North West

General Information

The Association of Cost Engineers Annual Report 2018-19

The NW region Report

The NW region Committee consists of Mark Coburn, Director of Solomons Europe (Chairman), Rosie Dutton (Secretary) now retired, Nigel Hibberd from ACostE Council, James Evans of URENCO Ltd, Ken Phillips of Amec FW and Mark Weaver of International Nuclear Services.  Dominic Doig remains Chairman in the Cumbria region.

We have continued holding several evening seminars during 2018 and have seen varied attendance numbers at the seminars that have been delivered; the NEC3 event achieving in excess of 50 persons.  

The following meetings have been held over 2018:

  • The first meeting was held at Pentahotel, Warrington on 24th January, This was a presentation by Sue Evans of Fast Pathways, titled ‘Why managing stress doesn’t work and what to do instead’.  This seminar was a ‘soft skills’ subject that the Committee thought would be a great kick-off to the New Year, particularly with all of the press coverage at the moment with Mental health, which is known to be particularly prevalent in the Construction and Engineering industries.
  • On 21st March 2018, we held a joint Seminar with Solomons Europe, with John Rossiter, Executive Director of Solomons and NEC3® Expert gave a presentation on ‘Extensions of time under NEC3®’ providing all 60 attendees with an insight into this important subject.  The presentation was held at the larger Main Auditorium at The Centre, Birchwood, where we hold the seminars with the larger attendances.  This seminar was a record attendance level for the NW Birchwood branch and is a subject area that we think the local professionals want us to provide, so will look to provide other NEC3® Seminars over the next 12 months.">
  • On 18th May 2018, at the PentaHotel, Birchwood, Nigel Hibberd (ACostE Council) gave a very informative presentation looking at all areas of ‘Behaviours in Project Teams and how to manage them for a successful outcome’.
  • On 18th July 2018, we held our re-arranged seminar, due to a certain World Cup Semi-Final the previous week on ‘Schedule Integrity & How to demonstrate it’? Shane Forth, PMO Director at Costain, was our Presenter at this event, held at the PentaHotel again, passing on his expert knowledge from over 30 years, providing us an introduction into Planning, Scheduling and Critical Path Analysis. Attendance numbers were down slightly for this one unfortunately due to a number of local traffic problems, which couldn’t be helped.
  • On 26th September 2018 we welcomed Professor Giorgio Locatelli from Leeds University. Professor Locatelli was part of the Expert Finance Working Group on Small Nuclear Reactors that prepare a report to Her Majesty’s Government on the Market Framework for financing small nuclear plants.  On this occasion Giorgio presented a talk on one of his published papers ‘Why are Mega Projects, including Nuclear Power Plants, delivered late and over budget’.  Giorgio was a fantastic speaker who captivated our audience with his excellent delivery style. We had a good level of attendance at this event and will be looking to him to deliver another one of his presentations over the next 12-24 months.

  • The NW branch was pleased to welcome back Sue Evans for her presentation on ‘Making Change Stick’ held on the 28th November at the Penta Hotel, Warrington.  Sue has a background in engineering and over 20 years Change Leadership experience, Sue has delivered several £multi-million change portfolios for International organisations including Danone, Corning, and Lloyds Bank and drawing on that experience she shared a collection of insight and tips which she wishes she had known sooner, exploring the softer side of change:
    •  We looked at why conflict can persist long after everyone’s forgotten what started it.
    • How to harness the power of identity,
    • why we don’t always do what makes sense, and
    • <>How to keep change energising instead of draining.

A thoroughly enjoyable presentation was given that has received positive feedback from attendees. Sue was happy to share her presentation with anyone that may be interested in the subject and the slides can be found through the below link:




The NW Committee have been busy planning for 2019 and have the following Seminars / Events planned so far:






13rd Feb 19

NEC 3 and Managing Costs and understanding disallowed costs

John will give us his insight into the key issues of Defined Cost and Disallowed Cost as well as the impact of the changes that have been introduced in NEC4. 

John Rossiter of Solomons Europe


Birchwood Conference Centre , near Warrington

5:30 for 6PM

10th April 19

Visit Fiddlers Ferry Site Visit

See the operating facilities and how the Discharges are managed and the possibility of continued operation using Bio Mass



Fiddlers Ferry site Penketh Warrington


Meeting point tbc

Early May19

Update on the Northern Power House – Infrastructure Projects

Manchester Airport expansion is well on and HS2 rumbles on. This is an update on the fascinating talk we had in 2017

Manchester Airport TBC


Birchwood Conference Centre , near Warrington

5:30 for 6PM

10th Jul 19

NW Summer Social & ‘Meet the President’

Angela Pammenter (ACostE President) will give a Short Intro of where ACostE is heading, and how we can all help, followed by a networking opportunity with buffet provided (£5 per person attending)

 Angela Pammenter  the ACostE President

The Black Swan, Hollins Green, near Warrington. WA£ 6LA

5:30 for 6PM

25th Sept 19

Cost Engineering Topic

How do we ensure effective Cost Engineering and control


Penta Hotel Birchwood near Warrington

5:30 for 6PM

27th Nov 19

Change Control

A presentation followed by a debate on the best practices for Client  Change Control  “who should be responsible is it PC or Finance of PMs where is it best managed and how?


Penta Hotel Birchwood near Warrington

5:30 for 6PM


We have continued to capture attendance from members of CICES, with whom we have a Memorandum of Understanding and are able to attend their meetings as part of a reciprocal arrangement.  We plan to build further on this relationship needs in the next year.">

We would like to thank all the members who attended our seminars and made them a success.  We look forward to meeting more of our NW community in the coming year 2019.

Any Volunteers for the NW region organising committee, please contact us through the Sandbach office 01270 764 798.

Similarly, any NW volunteers to present a topic for an evening say 45 minutes to 1 hour also please contact Sandbach.

NW Committee

Mark Coburn (Chairman)

Rosie Dutton (Secretary)

Nigel Hibberd

James Evans

Ken Phillips

Mark Weaver

Dominic Doig (Chairman – Cumbria region)

January 2019