Jo da Silva is Arup's Global International Development Leader
One of her most high profile pieces of work has been developing the strategy and co-ordinating the efforts of over 100 humanitarian agencies to provide transitional shelter in Sri Lanka following the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2005 on behalf of UNHCR.
60,000 transitional shelters were built in 6 months, which enabled families to begin to re-build their lives whilst reconstruction got underway. This was a result of cross-sectoral collaboration combining engineering, programme management and humanitarian expertise.
Jo's particular skills focus includes buildings, infrastructure, disaster risk reduction and programme management. "Using my skills to create solutions to complex problems that will help improve the lives of others truly inspires me," says Jo.
Why Jo chooses to work at Arup?
"I set up Arup International Development as a not-for-profit business within the Arup Group, so that Arup is able to make a greater contribution to humanitarian and development work than we are able to do through our charitable giving and volunteering." explains Jo. "Humanitarian and development agencies are facing new challenges working in urban environments or on complex programmes, which require technical expertise, analytical skills, innovative thinking, and new approaches to programme management. These are Arup’s strengths, and I believe that our professional expertise, deep technical knowledge and unique geographical spread, can bring great benefit to the sector."
Jo is an impressive professional
Jo was the first woman to deliver the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) International Brunel Lecture. It was entitled ‘Shifting Agendas: from response to resilience - the role of the engineer in disaster risk reduction’. Jo is also an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to engineering and to humanitarian relief , and she is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. Jo was also awarded British Expertise Individual of the Year.
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