Judging process

Virtual Judging Interviews for the Awards 2024: 1st & 2nd May 2024

The judging process for the Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards is rigorous. We hold our judges to the highest standards of fairness, accuracy, and integrity.

Our expert judges have a passion for the principles and themes of our awards & demonstrate exceptional leadership ability and vision.

We have two rounds of judging:

  1. Shortlisting is based on the written submission. Every entry is evaluated carefully and equally to determine our finalists.
  2. Virtual Judging interviews: our finalists will give a short presentation to one of our seven judging panels.

Throughout the judging process, we make every effort to avoid conflicts of interest and we assign at least four judges to each entry.

Click here to view the judges on each panel Judging panels 2024 v2.pdf

The Rules

  • The panel of judges will consider each submission against the category criteria.
  • The judges have the authority to recommend entries to more appropriate categories.
  • Shortlisted entrants will be required to make a presentation to the judging panel.
  • Their decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into following the awards.
  • Winners will be announced at our Gala Dinner in London.
  • All awards are made at the discretion of the judges.
  • The right is reserved not to make awards in a particular category.
  • The judges reserve the right to refuse entries without giving reasons.

Information supplied to or by the judges, or discussed between the judges and entrants, can be treated in complete confidence if requested.

The Judges


Adrian Shah-Cundy – Corporate Responsibility Director, VolkerWessels UK

A proven career history in the implementation and development of sustainable business practices, including the oversight of health, safety, environment, quality, and sustainability to maintain compliance to corporate, legal and stakeholder requirements.

At VolkerWessels UK responsible for the provision of a range of services including health, safety, environment, quality, sustainability, occupational health and wellbeing, integrated management systems, performance reporting, operational training, fleet, facilities, major incident management, strategic development, and collaboration.

VolkerWessels UK is sponsoring the People and Culture Category

Adam Sandford - Hampshire County Council, SCF Operations Lead - South East & London

Adam is Operations Lead for SCF Frameworks delivering innovative project delivery frameworks across the South East and London. With extensive experience delivering capital projects for the public sector, Adam is a firm believer in two-stage open book and collaborative partnerships, promoting intelligent, data-driven supply chain management, and strives to improve efficiency through continuous improvement and innovation.

SCF is sponsoring the Delivering Value Category

Emma Allinson

Business Development Manager at Kingerlee Ltd and Chair of Constructing Excellence Oxford

Emma is responsible for business development and marketing, is Kingerlee’s ESG lead (Environment, Social & Governance) and has over 18 years’ experience in the construction industry.  Emma’s key role is to ensure a strong pipeline of work, building excellent customer relationships and promoting the Kingerlee brand through our marketing activities. With the launch of the Kingerlee ESG Action Plan, Emma is a key member of the Senior Management Team driving our strategy to ensure we are a responsible business that strives to make measurable continuous improvement.

Kingerlee is a 5th generation family-owned construction & development firm based in Oxford with a long-standing history spanning more than 150 years.  We are proud to be a collaborative business working enthusiastically with sensitive heritage projects and cutting-edge contemporary buildings with equal passion. Kingerlee have over 150 staff and a turnover of £70m, undertaking single projects of up to £60 million. Within the Kingerlee Group are Kingerlee Ltd, Kingerlee Homes and Kingerlee Joinery.

Emma Delaney LLB - People & Sustainability Director, Knauf UK and Ireland

Emma is a retired GB athlete in the sport of judo, silver Commonwealth medalist.

She is a Professional MMA athlete, MBTI practitioner, ICF accredited executive coach, Employment law specialist with over 20 years’ experience in HR, delivering people strategies in a wide variety of sectors, including Defense, Construction, Education and Manufacturing currently HR & Sustainability Director for Knauf UK and Ireland. 

She drives the people and sustainability agenda but also coaches her peers through very complex scenarios, in these uncertain times addressing new ways of working through the global pandemic to, more recently, navigating through a global cyber attack. Emma believes that women in the industry now have a voice and she wants to continue to encourage talented women and men who are keen to thrive in the construction environment. Emma is passionate about sharing best practice(s) and learning lessons from all sectors and plans to bring these to the construction sector and contribute to the SECBE board.

