Robert Thorniley-Walker MA(Oxon) CEng FICE FIStructE MIHT IHBC FRSA

Conservation Accredited Engineer (CARE) 


Robert Thorniley-Walker

 Robert has many areas of interest and expertise.

                          • A Fellow of both the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Structural Engineers, with wide knowledge of both bridges and building structures.
                          • Conservation Accredited Engineer
                          • Forensic Engineer
                          • A Chartered Environmental Engineer
                          • Low carbon timber engineering using British Hardwoods
                          • At ICE, Robert is on several panels and expert groups.


Robert started in construction as a bricklayer’s mate in his year off.  After graduating from Oxford in 1980, Robert trained on site with Costains on major civil engineering projects such as the Thames Barrier, and large-scale geotechnical earthwork, and highway structures around Aberfan in South Wales. In the London design office of Ove Arup he worked on structural design in concrete and steel with the HongKong and Shanghai Bank HQ.  After gaining Chartered status in 1985 he worked with RPT (now HighPoint Rendel) on bridge designs for the UK and Middle East. With Travers Morgan (now Capita Property and Infrastructure) he was Technical Director in the Newcastle office on both bridges and buildings. He set up the practice of S&CC in 1994.

Although Robert trained as a contractor and works as a consultant, Robert has also spent time working with several councils, often on secondment.  This has included Yorkshire County Council, Hereford and Worcester, Surrey, Lancashire, Northumberland, Sunderland City and the City of York. 

Expertise with historic buildings was partially gained through bridge maintenance, where repair systems, assessment procedures and arch analysis were often initially developed.  Robert is a Conservation Accredited Engineer and has gained membership to the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, IHBC. He has particular knowledge of the effects of foundation movement on historic buildings and extensive experience with vaulting and arches within buildings.

Work on historic buildings has given an insight into engineering in the pre-industrial world, and Robert has been promoting the use of low or negative carbon structures as one means of combating climate change. He has set up GreenBeams.Com to encourage the use of air-dried British hardwoods for structural use rather than just firewood and he could be one of the first engineers to deign chunky frames in solid sycamore, beech and ash.

Over a period of 13 years, Robert led a team investigating, designing and installing modifications to 11 high rise buildings. Most of these had Large Panel System (LPs) construction.

Involvment with-

  • ICE panel of Experts following Grenfell Tower Disaster
  • ICE Climate Change Task Force
  • Forensic Jounal Panel and lead editor for themed issues on Climate Risks.

Papers, Presentations and Book Contributions

  • ‘Castles and City Walls of the North’ – lecture to IStructE Historical Structures Group in London 2014
  • 'Concrete repairs to stand the test of time'- lectures for ICE & ISTructE region.
  • 'Solid Timber - Problems and Advances in the Use of Local Ethical Materials', Lecture for IStructE and Teesside University
  • ‘Case Studies in Negative Carbon Structures’, Lecture for ICE North Seminar
  • ‘Structural Design for Grade II* Fulwell Windmill’, Lecture for IStructE and IHBC
  • ‘Foundation Monitoring Techniques: Are they all they are cracked up to be?’ Proc. 3rd Int. Conf. Forensic Engineering, 10-11 Nov 2005, p119 (Institution of Civil Engineers)
  • ‘Movement Gauges: direct monitoring of foundations’, The Structural Engineer, Volume 84 Number 6, 21 March 2006
  • 'From Bridges to building arches and vaults- predicting failures'. Scottish Lime Centre
  • ‘Refurbishment of Grade I St Michael’s And All Angels, Newburn after Fire’, Lecture for IStructE
  • ‘Refurbishment of High Rise Tower Blocks’, Series of lectures for ICE, IStructE, and IBMM
  • ‘Structural Aspects of Historical Buildings’, Lecture for IStructE
  • ‘Windows – History Repair and Conservation' Published by Donhead. Edited by M Tutton and E Hirst, 'Surveying, Ch 7': ‘Structural implications, Ch 8.' 

  • Engineering the Bronze Age – walk over the North York Moors.


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              Joe Foley BSc CEng MICE FIStructE

joeJoe graduated from Imperial College in 1979 and has worked in Structural Engineering since then, mostly on the design and construction of   building structures. He has been elected a Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers and was Chairman of the Northern Counties Branch for the years 2004 to 2006. 

Joe also gained experience on the Thames Barrier. He trained “under agreement” with Cleveland Bridge and Dorman Long where he gained experience in design, fabrication and site erection of steel structures. This included some landmark bridge and power station projects. After six years working on the contracting side, he transferred to consulting and has worked for Bullen & Partners and White Young Consulting Engineers. During this period Joe had overall responsibility for several significant projects including retail developments both in the city centre and out of town, hospitals and industrial developments.

In 1998 Joe joined Robert Thorniley-Walker and founded Structural & Civil Consultants. As a director of this company Joe has been involved with both large and small projects, particularly for Local Authorities and for Steel Fabricators. These have included multimillion-pound works to schools and steel designs for major buildings such as power stations, factories, warehouses, car dealerships and steel manufacturing facilities. Some of these designs were for the overseas market.






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