Prediction versus precedence in a changing climate

10 October 2023 , The Institution of Structural Engineers, 47-58 Bastwick Street, London, EC1V 3PS Add to calendar
Join us for CIRIA’s Annual Debate where leading experts will discuss whether precedence is a viable ‘business as usual’ operating landscape in response to unpredictable climate events.

Our climate presents a major challenge globally and for the UK. Global temperatures are rising as a result of human activity. We are experiencing higher temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, rising sea levels, and more frequent and intense extreme weather events ranging from droughts, floods and freezing winters.
Climate change could have significant impacts on our infrastructure – the need to future-proof existing and new assets is real. Long operational lifetimes mean assets need to be agile to operate in the existing climate at the time of their construction as well as climate variations over the decades of their use.

Engineering design, codification and methods are based upon established assumptions and ingrained practice – precedence.

However, climate change, resultant extremes, and hazards outside of design parameters means we need to be more agile and move towards prediction.

How will precedence versus prediction help us to meet the challenges of climate change and limit its impact on new and existing infrastructure?

This debate will tackle fundamental issues surrounding infrastructure resilience in a changing climate with a playful and combative format designed to spark critical discussion.

Sponsored by 

For information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Tam Simmons.
Why attend

  • Explore some of the challenges of operating existing and designing new infrastructure assets in a changing climate.
  • Discuss the barriers of moving away from a precedence-based approach and the factors which necessitate predictive approaches.
  • Hear different perspectives and solutions from civil engineers, insurers, and leading academics to developing methods which are agile enough to cope with uncertainty.
  • Consider how investment should be directed between developing new infrastructure alongside making our existing assets more resilient.
  • Earn valuable CPD.

Who should attend

  • Infrastructure owners and operators, asset managers, and engineers working in resilience planning, risk assessment, and adaptation planning
  • Professionals working within civil engineering, designers, contractors, regulators, insurers, and universities and research organisations

Click here to go to the CIRIA webpage to register.


16:30 Welcome and introduction

Dirk Vennix, Chief Executive, CIRIA

16:35 Chair’s opening remarks

16:40 Keynote address
Prof Liz Bentley, Chief Executive, Royal Meteorological Society (invited)

16:50 Speakers will provide short opening remarks followed by chaired debate and

Nick Boyle, Technical Director, Balfour Beatty and Vice-Chair, CIRIA Council (invited)

Senior representative from Tyrg Garanti (invited)

Senior representative from COWI (invited) Marek Suchocki, Civil Infrastructure Engagement Lead – EMEA, Autodesk

Prof. Hayley Fowler, Professor or Climate Change Impacts, Newcastle University (invited)

17:20 Debate and questions from the floor

18:25 Closing remarks

Additional Information

Annual debate fees
CIRIA members* Free to attend
Non-members £95.00 + VAT

*Including our communities of practice and specialist interest groups:

  • Biodiversity
  • Brownfield Risk Management Forum
  • Driving Net Zero Carbon
  • Local Authority Contaminated Land Network
  • Managing Construction Risk
  • Sustainable soil
  • susdrain

Places are limited: a maximum of two registrations per company will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please sign in or create an account to register online for this event. If you are experiencing issues registering online, please complete and return the booking form to Charlotte Draper Alternatively please contact us on 07933 181 765 or email our Customer Services team. Joining instructions will be sent 10 days before the event.

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CIRIA is currently unable to directly process your transaction if you are purchasing from the EU/EEA region. If you wish to book onto this event please email your request to and we will respond in the first instance.

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Further information
For further information on CIRIA membership and other services, please contact: Telephone: 07933 181 765 Email: Web: