Skip to content

Emerging Engineers Award 2023: winner announced

06 October 2023

George Grant, senior civil engineer at Dice Consulting Engineers, has been named the winner of this international engineering contest.

Emerging Engineers Award 2023: winner announced
The winner, George Grant, will take home a £1,500 cash prize and the prestigious Institution Medal.

A presentation on developing a new below ground vegetation SuDS solution has won George Grant the ICE Emerging Engineers Award international final.

Grant, a senior civil engineer at Dice Consulting Engineers, presented his paper at an online final earlier today.

Joining him were Katie O'Neill, who presented on engineering suicide prevention, and Margarida Marques, whose paper focused on a life cycle assessment of carbon steel, stainless steel and basalt fiber-reinforced polymers (BFRP) reinforcement bars.

Grant was awarded a £1,500 cash prize and the prestigious Institution Medal for his efforts.

About the Emerging Engineers Award

The Emerging Engineers Award is for ICE members in the early career cohort: students, graduates and apprentices.

The competition encourages and rewards the communication of civil engineering ideas, research and best practice in projects and design.

Candidates from across the world are invited to submit synopsis papers to compete in regional heats, with the final selection of three papers for the overall Emerging Engineer Award final in October each year.

2023 regional finalists

Developing a new below ground vegetation SuDS (sustainable drainge systems) solution

George Grant
George Grant

George Grant, senior civil engineer at Dice Consulting Engineers, impressed the judges with the presentation of his paper ‘Developing a new below ground vegetation SuDS solution’.

Grant’s paper discussed below ground vegetated SuDS solutions that develop current techniques to assist mandatory SuDS implementation, thus combating urbanisation impacts.

Grant is experienced with drainage and highway design. He’s passionate about finding creative solutions for varying residential and commercial schemes.


  • Melvin Devassy for his paper ‘Optimization of mechano-chemical activation of clays to develop a sustainable binder’
  • Sandun Chamika Monarawila Jayalath Edmond who presented on ‘Standardisation of concrete mixes for hydraulic tunnel structures in highways’

Environmentally friendly recycling and functionalising of manganese from spent alkaline batteries

jeremy ng

Jeremy Ng

Jeremy Ng impressed the judges with his presentation titled “Environmentally friendly recycling and functionalising of manganese from spent alkaline batteries” and was winner of the Hong Kong regional heat.

Conventional electronic waste treatment methods, such as landfilling and incineration, negatively impact the environment.

Jeremy performed two X-Ray diffraction experiments and confirmed that manganese oxide from spent alkaline battery is in the form of manganese (II, III) oxide (Mn3O4) and that aluminium was doped inside the structure of Mn3O4.

Upon carrying out the oxygen evolution reaction (OER), he adopted linear sweep voltammetry (LSV) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) techniques to evaluate the catalytic performance and efficiency of recycling manganese by OER.

Jeremy concluded that manganese oxide in the form of Mn3O4(s) carried a positive impact on the catalytic activity of OER, which would manifest in the sustainability of reusing manganese from spent batteries.


  • Wan Lap Yin presented on “Elderly adoption of autonomous demand-responsive transport in a transit-oriented city”
  • Arthur Lam introduced his paper on “Investigation of the feasibility of using completely decomposed tuff as a river sand substitute for concrete production”
  • Chung Sze Ho shared his findings on “Review of the application of Q-system for tunnel intersection design in Tseung Kwan O – Lam Tin Tunnel”

Why are cars getting bigger? A deep dive into how UK regulations are enabling car size growth

Ruth Carlson

Ruth Carlson

Ruth Carlson, a civil engineer at Sustrans, has won the London Emerging Engineers Award regional final for her paper on “Why are cars getting bigger? A deep dive into how UK regulations are enabling car size growth.”

Her paper outlined the current problems with bigger cars, the pitfalls of the current regulatory framework that have enabled this growth, and the changes to design guidance that could be adopted to limit car size growth.

The judges were impressed by her clear and engaging style, and her focus on addressing a key challenge facing transport, which is perhaps overlooked in current codes.

Carlson’s passion for the subject shone through in her presentation, and she came up with some thought-provoking solutions to the challenge.

Guidance for multi-disciplinary optimisation (structural and environmental approaches using BIM) on retrofitted buildings

Mina Maxi

Mina Maxi

Mina Maxi, a student at the British University in Egypt, has won the Middle East and North Africa regional Emerging Engineers Award final.

