New Street redevelopment project wins West Midlands Awards

ICE West Midlands Awards 2016 took place at the ICC in Birmingham on 26th May.

Winners pictured at the ICE West Midlands Awards ceremony.
Winners pictured at the ICE West Midlands Awards ceremony.

Mark Downes, ICE West Midlands Chairman 2015-16, special guest, Professor Alice Roberts, and ICE Vice President, Zara Lamont presented the awards at a dinner attended by over 350 guests, which was sponsored by Sika, AECOM and Atkins.

Twenty projects from across the region entered for the awards and were judged by a panel of chartered civil engineers. There were six category winners and five highly commended projects with one overall winner announced on the evening.

Talented young engineers and students were also celebrated at the event with the Young Achiever Award, Emerging Engineer Award and Technicians’ Award.

All Awards entries were features in a special Birmingham Post Awards supplement.

Mark Downes in his Chairman’s message said:

"This major event in the civil engineering calendar celebrates our profession, and the inspirational people and teams delivering projects. I am proud that the West Midlands continues to attract major investment, providing opportunities for future generations of civil engineers.

My theme for the year is 'unsung and future engineers'. We are perfectly placed to support societies needs today and into the future, by delivering efficient, innovative and effective solutions and projects in a safe and sustainable manner. To achieve this we need to recognise the hard work of those in the engine room, who are often overlooked. We must also capture their knowledge and enthusiasm and share it to inspire the next generation of civil engineers."

Professor Alice Roberts
Professor Alice Roberts speaks at the West Midlands Awards ceremony

After dinner, the audience heard from guest speaker, Professor Alice Roberts, BBC presenter, writer, anatomist, anthropologist and Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham.

Professor Roberts’ enthralling lecture posed the question of ‘how we get from simplicity to complexity’, drawing on civil engineering abilities of the Neanderthals the discoveries of the ancient Greeks, and how the human body is not a perfect design.

Awards were presented by Alice Roberts, Mark Downes and Zara Lamont.

The Construction Award was sponsored by Sika, The Innovation Award by Atkins, and the Sustainability Award, by AECOM.

2016 winners

Construction Award and Overall winner

The Redevelopment of Birmingham New Street Station
Client: Network Rail and partners Atkins and Mace

The judges were impressed with the extent and range of innovation in both design and construction with limited impact to the rail network and to residents and businesses close by. They said: ‘The logistics during construction were impressive, maintaining a positive profile throughout construction and commissioning. A great project on so many levels.’

John Sunderland, former ICE West MIdlands Chairman, who chaired the judging panel said:

"A worthy overall winner due it its complexity and significance both locally and nationally, showcasing our industry through innovation in both design concepts and construction strategies delivered in collaboration by all parties.

The use of the existing structure and subsequent transformation creating a real wow factor and in the opinion of the judges a great project on so many levels."

The Staffordshire Area Improvements Programme
Client: Network Rail and Staffordshire Alliance partners Atkins, Laing O’Rourke and Volker Rail

The judges recognised the steep learning curve that the whole team went through in delivering a large complex civil engineering project using ground-breaking approaches and creating a pathfinder best practice approach for future delivery in the rail sector.

The Sustainability Award Winner

Orchard Close Flood Alleviation Scheme
Client: Severn Trent Water, and partners GHD Livigunn and Amey

The judges said this was an exceptional example the role civil engineers play in society and the skills and knowledge they employ to benefit the wider community. They were particularly impressed with the approach to deliver a sustainable and effective solution to a long standing flooding issue.

The Innovation Award Winner

The Post and Mail building, Birmingham
Client: Balfour Beatty, and partners Chatham Billingham (P&M) Ltd, Associated Architects and Ramboll

The judges were hugely impressed by the use of innovative engineering and analysis in the adaptation and regeneration in an existing building. Excellent design and construction strategies combined to accommodate the existing 17m deep basement structure without disruption to adjacent buildings. The result is an exceptional high quality mixed use building showcasing the innovative civil engineering approach.

The Education Award Winner

Winner University of Birmingham Library construction project – Opening the Book on Construction and Engineering
Client: The University of Birmingham and partner, Carillion

The judges said the winning project is an excellent example of outreach and collaboration, delivering both economic and social benefits. In doing so, it has facilitated the project opening up and extending to the wider community and creating a legacy for the future.

The Heritage Award and Special Overall Highly Commended certificate winner

Aston Webb Building (C Block) refurbishment
Client the University of Birmingham and partners Associated Architects, Ramboll and Couch Perry Wilkes

Judges said the winning project is exemplary for its graceful and sympathetic approach. The project team integrated the old with the new in delivering a modern, high quality facility, completely transformed to fit with modern educational needs. It will undoubtedly inspire future generations.

Highly Commended for Team Achievement


Koutulai Grain Store
Client: Engineers for Overseas Development with partners Salt Peter Trust and the Koutulai Women’s Cooperative

Friargate, Coventry
Client: Coventry City Council and partners Atkins

The University of Leicester Centre for Medicine
Client: University of Leicester and partners Ramboll and Wilmott Dixon Construction Ltd

The judges commented that each project had differing demands and challenges but were excellent in demonstrating what civil engineers can achieve in collaboration and partnership. It was very difficult to decide on one outstanding winner and the judges therefore decided that all entrants should receive a highly commended award, recognising their achievements.

Highly Commended for Heritage

Bidford Bridge accident response and repairs
Client: Warwickshire County Council and partners Balfour Beatty Living Places, Avon Navigation Trust, Croft Building and Conservation Ltd, Historic England

The judges were particularly impressed by the collaborative partnership approach and the innovative use of photogrammetric surveys and drawings to ensure matching of materials in a high quality finished outcome.

Winner of the ICE West Midlands Young Achiever Award for 2016

This award is given for outstanding achievement of an engineer in the region under the age of thirty.

Mark Downes said "It was heartening for me to learn about the highly motivated and enthused young engineers that our industry is fortunate enough to have. Their commitment to their chosen fields of engineering is apparent, as is their desire to share the positive experiences they have enjoyed, and the wider virtues of civil engineering, with schools, colleagues, family, anyone who will listen.

The nine nominations were of an extremely high standard. It is impressive the achievements that have been made so early in the careers of these individuals which is a testament to their commitment, enthusiasm and drive.

They have all excelled in the formative stages of their careers I am confident and reassured that the industry is in good hands with such individuals emerging in our industry."

Winner - Sarah Blick from Atkins

Highly Commended for the high standard of their early career achievements were:

Paul McGoldrick from Atkins, James Homer from AECOM and Josh Moran from Amey

The Winner of the regional round of the ICE Emerging Engineers Competition

Connah Jones for his paper:

“Investigating the strengthening of concrete T-beams in shear with embedded Glass Fibre-Reinforced Polymer bars”

ICE West Midlands Technician Award Winner

Ian Townsend, from Jacobs - nominated by the University of Wolverhampton

The ICE West Midlands Awards 2017 will take place at the ICC Birmingham on 17 May 2017.

To reserve your table contact Rebecca Martin [email protected]

To receive an Entrants’ Pack or enquire about sponsorship for 2017 contact [email protected]