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Hamilton Day 2017

Hamilton Day 2017 was rescheduled due to storm Ophelia. Unfortunately our scheduled speaker Wendelin Werner was unable to join us for the new date and the lecture was delivered by Jo da Silva OBE, winner of The Institution of Structural Engineers’ 2017 Gold Medal.

Following a prize giving ceremony for the 2017 Hamilton Prize winners in the Royal Irish Academy, Jo da Silva delivered her Hamilton lecture 'Design, Disasters and Development' to an audience in the Burke Theatre, Trinity College Dublin on 25 January 2018.


In her lecture, Jo provided an overview of the projects she has worked on throughout her career and how these have shaped her thoughts around the future of structural engineering. Jo is passionate about the contribution engineers can make to create safe, sustainable, inclusive and resilient communities. She maintains that engineers need to consider the wider social issues that affect humanity and the influence structures designed by engineers can have.

‘Looking back at my career, I have been lucky to work on some wonderful projects, but honestly my proudest achievements have always related to designs that help build better societies,’ said Jo, as she reflected on her career journey to date.

Jo’s lecture addressed some of the biggest challenges we face as a society, e.g. urbanisation, climate change and poverty. She encouraged all engineers to embrace resilience and promoted the importance of not just considering technical excellence, but also social usefulness.


Jo da Silva is Director, Arup International Development and Global Leader City Resilience. She studied Engineering at Cambridge University and is a Doctor of Technology (Hon), Coventry University.  She has been responsible for the design and delivery of both major and community-led infrastructure projects in Asia, Africa, and Europe; and has worked extensively in post-disaster situations on recovery and reconstruction programmes. Over the past 10 years, Jo’s work has focussed on understanding and measuring resilience including: the Asia Cities Climate Change Resilience Network, developing the City Resilience Index which is being used by 100Resilient Cities, also the Characteristics of a Resilient Community for the International Federation of the Red Cross. She is currently developing a programme to catalyze resilience within and between critical infrastructure sectors – the Resilience Shift.

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