On Friday 7 June 2019 over 200 members and guests of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) East Midlands attended their annual gala dinner, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Nottingham, during which the East Midlands Merit Awards (EMMAs) were presented. This year’s event was co-hosted by ex-England and Leicester Tigers rugby star Rory Underwood, who was also the guest speaker.
The gala dinner is the East Midlands’ premier civil engineering event, which brings together professionals from across the built environment to celebrate the success of award-winning projects and individuals. A total of 26 civil engineering projects from across the region were shortlisted for the five main awards, with both the winners and runners-up celebrated at the event.
The ‘small project’ award (projects up to £750,000) — sponsored by WM Plant Hire — was won by Duke’s Lake at Stanford Hall, near Loughborough, which was delivered by Cain Bio-Engineering and Arup, for the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre.
The team’s ‘soft’ engineering solution was to repair and upgrade the former country house’s lake to provide surface water attenuation for the newly constructed medical rehabilitation centre.
The design used sustainably sourced hardwood in a traditional king post retaining wall design, with bio-engineering techniques to control erosion and for long-term slope stability. During the programme of works, the team resolved a number of issues including the provision of technical calculations to Eurocodes (European technical standards), planning activities to work around ecological constraints and effectively communicating with the client, main contractor and general public.
The ‘medium project’ EMMA (project value £750,000-£10m) was awarded to the Birstall Footbridge, which links a housing development on one side of the busy A6 with schools and local amenities on the other. Although pedestrian crossings did exist, anecdotal evidence suggested that many children regularly ran across the road to shorten their walk to school. The new bridge also benefits commuters and shoppers, by providing direct access to the park and ride station
The judges felt that the project was extremely well-planned, with minimal disruption to the public and all stakeholders. The new bridge made use of innovative engineering techniques and the team delivered “an impressive looking structure” that provides safe pedestrian and cycle access over a busy dual carriageway.
Commenting on the annual awards event, ICE East Midlands regional director, Jo Barnett, said: “I would like to congratulate all the 2019 EMMA entrants — the standard this year was, as always, extremely high.
“Our judges had a diverse range of projects to consider from all sectors of the industry, drawn from right across the region. Many entries this year also included evidence of the use of innovative techniques and technological developments, such as using drones for the planning of major infrastructure projects.
“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 in also celebrating the positive impact that civil engineering has on our everyday lives.”
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