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Emerging Engineers Award 2024: regional winners announced

26 June 2024

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

Emerging Engineers Award 2024: regional winners announced
The ICE United Arab Emirates Emerging Engineers final.

The winner of the Hong Kong regional heat of the 2024 ICE Emerging Engineers Award has been announced.

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.

2024 regional finalists

Dilan Patel
Dilan Patel

Dilan Patel, a student from Nottingham University, won the East Midlands regional final for his presentation.

He presented on Testing the Suitability of Seashell Powder as a Partial Cement Replacement in Concrete.

Concrete is vastly used in the construction industry due to its durability, strength, and versatility.

However, its widespread use negatively affects the environment, mainly due to the significant carbon emissions from cement manufacturing.

Patel researched a sustainable alternative that uses seashells.

Seashells are found in abundance. They are cost effective and can enhance the performance of concrete in strength and resistance to chemical damage.

Patel's findings suggest that replacing cement with seashwell powder by up to 10% is acceptable with a minimal decrease in the concrete's strength.


  • Christopher Nixon, a graduate civil engineer at Taylor Woodrow, came second for his paper: Motivation to Be Environmentally Sustainable Among Employees in the UK Construction Industry.
  • University of Derby student, Ayomide Akintunde, came third for his paper: Assessment of Structural Flood Alleviation Strategies in Derby Relative to Natural Flood Management (NFM) Approaches and Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS).

Michelle Chiew

Michelle Chiew

Michelle Chiew, a recent graduate from the University of Hong Kong, won the regional final with her research on Effects of Increased Use of Electric Vehicles on Future Design Traffic Action on Bridges.

Chiew pointed out that the use of electric vehicles (EVs) was on the rise in Hong Kong, but prevailing local guidelines were developed when internal combustion vehicles were dominant.

Chiew compared the gross weight of internal combustion vehicles and their EV counterparts, and investigated the additional loading on vehicular bridges from an increased share of EVs in daily traffic.

She foresaw that EVs will account for half of the traffic by 2050, and recommended a 10-20% increase in loading parameters to cater for the heavier weight of EVs.

Since the research was based on static loading, she expected future research to cover free flowing traffic scenarios.


  • Oakley Yuen, for a presentation on Investigation of Influencing Factors on the Engineering Properties of Microbially Induced Calcite Precipitation (MICP) Treated Soils.
  • Sam Li, for a presentation on Digital Twin Based Structural Health Monitoring of Buildings.
  • Walter Mak, for a presentation on A Superwetting Catalytic Membrane to Purify Wastewater.

shaun jinks
Shaun Jinks

Shaun Jinks, a civil engineering apprentice at Transport for London, has won the London regional final for his presentation on the evaluation and rehabilitation of reinforced concrete hinges.

These hinges are a unique structural element used in the construction of reinforced concrete highway bridges.

Jinks’ research formed part of a larger study into reinforced concrete hinges that was recently completed for his BEng (Hons) in civil engineering at London South Bank University.

As part of his research, Jinks used the Brent Cross Flyover in north London as a case study.

Jinks evaluated different types of rehabilitation methods that could provide the bridge’s reinforced concrete Mesnager hinges with the strength needed.

Four designs were proposed before going through an option selection process, assessing each for constructability, economics, and carbon emissions.

Jinks’ final design recommendation was a steel plating system, which he verified through structural calculations.

Mina Maxi
Mina Maxi

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

He impressed the judges with his paper AEM-Based Retrofitting for Existing or Adaptive Reuse Structures to Increase Resilience Against Terrorist Threats: The Pancake Effect.

Maxi researched methods to improve building resilience against extreme loads, particularly the vertical collapses known as the pancake effect.

Maxi's study draws lessons from the World Trade Centre disaster, demonstrating the catastrophic potential of terrorist attacks on urban structures.

In his presentation, Maxi emphasised the importance of enhancing existing buildings, particularly those of strategic importance, to withstand extreme events.

