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Built Environment celebrates John Nielsen and his outstanding contribution to the sector

Having started his career as a graduate in civil engineering, John somehow managed to fit his day job around being at the forefront of sector activity within the regional construction sector and built environment.

At the Constructing Excellence North East Awards 2022, John was presented with an Outstanding Contribution award to the industry and it’s not hard to see why.

He set an early precedent whilst working at Cundall Johnson & Partners, although he was in place for a promotion, he decided to take a step back and take a number of years of paternity leave to help bring up his young family and support his wife whilst she remained at work as a GP.

Being at the forefront of activity and always ahead of the times, John kept his finger on the pulse and did some ‘work from home,’ at a time when not many people had the option.

In 2005, John, along with his colleague Iain Hush, John established CK21, a well-respected structural/civil engineering and health and safety consultancy.

Until this year, John was chair of the regional Construction Industry Council (CIC) and also chairs BIM Regions North East, helping to play a dynamic and vibrant role in the digital construction revolution.

John was also chair of the CIC Nations and Regions, established by CIC and is chair of the Industrial Advisory Board for the University of Northumbria Civil Engineering degree and was integral to the development of its successful apprenticeship degree.

Last, but not least, he was also on the boards of Constructing Excellence in the North East (CENE) and Association for Project Safety (APS). Whilst chair of CIC, John played a key role in developing the OneVoice regional construction strategy along with its committee members from CENE and Construction Alliance North East (CAN), who helped to establish a united construction industry in North East England, speaking with One Voice.

Along with Angela Carney, John is co-chair of Working Well Together North East, delivering health and safety events, aimed mainly at SME construction contractors, where members can find out about the latest developments in improving health and safety.
John said: “Unfortunately I wasn’t at the CENE Awards 2022, and although I couldn’t make the ceremony, it was an honour to be recognised by my peers.

“In recent years, the work that CAN, CENE and CIC continue to do to help drive forward a unified construction sector and built environment through the OneVoice campaign has been a real turning point. It was a privilege to help be part of the team to get this off the ground.

“As with all sectors, there have been massive changes over the years. Technology, digital and Building Information Modelling (BIM) has transformed the way we all work and the opportunities are huge for us all. The sector is making great strides continuing to address the climate crisis but it is disappointing that we do not have the diversity within the sector which it so desperately needs.
“Encouraging and highlighting the career routes for women within the sector is something that we must continue to do.”

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