Knauf UK & Ireland is sponsoring the ESG Category

Ruth Trant - SHEQ & Assurance Director at DGP PLC

Ruth is the SHE & Assurance Director for DGP Plc and is an established and experienced SHEQ Professional with extensive experience across multiple sectors including high compliance environments such as construction, healthcare, and education within the U.K. and Ireland. Specialising in Construction Logistics, and as CLOCS Champion and member of the CLOCS Strategy & Standards Governance Board, she has promoted the uptake and implementation of the CLOCS standard supporting the aim of minimising the impact of construction projects on local communities.

Helen Elsby, Heathrow

Helen has spent her career in Aviation and Project Management and is currently accountable for all transformational change at Heathrow. She leads a team to deliver integrated solutions utilising all the change levers available – process, people, technology and infrastructure across a diverse portfolio from Heathrow’s £2bn Asset Management programme through to the multi-decade Carbon Reduction and Sustainability programme. She is also accountable for procuring all of Heathrow’s supply chain.

Helen is passionate about inclusive teams and career development, mentoring and coaching others to develop their full potential. As a natural introvert with a low ego approach, she has a passion for helping everyone find their voice at the table.

Heathrow is sponsoring the G4C Future Leader Category

Jim Cowell - UK Technical Director, Algeco UK Ltd 

Jim is a passionate advocate of offsite construction, having progressed his career in the industry for over thirty years, with Adroit Modular Buildings, Ilke Homes and Algeco Group (Formerly Elliott). Now responsible for all technical activities within Algeco UK, including research and development and project delivery. Jim leads a team of 33 specialist design engineers working on building projects from feasibility to on-site completion in education, defence, justice, healthcare and commercial sectors. 

Jim is a Director of The Modular and Portable Building Association, working to maintain and improve standards of service, performance and the product quality of the Modular and Portable Building Industry. He regularly communicates and consults with national and local governments, public authorities and standardising bodies, in respect of legislation and standards affecting the industry. 

In 2022, Jim was selected to take part in cohort three of the Innovative Future Leaders Programme (IFLP) and is now acting as a sponsor on cohort 5. Jim is a qualified Mental Health First Aider and one of Algeco’s Mental Health Champions supporting the business and its employees to promote a culture of positive mental health.

Jack Saunders - Associate Director, AtkinsRéalis  

Jack is a committed sustainability expert with over ten years of experience in the sustainability and net zero carbon sectors.  

He started his career in conservation ecology conducting ecological research in Madagascar focusing on evaluation of habitat regeneration. His current focus is on building retrofit, net zero carbon strategy development, and environmental sustainability. 

At AtkinsRéalis, he has worked with public and private sector organisations developing portfolio-level decarbonisation roadmaps helping clients to develop a strategic approach to decarbonisation balancing cost, carbon, and risk. Jack works to integrate a broad view of sustainability including, climate resilience, ecosystem services, biodiversity net-gain, wellbeing, and social value. 

Jack is passionate about helping the built environment deliver positive change for a greener future.

AtkinsRéalis is sponsoring the Climate Action Category

Joanne De Sousa, Business Development Manager, PiLON

Jo began her career in social housing four years ago, when she joined PiLON as a Business Development Manager.

During her tenure, Jo’s critical input has furthered the development of interdepartmental collaboration at PiLON. Her strong interpersonal skills resulted in establishing strong working relationships within the company and her ceaseless enthusiasm has improved our “one-team” approach.

With a lengthy background in customer service-based roles, Jo believes in developing robust partnerships with both our Clients and supply chain and has fostered a culture of collaboration throughout the company. As a Critical Friend, she supported the building and maintaining of relationships with stakeholders, enhancing partnerships and ensuring each project has the necessary resources and connections to operate effectively.

 Jo’s attitude aligns with PiLON’s culture and core values, including collaboration. Jo is a natural communicator and brings this into every initiative. She has been instrumental in establishing and leading our award-winning PiLON Wellbeing Committee and looks to continue bringing positive development to PiLON

PiLON is sponsoring the Integration & Collaborative Working Category

Lee Davies – Director, HNW Architects

Lee is a Director, Architect, Masterplanner and Conservation Architect with nearly 30 years of extensive and award winning architectural expertise. He oversees a broad range of regeneration and masterplanning projects throughout London and the South East and provides expert leadership in delivering complex multi-tenure developments. As a RIBA-accredited Conservation Architect, Lee specialises in adaptive reuse and repurposing of existing buildings within sensitive sites and historic locations.

Lee brings a collaborative, people-centred approach to all his work. He is a regional RIBA Award jury panel member and a trustee for BHT Sussex, a local housing association, and homeless charity. Additionally, Lee works closely with the University of Brighton’s School of Architecture, working as a student mentor, guest critic, and end-of-year award judge.

