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Innovation and smart engineering celebrated at ICE Wales Cymru Awards

03 October 2022

The civil engineering achievements of individuals and projects were recognised at the ceremony and gala dinner.

Innovation and smart engineering celebrated at ICE Wales Cymru Awards
The award ceremony was held at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

Innovation, smart engineering and sustainability were recognised at the 2022 ICE Wales Cymru Awards, which were celebrated in person for the first time in three years.

Members and colleagues gathered for the ceremony and gala dinner at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff on Friday 30 September.

The competition this year was described as “extraordinary” by John Mather, chair of the judging panel and ICE Chartered Engineer.

Mather said: “This year’s competition is notable for the wide range of entries that have been submitted. The projects are diverse in nature and in value.”

“They display excellence in different ways, in concept, in design and in construction. Care and attention to detail with respect to health and safety, sustainability and community involvement is widely apparent,” he said.

The awards celebrate civil engineering achievements on an individual as well as project basis. The projects awarded ranged in cost between £0.25 and £321 million.

The 2022 winners are listed below.

Project awards

The Award for Innovation

The Llanycil Improvements at Llyn Tegid, Bala
The Llanycil Improvements at Llyn Tegid, Bala

The Award for Innovation recognises and celebrates a project that demonstrated exceptional innovative solutions to a particularly difficult restorative renovation project.

The Llanycil Improvements at Llyn Tegid, Bala won the award, which replaced the Designed in Wales Award for this year only.

The A494 trunk road runs along the north-west bank of Llyn Tegid. A long section was found to be unstable, with the road and its foundation creeping slowly towards the steep slope of the lake shore.

An innovative solution was found, incorporating a reinforced concrete king post (isolated steel columns) retaining wall supported by 36 ground anchors, 12 of which are smart anchors.

  • Submitted by: Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd
  • Key partners: North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agency, YGC (Gwynedd) and Dywidag

Chair’s Special Award

Jack Williams Gateway Bridge
Jack Williams Gateway Bridge

The Chair’s Special Award is presented to an individual or project that demonstrated exceptional skill and expertise, or that made an exceptional contribution to the profession.

This year, the award went to A465 Heads of the Valleys Section 2 (Brynmawr – Gilwern).

This tortuous (former) single carriageway section of the A465 has been widened to provide a modern split-level, dual two-lane carriageway.

It features grade separated junctions, a flowing alignment and extensive retaining walls, with a multitude of side road and accommodation bridges.

The works include the Gateway Bridge over the Clydach Gorge at Brynmawr, also known as the Jack Williams Gateway Bridge.

  • Submitted by: Costain
  • Key partners: Welsh government, Arcadis, Jacobs and Atkins

Alun Griffiths Award for Community Engagement

Colomendy Industrial Estate Expansion
The Colomendy Industrial Estate Expansion

The Alun Griffiths Award for Community Engagement recognises the civil engineering industry in Wales and the work undertaken to engage with local communities while improving infrastructure and/or services.

Sponsored by Alun Griffiths, this year the award went to the Colomendy Industrial Estate Expansion.

This enabling works scheme required the development (and maintenance) of effective and collaborative working arrangements with five individual businesses to develop nine hectares of topographically complex green field land.

The upper part of the site is being developed as a waste transfer station for Denbighshire CC. This project is expected to provide more than 500 additional and ‘protected’ jobs.

  • Submitted by: Jones Bros
  • Key partners: Denbighshire County Council and R Arwel Davies, Denbighshire

Bill Ward Sustainability Award

Burry Port Harbour Improvement
The Burry Port Harbour Improvement

The Bill Ward Award is presented to the project best demonstrating the principles of sustainability. This includes social, economic and environmental benefits during delivery and on completion.

The winner, the Burry Port Harbour Improvement, is an ongoing, phased renovation project.

The harbour has three historic (tidal) basins contained by vertical masonry walls and earth embankments.

A prioritised approach has been adopted, with unstable areas being given attention first.

Displaced masonry has been recovered from the floor of the harbour and re-used. New materials are chosen with care to ensure they’re appropriate and will fit into the historic marine environment.

