UNESCO World Heritage site protected by award-winning Shropshire project

Twenty-six projects from four West Midlands counties, as well as projects from as far afield as New Zealand and Turkey, competed for recognition at ICE West Midlands Awards at the ICC on 17 May.

Overall Winners – Jackfield.
Overall Winners – Jackfield.

Yvonne Aust, ICE West Midlands Chair, Tim Broyd, ICE President, and special guest, Professor Iain Stewart, presented the awards at a ceremony during a black-tie dinner attended by over 300 guests.

The awards are our main opportunity to draw attention to the hidden benefits of civil engineering to society and showcase the most innovative, creative and sustainable contributions engineers make to the wealth our region.

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

Each project entered for up to three of the following categories: Partnership, Education, Heritage, Team Achievement, Communication, Geotechnical, Construction, Innovation, Studies & Research and Sustainability. Awards were given in eight of the ten categories this year.

High-flying young engineers and teams who demonstrated superb communication skills, dedication and commitment to their studies, and made a significant contribution to their profession, were also celebrated at the awards.

Yvonne Aust, ICE West Midlands Chair 2016-17 said:

'This annual event is a great opportunity to celebrate the best in our profession and publicly applaud the inspirational and talented people delivering infrastructure projects in our region and the wider world.'


Winner of the Geotechnical Award and Overall Winner: Jackfield Stabilisation

Client: Telford & Wrekin Council and partners, Jacobs UK Ltd, McPhillips (Wellington) Ltd

The historic Jackfield slip is a large area of steep hillside that has been continually slipping into the River Severn and affecting the daily lives of locals since the 1700s. There is only one road into the community and since 1982 this has been overlaid with timber boards to allow easier maintenance.

The objective of this technically demanding and complex project was to primarily stabilise a 300m length of moving hillside. The risk of a spontaneous landslip into the river causing a blockage and upstream flooding has been eliminated and the stabilisation has also allowed for improvement of transport links back into the area with a new road.

The permanent works involved the installation of 2200 no. CFA piles around 12m long in 9 rows across the hillside. These were designed, using a method designed by renowned Neapolitan civil engineer Carlo Viggiani, to penetrate just past the slip plane approximately 7m down and to mobilise passive resistance against further movement.

Jackfield site
Jackfield site

Chair of the judging panel, Mark Downes said:

'This is an outstanding solution to a problem of historic slope instability with great geotechnical complexity.'

By stabilising this hillside which has been moving for hundreds of years, not only has the local community been protected, but also the works helped to protect Ironbridge Gorge, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, for future generations.'

The project now goes through as the regional entry for the ICE People's Choice national award.

Partnership Award and the Construction Award

The Construction Award recognises excellence in the construction of a civil engineering project.

The Partnership Award, recognises close working by two or more parties in delivering a civil engineering project.

Winner Partnership Award and Construction Award: A 45 south bridge replacement

Client, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
Partners: Carillion Civil Engineering, SLC Rail and Network Rail

The judges said: 'This was a very difficult construction project completed successfully in a constrained physical and programme environment with many stakeholders.' They were impressed by the 'novel way of overcoming the overhead line problem.' The success of this project lies with the fact that many travellers were unaware of it!'

'This project was a testament to effective collaborative unity between all of the project stakeholders and team members.'

Sustainability Award

The Sustainability Award celebrates renewal and regeneration, and takes account of the environmental, economic and social implications of a project.

Winner: Stafford western access route flood compensation works

Client: Staffordshire County Council
Partners: Amey, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Land & Water Services

The judges said: 'This was a great example of a scheme that not only considered environmental effects but had in essence been sustainability led'. 'It provides a solution to a number of interacting construction and environmental problems.'

Innovation Award

The Innovation Award goes to the project that demonstrates originality and pushes the boundaries of recognised civil engineering practice.

Winner: Ludlow sewage treatment works hydraulic extension

Client: Severn Trent Water
Partners: Mott MacDonald Bentley (MMB)

The judges particularly applauded the project for its 'continuous improvement in small steps.'

Education Award

The Education Award goes to the project that demonstrates real efforts to encourage young people to consider a career in civil engineering

Joint winners:

Building the engineers of the future
Entered by Mott MacDonald Bentley (MMB) STEM and People Development

Mouchel Technician, Apprentice and Graduate learning and development training programme
Entered by Mouchel

The judges said:'Building the engineers of the future' provided great mentoring that addresses the skills shortage of civil engineers on a practical basis, by cultivating the imagination of school children with the fundamental seeds of engineering judgement and insight into the profession.

The Mouchel initiative impressed the judges by 'its commitment to raising awareness of civil engineering and training through a variety of interventions in their education programme, covering all ages and abilities.'

Judges said: 'Both winners provide refreshing examples of the promotion of the nature, importance and scientific challenges faced by professional engineers and how their education and learning can stimulate solutions which benefit society and inspire future generations.'

Heritage Award

The Heritage Award celebrates the restoration and preservation of some of the greatest civil engineering works of the past.

Joint winners:

Ferry Bridge restoration
Client: Amey & Staffordshire County Council Highways Partnership
Partners: Amey LG/Staffordshire Highways Operation, Currall, Lewis and Martin Ltd, Inertia Consulting Ltd.

Perry Barr Witton flood risk management system
Client: Environment Agency
Partners: CH2M, Jackson Civil Engineering

Judges commended Ferry Bridge for its 'excellent research work which resulted in rejuvenating a 'lost' heritage for the local community and preserving it for the future' and Perry Barr for 'excellence in the preservation of heritage'

Studies and Research Award

Winner: Rapid low cost water quality assessment for all

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Birmingham and partners Oxfam, Head of Water and Sanitation and the Diageo Foundation

Judges thought the winning project was an 'excellent, innovative and simple solution providing a rapid basis for allocation of engineering resources to the most needy'

Highly Commended for Partnership

Bromlow distribution service reservoir

Client: Severn Trent Water
Partners: Mott MacDonald Bentley (MMB)

Highly Commended for Construction

The Oculus, the University of Warwick

Client: The University of Warwick and
Partners: Pick Everard, Wilmott Dixon, Berman Guedes Stretton, Copeland Wedge Associates (CWA), B & K Structures

Highly Commended for Communication

Solihull Town centre radial bus priority improvement (RBPI) – Lode Lane route enhancement

Client: Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and partners Atkins

Highly Commended for Studies & Research

Sustainable structural concrete – a concept for future design - AECOM and Loughborough University

ICE West Midlands Young Achiever Award for 2017 which is given for outstanding achievement of an engineer in the region under the age of thirty

Winner: Dominik McCormick - AECOM

Hear Dominik speak about his career

Highly Commended for the high standard of her early career achievement:

Beth Emberton - Arup

The Winner of the regional round of the ICE Emerging Engineers Competition was Constance Pang from Arup with her paper:

'Emergency Sanitation Project – Emergency Wastewater Disposal'

Technicians' Award

This year awards were given to:

Harry Williams who works for Mouchel and was nominated by Solihull College for outstanding work on his Level 3 Apprenticeship, Yr 1; and

Gareth Rushton who works for Telford & Wrekin Council and was nominated by Wolverhampton University for excellent work on his HNC Civil Engineering course.

Graduates & Students Communications competition

Winning team
Winning team

Winners of the regional round:

Sara Ali, James Reader, Ramon Agudos Parros and James Whalley from the Arup team who will represent the West Midlands region at the semi-finals in July.