British Geotechnical Association Fleming Award Competition 2016

The Fleming Competition is held annually to commemorate the life and work of Dr Ken Fleming and to recognise excellence in the practical application of geotechnics in a project or a part of a project with an emphasis on teamwork and innovation

Yvonne Ainsworth, Chairman of the Judging Panel, with the winning team from the Crag End Landslip project.
Yvonne Ainsworth, Chairman of the Judging Panel, with the winning team from the Crag End Landslip project.

On Wednesday 7 December 2016 the Fleming Award once again demonstrated some outstanding projects of extremely high quality.

The three shortlisted projects consisted of:

  • Crag End Landslip
  • Crossrail C300 and C410 Compensation Grouting
  • Farnley Haugh Emergency Works

The standard of all three presentations were extremely high.

It was no easy task for the judges, Chris Menkiti (ex BGA Chairman), Chris Robinson (Design Manager for Cementation Skanska, who sponsored the prize and the post-event drinks reception) and Yvonne Ainsworth (BGA Committee Member) to nominate the winner and a lively discussion was held behind closed doors.

While the judges deliberated, Tony O'Brien of Mott MacDonald, gave a keynote lecture was entitled 'Geotechnical Characterisation: Recent Developments and Applications'. He discussed the need for assessing the quality of data obtained from site investigations and challenged the industry to focus on obtaining high quality stress-strain related properties which are often used in numerical modelling.

After the keynote speech, the judges announced that, based on the team work required to deliver the project safely and the variety of geotechnical solutions needed for the remediation of a difficult geotechnical problem adjacent to an SSSI area, the Crag End Landslip team (consisting of Volker Stevin, Atkins, Northumberland County Council and Keller) was the deserving winner.

The Crag End Landslip project was to reconstruct a 300m section of the B6344 road near Rothbury which was closed in December 2012 following multiple landslips, causing dramatic socio-economic impacts and a major inconvenience to residents. The brief from Northumberland County Council was to open the road at the earliest opportunity, provide a robust solution within the available funding which required minimal maintenance, and enhance the SSSI in which the majority of the site, including the River Coquet at the toe of the slope, was situated. To achieve these aims and solve such a complex geotechnical problem, it was essential that a multidiscipline team was mobilised able to work together from start to finish of the project.

The success of the all three finalists was celebrated at the drinks reception in the Smeaton Room, sponsored by Skanska and the BGA, which provided an excellent opportunity to network within the geotechnical community and many familiar faces were seen.

Find out more from their submission

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