HNW Architects is sponsoring the Regeneration & Retrofit Category

Jane Duncan BSc (Hons) Dip Arch PPRIBA 

Jane studied at the Bartlett (UCL) and Jane Duncan Architects was established in Amersham, Bucks in 1992 and now has 17 architects and interior designers.   The work load includes contemporary sustainable houses, to leisure and sports facilities, school and community buildings principally throughout the South of England.

Jane championed small practices at RIBA establishing the annual Guerrilla Tactics conferences concerning business issues. She was VP Practice 2007-13, and RIBA’s Equality and Diversity Champion 2012 to 2014.  She served as RIBA President from 2015-17.

She currently chairs three RIBA panels: the Expert Panel on Fire Safety, the Constitution Review Group, and a review of RIBA Awards. She remains a Trustee on RIBA Council and Board both of which she chaired as President.

Malcolm Clarke – Chairman & Managing Director, Baxall Construction Ltd

A well-known and respected name across the industry, Malcolm has over 40 years construction experience. Starting his career with John Laing Plc he joined Baxall in 1986 and within a few years became the Managing Director. He is passionate about Baxall #doingitdifferenty and being an SME disrupter for the ever-changing industry. He is a strong advocate of the CLC Road to Recovery, Construction Playbook and Value for Money Procurement model. At operational level, Malcolm promotes exceptional standards, a customer-focused culture and collaborative team approach to each and every project, leading by example and encouraging the same.

Baxall Construction is sponsoring the SME of the Year Category

Sarah Mason - Senior Business Development Manager, Kier Construction

Sarah has worked successfully in the construction industry across multiple disciplines for almost 20 years. Sarah is an integral part of Kier constructions' senior management team as Senior Business Development Manager for the Eastern and Midlands region.

She has been heavily involved with the Cambridge Oxford Corridor Constructing Excellence Club for over six years. National Committee Member and Chair of Bury St Edmunds Interact Group.

Incredibly passionate about encouraging more diversity in our industry. An obsessive networker. Pretends to be a runner in rare moments of spare time. Completed Cambridge Half-Marathon 2023 & 2024.

Enthusiastic, albeit rather average, member of the local ladies darts team and if lost, likely to be found deep in the woods with a dog or two.

Paul Greenwood – Director, Greenwood Consultants, and Vice-Chair, London Constructing Excellence Club

Paul is a management consultant and engineer, with over thirty years’ experience of providing business improvement services to leading construction and service sector clients, and complex time-critical major projects, internationally.

After a decade in Europe, Middle- and Far-East, he returned to the UK and spent a decade with a housing investor, developer and contractor. Here he pioneered their successful partnering and performance improvement initiatives, and became deeply involved with industry transformation through the Rethinking Construction organisations.

Paul now provides collaborative working and performance improvement consultancy to businesses in the UK and Far-East. He is also a Constructing Excellence Collaborative Working Mentor, an Associate Director of the Institute for Collaborative Working, and member of ISO TC286 Collaborative Business Relationships.

Ruth Wilkinson - Legal Director, Hill Dickinson

Ruth is a Legal Director in the construction team at Hill Dickinson. Ruth qualified as a lawyer in 2006 and provides specialist advice on a wide range of construction and engineering projects. Her job includes drafting and negotiating construction contracts and providing contractual advice and support at all stages of a project.

Ruth is keen to promote the construction industry and its opportunities to young people and to help new construction professionals learn about construction law. She was pleased to be part of the second cohort of the Innovative Future Leaders Programme (IFLP) organised by SECBE. She is also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Constructors and a Regional Coordinator for Reading for the Society of Construction Law.

Hill Dickinson is sponsoring the Project of the Year Category

Peter Taylor – Partner, Leslie Clark Construction Consultants

Peter is leading the provision of CDM Consultancy services.

Entering the construction industry on the Principal Contractor side for the St Pancras Extension and Refurbishment project in 2001, Peter gained nearly 4 years of on-site construction experience before moving into consultancy. Peter has been involved with a wide range of Client organisations throughout various business sectors, with projects ranging from New Build to Refurbishment.

