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Darlington engineer's bridge work wins technical prize

11 July 2019

New Civil Engineer's Recognising Women in Engineering awards celebrated civil engineers working in a wide range of fields.

Darlington engineer's bridge work wins technical prize

Mercedes Ascaso Til, a chartered civil engineer based in Darlington, has received a national award from New Civil Engineer in the category ‘Technical Excellence’.

A principal engineer at DLT Engineering, formerly Dorman Long Technology, and an ICE Teesside Branch committee member, Mercedes Ascaso Til received the award at a private dinner held at London’s famous restaurant, The Ivy.

The ‘Technical Excellence’ award was given to Ascaso for her work as chief engineer on a bridge gantry design on the 1915 Çanakkale Bridge in Turkey.

The success on this project builds on the one achieved in the Nizhou Bridge, in China, currently the second longest suspension bridge in the world.

Ascaso was the chief engineer for the design of the 500 tonne capacity deck erection gantries which, supported on the main cables, lifted 175 deck segments into position in 10 weeks.

Ascaso is the first author of a paper, recently submitted for publication in the ICE Proceedings Bridge Engineering, which describes the gantries and focuses on the innovative movement system.

"Mercedes shows leadership, passion and outstanding technical ability in her work on a bridge gantry design on the Canakkale Bridge in Turkey, which will be the longest suspension bridge in the world when finished," the judges said.

"She took an engineering solution from concept development, through detailed design testing and to operation on site.”

New Civil Engineer’s Recognising Women in Engineering awards supports female engineers’ personal development on the journey towards better gender diversity in the civil engineering sector to attract and retain more women.

Commenting on her award success, Ascaso said: “I’m delighted to have received this award for a project I am proud of delivering. After dedicating more than 20 years to the construction engineering of bridges, tower systems and complex structures, it is an honour to be the winner in the Technical Excellence category.

“I am grateful to the NCE and Curtins for hosting the awards and promoting the role of women in civil engineering.”

Penny Marshall, Regional Director of ICE North East, said: “Mercedes is a fantastic engineer! She is an inspiration to budding and existing engineers both in the North East and beyond. She has a remarkable track record of delivering high-profile, high-impact projects, and I’m sure her successes will only continue to grow.”

  • Joanne Stephenson, communications lead at ICE