His research showcases the effectiveness of combining carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) slabs and concrete column jacketing to strengthen structures.

This significantly reduces the risk of progressive collapse and provides occupants with more time to evacuate in emergencies.


  • Abdullah Muktar Bature, for his paper titled Investigating the Potential Use of Palm Kernel Shell and Palm Fiber as Aggregates in Concrete.
  • Zainab Alajmi, for her paper titled Rheological Characteristics of Geopolymer Concrete and Their Influence on the Environment.

Chris Davenport
Chris Davenport

Chris Davenport, a final-year civil engineering student at Northumbria University, has won the North East regional heat of the ICE Emerging Engineers Award.

He impressed the judges with the presentation of his paper, An Investigation into the use of Timber Bunds as a Natural Flood Management (NFM) Technique, at a Local and Catchment Scale.

Natural flood management (NFM) has become a more popular and sustainable technique to help directly mitigate the effects of flooding.

It can also support existing traditional flood prevention assets in UK river catchments.

Davenport’s study focuses on timber bunds as a form of NFM, and their performance in a variety of different contexts against varying intensities of storms.

The research showed that timber bunds can significantly reduce the peak magnitude of events by up to 11.5%, and delay the time to peak by up to one hour 


  • Second place went to Adam Wilkinson, graduate engineer at Arup, for his presentation Application of Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS) to Freight Train Preparation and Operation Using RAIB Publications.
  • Third place went to Jack Sewell, degree apprentice at WSP, for his presentation Civil Design in the Water Industry - Phosphorus Removal.

Ben Millar

Ben Millar

Ben Millar, a PhD student at Queen's University Belfast, impressed the judges with the presentation of his paper on ArchiMEDES: The Development of Computer Vision-Based Methods for Predicting Scour at Bridges.

ArchIMEDES: Arch Image Measurement for the Evaluation of Deformation by Erosion due to Scour is a computer vision tool. It was developed to remotely record load-induced displacements across a masonry arch bridge as well as hinge information, which is unique to ArchIMEDES.

It's built specifically for the FlexiArch but has applications outside of this system. Scour is the most common cause of bridge collapse. It particularly endangers masonry arches due to the nature of their construction.

The paper concluded that the ArchIMEDES suite of tools has proved to be robust and reliable at detecting and predicting scour.

It can act as an early warning system and allow engineers to be proactive rather than reactive.


  • James Brown, for a presentation on The Need to Prioritise Non-dig Solutions.
  • Jamie Sterritt, for a presentation on Storm Water Separation – Identifying and Acting on Opportunities to Improve NI Water’s Network Capacity.

Hamish Dow
Hamish Dow

Hamish Dow, a final-year civil and environmental engineering PhD student at the University of Strathclyde, has been named ICE Scotland’s Emerging Engineer 2024.

Dow’s paper, Lights, Camera, Action: AI-Powered Concrete Inspections, focused on the field deployment of an automated, and robot-mountable concrete visual inspection device.

This device uses lighting and artificial intelligence to detect, classify, quantify, and monitor concrete defects with unprecedented speed, accuracy, and precision.

Dow said: "With many concrete structures now reaching the end of their design life, routine inspections are crucial for ensuring continued structural safety.

“This award recognises the value of innovation in inspection methods, and I'm proud to contribute to building a more sustainable future for our infrastructure."


  • Connor Jordan, a student at the University of Edinburgh, for a presentation on Practical Design of Large-Scale Tidal Turbine Arrays.
  • Lewis Rands, a student at the University of Strathclyde, for a presentation on The Effect Upon a Building’s Carbon Emissions by Including a Sprinkler System in the Fire Protection Design.

Timur Bolotin
Timur Bolotin

Timur Bolotin has won the South West regional final for his presentation on the future risk of power line galloping in the UK.

Bolotin explained how he used modelling to predict the possible failure of overhead power cables due to a phenomenon known as galloping, where electricity lines move in certain wind and weather conditions.