Peter and the CDM team provide CDM Principal Designer and Client Adviser services to a large range of clients, mainly within the private sector. Deputy Chair of the National Members Regional Group for the Association for Project Safety (APS), Sponsor of APS South Branch and Secretary of the London IIRSM Committee, Peter takes a leading role in the provision of CDM Consultancy Services. Peter has been involved in the updating of Blue-Chip organisation’s CDM Policy and Procedures and has advised numerous Clients on CDM 2015. Peter has an open and versatile approach to the role of CDM Consultant, allowing him to work with Clients, Contractors and Consultants of all sizes and complexities.

Rosemary Jerrit - Head of Programme for Water Treatment Capital Projects at Thames Water. 

Rosemary Jerrit is a Head of Programme for Water Treatment Capital Projects at Thames Water. 

Rosemary is a Fellow of the ICE with over 20 years of experience in project and programme delivery and has worked in both the public and private sector. She has led and worked on large infrastructure programmes at Defra, Surrey County Council, Department of Education and Environment Agency. Rosemary has served as a board member for SECBE and was one of the founding members of the Surrey Constructing Excellence Club.

Mat Trewin - New Business Manager, Willmott Dixon

Mat is an experienced construction industry professional with an Architectural background. He has led a wide range of projects varying in scale, complexity and budget. Skilled in Design Management, backed by Master of Architecture (MArch) and Chartered Construction Manager (MCIOB) qualifications. Mat is currently focused on finding and securing new business opportunities for Willmott Dixon.

Willmott Dixon is the SECBE Awards' Headline Sponsor

Lubna Zwain - Design Manager, Galliford Try

Lubna is a Design Manager at Galliford Try, although fluent in English, German, and Arabic she believes that information science is the common language between all stakeholders, clients, designers and contractors and how the digital and built environments go hand in hand.  

Actively influencing the cultural shift towards digitization of the construction stage through using BIM and its implementation in practice. The 3D environment should not be exclusive only to the design team and design stage but also to use the COBie data embedded in the models for the use of construction operatives, quantity surveyors, and for quality checks and client approvals through implementing augmented reality on site and engagement meetings.  

With 10 years of professional experience, Lubna’s roles span in architecture and construction, and has been involved in projects from conception to completion in various sectors including; Education, Residential and Health.

Galliford Try is sponsoring the Digital & AI Category 

Philip Baker - Director and Past President, Association for Project Safety (APS)

Philip is a Building Engineer with both design and construction experience who has spent the last 28 years focused on design and construction health and safety through the various roles identified in the CDM Regulations.  As well as fulfilling the principal designer role on a number of projects Philip is also currently providing support to a number of contractors.

In addition to his project work and training, Philip serves the industry in a number of ways.  Philip is a Director of the Association for Project Safety (APS) and a Past President.  Philip Chairs the Institution of Structural Engineers Safety, Health and Wellbeing Panel and serves on the management team of the equivalent Knowledge Network of the Institution of Civil Engineers.  Philip is an experienced judge and in addition to judging the Constructing Excellence Awards is a judge for the BSIF Innovation Awards.

Liz McDermott - Managing Director, QuickFix Profiles

When introduced to the Commercial Drylining market, with fresh eyes and foresight, she soon realised that the industry could use a “shake up” and that there were better ways of delivering drylining 1st fix elements to a higher standard of quality, speed and health & safety to all present on site.

Liz is a firm advocate for Modern Methods of Construction [MMC] and highly motivated in reaching all Drylining companies and Main Contractors with the news that there are better ways of building which are not only cost effective, but a safer and healthier option for site environments and the planet.

The company now being in its fourth year of trading has seen considerable growth and expansion under Liz’s leadership. Our product offering is now widely available from the majority of drylining material distributors to make life easier for all drylining companies to have access to this better way of working.

QuickFix Profiles is sponsoring the Modern Methods of Construction Category

Liam Roberts - Head of Design, VINCI Building

Liam Roberts is the Head of Design at Vinci Building and has nearly 20 years of experience in the construction industry. 

Specialising in design and build contracts, Liam is committed to providing the best spaces and places for the customers and communites he serves whilst delivering projects safely and sustainably.  

At Vinci Building, he focuses on integrating innovation, digital engineering and sustainable practices to improve the design of the projects they deliver.  

As a judge for this innovation award, Liam looks forward to seeing and hearing about practical, innovative solutions that enhance the industry’s approach to construction.