He impressed the judges with his extensive review of past research approaches regarding energy optimisation requirements and scoping on structural optimisation through building refurbishment.

In his presentation, Maxi covered the need for Building Information Modelling (BIM) and how the suggested guidelines for combining energy and structural optimisation are developed to recheck the stability of structural elements and use updated energy techniques with environmentally friendly merits.

The research demonstrates that retrofitting existing buildings for another purpose using multi-disciplinary optimisation leads to significant energy conservation.

This proves to be a more sustainable approach than demolishing and rebuilding.

Runner up

  • Yahia Alabbasi, for his paper titled ‘New approach for flood modelling of sub-networks in large networks using InfoWorks ICM: a case study of Qatar’s full storm water network’

Merits of new forms of urban junctions designed to accommodate all road users

Dominic Corr

Dominic Corr

Dominic Corr, civil engineer at Arup and graduate of Newcastle University, has won the combined North East and Yorkshire and Humber regional Emerging Engineers final.

He impressed the judges with his paper which investigated the merits of new forms of urban junctions designed to accommodate all road users.

In his presentation, Corr covered the need for sustainable transport, active travel and issues around traditional junction design, and how it can be improved by adopting alternatives such as the ‘Dutch-style’ roundabout and ‘Cyclops’ junction.

Overall, the paper outlined that it’s evident that the devised ‘Dutch-style’ roundabout and ‘Cyclops’ junction layouts offered improved provision for all road users.

This demonstrates several merits across the four threads of spatial efficiency, delay, capacity and safety.


  • Toby Loveday, for his paper on ‘Determining the hydraulic behaviour and effectiveness of a ‘letterbox’ leaky barrier design’.
  • Alex Jennings for his paper on moorland restoration as natural flood management.

Cross laminated timber from domestic sources

Jamie Graham

Jamie Graham

Jamie Graham, an undergraduate student at Queen’s University Belfast, impressed the judges with the presentation of his paper ‘Cross laminated timber from domestic sources’.

Graham’s paper specifically related to timber drying and Stika spruce tree as a viable construction material for cross-laminated timber (CLT).

The paper concluded with the recommendation that Irish CLT be considered as a viable future construction material from the perspective of timber dimensional stability.

Civil and structural engineers are responsible for a significant portion of the emissions released globally today.

Domestic CLT offers the opportunity to drastically reduce the emissions associated with construction and introduce an innovative new material in the UK and Ireland.


  • David McGloin, who presented on ‘M8 Glasgow structural assessments Provan Road post-tensioned concrete viaducts'.
  • Sarah Quinn, for her paper on ‘Utility impact below bridge soffit on open channel flow’.

Research into bridge suicide prevention barriers

katie oneill

Katie O’Neill

Katie O’Neill has been named ICE Scotland’s Emerging Engineer 2023 for her paper on different approaches to bridge suicide prevention barriers.

O’Neill, a fourth-year civil engineering with architecture student at the University of Glasgow, looked at various case studies of bridges which have historically been used as sites for suicide, and how deaths could be prevented.

She also designed a potential solution for the Forth Road Bridge.

Commenting on winning the competition, O'Neill said: “Engineers have a social responsibility to protect public safety, health, and welfare...

“Prevention of suicidal behaviour remains a complex and imperfect art - one of the few strategies that has been proven as effective is reducing the availability of means. So by designing tall bridges that cannot be jumped from, engineers can reduce suicides.”


  • Maxime Van Crombrugge, for his paper: ‘Use of laterite and rice husk ash as affordable and alternative construction materials in concrete roof tiles’.
  • Third place went to Matthew Munro, who wrote on ‘Embodied carbon classification scheme for concrete’.

Biophilic design and civil engineering

angelica posada pulgarin

Angelica Posada Pulgarin

Angelica Posada Pulgarin, a senior civil engineer at Wokingham Borough Council, has won the South East regional final for her presentation on biophilic design and civil engineering.

The judges commended the topic of biophilic design and how to integrate the natural environment into the built environment.

Climate change is a huge challenge, with rapid urbanisation contributing to this.

Biophilic design will allow civil engineers to take a more holistic approach to design, which will enable them to meet the demands of society while adopting sustainable practices and improving the wellbeing of end users.


