NEWS / Blog / Unlocking Potential: Tom Worthington’s Journey with ACE


12 MAR 2024


Tom Worthington, Chair of ACE’s Emerging Professionals Committee, shares his fascinating journey—from curious graduate to industry influencer.

A curious beginning
Three and a half years ago, a friend invited me to our local North West EP committee meeting. From that moment, I was hooked. I recognised the immense opportunity it presented to learn, meet new people in the built environment and share ideas.

Engineering dreams
My background in chemical engineering from Swansea University and a renewable energy and climate science MSc from the University of Manchester were my stepping stones. The next step on my journey was to achieve chartership.

Taking the lead
To propel my dream forward, I committed to attending all regular meetings. Soon, I found myself as chair of the NW EP committee. When ACE redefined committee boundaries, I stepped up to lead the entire northern region of EPs. The challenge excited me. It also gave me a chance to work on intriguing projects and build an impressive portfolio— evidence towards my chartership accreditation.

Within another year, I successfully sought the role of vice chair for the London EP committee.

Sustainability and connections
As vice chair, I oversaw EP sustainability projects, forging valuable contacts in my field as well as coordinating the North and London EP committees.

Through EP projects, I’ve delved into areas that complement my main job. We’ve researched climate changing the built environment, gathering insights from 50 professionals, both graduates and senior leaders, across diverse organisations. We also held a sustainability summit and campaigned for a five-point sustainability industry plan.

Exploring new horizons
My efforts again paid off—I now have the honour of chairing the national committee. It’s an incredible place to be, overseeing the work of all ACE’s emerging professionals.

We’re working on a podcast series called Fresh Perspectives covering topics like beyond net zero carbon vs other issues. We’re developing a new strategy and programme to accelerate our work on our four themes (sustainability, EDI, digital and future of the workplace) for 2024.

The challenge I’m most looking forward to is sharing more of the great work ACE is doing on the policy front, kicking off with a policy workshop. I want to make EP sessions even more valuable, informed and active to give us greater collaboration and engagement with the specialist policy team at ACE.

The benefits continue
I received my chartership a couple of years ago, and I have a great job with leading firm AtkinsRéalis. While still being active in ACE EP’s network, I’ve found that as well as building up a great project portfolio, ACE is great for making interesting and helpful connections across the whole built environment. Having a brilliant platform like the EPs to discuss important topics or develop a course of action to make a difference, is a real position of strength.

As ACE EP membership is cross industry, with a truly national spread and is pretty much discipline agnostic, it gives a unique network that you don’t get from other associations. It is remarkable and very enjoyable to be part of it.

Welcoming growth
I’d say to all, whether straight out of university or completing their apprenticeship or qualified and working towards their chartership or wanting to extend their network; if it's relevant to your career, you’re all welcome. Joining EPs is a great way to network with peers and current industry leaders on exciting influential projects! The positive buzz is contagious!

For more information about ACE’s Emerging Professionals email:

Tom Worthington

Tom Worthington

Chair, ACE Emerging Professionals