VINCI Building is sponsoring the Innovation Category

Cheryl Causebrook - Chair, Constructing Excellence Kent

Needing little introduction in the Kent construction community, Cheryl’s 35 years in the construction industry started with her working as a Quantity Surveyor and have seen her career develop in various directions. She works with many businesses across the supply chain, providing strategic and consultative guidance. Her knowledge and experience are recognised in the local industry, with her being appointed as chairperson for both Constructing Excellence’s Kent branch and the Kent Invicta Chamber’s Construction Focus Group. She also hosts her own ‘Building Kent Connections’ networking group.

Cheryl has taken on a number of voluntary roles which cover the following:

  • Chair the Kent Construction Focus Group (the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce’s sector-focused support group, which has been going for over 15 years).
  • Chair Constructing Excellence Kent Club (a national industry initiative).
  • Building Kent Connection - sector-focused networking group.

Mandy Messenger - Managing Director, Advanté

Mandy took over as MD of Advanté in August 2020, after having been on the Advanté Board for 22 years. Responsible for creating and implementing the Oasis brand from inception in 1998, Mandy, together with her team, ensures the market leading position of Oasis is maintained. Mandy’s focus now is the continued development of the Advanté business in line with changing industry and client requirements with innovative, sustainable solutions.

Mandy is passionate about all things people, welfare and sustainability in its widest sense. She was selected as one of 12 people to take part in the first cohort of the Innovative Future Leaders Programme (IFLP) facilitated by the South East Centre for the Built Environment. Mandy is a Fairness, Inclusion & Respect Ambassador and is an active Partner in the Supply Chain Sustainability School.

Ben Pritchard - Senior Consultant, Invennt

Ben helps construction businesses to unlock value through taking a strategic approach to procurement and operational performance using data to make well informed underpinned business decisions. 

His desire to see the construction industry improve has previously led Ben to be the national co-chair for G4C and with that a place on the Constructing Excellence board of management. Within these organisations Ben is involved in a number of initiatives aimed at improving the industry in particular the industry’s image and adoption of technology within the industry with a keen interest on how blockchain can transform the industry. 

A big advocate for collaborative working, Ben believes that setting up a project right at the start is crucial to its success. The decisions made in how a project is procured can be so important to its success and is so often overlooked or not appreciated properly for the value that it can bring.

Beth Whitehouse – Head of Innovation, DEFRA group Property Technical Services

Beth is the Head on Innovation for the Property Arm of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (HM Government). Beth leads a new team within the Technical Services Function heading up innovation within the built environment to support DEFRA in its target for net zero, sustainability and efficiencies. With over 15 years in the life sciences sector from bench to capital project delivery, Beth brings a practical and data driven approach to innovation at Defra. With strong and growing network links across government and the private sector, Beth looks to promote collaboration across all sectors within the built environment.

Beth is passionate about coaching and empowering people and teams to perform at their best, create an open atmosphere to allow the team to be confident in bringing new ideas and ultimately enjoy what they do. As Head of innovation Beth promotes this with everyone she works with to bring a positive approach to innovation within the built environment at Defra and beyond.

Beth is an Innovative Future Leaders Programme (IFLP) alumni from 2021 Cohort 2 and will be sponsoring on Cohort 7.

Clare Giannini - Principal Business Development Manager, Willmott Dixon

Clare has worked in the construction sector for three decades with a range of organisations from SME’s to billion pound companies. With a background as a Chartered Marketer she has the satisfaction of customers needs at the heart of everything she does in her role as a Principal Business Development Manager for Wilmott Dixon Construction South.

‘Choose a profession you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life' sums up how she feels about her role.

Driven by a desire to create social value and connect people to opportunities for peer collaboration has always played a huge part in Clare’s professional life. She is a member of the Constructing Excellence Committee in two regions, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. She is the founder of respected peer-to-peer networks; LCPN (London Construction and Property Network) and OCPN (Oxfordshire Construction and Property Network) and OWLS (Oxfordshire Women in Leadership).

Willmott Dixon is the SECBE Awards' Headline Sponsor

Charles Haywood, MRICS CEnv Chartered Quantity Surveyor / Project Management Surveyor / Consultant

Charles has been with MacConvilles many years building experience and enjoying working in a broad range of sectors including education, residential and commercial. He joined the Board of Directors in 2002 to lead the QS side of the business and is now a Consultant to the business. He specialises in dispute avoidance, risk management and best value. He is a former chair of the Sussex Constructing Excellence Committee He is also instrumental in seeking opportunities to use his professional experience to give something back to the community in pro-bono services

Upcoming Events

Virtual Judging Interviews for the Awards 2024 take place on 1st & 2nd May 2024
29 March 2024

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