Deborah Sims

Deborah Sims BSc (Hons), MSc, FCIHT, CEng, Hon MSoRSA, PGCertHE, FHEA

Senior Lecturer Civil Engineering / Employability Champion Engineering / Industrial Placement Tutor

Key details

Deborah Sims

Senior Lecturer Civil Engineering / Employability Champion Engineering / Industrial Placement Tutor

Prior to joining the University of Greenwich, Deborah was the Project Director for the Highways Central team with the Mott MacDonald group, managing a team working on a wide range of projects for clients across London and the south east of England. Before that, Deborah was Strategy and Service Manager at InterRoute, a non-incorporated joint venture between Mott MacDonald and Balfour Beatty.

A Chartered Engineer with over 25 years' experience of highways design, safety engineering, team leadership and project management, she has experience of managing large design teams both in the public and private sectors and working on motorways, trunk roads and local authority roads. Deborah also has experience in bid management and mobilisation for multi-million pound strategic alliance and joint venture operations. She is a contributing editor to various CIHT publications, and a professional reviewer for both Chartered and Incorporated Engineers.

Deborah's first degree is in Civil Engineering and her Masters is in Road Safety Engineering. She gained her PGCertHE in 2013 and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She was awarded Honorary Membership of the Society of Road Safety Auditors in 2011.

Responsibilities within the university

  • Programme Leaders' working group member (training and skills)
  • Athena SWAN representative for Engineering Science
  • Chair of Programme Reviews for:
    • BA H Business Studies (NYC), May 2018
    • BA H Business Studies with Shipping (NYC), May 2018
    • BA H Business Logistics & Transport Management (NYC), May 2018
    • BA H Business Purchasing and SCM (NYC), May 2018
    • MA Logistics and Supply Chain Management (Business School), May 2016
    • MA Transport Systems Management (Business School), May 2016
  • Faculty Outreach, & Recruitment Committee Member
  • Faculty Student Experience Committee member
  • Employability Champion for Engineering Science
  • Medway Mentimeter Champion
  • Panel Member Programme Approvals for Geography (extended) & Environmental Science (extended) & Programme Reviews of BSc Geography & Environmental Science, February 2018
  • Member of MSc review panels; civil engineering, water engineering
  • Admissions Tutor for Civil Engineering
  • Industrial Liaison Officer for Civil Engineering, Member of Industrial Advisory Board
  • Industrial placements academic lead
  • Civil Engineering Placements Officer, visiting students on placement and assessing interim and final reports
  • Civil Engineering Degree Apprenticeship Task & Finish Group, 2017 - 2018
  • Programme Leader Civil Engineering Degree Apprenticeships


Subjects and Courses Taught in the last 5 years:

  • CIVI 0060, Civil Engineering Construction, level 0, 15 credit, 2011 - 2015
  • CIVI 0084, Communication Skills for Engineers, level 0, 15 credit, 2011 - 2015
  • CIVI 0085, Contract Administration, level 4, 15 credit, 2011 - 2015
  • BUIL 1184, Communications, Social and Legal Studies, level 4, 15 credit, 2011 - 2015
  • CIVI 1019, Management for Civil Engineers (principles of), level 4, 15 credit, 2011 - 2015
  • GEEN 1128, Engineering Professional Skills 1, level 4, 30 credit, 2016 -
  • GEEN 1129, Practical and Lab skills, level 4, 30 credit, 2016 -
  • CIVI 0079, Construction Management and Technology, level 5, 15 credit, 2016 -
  • WORK 1007, Diploma in Industrial Studies , (Industrial Placement), level 5/6, 120 credit, 2011 -
  • CIVI 1026, Management for Civil Engineers, level 6, 15 credit, 2011 - 2017
  • Various, Constructionarium, level 6, 15 credit, 2016 -
  • CIVI 1002, Highway Engineering, level 7, 15 credit, 2015 -
  • CIVI 1020, Principles of Management for Civil Engineers, level 7, 15 credit, 2015 -

