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ICE Awards 2023 winners announced

24 July 2023

Celebrating engineers working to improve the industry and the world.

ICE Awards 2023 winners announced
One of the winners is a project that helps to alert citizens to flooding in Bangkok. Image credit: Shutterstock/Wutthichai

Engineers and civil engineering projects that are leading the way in tackling climate change and improving the industry have been recognised by the ICE Awards 2023.

Among this year’s winners are projects that have contributed to decarbonisation, climate change adaptation and productivity improvements.

Many individuals have been hailed for their contributions to the profession or to the ICE.

The 2023 winners are:

  • Gold Medal: Luiza C Campos
  • Brunel Medal: O.PARK2, Hong Kong
  • Bev Waugh Award: Barbara Rossi
  • Tom Barton Award: Perry Shard
  • Warren Medal: Paula McMahon
  • Garth Watson Medal: David Thomas
  • Edmund Hambly Medal – Winner: Hollym, Myers Lane, Wastewater Treatment Works, Yorkshire
  • Edmund Hambly Medal – Highly Commended: Tung Chung New Town Extension, Hong Kong
  • Edmund Hambly Medal – Highly Commended: Design, Build and Operate First Stage of Tseung Kwan O Desalination Plant, Hong Kong
  • Chris Binnie Award: Flood Management Decision Support System for Bangkok Metropolitan Administration
  • Chris Binnie Award – Highly Commended: Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Generation Project, South Korea

About the awards

The ICE Awards celebrate the achievements of people and projects in the civil engineering and infrastructure profession.

Nominations were invited for each award category, and each citation was evaluated by the ICE’s independent Awards Committee, which judges and selects the winner for each category.

The ICE president will present the winners with their awards at a ceremony at the institution’s London HQ in October.

Nominations for next year’s awards will open shortly after the ceremony.

The 2023 award winners in detail

Further information on the achievements of each of the winners, and those who were highly commended, can be found below:

Gold Medal (Engineering excellence): Luiza C Campos

Professor Luiza Campos is a civil engineer specialising in water and sanitation with more than 30 years’ working experience in industry and academia.

Most of her research projects are interdisciplinary, spanning chemistry, biology, social sciences, and education.

She specialises in the development and evaluation of cost-effective water and sanitation technologies to reduce environmental pollution and improve public health and wellbeing in support of UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 (clean water and sanitation). 

Campos has an outstanding track record in her research, shown by her Scopus profile, with more than 230 publications with 3,208 citations overall and h-index of 30.

She has made a significant contribution to research into microplastics/microfibers in drinking water and the fate of these particles in wastewater effluents.

Campos’ initiatives provide recommendations to guide the design of water treatment processes to minimise concentrations of micro-contaminants in potable water supplies and in hospitals.

Her findings are enabling civil engineers to design and equip buildings with specified filtration systems and protect public health. 

Brunel Medal (Recognition of low-carbon solutions in the built environment): O.PARK2

O.PARK2 will be the second organic resources recovery centre in Hong Kong upon its commissioning in 2024.

It adopts anaerobic digestion technology to convert food waste into biogas for electricity generation and fertiliser as a by-product.

Besides providing electricity and heat for its own facilities, the surplus biogas produced can be converted to about 24 million kWh of electricity annually, sufficient for use by some 5,000 households.

With the decrease in fossil fuel use for electricity generation, together with the reduced amount of organic waste for landfilling, it is estimated that O.PARK2 will lead to a 67,000-tonne reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually.

In 2021, a total GHG reduction of 4,151 tonnes of CO2e was achieved, which is equivalent to 24% of the total annual carbon emissions for the civil, structural and architectural construction of O.PARK2.

After a significant reduction of carbon emissions, the first batch of carbon credits was purchased in December 2022.

This was used to offset the carbon emissions on the construction site before June 2022, which is the first and only batch of carbon trading for carbon offset in 2022 through HKEX (Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd).

The remaining carbon emissions after the completion of the construction period will be offset by the second batch of carbon credits, purchased to achieve carbon neutrality. 

Bev Waugh Award (Productivity and Culture): Barbara Rossi

Barbara Rossi leads the Sustainable Metal Structures Research Group at the University of Oxford.

Her research focuses on the role of key materials such as metals in structures to improve the construction sector’s sustainability.

Over the past decade, she has advocated tirelessly in her community for equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) alongside sustainability.

She is a fearless supporter of the advantages of metals in low-carbon structures.

Rossi’s most prominent educational work led to the development of two first-of-a-kind courses on the Sustainable Design of Stainless-Steel Structures, alongside the published Design Manual for Structural Stainless Steel, and on Lifecycle Assessment of Steel Structures.

Her work has been published in 80 papers, in peer-reviewed international journals, in industrial magazines and at conferences.

