Industry big-hitter to lead new senate for FIDIC’s training academy

WSP Global chairman Chris Cole has been appointed chair of the senate for the FIDIC Academy.

WSP Global chairman Chris Cole to head up new senate for FIDIC Academy.

International engineering federation FIDIC (the International Federation of Consulting Engineers) has announced the formation of a new governing senate for its FIDIC Academy, which provides training and capacity building to drive excellence in quality and best practice for the global consulting engineering and infrastructure industry.

The new nine-member governing senate will be led by a senate chancellor, Chris Cole, who is also chairman of the board and member of the governance, ethics and compensation committee at WSP Global.

Cole has more than 40 years of experience in the engineering and consulting services fields and is a chartered engineer who joined WSP as a partner at its inception, becoming managing director in 1987. WSP is now a global organisation with approximately 65,000 professional employees.

The senate will be a sounding board and driver for the FIDIC Academy and be responsible for academic strategic direction, training content development and delivery, key operational decisions of the FIDIC Academy management team, faculties and coordination of learning outcomes of courses delivered, management for trainers recognised by the academy, management of participant development, management of the FIDIC Body of Knowledge and also oversight of the FIDIC Academy franchise model.

FIDIC set up the Geneva-based FIDIC Academy in 2021 to provide training and capacity building to drive excellence, quality and best practice for the consulting engineering and wider infrastructure industry, as well as stimulating talent and developing future leaders to provide engineers with the skills required to compete in a global marketplace.

Commenting on the establishment of the senate, FIDIC Academy senate chancellor Chris Cole said: “I am delighted to take on this important role which will help drive forward the FIDIC Academy’s mission to be the world’s leading centre for contract, best business practice learning and development within the consulting engineering and wider infrastructure industry.

“My fellow senate members (see list below) are all key industry professionals drawn from across the FIDIC ecosystem and as such they are well placed to advise on the industry’s capacity building needs. I look forward to working with the senate members and the wider professional consulting firm industry leaders in the months and years ahead to ensure we deliver what the market needs.”

Members of the academy are listed below with their senate position, industry roles and country.

Chris Cole, Chancellor (Chairman of the Board, WSP Global). UK
Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE, Vice Chancellor (Chief Executive Officer, FIDIC). Switzerland
Stephane Giraud, Dean of FIDIC Body of Knowledge Forum (Founder and CEO, Plan J Consulting). France
Chris Seppala, Dean of Faculty of Contracts (Partner, White & Case France). France
Jose Ortiz-Garcia, Dean of Faculty of Business Practice (Chair, Joyco). Colombia
Anne Kerr, Dean of Faculty of FIDIC Values (Managing Director, Mott MacDonald Asia). Hong Kong
Catherine Karakatsanis, Senate Member (CEO, Morrison Hershfield Group and FIDIC Vice President). Canada
Kourosh Kayvani, Senate Member (Partner, HKA) Australia
Daduna Kokhreidze, Senate Member (General Counsel for Legal and Contracts, FIDIC) Switzerland

Speaking after the senate met for the first time last week, FIDIC CEO and senate vice-chancellor Dr Nelson Ogunshakin said: “The formation of the senate is a crucial landmark in the evolution and development of the FIDIC Academy. I am delighted that we have secured the strategic support services of a key industry leader like Chris Cole who has decades of experience in our industry.

“I look forward to the academy flourishing under his wise counsel and direction and benefiting from the active input of my fellow senate members and with operational management support provided by Michael Broadley, the recently appointed FIDIC Academy general manager.”

FIDIC president Tony Barry said: “Delivery of appropriate and cost-effective capacity building is a key part of FIDIC’s strategic objectives and the establishment of the senate for the FIDIC Academy will help to guide, nurture and take the academy to the next level and help it to realise its mission of being the world’s leading centre and ‘go-to’ provider for professional learning and development within the consulting engineering and infrastructure industry.”