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Sun June 13 2021

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CIRIA's new chair plans shift in agenda

27 May Civil servant David Hancock has taken over as chair of the executive board of CIRIA, the Construction Industry Research & Information Association.

David Hancock
David Hancock

David Hancock, construction director of the Infrastructure Projects Authority in the Cabinet Office, took over from Reading University’s John Connaughton on 6th May.

And the new chair is planning to make some changes, saying that he wants to reshape CIRIA’s activities to follow the government’s agenda.

John Connaughton, professor of sustainable construction in Reading’s School of Construction Management & Engineering, had held the post for eight years.  

David Hancock said: “John will be a hard act to follow, I'm sure. However, I am looking forward to working with CIRIA, which has a really strong reputation in the industry for practical R&D, and helping them to shape their direction in line with government and industry thinking. The challenges facing construction and infrastructure in the light of Covid, net zero and the changes to building safety will require all in our industry to collaborate and seek new ways of working, which I would like to see CIRIA at the heart of.”

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Alongside his work in government, David Hancock is a visiting fellow and lecturer at Cranfield University, School of Management. He is a chartered engineer, a fellow of the Institute of Personnel & Development and a fellow of the Association of Project Management.

John Connaughton said: “CIRIA is a unique and vital part of our industry, championing innovation and translating leading edge research into practice. It’s been a great privilege to have chaired the executive board, and I warmly welcome Dr David Hancock as the new chairman at a time when the need for innovation and research-informed practice has rarely been greater. David’s extensive knowledge and experience of practice and policy, and his passion for innovation are exactly what CIRIA needs to enhance its contribution to improving the performance of construction and engineering.”

CIRIA chief executive Dirk Vennix said: “I am looking forward to working closely with David in continuing to deliver CIRIA’s mission. At the end of his tenure, I want to pay tribute to John’s versatility in expertly chairing the CIRIA board and steering CIRIA through turbulent times from delivering changes in structure and senior personnel to the business continuity response to Covid-19 impacts. John also played a vital role in sensibly driving CIRIA’s agenda on delivering new strategy development and steady growth over the years. I would like to thank John for providing wise counsel and unwavering perseverance in a challenging leadership position.”

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