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Photo filled 'wall-to-wall' with civil engineering wins ICE photo competition

08 October 2021

An image of an underground station has won a competition that celebrates 'the beauty of civil engineering'. 

Photo filled 'wall-to-wall' with civil engineering wins ICE photo competition

A photo filled "ceiling to floor” with civil engineering has won this year’s ICE Engineering Summer photo competition.

bencoolen station singapore
1st prize: Bencoolen Station, Singapore by Chas Pope.

The image, taken by Chas Pope, 46, is of Bencoolen Station in Singapore, where the Londoner is based. He submitted the photo to fit with this year’s theme of ‘the beauty of civil engineering’.

“The beauty of this underground station only reveals itself as you go deeper towards platform level,” the Arup structural engineer said in his submission.

“The vast underground space is beautiful to the layman, but even more so to an engineer who appreciates the forces at work.”

The competition judging panel clearly agreed, as one judge said that Pope’s picture was: “Filled wall to wall, ceiling to floor with engineering – great geometry, textures and colour – high impact and good fit with the brief.”

Pope was awarded a £100 Amazon voucher for winning first place, with his photo being chosen out of nearly 200 submitted from more than 90 people.

Entrants came from all over the world, including Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Britain, Japan, New York, Delhi, Dubai, Singapore and New Zealand.


Two runners-up were also chosen by the judges, Isabel Guerra Clark, 66, in second place, and David Rowe, 71, in third place. Clark’s image was of the Gateway Arch, a 630-foot monument in St Louis, Missouri, USA.

gateway arch st louis
2nd place: Gateway Arch, St Louis by Isabel Guerra Clark.

“It is clad in stainless steel and built in the form of a weighted catenary arch. It is the tallest monument in the Western hemisphere and the 60th National Park in the USA. What more appropriate way to show its beauty than to photograph it at twilight,” the amateur photographer said in her submission.

“I Love to travel and I had never seen the Gateway Arch before this June 2021. I was lucky to capture it in a great sunset,” Clark said.

Rowe’s third-place photo was of Balcombe Viaduct, and was one of a few he entered into the competition balcombe viaduct>

3rd place: Balcombe Viaduct by David Rowe.

“The viaduct carries the London-Brighton railway line. It’s often photographed with a subject or model in the foreground, but I prefer to look straight through the seemingly infinite curves,” he said in his entry.

Retired from the aerospace and nuclear engineering industry, Rowe is from Crawley, West Sussex.