Bolotin, who’s studying for an MEng (Hons) degree in civil engineering at the University of Bristol, undertook his research to shed light on what might happen in the UK if winds become more severe and unpredictable due to climate change.

His analysis suggests the South West region could be a future high-risk area, leading to costly failures in the electricity network.

“Our overhead electricity transmission system is vital for the country to operate properly,” said Bolotin.

“Climate change threatens this system since even small increases in wind speeds could have large structural impacts.

“As such, it is of utmost importance to consider climate change when refurbishing old or designing new transmission cables and towers.”


  • Oliver Lamyman, a graduate civil engineer at Ringway Infrastructure Services, for the presentation of a paper on Urban Drainage Design Adaptation: A Regional Based Approach to Combat the Effects of the Nation’s Long-Term Climate Change.
  • Alex Pert, a civil engineering undergraduate at the University of Bristol, for a presentation of a paper asking, What Is the Place for Small Modular Reactors as One of the Uk’s Future Energy Sources?

Afeefa Muhammad Iliyas
Afeefa Muhammad Iliyas

Afeefa Muhammad Iliyas, a student at Heriot-Watt University Dubai, has won the UAE Emerging Engineers Award final.

She impressed the judges with her paper on Eco-Friendly Concrete: Partial Cement Replacement With Ceramic Waste Powder and Supplementary Cementitious Materials.

Concrete, widely used in construction for its strength and durability, has a significant environmental impact due to the carbon emitted when producing cement.

Iliyas’ research aimed to develop sustainable concrete by partly replacing cement with materials like silica fumes (SF), ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS), and ceramic waste powder (CWP).

These materials not only reduce carbon emissions but also enhance concrete properties.


  • Alwyn Paulson for his paper titled, The Sustainable Use of Waste Plastic Bottles in Bituminous Asphalt Mixes.
  • Biji Sara Binu for her paper titled, Transformative Impacts of Artificial Intelligence in the Construction Industry.

The Wales Cymru regional final is on Friday 14 June 2024.

Samprada Pradhan
Samprada Pradhan

Samprada Pradhan, a graduate geotechnical engineer at Mott MacDonald, has won the West Midlands regional final.

She presented on Lessons Learnt From Real-Time Monitoring of Rainfall and Soil Water Content.

Slope failures (or landslides) caused by shallow rainfall are one of the most common geohazards that affect lives, infrastructure and the environment across the globe.

Pradhan shared the monitoring results, highlighting how atmospheric drying and wetting processes affect shallow slope failures.

These insights are expected to improve our understanding of shallow rainfall-induced slope failures to help improve how we assess and predict them.


Adel Saad, who’s on a civil engineering industrial placement at Mott MacDonald, came second for his paper: The Importance of Using BIM (Building Information Modelling) in Developing Railway Stations.

Matthew Brooks
Matthew Brooks

Matthew Brooks, a graduate engineer at the Environment Agency, has won the Yorkshire and Humber regional heat of the ICE Emerging Engineers Award.

He impressed the judges with the presentation of his paper on Developing a Recovery Framework to Combat the Effects and Increase Resilience to Major UK Flood Events.

Brooks believes that traditional models and associated strategies are no longer enough to address flood management and recovery.

His research addressed the increasing risk of flooding in the UK by identifying the challenges and barriers associated with current practice.

Brooks developed a new overall framework that incorporates existing strengths and improves current weaknesses.

Brooks’ framework provides a strategy for decision makers to progress towards a more holistic approach to flood risk management and recovery.


  • Second place wen to Shihas Melikattil Shamsudheen, civil engineer at MHB Consuitants Ltd, for his paper Appropriate Time for Adding Dry Ice to Enhance CO2 Sequestration in Various Cementitious Systems.
  • Third place went to Shreenij Maharjan, MSc student at Universiry of Sheffield, for his paper Enhancing Road Network Drainage and Resilience: Exploring SuDS Integration Through a Literature Review.

Learn more about the Emerging Engineers Award.

  • Neeta Cubitt, communications lead at ICE Northern Ireland