldiers to Afghanistan in 2008 to undertaken combat and military engineering operations in Helmand province. In 2012, Jason became the Commanding Officer of 23 Engineer Regiment (Air Assault) – consisting of over 700 military engineers – which was held at 24 hours’ notice to move to deploy globally. 

Jason started in Highways England in 2018 as the Head of Strategy and Transformation. In 2020, he was the Midlands’ Regional Delivery Director for Major Projects. He started as Regional Director South West in August 2022.

Linda Irwin

Southwest Net Zero Hub Project Manager

SWIP Role: Energy Sector

Linda joined the South West Net Zero Hub in 2021 as the project manager for the West of England and regional lead for low carbon transport. Her role is to amplify and accelerate net zero delivery in the public sector by initiating projects and innovative schemes that address barriers to delivery. Her key strength is in relationship building and working with diverse individuals and organisations to identify and deliver on common goals.

Linda has a wealth of experience in project management and civil engineering, having worked for both public and private organisations across a number of sectors and countries over the course of her career to date. In her current role she is working on a wide portfolio of projects spanning solar, grid, transport, and district heating. Her role on the SWIP steering group is as energy sector lead.

Peter Kydd

BSc(Edin) CEng FICE

SWIP Role: Professional Services Sector

Peter has been a member of SWIP since its formation in 2017 and was chair from 2020 to February 2023. He has over 40 years’ experience in senior roles for consulting firms, primarily with Parsons Brinckerhoff (now WSP) and he continues to be retained by WSP as a consultant, advising on decarbonisation, clean growth, climate change action planning and tidal power.

In 2008, he led the consortium of consultants undertaking the Severn Tidal Power Feasibility Study for the UK and Welsh Governments and has been advising government on tidal power ever since.   

Hannah Lawrie


Head of Sustainability, Ricardo Energy & Environment

SWIP Role: Circular Economy (Waste & Resources) Sector

Hannah is a Chartered Waste and Resource Manager and an Earth Sciences graduate of the University of Oxford with over 22 years’ experience specialising in waste management, circular economy and sustainability.

Hannah supported the procurement and development of waste management services and infrastructure working in the environmental consultancy sector in the Republic of Ireland and New Zealand before moving back to the South West of England. She is a former chair and current Centre Councillor of the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management’s South West Centre Council.

In 2019, Hannah joined the task force overseeing the development of the Devon Carbon Plan as the waste and circular economy expert, and has advised other clients with carbon reduction plans and initiatives for waste services and infrastructure.

Hannah is currently Head of Ricardo Energy & Environment’s Sustainability Business Area which incorporates the company’s circular economy, sustainable packaging, sustainable procurement, carbon & energy management, net zero, sustainability strategy & reporting, life cycle assessment and government programmes consultancy services.

Phill Mills


Director, Policy Consulting Network Ltd.

SWIP Role: Water & Waste Water Sector

Phill is a chartered engineer, a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Fellow of the Institute of Water, with over 40 years’ experience in the UK water industry.

He has extensive experience at senior management level working for a water and sewerage company, a global water and energy consultant and the trade body for the water sector – Water UK. He has a track record of working with stakeholders including Ministers and Government officials, industry regulators, consumer champions and environmental bodies. 

Phill is a past Chair of the Institution of Civil Engineer’s Water Expert Panel and a previous President of the South West Area of the Institute of Water.  As well as being a member of SWIP, Phill is also a member of the Future Water Association executive team. Phill has a further role as Chair of the UK Water Retailer Council – the body representing retailers in the English and Scottish water retail markets for non-household customers.

Paul Santer

Regional Director

Civil Engineering Contractors Association CECA (South West)

SWIP Role: Contractors

Paul is a Westcountry man, married with two grown-up sons, now living back in his home town of Sidmouth in East Devon. During his forty years as a civil engineer, he has worked on various construction projects for contractors in the UK and the Middle East.

In recent years, as Business Development Manager for a major UK contractor (BAM Nuttall), his skills in customer relationship management and work winning enabled BAM to secure key contracts across all market sectors in the UK and also in Uganda and Tanzania in Eastern Africa.

Paul joined CECA (the trade association for the civil engineering industry) at the beginning of 2017 as its first South West director. Since that time, he has represented and supported CECA member contractors in the region through training provision, client and government engagement, promoting civil engineering as a career in schools and universities and backing the apprenticeship programme.

Phil Smith


Managing Director, Business West

SWIP Role: Business Sector

From 1983 Phil worked in the North Sea oil & gas fields as an offshore construction engineer for an American oil company. The stagnating North Sea oil industry of the late 80’s led Phil to do an MBA at London Business School and University of California Berkeley, which was followed by a role as a mergers and acquisitions specialist at a City of London investment bank.

Phil moved to Bristol in the early 90’s to become the CEO of the West of England Business Link. In 2003 Phil took on his current position as MD of Business West, the largest Chamber of Commerce in the UK, and a public purpose company, which operates the West of England Initiative and the Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire & Wiltshire Chambers of Commerce. It also operates various public sector contracts, including DIT export services and Innovate UK services for the SW region. Business West is the co-founder of Destination Bristol and the Bristol Cultural Development Partnership. Phil is Chair of the South West Ventures Fund Advisory and the West of England ESIF committees  and sits on the Court of Bristol University.

Prof Colin Taylor


Emeritus Professor of Earthquake Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Bristol

SWIP Role: Academic Sector

Colin has 40 years research and practice experience on the resilience of infrastructure systems to natural hazards impacts.

His work has covered dams, bridges, nuclear power plants, utilities, buildings, geotechnical and smart infrastructure problems. Colin led the UrbanID diagnostics pilot, funded by the UKRI Urban Living Partnership, which developed a learning focused methodology for diagnosing the barriers preventing Bristol from becoming a ‘flourishing city’. This research continues to be an important theme in the research programme of the UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC) and underpins SWIP’s diagnosis of the SW decarbonisation challenge.

Colin’s role on the SWIP steering group is to convene the academic input from the SW and wider UK universities. Prior to his recent retirement from the university, Colin was a lead academic on the £138m UKCRIC project, playing a key role in the development of the successful funding proposal. He continues to engage with UKCRIC and is connecting it to SWIP. He is also guiding the development of the methodological framework, based on the UrbanID approach, that SWIP is using to frame the problem space and to prioritise investigations.

Martin Taylor

BSc, MSc, FPWI, CEng MICE, CGeol

Director of Engineering and Asset Management, Network Rail

SWIP Role: Rail Sector

Martin is accountable for all engineering across delivery, maintenance and asset management for Network Rail’s Wales and Western region.

A chartered geologist and chartered civil engineer as well as a fellow of the Permanent Way Institute, Martin’s career has seen him lead large multi-disciplinary teams to deliver safe, reliable maintenance and renewals for the UK’s critical railway infrastructure. He has lead these teams through significant periods of change, from the biggest timetable change on the Western route in over 20 years with train services increasing by 30 per cent, through to the railway’s response to COVID, and most recently working with the trade unions on maintenance reform for the industry.

Martin’s spare time is dominated by sport – he has a self-confessed competitive streak – and a passion for travel to experience different cultures around the world.

Katharine Willis

Professor of Smart Cities and Communities

School of Art, Design and Architecture

University of Plymouth

SWIP Role: Smart Cities

An architect by training, Katharine’s research expertise includes smart cities and villages, digital technologies and the role of space and place. She is co-author of two key Routledge volumes on Smart Cities and has published over 50 publications in the field. Her research explores the application of technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Internet of Things (IoT), wearables and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for engagement and design of the built environment. She is programme lead for the new MA in Smart Urban Futures.