She influences policy by giving evidence in Parliament and being active in three working groups of the CEN/TC 250/SC3, where she contributes to the European standards used daily by practitioners.

As EDI fellow of New College, Oxford, and EDI sub-committee head in her department, she leads a working group supporting long-term gender diversity at postgraduate level in Engineering Science and contributes to a brochure featuring women in STEM.

Rossi led on the sustainability aspects of the Gradel Quadrangles during the design and construction process, leading the team of this £60m project in saving more than 55% of embodied carbon by using less carbon-intensive materials and techniques.

She was instrumental in the successful application for ICE Carbon Champions status for this project.

Tom Barton Award (Improving quality, productivity, safety and sustainability by eradicating mistakes): Perry Shard

In March 2021, John Sisk & Son’s chief executive challenged the business to identify the cost of quality for the previous year.

Over the next 12 months, Professor Perry Shard led and managed a project to develop a new process around non-conformance reporting and increased visibility of error.

With a cost from historic data, Professor Shard suggested that the figure was a fraction of the likely true cost, and established a plan to provide pinpointed data collection and improved data quality.

Using his experience of business level reporting, the Get it Right Initiative and behavioural quality, he developed a new PowerBI dashboard to drive visibility and ownership.

Having quickly created momentum, Professor Shard ran trials to gain operational credibility for this significant change programme, embedding the project through engagement, education and empowerment.

A key driver was the importance of language and messaging to help create a culture from one of perceived blame to one that's learning-centric.

As traction for the project grew, the dashboard became business critical and the structure of its development has helped shape other improvement projects and dashboard functionality.

One of the project successes was the clarity of the information produced, access to focused data sets and the ability of the whole business to access it to make more informed decisions.

The estimated cost of quality for the business is increasing in accuracy, predictability and effectiveness, and to provide some scale, demonstrates that the figure calculated from 2020 data was 1.5% of the current estimations.

Warren Medal (Regional award for valued service): Paula McMahon

Paula McMahon’s first ICE role as university student liaison officer in 1992 led to long-term committee membership and to being a 1995 national conference organiser.

In 2004, as Teesside branch secretary, she led and organised many initiatives and events, setting up the first G&S (graduate and student) groups and chairing the Teesside event programme of the Professional Institutions Group. 

Later, as Teesside and Northeast chair, McMahon engaged and encouraged volunteers who at the time pushed new boundaries.

She also formalised FIR (fairness, inclusion and respect) and climate roles that are now commonplace.

McMahon is now honorary editor of the flagship journal ICE Proceedings: Civil Engineering.

She is also an ICE Trustee and head of UK regions. She still contributes significantly to the region as ICE representative at the Northeast Chamber of Commerce Transport Strategy Forum, Teesside University Liaison Group and Engineering Advisory Board.

McMahon has shaped and improved the ICE region and influenced members globally through her many decades of constructive challenges, ideas and creation of tangible outcomes.

Internationally, she championed the first ICE special journal issue on climate change and persuaded all journal editors to adopt UN Sustainable Development Goal keyword referencing. 

Her inclusive recruitment approach will be presented to all journal editors this year to improve transparency and inclusion globally.  

Garth Watson Medal (Institutional award for valued service): David Thomas

David Thomas was, until his retirement in June 2023, director and company secretary of the Temporary Works forum (TWf) – a specialist knowledge society of the ICE.

He has been the glue that has held the forum together since 2014 and has contributed much of his free time to working groups across 15 organisations.

Thomas has contributed to more than 30 publications (not including the many he has been involved with through the TWf) throughout his career, for organisations ranging from the British Standards Institute to the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation.

He is a chartered civil engineer and a principal inspector with the Health and Safety Executive.

He has made a sustained, ethical, knowledgeable and insightful contribution to civil engineering throughout a long career in the safety industry.

Thomas has spent his career making the industry safer by raising the profile of temporary works and championing health and safety improvements, specialising in work at height.

He has contributed to a wide array of technical guidance and standards.

His work has had a vast and far-reaching impact on the field of temporary works and on the whole of the civil engineering industry. 

Edmund Hambly Medal (Design for sustainable development): Hollym, Myers Lane, Wastewater Treatment Works

When constructed in 1991, Yorkshire Water Services’ previous sewage treatment works serving the coastal resort town of Withernsea was about 180m from the cliff edge and had an expected asset life of more than 60 years.

Climate change has accelerated coastal erosion.

By December 2017, the site boundary was recorded as being only 56m from the cliff edge, hence the need for an urgent relocation of the facility.

Safely located 2km from the shoreline, near the village of Hollym, the replacement facility consists of a low-energy, carbon-efficient, aerated facultative lagoon treatment works.

It is the largest such plant in the UK and the first on a scale that brings it within the auspices of the Reservoirs Act 1975.

It is delivering significant operational cost savings – 70% – compared with the activated-sludge plant it replaced.

