Engineering and the Environment

Jean Venables


Primary position:
Visiting Professor


The University of Southampton
Prof. Jean Venables's photo

Jean Venables has extensive experience as a facilitator and chairman, and in undertaking major training consultancy assignments, as well as running professional development courses for Civil Engineers and other construction professionals. She has lectured in water and wastewater engineering, and contract law and administration for many years. Jean was Chairman of the Regional Flood Defence Committee of the Environment Agency Thames Region for 9 years until 2003 and chaired the Thames Estuary Partnership, as well as the Expert Panel for the Thames Estuary 2100 Project until 2010. Until March 2006, she was also Chairman of the Research Advisory Committee of CAPM - the Centre for Aquatic Plant Management. Jean was made chair of the Nuclear Liabilities Fund in July 2014.

Jean is regularly invited to chair conferences and meetings, as well as delivering papers, especially on flood risk management and sustainable development. In 2008 Jean became the 144th President of the ICE and the first woman ever to be elected. Following her successful stand as President, Jean now chairs the Professional Conduct Committee. Jean took over as Chief Executive of ADA at the beginning of 2006 (undertaken on a consultancy basis through Venables Consultancy). ADA is the membership organisation for those involved in water level management, including Internal Drainage Boards, the Northern Ireland Rivers Agency, Environment Agency Flood Defence Committees, Local Authorities, Consultants, Contractors and Suppliers. Jean is a council member if the RNLI and a Non-Executive Director of HR Wallingford.

Jean Venables' long involvement in the professional development of Civil Engineers has included active participation in the Institution of Civil Engineers and its Benevolent Fund, resulting in her being awarded the Institution's Garth Watson Medal in 2001. The ICE created the Jean Venables Medal in 2011 for the best Technician Professional Review Candidate. Jean was awarded an MBE in the 1997 New Year Honours for services to civil engineering, and an OBE in the 2004 New Year Honours for services to flood defence. Following this in 2010 Jean was awarded a CBE at the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to Civil Engineering. Jean is married to Roger Venables and together the operate Venables Consultancy, a successful sustainability consultancy based in Surbiton.


Primary research group:  Infrastructure Group

Teaching Responsibilities

Code Title Role


Prof. Jean Venables
Engineering and the Environment University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ Telephone: 020 3137 2375 Fax: 020 8399 1650