Skip to content

UN SDGs-aligned project sweeps the board at ICE East Midlands Merit Awards

16 June 2022

The 2022 EMMAs honoured 13 projects and people from across the region in the first in-person gala and awards ceremony since 2019. 

UN SDGs-aligned project sweeps the board at ICE East Midlands Merit Awards
The 2022 EMMAs were celebrated at the region’s first in-person gala dinner and awards ceremony since 2019.

The Stoke Bardolph Advanced Anaerobic Digestion project won awards across three categories at this year’s 2022 ICE East Midlands Merit Awards (EMMAs).

The project, a sewage treatment facility delivered by Mott MacDonald Bentley for Severn Trent, took Merits in the Large Project (project value over £10m), Team Achievement and Sustainability categories.

Biogas from the £45m sewage treatment facility will be exported to the gas network and will treat the remaining solids to produce high quality fertiliser.

Its high level of compliance with targets set under the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) saw it honoured in the Sustainability category, awarded at the discretion of the 14 expert judges from the region.

The project was just one of 13 projects and people honoured at the region’s first in-person gala dinner and awards ceremony since 2019.

The awards were presented by East Midlands Regional Chair Ben McGrath and guest speaker polar explorer Ann Daniels.

The Stoke Bardolph Advanced Anaerobic Digestion project
The Stoke Bardolph Advanced Anaerobic Digestion project.

Small Project Award

There were three winners in the Small Project category (project value under £2m).

The £1.1m Edale Mill Cottages Sewage Treatment Works Refurbishment, built by MWH Treatment for Severn Trent, was awarded a Merit.

It’s a new community sewage treatment facility that was delivered on a restricted site in Peak Park. The existing treatment works were suffering from odour issues and erosion from the adjacent River Noe, threatening the site’s viability.

Highly Commended was the Gas Main Replacement scheme at Nottingham’s City Hospital.

The complex project involved upgrading 1.3km of the subterranean 1970s gas main, which served the hospital campus.

The work was carried out by Whitehouse Construction Company Limited, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Capita and Meller Limited.

Finally, Lowes Wong School Sustainable Drainage project, delivered by Via East Midlands with Fox (Omby) Limited, was Commended.

The project was designed to mitigate the effects of significant rainwater run-off and prevent the drainage system being overwhelmed.

Medium Project Award

The Lincoln Flood Defences project, delivered for the Environment Agency by JBA Bentley, achieved a Merit in the Medium Project category (project value between £2m and £10m).

The programme of works has improved catchment resilience up to 1-in-a-1000-year flood event risk and protects around 4,000 households from flooding.

It also provides £33million worth of benefits to the whole life cost of the existing infrastructure.

Team Achievement Award

Commended in the Team Achievement Award category was the new Woodville to Swadlincote Regeneration Road.

The 900-metre link road, incorporating two new roundabouts, was nearing completion when the main contractor went into administration.

The council re-engaged with the former supply chain partners allowing them to appoint a new contractor to ensure the new road was completed on time.

It was delivered by Derbyshire County Council working with Midlands Highways Alliance, AECOM and Waterman Aspen.

Research, Design or Studies Award

Highly Commended in the Design, Studies and Research category was the Lower Idle Asset Management Scheme (LIAMS).

Delivered by Arup working with the Environment Agency and Jackson Civils, LIAMS had a number of challenges to solve, some of which were centred around the West Stockwith Pumping Station, which has been identified as one of the Environment Agency’s highest emitters of CO2.

As part of the Environment Agency’s commitments to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, LIAMS was selected as a pilot project due to the inclusion of the upgrading of the pumping station — essential to mitigate local flooding — within the overall objective of reducing CO2 emissions.

Outstanding individuals

Along with projects that are recognised at the EMMAs, there are also several awards that are conferred on individual civil engineers.

William Kemp Award

Dr Brian Counter at 2022 EMMAs.
Dr Brian Counter at 2022 EMMAs.

Winner of this year’s prestigious William Kemp Award was Dr Brian Counter, who started his 40-year civil engineering career with British Rail in the 1970s.

Dr Counter is technical director of the Permanent Way Institution and a lecturer at the University of Derby.

By 1996, Dr Counter was regional director for rail maintenance at Balfour Beatty, leading a team of 900 engineers.

Dr Counter gained his fellowship of ICE in 2001 and this year celebrates his 21st anniversary as an ICE Fellow.

In 2007, he joined the University of Derby, where he helped deliver their civil and construction engineering degrees. Three years later, he gained his MBA on railway infrastructure knowledge.

In 2013, he was awarded a PhD on the development of innovative approaches to extend the life of railway track systems.

Achiever of the Year

In the Civil Engineering Achiever of the Year category, Ben Talbot and Jack Foster — both from Via East Midlands — received Highly Commended and Merit, respectively.

Ben was Highly Commended for his dedication to his new role during the pandemic, which involved him commuting to work on public transport for up to four hours a day during his university gap year.

Jack Foster was recognised for his recent promotion from apprentice to the youngest contract agent in his team and his charity work for Cerebral Palsy charities.

STEM Ambassador of the Year

Jonathon Simons, who works for AECOM, was named as ICE East Midlands STEM Ambassador of the Year.

His continuous volunteering since 2013, where he has visited many local schools and colleges to encourage young people to enter the profession, earned him the honour.

Commenting on this year’s awards, ICE East and West Midlands Regional Director, Jo Barnett, said: “Congratulations to all the project teams and individuals who were presented with an award. We had a large number of entries this year so everyone should feel really proud of their achievements.

"Our annual awards play an important role in not only demonstrating the importance of our civil engineers, whose hard work and dedication can often go unnoticed, but also in celebrating the positive impact that civil engineering has on our everyday lives.”

The ICE East Midlands Merit Awards attract entries from civil engineering projects and people from across the region, all hoping to win one of the eight main awards.

  • Jo Barnett, regional director for East Midlands & West Midlands at Institution of Civil Engineers