Michelle McDowell has been elected as the Association for Consultancy and Engineering's first woman chair. Michelle was elected at the ACE's board meeting. She assumes office on 1 January 2010. Michelle has been vice chair for the last year. She sits on the board of BDP and is chair of their civil and structural engineering group.
Michelle will be focusing on the challenges facing the engineering sector: infrastructure investment, planning regulations, the move to a low carbon economy and the potential skills shortages.
Michelle McDowell said: "I am delighted to have been elected chair of ACE. During my year, one of the areas of particular focus will be, given the current economic situation, to continue to attract and retain talented young people in the industry. I will be making sure that this is a key theme during my year as chair."
Michelle has worked on the Academy and BSF programmes, bringing schools to deprived areas across the UK. Other projects include Royal Albert Hall and award-winning offices for the BBC and Roche.
Nelson Ogunshakin, ACE chief executive, said: "I look forward to working with Michelle over the next year. On a personal level, I am delighted that ACE has elected its first woman chair. This is a significant step for the organisation and properly reflects our membership and the composition of the UK consultancy and engineering sector.
“I am sure Michelle will build on the achievements of ACE under the leadership of Geoff French to address the ever changing challenges facing our sector.”