Chris Wise

Chris Wise

Engineer Chris Wise co-founded Expedition in 1999, after a successful career with Arup during which he became their youngest director. Expedition has a trail-blazing ethos and runs as part of the Useful Simple Trust, an employee-benefit trust without human shareholders, which Chris chairs. Either as design lead or with many of the world’s leading architects including Rogers, Foster, Hopkins and Renzo Piano, his is the guiding hand on the engineering of many projects including the 2012 Olympic Velodrome; American Air Museum, Duxford; Barcelona Bullring; London Millennium Bridge; Barcelona Communications Tower; Channel 4 HQ, London, Las Arenas Barcelona. His approach to projects was captured by Richard Rogers, who said said “Chris thinks like an artist and acts like an engineer”. In 2009, under Chris’ leadership, Expedition won the IStructE’s Supreme Award for the Infinity Bridge over the River Tees, and in 2011 won the Supreme Award again for the Velodrome. In academia, he has been design professor first at Imperial College, London, where he co-founded the Constructionarium, then Yale, and since September 2012, at UCL, London. He served for nine years as a trustee for the Design Council. He was master (president) of the RSA’s Royal Designers from 2007 to 2009, a position once held by Barnes Wallis. He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA. In October 2012 he was awarded an unprecedented double, winning Gold Medals for his outstanding contribution to the engineering profession from both the IStructE and the ICE.

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    Wet behind the ears

    2014-02-19T07:00:00

    It turns out that the problem of flood protection, which has flummoxed generations of politicians, can be solved in an afternoon by some engineering undergraduates. But will the government listen?

  • Chris Wise
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    A riff on the luxury of time

    2013-10-04T11:07:00

    The Royal Designers Summer School inspires Chris Wise to reflect on the civilising quality of time and buy a flamenco guitar

  • Chris Wise
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    Recycling materials: The great recovery

    2012-08-10T00:00:00

    Some of the core materials construction uses have become scarce - eventually everything we use will be. We have to stop jettisoning materials and design so they can all be recycled

  • Chris Wise
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    Sustainability is for sharing

    2013-02-20T10:34:00

    Establishing a new educational model for sustainable building design could be a smart idea, but only if the whole industry works on it together, says Chris Wise

  • chris wise
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    A moving experience

    2013-05-17T00:00:00

    Why wasn’t construction at the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Global Grand Challenges Summit?

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    Designer's putty

    2013-07-26T00:00:00

    Interactive design tools offer architects and engineers accurate, fast control of the materials they work with and allow their clients to see the building responding before their eyes

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    Understanding nature

    2011-03-25T00:00:00

    The Japanese earthquake and tsunami have reminded us that the environment is core to contemporary architecture. The pity is, we needed reminding

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    CAD images: Where have all the humans gone?

    2011-05-13T00:00:00

    There’s nothing so seductive as a CAD image of your dream project, computer-generated visualisations of how we want the world to be. Trouble is, they’re divorced from reality

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    Infrastructure: A thing of beauty?

    2011-08-05T00:00:00

    Infrastructure can be seen everywhere so it’s a shame it’s often so ugly. Let’s hope for some inspired entries in the energy department’s competition to update the UK’s pylons

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    Architectual competitions: Judgement day

    2011-10-28T00:00:00

    Those judging architectural competitions need to be wise, ethical and very well informed. That’s why the tittle-tattle of public opinion should be ignored

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    We need small engineering companies

    2011-12-09T00:00:00

    Small engineering companies have been pushed to the edge of extinction by the conforming imperatives of big business. But we need their talent and guts for our own survival

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    Urban design for developing countries: The art of mastery

    2012-02-17T00:00:00

    Urban designs for developing countries demand the perspective and foresight of one of today’s great minds - not the clumsy first attempt of a novice

  • Chris Wise
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    UK education standards: Move over Mr Gove

    2012-04-13T00:00:00

    With the UK falling down the world rankings at an alarming rate, we can’t leave the education of our recruits to the government - it’s time for our industry to step in

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    Nissan's supercar: Time to test-drive some buildings

    2012-06-08T00:00:00

    Nissan’s new supercar, the Delta Wing, will be subject to public scrutiny and objective testing at Le Mans. Why don’t we have more ‘test-drives’ for buildings?

  • Chris Wise, director of Expedition Engineering
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    The world in a pencil

    2009-03-20T00:00:00

    A graphite mark on a piece of paper is one of the most powerful, versatile and informative objects in the world. So why don’t engineers make more use of it?

  • Chris Wise, director of Expedition Engineering
    Comment

    Human beans

    2009-04-24T00:00:00

    Our percentage fee culture treats architects and engineers like commodities and actually pays them less the better their designs work. Time for a rethink

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    The bridge on the river Tees

    2009-05-29T00:00:00

    Its parents were Eric Fletcher and Margaret Thatcher. Assisting at the birth were 500 midwives. It is now being cared for by the 187,000 people of Stockton-on-Tees

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    Lost in Translation

    2009-07-10T00:00:00

    Designers can have 10 great ideas before breakfast, but if they can’t find ways of making the bureaucracies that run our world understand them, they’re doomed

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    Being a sport

    2009-08-14T00:00:00

    Cricket and rugby have much to teach construction. Not least, as the last Ashes test so abundantly demonstrated, how to lose with dignity

  • Chris Wise
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    Chris Wise on RIBA's Lubetkin prize: The ugliness of steel

    2009-10-09T00:00:00

    The RIBA was wrong to give the Lubetkin prize to Beijing’s Olympic stadium. A building that contains that much embodied energy is frankly distasteful

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