News and Events

Alan Belfield and Barbara Lane awarded Royal Academy of Engineering Fellowships

Charlotte S Charlotte Schofield UKMEA Press Office,Leeds
09 September 2016

Arup UK, Middle East and Africa (UKMEA) Region Chair, Alan Belfield, and Global Fire Engineering Leader, Barbara Lane, have been named Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng).

This year marks the 40th anniversary AGM of the Academy. The first meeting was held on 11th June 1976 by the Duke of Edinburgh where 130 leading engineers, including Sir Ove Arup were invited to Buckingham Palace. Around 50 new Fellows from all engineering disciplines are nominated and selected by existing members each year.

Dr Alan Belfield has been recognised by the RAEng for his contribution to mechanical engineering particularly in the practice of analysis-led design. His business skills and expert technical knowledge in his field has resulted in him being called on by former Prime Ministers to represent the country on international trade missions. Alan is also currently a member of the UK Government’s Professional and Business Services Council.

Alan plays a significant role in promoting the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace amongst the 5,000 employees in the UKMEA Region. For many years, he was the Diversity Champion for Arup helping the company be recognised as a Top 50 Employer for Women by The Times for six consecutive years.

It is a great honour and privilege to be recognised by the Royal Academy of Engineers. As Chair of the Arup UKMEA Region I have focused on encouraging engineers to see their broader role in the world. For us engineers, the blend of both business and technical skills is a potent combination that will allow us to play a full role in helping tackle some of the major issues facing the world. As a profession we should be in the business of helping shape a better world. ” Alan Belfield UKMEA Chair

As Leader of Fire Engineering at Arup, Dr Barbara Lane has been acknowledged for her contribution to the fire engineering profession. Barbara has driven the development of methodologies that are now regarded as industry common practice. For example, the concept of Total Fire Engineering, where fire engineers apply fire safety techniques and participate in all stages of design, as well as construction and handover, whilst meeting operational building requirements. 

Barbara’s work has informed the construction of some of the world’s most iconic buildings, including The Shard in London and Beijing’s CCTV building. As a visiting Professor at the University of Edinburgh, Barbara has contributed to the development of what is now the largest fire safety engineering department in the world and her commitment to improving competency across the profession has ensured that fire engineering is a well-accepted and recognised profession.

During her career, Barbara has also sought to encourage the role of women in engineering. Barbara is a founding member of the Equilibrium Network – a group which focusses on enabling women to reach Group Board Level in engineering, construction and architecture firms.

Having had the privilege of exceptional teaching at Trinity College Dublin and The University of Edinburgh, I had the strong foundation required to begin a career at Arup. Fire engineering was a nascent discipline then, but through partnering with academia on fundamental research, and creating industry relevant education, I have had the pleasure of being part of the development of the profession that we recognise today. Developing our scientific understanding of all aspects of fire, including people’s reaction to it, and having the opportunity to directly apply this to the design, construction and operation of real-world projects has been a unique experience. I am honoured to become a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and am very grateful to everyone I have worked with to help shape a safer world. ” Barbara Lane Barbara Lane

For 40 years the Academy has gathered the wisdom, ingenuity and expertise of the nation’s finest engineers to advance and promote excellence in the profession. I am delighted to welcome to our Fellowship 50 more of today’s very best engineering minds. From life-changing equipment revolutionising our hospitals to new tools that are enabling high-tech businesses to flourish, their work has delivered great value to society. We are very much looking forward to working with all our new Fellows as we continue to make the UK a leading nation for engineering innovation. ” Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering