Construction professionals recognised in 2022 New Year Honours List

Sarah Springman and Douglas Oakervee (Images: Springman, Wikipedia; Oakervee,

A group of construction professionals has been recognised in the New Year Honours List 2022, along with Douglas Oakervee, chair of the independent review of HS2.

Oakvervee, who was recognised for services to transport and infrastructure delivery, is a former chairman of both HS2 and Crossrail and a former president of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He was appointed to lead a review of the plans for HS2 by prime minister Boris Johnson in 2019. The Oakervee Review, published in 2020, concluded that the original rationale for the high-speed rail project still held.

Meanwhile, professor Sarah Springman, rector and professor of geotechnical engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), was made a dame for services to engineering and to international sports administration. Springman, who competed in the 1990 Commonwealth Games triathlon and won 20 elite European Triathlon Union Championship medals, is due to become principal of St Hilda’s College, Oxford, in February 2022.

Other recipients of awards from the construction industry are:


Rachel Skinner – Executive director, WSP, for services to infrastructure

Rekha Thawrani – Global head, NEC Contracts, Thomas Telford Ltd


Raymond Hutchinson – Managing director, Gilbert-Ash. For services to the construction industry and to diversity and inclusion

Denise O’Leary – Founder of Purpol Marketing, which specialises in the construction sector, for services to the construction industry and entrepreneurs in South West England and Wales.

Hanif Kara – Design director and co-founder of AKT II and professor in practice of architectural technology, Harvard Graduate School of Design, for services to architecture, engineering and education.


Brian G Newell – Chairman of cladding manufacturer Shackerley Holdings Group, for services to the tiling and ceramics industry.

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