Undergraduate Supervision

  • Developing Infrastructure to Improve Pedestrian Safety in the UK
  • Engineering solutions to improve the higher ratio of 18-24 year old road user deaths in the UK relative to other age groups
  • Improving the safety of the high speed road network in the UK
  • Investing in the UK Motorway network to reduce the number of deaths per km
  • Learning from other European countries; improving cyclist and motorcycle safety on the UK road network.
  • BIM Level 2 and the future of the construction industry
  • BIM and the application of wearable technology in the construction industry
  • A comparative study of the forms of contract currently in use in the UK civil engineering sector.
  • Asbestos related diseases in construction
  • Carbon footprint reduction across the Chatham Maritime estate
  • The Use of Drones in Construction
  • The Use of AI in Construction
  • The Use of Self Assembly Building in Construction
  • The Use of 3D Printing in Construction

Postgraduate Supervision

  • Preventing a future Carillion collapse in the construction and FM sector
  • New contract model for strategic roads
  • Councils criticised over electric vehicles
  • Shared space in the UK an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages identified from schemes implemented to date
  • BIM and the application for asset management of CMT infrastructure


  • Vice President, Trustee and Council Member Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT)
  • Chair of CIHT Careers Guidance Materials Steering Group funded by the Rees Jeffreys Foundation
  • Member of CIHT Audit Committee, and Road Safety Panel
  • Professional Reviewer (Chartered and Incorporated Engineer) and reviewer for special cases and transfers (UK and international)
  • CPD assessor for Engineering Council registrants (CEng and IEng)
  • Reviewer for International Transfers to CEng & IEng (IEA/FEANI)
  • Co-opted member of South Eastern Regional Board, 2017 -
  • Judge for CIHT Health & Safety Award
  • Mentor for CEng and IEng candidates from academia and industry
  • Independent Trustee for the Chatham Maritime Trust - Chair of Charitable Objects group, Member of Covenants Group,  adviser on risk register and asset management strategy
  • STEMnet ambassador – "Superjudge" for the National Engineering and Science awards, trained in WISE 'People Like Me' approach to encouraging girls into STEM subjects
  • Kent & Medway Construction Guild; Member and host for meetings at University of Greenwich
  • Athena SWAN validation panelist, (Institutional and Departmental level, Bronze, Silver and Gold)
  • Moderator for 3 courses for SEGi (Malaysia); Construction Project Management, Highway Engineering and Traffic & Transportation Engineering
  • Academic reviewer of Project Management for Engineering, Business and Technology Fifth Edition, John Nicholas and Herman Steyn, August 2018
  • Reviewer for fourth edition of Construction Contract Law, John Adriaanse, 2016

Research / Scholarly interests

  • Project Management
  • Road Safety Engineering
  • Highway Engineering
  • Skills for the Built Environment
  • Embedding Employability in Assessment
  • BIM

Key funded projects

  • Careers Guidance Materials – Rees Jeffreys Foundation £40,000, collaboration with TFL, CIC, STEMnet and
  • CIHT - Steering Group chair

Recent publications

  • Foreword CIHT Annual Learning and Training Guide, Transportation Professional, September 2018.
  • Embedding employability in assessments, Compass Journal 2018 (in draft)
  • Collision Prevention and Reduction, the Institution of Highways and Transportation, London June 2007, Contributor.
  • Road Safety Audit, the Institution of Highways and Transportation, October 2008, London, Editorial Steering Group Member.


  • Road Safety in the UK; time to change gear?, Transport, Highways and Road Safety conference, Doha Qatar, 19-20 Nov 2018
  • Inspirational Women in Highway Engineering, Royal Engineers' Museum Conference on Women in Engineering, Gillingham, 20 September 2018
  • Embedding Employability and Inclusion in Assessment, Medway Festival of Learning Conference, Chatham, 13 September 2018
  • Embedding employability in Assessments, APT conference, Greenwich, July 2018.
  • The Practical Applications of Autonomous Vehicles: CIHT Learned Society Lecture in collaboration with TRL and University of Greenwich, April 2017, London, co-organiser.
  • Highways Act, Safety and Sustainability for Highways Engineers, One day conference, Dorset County Council, Dorchester, 2017
  • Using the Considerate Constructors' Scheme as a learning environment for civil engineers, SHIFT Conference, University of Greenwich, January 2017, London.
  • Engineers without Borders: Introducing engineering undergraduates to interdisciplinary global engineering challenges, SHIFT Conference, University of Greenwich, January 2017, London.
  • Managing Transport in an Uncertain World: The Future for People, Places and Infrastructure, CIHT National Conference, March 2016, London.
  • CIHT Road Safety conference, April 2016, London, co-organiser and afternoon chair.
  • Careers Toolkit Launch, House of Lords, April 2016, London.