  • Submitted by: Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd
  • Key Partners: Carmarthenshire County Council, Atkins and CADW

The Roy Edwards Award

flood alleviation scheme at Mill Lane
The flood alleviation scheme at Mill Lane, Beaumaris

The Roy Edwards Award is presented to the best example of outstanding design and construction of a project costing less than £5 million.

This award was named after Colonel Roy Edwards who was the longest serving member of the South Wales Association committee and first territorial member of the institution’s council (1949-54).

This year, it was awarded to the flood alleviation scheme at Mill Lane, Beaumaris.

This project provides an excellent example of maximising benefits for the town’s residents and the local drainage authority at minimal cost through ‘smart’ engineering.

For example, the installation of an automated self-cleansing trash screen in advance (upstream) of a culvert that was previously prone to blockage.

The works have been designed to operate automatically and in a safe manner.

Residual risks have been managed through the provision of CCTV (for remote monitoring) and multi-level overflow arrangements.

  • Submitted by: Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd
  • Key partners: Isle of Anglesey County Council and WaterCo, Ruthin

The George Gibby Award

The A487 Caernarfon and Bontnewydd Bypass
The A487 Caernarfon and Bontnewydd Bypass

The George Gibby Award is presented to the best example of outstanding design and construction of a project costing more than £5 million.

This award honours the highly respected ICE member George H Gibby (1923-2010), who originally proposed the idea of an awards scheme to celebrate civil engineering.

The winner, the Caernarfon and Bontnewydd Bypass (CABB), was a long time in the making.

This scheme went out to public consultation in 2010 and was the subject of a local public inquiry in 2017. The works commenced in 2019 and were substantially complete by the end of 2021.

The CABB delivers traffic safety and economic and environmental benefits by removing through traffic from congested residential, shopping and employment areas in Bontnewydd and Caernarfon.

The judges were impressed by the engagement with the local community and the funds raised for local charities and schools. Extensive facilities were also provided for the benefit of local wildlife.

  • Submitted by: Jones Bros (Civil Engineering) Ltd on behalf of the Balfour Beatty Jones Bros joint venture
  • Key partners: Welsh government, WSP, Arcadis and Ramboll

Individual awards

Among those celebrated at the awards were two individuals who, according to their respective judging panels, showed exceptional qualities in their professional reviews.

Ben Barr Award

Nathan Duke
Nathan Duke

Nathan Duke, a senior project engineer for the Welsh government (economic infrastructure), won the Ben Barr Award.

The Ben Barr Award is presented to an engineer, living or working in Wales, who’s demonstrated exceptional qualities during their professional review the previous year (2021 for 2022).

The award considers:

  • use of engineering principles
  • knowledge of construction
  • design and construction of temporary or permanent works

There are normally three categories - CEng MICE, IEng MICE and EngTech MICE.

Candidates are nominated by their two reviewers and a winner is chosen from the shortlist.

Duke said: “Achieving chartered status represented a significant personal achievement for me, validating my competence against an internationally recognised standard.”

“I was therefore delighted to receive further recognition from my ICE peers through my nomination for this prestigious award, and I am honoured to be the recipient of the ICE Wales Cymru Ben Barr Award for 2022.”

The Ben Barr Award is named after a former chairman of ICE Wales Cymru and is sponsored by Symmons Madge Associates.

The Paterson Prize

Gruffudd ap Gwyndaf
Gruffudd ap Gwyndaf

Gruffudd ap Gwyndaf of Magnox Ltd stepped up to receive the Paterson Prize.

This prize recognises the best written assignment submitted by a Welsh candidate in their final ICE professional review.

The Paterson Prize was historically awarded by the Institution of Municipal Engineers in honour of Colonel James Paterson OBE (1886 – 1985).

Ap Gwyndaf said: “Passing my professional review and becoming a chartered civil engineer was a privilege for me personally, and winning this award is icing on the cake.”

Find out more about the ICE Wales Cymru Awards.

Learn more

  • Belinda Thomas, communications lead at ICE Wales Cymru