Conservation: US and UK Perspectives

Fellowship Event

 -  | GMT Standard Time


  • Heritage

Please join us for this fascinating event exploring conservation from both UK and US perspectives.

 RSA Fellows and guests, as indeed members of IHBC or of any discipline or location in the world, across the public, private and third sectors, are invited to register for this event. This event is one in a series of online discussions within the overall theme of “Heritage: Challenges, Opportunities and Solutions”, the subject of a future conference. Our discussion will begin with brief perspectives from panel members followed by Q&A with the audience.

Few people are unaware of the significant and varied challenges facing those involved in heritage stewardship, or indeed owners of any type of business or project housed in, or adjacent, a used, vacant, decaying or derelict heritage or landscape site , whether listed or not.


It is hoped the event series will widen discussion within civil society including some case studies, and will also involve one or two speakers from outside the UK. Importantly, issues of university curricula, CPD for emerging heritage professionals will come to the fore as will vocational training and skilled labour shortages.


The discussion will be facilitated by RSA Fellow Dr Deborah Mays, also a respected Honorary Fellow of the RIAS, currently working in England and is a valued member of the RSA Fellows’ Media, Creative Industries, Culture and Heritage Network Steering Group.  She has served as Director at Historic Scotland, Assistant Secretary at the Royal Incorporation of Architects and CEO of the Scottish Building Contract Committee. She has published extensively and lectured in and outside the UK, including Berne, Newport Rhode Island, Cracow, Dublin, Belfast, Oxford and Cambridge.  She has also had involvement in the Hopetoun House Conservation Advisory Panel and the Architecture and Place Committee, Built Environment Forum Scotland. She has at times spoken on Radio 4 debating whether listing is cultural “bubble wrap” or “cautious care”. She is an experienced built and historic environment professional with capacity to advise on historic buildings, ancient monuments and historic landscapes and their values, evolution and potential. She is also an expert on future management and sustainable regeneration with an excellent record in problem-solving, motivational management and delivery.

Susan MacDonald RIBA, PIA is Head of Buildings and Sites at the Getty Conservation Unit. She joined the GCI in 2008 as head of Field Projects. Susan has a bachelor of science (architecture) and a bachelor of architecture from the University of Sydney, and a master's degree in conservation studies (University of York/ICCROM), and is a certified practicing planner. Susan has worked in the private and public sectors in London, including for English Heritage, and immediately prior to the GCI, at the New South Wales Heritage Office in Australia as its Director. Susan has been involved in a wide range of conservation issues from urban planning, development, economics, world heritage, and policy and technical matters and has lectured, authored, and edited various books and articles on these topics. Susan has served on a number of international and national advisory committees and editorial boards, and is a member of DOCOMOMO International Specialist Technical Committee, the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on 20th Century Heritage (ISC20C) and APTi's Modern Committee.

Michael Netter is the Professional Services Officer at the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) and Hon Secretary and Trustee at the Council on Training in Architectural Conservation (COTAC). Michael holds a BSc in Construction Engineering and Management from Purdue University, an MSc in Historic Building Conservation from Kingston University, and is currently a Professional Doctorate candidate at Anglia Ruskin University. His professional interests include digital technologies and sustainability, participating in the Climate Heritage Network (CHN), having produced a series of podcasts relating to conservation and climate change over the duration of COP26, and is a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP).

Rob Woodside is Director of Conservation and Estate Management at English Heritage, a charity dedicated to the care and interpretation of the National Heritage Collection, some 420 archaeological monuments and historic buildings across England, where he leads on conservation strategy, major project delivery, site maintenance and environmental sustainability. Over his career Rob has worked as an Adviser to the National Trust and as a commercial consultant specialising in World Heritage Site management. For the last decade, he has worked at senior levels managing large teams and budgets to deliver major programmes of conservation, visitor infrastructure and commercial development across multiple sites. He has a strong interest in training and skills, sustainability and adaptation to climate change. Rob is an Honorary Lecturer at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage and has served as a Specialist Assessor on British Council Cultural Protection Fund projects in Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. He is currently chair of the UK Historic Environment Forum COP26 working group, which is working to demonstrate how the heritage sector can take positive actions on climate change.

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