Want To Deliver Transformative Infrastructure? You Will Need Laughter

LONDON, Dec. 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Bechtel's Linda Miller concluded her tenure as the 12(th) Brunel International Lecturer for the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) delivering inspirational speeches about her trailblazing career in more than 30 cities across the world. The 59-year-old mother of two is the only second woman in ICE's 200-year history to hold the title, which recognizes outstanding contributions to engineering.

Over 18 months, Miller engaged students as well as engineers at all stages of their careers. She drew on her 30-year career at Bechtel delivering transformational projects - such as the massive tunneling projects beneath the Sydney Harbour in Australia and in Boston, Mass., in the United States - in discussing the social, economic, and environmental impacts of smart infrastructure.

Miller shared six behaviors - her "inescapables" - that have helped her build successful teams. Delivering her final lecture in London, Miller discussed a few of those traits.

"Engineers are key to solving some of the world's biggest challenges, including climate change and social mobility, but we can only find the best solutions by having great teams," Miller said. "Teams that are diverse and inclusive. I think the 'six inescapable' leadership behaviors include prioritizing trust, disagreeing well, and laughing together, make all the difference in building inspired teams and keeping everyone's eyes focused on the goal."

Paul Sheffield, president of the Institution of Civil Engineers, said: "I was delighted to welcome Linda Miller back to One Great George Street where she began her 18-month tour around the world delivering the 12th Brunel International Lecture series. It is evident from the feedback that her insight into the transportation boom and her enthusiastic and motivational tone have been wonderfully received."

"I would like to thank Linda on behalf of the Institution for inspiring over 1,800 engineers across the globe, from New Delhi to Doha, Jamaica to Johannesburg, and Canada to Cambridge."

Throughout her travels, which spanned four continents, Miller called on the engineering field to increase its visibility and lead engagement on the ways that engineering can support economic prosperity, social justice, and offer more creative solutions to protecting the planet against climate change. She also challenged engineers to place prioritize trust with customers, communities, and each other on par with understanding technical specifications. In her delivery teams, Linda shares how she has banned the word "they," saying that blame is the start of breaking trust with stakeholders.

Miller concluded her final lecture by saying the industry is now aware of the evidence that people who laugh more often not only enjoy health benefits, but produce better business outcomes.

A full recording of Miller's lecture will soon be available here: www.ice.org.uk/events/brunel-closing-lecture-london-dec-19. ICE members will have exclusive access to the recording before it is accessible to all listeners in March 2020.

About Linda:
Linda has worked on some of Bechtel's most transformative projects, including a NASA launch complex, Crossrail (a new east-west railway under London) and Sydney Metro (the first rail tunnel under Sydney Harbour). Linda is currently a civil infrastructure director for the Texas High Speed Rail project. Linda joined Bechtel following her service as a U.S. Army officer and helicopter pilot.

In 2017, Linda received an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) from the Prince of Wales for her impact to engineering and in promoting gender diversity. Singer Adele, fashion designer Ralph Lauren, and explorer Ranulph Fiennes have received the same honour. In 2016, the Women's Engineering Society named Linda as one of the most influential women in engineering in the U.K.

About the Institution of Civil Engineers Brunel International Lecture series:

The Brunel International Lecture was established to help strengthen the links between the ICE and other engineering institutions around the world.

About Bechtel:

Bechtel is a trusted engineering, construction and project management partner to industry and government. Differentiated by the quality of our people and our relentless drive to deliver the most successful outcomes, we align our capabilities to our customers' objectives to create a lasting positive impact. Since 1898, we have helped customers complete more than 25,000 projects in 160 countries on all seven continents that have created jobs, grown economies, improved the resiliency of the world's infrastructure, increased access to energy, resources, and vital services, and made the world a safer, cleaner place.

Bechtel serves the Infrastructure; Nuclear, Security & Environmental; Oil, Gas & Chemicals; and Mining & Metals markets. Our services span from initial planning and investment, through start-up and operations. www.bechtel.com

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SOURCE Bechtel