Presidential Team

CIHT’s Presidential Team consists of the President and Vice-Presidents. These are all members of the Board of Trustees, which also comprises the Immediate Past President, Honorary Treasurer and up to eight Council Members (usually including the Chairs of the Strategic Boards).

As Trustees, the Board must ensure that the affairs of the Institution are kept in good order and that legal and statutory obligations are fulfilled. They are responsible for controlling the management and administration of the Institution and, if negligent, are personally liable. Trustees are also responsible for ensuring that the Institution fulfils its legal obligations as a Charity, including carrying out its purposes for the public benefit and producing and submitting statutory documents and accounts to the required deadlines.
If you would like to contact any member of the Presidential Team, please contact CIHT’s Chief Executive’s office on:

t: +44 (0)20 7336 1550 e:

CIHT President

Deborah is a Chartered Engineer with over 25 years’ experience in Road Safety Engineering, Highway Design, Asset Management and Maintenance. Deborah is now a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering at the University of Greenwich at Medway. Her teaching includes Project Management & Appraisal, Engineering Professional Skills, Construction Management & Technology, and Highway Engineering. She is also the Engineering Employability Champion, Placements Officer, and a member of the Civil Engineering Industrial Advisory Board.

Deborah Sims 

Deborah is a STEM Ambassador and recently chaired the Careers Guidance Steering Group for the CIHT, developing a pack of materials for use in schools to encourage young people to consider careers in the built environment. Deborah is a Professional Reviewer and has reviewed over 100 CEng / IEng candidates. She is a Trustee of Chatham Maritime Trust and of CIHT.


Vice President

Neil Johnstone has over 40 years of experience having worked in contracting, local government and consultancy. For 25 years Neil worked throughout UK for Halcrow/CH2M, becoming managing director of its activities in continental Europe where he oversaw work in a range of sectors including transport, energy and water. 

He studied civil engineering at Edinburgh University and went on the achieve a Masters at Glasgow University while working for Lothian Regional Council.

Neil Johnstone

More recently Neil was a director at SYSTRA where he led the integration of the acquisitions of JMP and SIAS. In July 2017 he has launched his own venture (CONSULT-NJ LTD) offering services in transportation and business change.

Neil is a Fellow of CIHT, chartered engineer, member of ICE, as well as the Institute of Directors. He chaired the Central and Scotland Branch in 1998-99 and has served the local committee since, primarily through leadership of the Scottish Policy Forum. He became a trustee of CIHT in 2018 and chaired the Board of Appian. Neil has represented CIHT on the National Transport Strategy (NTS2) Partnership Review Group and has co-chaired the Thematic Working Group on Safety and Resilience. In his consultancy role he is currently seconded to Transport Scotland where he has led the procurement of the Strategic Transport Project Review (STPR2).

His career has embraced various dimensions of transportation from design work on the Edinburgh City Bypass, road maintenance, traffic management and planning, to expert witness at the Edinburgh Congestion Charge Inquiry. He has experience in development planning, feasibility studies and appraisal of all modes including rail, road, busways, harbours and ferries. He was closely involved with seminal studies on rural roads in Scotland such as Fitting Roads, and prepared traffic forecasts for Skye Bridge.

Neil also served on National Council (2000 – 2003) and was Vice-chair of the Procurement and Network Management Boards. He was proud of his time with the inaugural Procurement Board when he helped to produce a guidance manual about procurement for younger members.


CIHT Immediate Past President

Martin Tugwell is responsible for transforming pan-Northern connectivity in order to improve productivity and drive economic growth.

He leads Transport for the North as England’s first Sub-national Transport Body, giving the North a strong, unified and determined voice on transport investment to benefit the region.

Martin has more than 20 years of experience in strategic transport and infrastructure planning at national, regional and local levels.

Immediately prior to joining Transport for the North, Martin was Director for England’s Economic Heartland (EEH) – one of England’s 7 Sub-national Transport Bodies. Here, he led the creation of the EEH Transport Strategy – Connecting People, Transforming Journeys. This ambitious strategy sets out how the region’s transport system can support economic growth while delivering net zero emissions by as early as 2040.

Martin Tugwell

Martin is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow and past President of the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). He is a Trustee of the CIHT and past Chairman of the Transport Planning Society.

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