Presidential Team

CIHT’s Presidential Team consists of the President and Vice-President. These are all members of the Board of Trustees, which also comprises the Immediate Past President, Honorary Treasurer and up to nine 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 

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.

In 2015 he joined 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 Johnstone

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 Appian Board and Learned Society & Technical Strategy Board in 2021.

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.

Neil has represented CIHT on Scotland’s 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 commissions such as the Strategic Transport Project Review (STPR2) and the national modelling and appraisal framework (LATIS).

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.


CIHT Vice President 

Karen McShane is a Chartered Engineer with over 35 years of experience having worked in local government and consultancy. For 22 years Karen worked throughout UK and Ireland for a multinational company becoming a Director in 2005. She set up her own consultancy in 2011 where she oversaw work in a range of sectors including transport, highways and the private sector.

Karen McShane

She joined the Strategic Investment Board as an adviser in 2012 and works part time on regionally significant projects within Northern Ireland as well as being an industry member of the Legislatives Assembly All Party Group for Construction.

She studied civil engineering at Queens University Belfast and currently sits on the Civil Engineering Industrial Liaison Panel for Ulster University where she regularly carries out guest lectures on transportation.


CIHT Immediate Past 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.

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