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East Midlands engineers celebrated at 2019 EMMAs

10 June 2019

On Friday 7 June 2019 over 200 members and guests attended the annual East Midlands Merit Gala Dinner at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nottingham, during which the East Midlands Merit Awards (EMMAs) were presented.

East Midlands engineers celebrated at 2019 EMMAs

ICE East Midlands has announced the winners of this year's East Midlands Merit Awards (EMMAs).

Civil engineering projects that were recognised at the event included Birstall Footbridge, the Newark Waste and Water Improvement Project, and Duke's Lake at Stanford Hall.

A total of 26 civil engineering projects from across the regions were shortlisted for the five main awards, with winners and runners-up celebrated at the event co-hosted by ex-England and Leicester Tigers rugby star Rory Underwood and Kyle Clough, an ICE Vice President and Regional Director for Kier Construction and Infrastructure Services.

The Small Project Award

In the category for projects up to £750,000, the winner was announced as Duke's Lake at Stanford Hall, near Loughborough. This project was delivered by Cain Bio-Engineering, and Arup, for the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre.

The team's soft engineering solution was to repair and upgrade the former country house's lake to provide surface water attenuation for the newly constructed medical rehabilitation centre.

The Medium Project Award

Birstall Footbridge, which was delivered by Danaher & Walsh Civil Engineering, William Saunders Partnership and Nusteel, was awarded the top prize in the category for projects up to £10 million.

Birstall Footbridge
Birstall Footbridge

The judges felt that the project was well-planned, with minimal disruption to the public and all stakeholders. The new bridge made use of innovative engineering techniques, and the team delivered "an impressive-looking structure" that provides safe pedestrian and cycle access over a busy dual carriageway.

Other projects that were considered for this award included the Highly Commended River Water Quality Improvement of Bevercotes Beck, near Walesby, Nottinghamshire, which the judges agreed was "a highly innovative project".

The upgraded Sewage Treatment Works at Earl Shilton in Leicestershire was Commended and praised for its use of digital delivery techniques (BIM, Virtual Reality and 4D planning) used to deliver a scheme that benefits around 12,000 people.

The Large Project Award

The Newark Waste and Water Improvement Project won the Large Project Award (over £10m), which was delivered by BNM Alliance. The project was designed to prevent sewers from flooding, which safeguards 400 homes and businesses and provides a secure and stable water supply to the town.

Newark Waste and Water Improvement Project
Newark Waste and Water Improvement Project

In awarding the EMMA, the judges praised the team’s approach to collaborative working combined with local public consultations. The approach helped to reduce the impact of the new sewage system that was built under the town centre, which involved the construction of new shafts and tunnels.

The programme of temporary works at Buxton’s Crescent Hotel and Thermal Spa was Highly Commended for the use of non-destructive survey technology to provide an in-depth analysis of the 230-year-old listed structure, enabling the implementation of appropriate design solutions.

Also considered for the Large Project Award was the Smart Motorways Programme M1 J23a-25, which was also Highly Commended. The scheme was engineered to reduce congestion and to improve the reliability of journey times on this critical section of the national motorway network.

Studies and Research Award

For the Studies and Research Award, the EMMA was presented to the team that compiled the research paper entitled: Applications of Low-cost Cameras for Measurement Collection.

The submission presented research findings from several case studies to demonstrate the application of low-cost vision-based systems, such as smartphones and GoPro-type cameras for the assessment of structural performance of both laboratory and real-world structures.

The judges felt that this concept had significant potential for planning, sustainability and health and safety impacts, using a piece of technology that engineers keep in their pockets: smartphones.

Melton Mowbray Distributor Road was Highly Commended, having been considered for the Research and Study Award. The research project formed part of a public consultation study, which AECOM developed using 3D visualisation comprising drone video footage overlaid with a computer-generated model to show how the proposed new road would sit within the landscape.

The judges praised the innovative approach for planning and communicating a complex engineering project to deliver effective community engagement, which enhanced the delivery of the project.

Merit Award

The EMMAs Merit Award (Team Achievement) went to the Wolverhampton Steel Logistics Centre, which was commissioned by DB Cargo (UK) Limited. The project oversaw the expansion of the logistics centre to accommodate an increase in warehousing of steel coil, close to the manufacturing facilities in the West Midlands.

The judges were impressed with the project team that had extensive local operational knowledge and a flexible, but well coordinated management approach.

The restoration of the Grade II listed Highfields Park in Nottingham was Highly Commended. The judging panel praised high-quality teamwork and extensive cooperation between the partners. This collaborative approach had a very positive impact on the restoration of one of the city’s oldest public parks for current and future generations to enjoy.

Commenting on the annual awards event, ICE East Midlands Regional Director Jo Barnett, said: "Our judges had a diverse range of projects to consider from all sectors of the industry, drawn from right across the region. Many entries this year also included evidence of the use of innovative techniques and technological developments, such as using drones for the planning of major infrastructure projects.

"Our annual awards play an important role in not only demonstrating the importance of our civil engineers, whose hard work and dedication can often go unnoticed, but in also celebrating the positive impact that civil engineering has on our everyday lives."

Matt Huddleston, the ICE’s East Midlands Regional Chair, presented the awards, which were judged by Robert Armitage and his team of fellow judges.

The Gala Dinner is the East Midlands’ premier civil engineering event, which brings together professionals from across the built environment for networking and to celebrate the success of award-winning projects and individuals from across the region.

The East Midlands Merit awards were supported by principal sponsor Kier, and award sponsor, WM Plant Hire.

  • Alex Sargeson, public affairs officer