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Sustainability and resilience projects take home top prizes at the 2023 EMMAs

14 June 2023

Winning projects include low carbon concrete research, a project that prioritised fish, and one that safeguarded the local community.

Sustainability and resilience projects take home top prizes at the 2023 EMMAs
Winners of the 2023 EMMA's Sustainability Award collecting their trophy. Image credit: Tracey Whitefoot

A project that focused on reusing existing assets and protecting fish took the Sustainability Award at this year's East Midlands Merit Awards (EMMAs) in addition to being awarded Merit in this years Large Project category.

The award was presented to Binnies UK, the Environment Agency, Arcadis, Galliford Try and WSP for their project Keadby Terminal Assisted Outfall.

The Sustainability Award is presented to a project that showcases a high level of compliance with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

By reusing assets, the multi-disciplinary teams worked together to deliver engineering savings of more than £12m on the water pumping station project.

Opening up 224km of main river to fish and eel passage and using fish-friendly pumps unlocked a 90% reduction in carbon because the long-term management of fish screening is no longer needed

As an indication of the importance of the project, the flood risk management strategy for the Isle of Axholme, Lincolnshire, identified over 15,000 properties at risk of flooding if the operation failed.

However, the complete refurbishment of the existing station has delivered resilience to future climate change effects.

"This project demonstrated an excellent example of major refurbishment of critical infrastructure," the judges said.

Keadby was one of a range of regional civil engineering projects and people recognised at the EMMAs.

The awards were presented by ICE President Keith Howells, regional chair James Kirkham and guest speaker Professor Danielle George MBE.

Double award winner

Matlock Flood Wall Emergency Response, submitted by Jackson Civil Engineering, Environment Agency, Derbyshire County Council and Derbyshire Dales District Council, won two Merit Awards: Small Project and Team Achievement.

"This project is an excellent demonstration of how rapid engineering response from all partners prevented further failure and safeguarded the community," the judges said.

Matlock Flood Wall Emergency Response project team
The Matlock project took home awards in the Team and Small Project categories. Image credit: Tracey Whitefoot

The Matlock project took home the award in the Team and Small Project category.

Improving roads

Commended in the Medium Project category was Putney Road Improvement Project, Leicester, entered by Balfour Beatty and Leicester City Council.

It was entered by Balfour Beatty and Leicester City Council.

This £6m improvement project for the council provides a new orbital link between two key radials for traffic.

Low carbon concrete research winner

In the award category recognising a design, study or research, Loughborough University, Peaston Concrete Consultancy Limited, Arup, Ecocom Global and Shotcrete Services received an award for their project: Low Carbon Sprayed Concrete (LCSC): Research and Innovation.

The research, which used powdered accelerators, resulted in a significant embodied carbon reduction and demonstrated the potential for much wider use beyond sprayed tunnel linings.

People awards

The People Awards celebrate individual engineers who have made an outstanding contribution in the East Midlands region.

Sophie Lane collects Civil Engineering Achiever of the Year award
Sophie Lane, second from left, accepting her award. Image credit: Tracey Whitefoot

The Civil Engineering Achiever of the Year Award winner was Sophie Lane, a degree apprentice in Applied Engineering at Via East Midlands.

Lane has contributed beyond her normal duties to solve engineering problems and is described as a role model for all young, aspiring engineers.

A delivery partner described Lane as: "One of the most organised contract agents, who is extremely reliable."

The runner-up this year was Jessica Palmer from AECOM, a civil engineering graduate of Derby University.

William Kemp Award winner

Winner of this year’s William Kemp Award was Patricia Carrillo, professor of strategic management in construction at Loughborough University.

William Kemp Award winner 2023
Professor Carrillo accepting the William Kemp Award. Image credit: Tracey Whitefoot

Professor Carrillo graduated and worked as a civil engineer in Trinidad in 1984 and in 1987, then won a British scholarship to undertake a MSc in Construction Management at Loughborough University.

Starting as a teaching assistant in 1989, she competed her PhD while working as a lecturer.

Emerging Engineers Award

Although not part of the official EMMAs programme, certificates were presented to the East Midlands Emerging Engineers Award finalists at the ceremony.

George Grant, a civil engineering consultant at DICE, won first place.

Grant is passionate about finding creative solutions for varying residential and commercial schemes.

In second place was Melvin Devassy, from Nottingham Trent University.

Devassy’s research focussed on an innovative approach to enhance the properties of clay-based binders.

In third place was Sandun Chamika Monarawila Jayalath Edmond, an MSc student at Nottingham Trent University.

  • Deanna Newman, communications lead, East Midlands and West Midlands at ICE