Constructed largely from site-won material, the plant sits unobtrusively within the landscape with minimal noise or traffic movements.

Extensive consultations with the local community were undertaken as part of the planning process.

Monitoring of the new commissioned works indicates that it is meeting all of the required water quality parameters.

Operating at extraordinarily low costs, with minimal environmental impact, it provides an extremely low-carbon footprint, dramatic energy savings, no sludge production or handling, plus energy-free disinfection.  

Edmund Hambly Medal (Creative design for sustainable development) – Highly Commended: Tung Chung New Town Extension

The Tung Chung East Reclamation in Hong Kong has demonstrated the success of embracing a forward-looking city concept that is smart, green and resilient to climate change.

The project comprises the land reclamation of 130 hectares founded on the soft marine mud of Lantau Island, using a sustainable and eco-friendly approach.

The sustainable non-dredged Deep Cement Mixing (DCM) method strengthens in-situ soft marine mud, thereby minimising impact to marine ecology.

The strengthened soil also provides robust support to the seawall and breakwater, which enhances coastal resilience.

The project avoided the disposal of 15 million m3 of dredged material.

In the DCM works, carbon emissions were reduced by 600,000 tonnes. 

What’s more, the DCM method was innovatively applied for use as a temporary retaining wall system for excavation works.

This meant that the use of substantial hot-rolled structural steel members was not needed, resulting in a 6,000-tonne reduction in carbon emissions.

With an aim of enhancing biodiversity, the pioneering project has created an eco-shoreline to mimic the local natural habitat for supporting diverse and resilient marine bio-communities.  

Edmund Hambly Medal (Creative design for sustainable development) – Highly Commended: Design, Build and Operate First Stage of Tseung Kwan O Desalination Plant, Hong Kong

The Tseung Kwan O Desalination Plant (TKODP) is a key part of the Total Water Management Strategy promulgated by the Water Supplies Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, to build resilience and mitigate the significant effects of climate change for Hong Kong’s water supply.

Hong Kong’s water sources are facing various challenges, including increased local demand, extreme weather from climate change, and competition from the Pearl Delta area of China.

Diversifying Hong Kong’s water sources from rainwater collection and Dongjiang water import is therefore vital.

With Hong Kong being a peninsula, desalination is a promising choice as a new water source.

The location of the TKODP utilises a portion of a landfill to eliminate the need to use virgin land or reclamation.

It is close to Hong Kong’s population centres and has a pipeline network for efficient water distribution.

Upon commissioning, the first stage of the TKODP will be to provide water production capacity of 135 million litres per day (MLD), equivalent to 5% of Hong Kong’s total daily fresh water demand, enough for more than 370,000 people.

Expansion to its ultimate capacity of 270 million MLD within the 8-hectare site is planned.

The TKODP has incorporated a series of sustainable features in its design to minimise its impact on the environment.  

Chris Binnie Award (Sustainable water management): Flood Management Decision Support System for Bangkok Metropolitan Administration

Global engineering consultancy Mott MacDonald has developed a flood management decision support system (DSS) for Bangkok, developed from 2020 and deployed in 2022.

The DSS accurately predicts where, when and how much rainfall and stormwater flooding will occur in real time.

It improves the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s flood resilience, including its capacity to prevent, mitigate and respond to stormwater flooding.

The DSS tackles the direct impacts of climate change with the occurrence and severity of extreme rainfall projected to increase.

It enables 150,000 citizens in the project area to be alerted before flooding occurs, leading to an estimated £26.5m reduction in annual flood damage.

It's scalable with it being a true digital twin – opening countless cross-sectoral future possibilities.

With plans to potentially upscale the project across Bangkok, the DSS can enable the metropolis to be ready to respond to flooding and be flood-resilient in the face of climate change.

Bangkok is far from alone in the flooding issues it experiences and the flood management DSS provides a proof of concept for cities across the region and globally. 

Chris Binnie Award (Sustainable water management) – Highly Commended: Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Generation Project

Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Plant in Korea is an environmentally safe plant creating clean, green energy.

It's the world's largest tidal power plant, setting new standards for national energy policies and power plant construction.

Its capacity is 254MW, which is equivalent to about one-quarter of the capacity of a typical nuclear power plant.

The construction of the tidal power plant has led to a reduction of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, by utilising renewable energy.

The annual reduction in CO2 is estimated at 315,000 tonnes.

The power plant supplies a total of 552 GWh/yr of electrical energy to a population of 500,000, which has led to a reduction in petroleum imports of 862,000 barrels per year.

Recently, the Korean state water corporation, K-water, signed a memorandum of understanding with Liverpool City Region Combined Authority in the UK.

The agreement aims to strengthen its R&D cooperation in ensuring the successful development of the Mersey Tidal Power Project and the realisation of carbon neutrality.

  • Adam Kirkup, engineering communities manager at ICE