  • Alexandra Savage, for a presentation on 'Embodied carbon lifecycle assessments for ground improvement techniques to address contamination'
  • David Robson, for a presentation on 'The use of technology for efficient data capture of existing infrastructure assets'
  • Anastasios Andrianopoulos, for a presentation on 'A comprehensive analysis of roles as author and reviewer of CD352, CM430, and MCHW: a perspective on societal impact'

Buckling analysis of cylindrical steel members under combined axial load and bending moment using numerical modelling

Nilesh Jeetah

Nilesh Jeetah

Nilesh Jeetah, a civil engineering student at the University of Plymouth, won the South West regional final after presenting research which could have important implications for the future development of floating offshore wind.

His paper investigated the buckling analysis of cylindrical steel members under combined axial load and bending moment using numerical modelling.

The aim was to gain a better understanding of the behaviour of the cylindrical steel shells that make up the floating platforms for offshore wind turbines.

Ultimately, the research informs the potential for scaling up the technology, paving the way for improvements in efficiency, cost-effectiveness and reliability.

Nilesh recently completed his third year of an MEng (Hons) civil engineering degree course at the University of Plymouth.


  • Joel Smith for his paper on carbon analysis within rail project frameworks.
  • Sahil Hamid for his research on the effects of wind-induced lateral vibrations in skyscrapers on occupants’ physical performance.

Assessing the effective incorporation of circular economy principles in the UAE construction sector

Jainey Erum

Jainey Erum

Jainey Ram Erum, a student at the University of Bolton RAK, United Arab Emirates, has won the UAE regional Emerging Engineers Award final.

She impressed the judges with her paper which investigated circular economy, an economic model that promotes the conservation of natural resources and the consumption of raw materials over the duration of a product's or service's full lifespan.

In her presentation, Erum covered the need for having more efficiently designed, constructed, rebuilt, and demolished infrastructure by adopting circular economy strategies in the infrastructure sector.

The paper concluded that the UAE is making progress towards circular construction by incorporating circular economy principles through the implementation of Green Building Codes.

But, there’s a need to further enhance its transition by including additional strategies and measures in the codes.


  • Reuben Mathew Ajit for his paper titled ‘Exploring sustainable alternatives to conventional concrete: a focus on the environmental impacts and potential of eggshell waste materials’
  • Rippendeep Kaur Sra for her paper ‘Integrating blockchain technology with the BIM model for facilitating the payment certificate’
  • Hana Engida for her paper ‘Low energy schools design - “for pupil” prompt’

Implementing strategies for sustainability within the construction industry

Archie Williams

Archie Williams

Archie Williams, a civil engineering student at Swansea University, has won the regional final after presenting his paper entitled ‘Implementing strategies for sustainability within the construction industry’.

Williams research, by means of a questionnaire, revealed that overall, the industry is aware of these technologies but doesn’t use them often enough or to their full potential.

This is caused by several barriers, the most prevalent being the lack of proper guidance or legislation.

To combat this, the RIBA Plan of Work was scrutinised, specifically looking at stages 4, 5 and 7.

Each stage was evaluated in relation to its sustainability, and additional core tasks provided to further guide construction companies through crucial responsibilities relating to sustainability.

The lack of legislation has been addressed and that sustainable design should now be more attainable on all types of projects.

Williams has finished his third year at Swansea University and is going back in September for his masters in civil engineering. He’s also an ICE QUEST scholar.


  • Eve Mainwaring, for her paper titled 'An investigation into the effectiveness of four different filter materials and their ability to filter raw water'.
  • Ioan Marshman, for presenting on 'Footbridge dynamics: a practical approach using commercial software'.
  • Ffion George, for a presentation on 'Transmission of infectious diseases in indoor environments'.

A life cycle assessment of carbon steel, stainless steel, and BFRP reinforcement bars

Margarida Marques

Margarida Marques

Margarida Marques impressed the judges with her paper titled ‘A life cycle assessment of carbon steel, stainless steel, and BFRP reinforcement bars’.

In her paper, Margarida investigates the feasibility of using stainless steel and basalt fibre reinforced polymer in reinforced concrete structures.

It also explores the resulting impacts on durability and the environment.


  • Ashwin Narayana, for a paper titled 'Evaluation of displaced right turn intersection’s performance under varying design and traffic conditions'.
  • Saju Joseph Mathew, for presenting on 'Shear characterisation of pultruded super structural FPR-timber push-outs with and without concrete overlays'.

Learn more about the Emerging Engineers Award.

  • Neeta Cubitt, communications lead at ICE Northern Ireland