GE Awards 2023 winners

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2023 GE Awards! The winners were announced on Wednesday 12 July 2023 at the JW Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Winner: Dinesh Patel, Arup

This was a highly competitive category, with 14 excellent entries, all showcasing an amazing breadth of specialist knowledge and industry experience. As such, it was a difficult category to judge, but the GE editorial team, together with input from industry leaders, chose Dinesh Patel as the winner based on his impressive contributions across industry and academia. He is clearly highly regarded by peers and has generously shared his expertise through various media. He is also a great role model and source of inspiration for the next generation of engineers.

Rising Star Award

Winner: Stamatina Marinatou, Atkins

The judges said that Stamatina Marinatou delivered an excellent presentation, demonstrating competence and confidence in the subject area. She showcased clear initiative and practical application of theoretical research in a highly specialised field over a challenging career to date. This was demonstrated through relevant testimonials and clear noted achievements in the shown career progression. She shows passion for supporting and developing others, as well as helping clients and stakeholders alike understand a technical subject in a well-grounded way.

Highly commended: Jak Canham, Arup

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Health and Safety Award

Winner: Züblin Ground Engineering and Balfour Beatty - Piling, D-walling, grouting and soil mixing at the A63 Castle Street Improvement

The entry demonstrated innovative use of a modified log grapple in conjunction with a wheel loader to manipulate and place rotary pile casing. The judges felt that this project achieved excellent safety improvements and represented a real step change for the piling and ground engineering industry. Züblin showed that there was good workforce acceptance of the innovation, and its use was welcomed on site to reduce plant-people interface and improve wider site safety.

Sustainability Award

Winner: Flannery Plant Hire – Flannery and Eco-Operator training

It was a unanimous decision by the judges to decide the winner. Flannery Plant Hire displayed a great approach to embedding sustainability throughout the supply chain, which will have positive outcomes to the wider industry and across a number of projects. The initiative has empowered a wide audience to change their behaviours to deliver quantifiable sustainable benefits, showing that individual actions can make a significant difference.

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Ground Investigation Project of the Year

Winner: CGL, TerraDat and In-Situ - Gomm Valley

The judges said this was a very professionally presented project, which stood out for convincing the client to invest in a bespoke phased approach that used site-wide remote sensing and sound geological understanding to develop a high quality model, allowing a cost effective sustainable ground investigation, which facilitated the optimal use of the developer’s land.

Ground Investigation Specialist of the Year

Winner: Fugro

The judges felt Fugro has demonstrated technical excellence working on complex projects, including its extensive use of technology and digital tools, and with close collaboration with communities, clients and other stakeholders. Fugro invests substantially in its staff, in particular to ensure high employee retention. It is also working to embed sustainability through the company to continually improve its business, and it invests in future ground investigation talent through graduate schemes and interaction with schools, not to mention devoting time to professional activities to advance the ground investigation industry.

Highly commended: Marshall Drilling

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Specialist Geotechnical Supplier of the Year

Winner: Marshall Drilling

The judges said that Marshall Drilling is an inspirational specialist geotechnical supplier, which continues to look to the next innovation to improve the service to its clients. The company has achieved a high level of repeat business through minimising the environmental impact of its works. It has a clear commitment to training, bringing in new staff and promoting talent from within.

Highly commended: Geosense

Sponsored by:

Award for Digital Innovation

Winner: Saalg Geomechanics and Acciona Infrastructures – Gemini (Ground Excavation Management via Infrastructure Network Intelligent)

The judges said the winner has a clear commitment to digital innovation with strong case studies to demonstrate benefits for cost, time and sustainability. The team is passionate, motivated and enthusiastic, with a powerful demonstration of real time data analysis to improve TBM productivity. Saalg Geomechanics and Acciona Infrastructures have exciting plans for the future, and this is a potential game changer for the tunnelling industry.

Highly commended: J Murphy and Sons – Artificial intelligence for forecasting tunnelling productivity

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Award for Equipment Innovation

Winner: Boss Cabins – Deep Green Gen Free generator free welfare cabins

The judges said that Boss Cabins gave a clear demonstration of the solution’s wider benefits to the whole construction industry and beyond by saving natural resources like water and energy. Its clear customer focused delivery helps the industry to fulfil the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Highly commended: Fugro – Fugro VBM 3000 – vertical boring machine

Award for Technical Excellence

Winner: Altrad RMD Kwikform, Careys and Mace Dragados – Euston TSS box (HS2)

The judges said this winner was an excellent example of a specialist supplier adding value to a project by proposing an alternative, leaner solution relatively late in the preconstruction process. The entry demonstrated detailed research and evidence to challenge a potentially conservative standard practice. This solution showed potential to benefit future projects, lower risks and be adopted across the industry.

International Project of the Year

Winner: Geosonic Drilling, Klohn Crippen Berger and Conetec – Aitik tailings dam investigation

The judges said this was a clear, unusual challenge for a ground investigation project on a large tailings dam in Europe. The entry combined an extensive geotechnical scope and complex geological site with unique and innovative solutions. It also included lots of stakeholders that were well managed and a positive outcome for the client. This submission demonstrated working within a harsh environment and on a structure with significant health and safety challenges, plus overall safety related to the design of tailings dams.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Champion

Winner: Martin Griffin, Knight Piésold

The judges said they were overwhelmed by the quality and variety of high calibre submissions. The chosen winner - Martin Griffin from Knight Piésold - has single-handedly raised awareness of neurodivergence in ground engineering, and the judges were impressed by his thought leadership, passion and tenacity across many media channels.

Highly commended: Flannery Plant Hire – Time for change: Action not words! Black History Month event

UK Geotechnical Team of the Year

Winner: Network Rail, QTS, Cowi, Fairhurst and MHB – Network Rail CP6 Scotland earthwork and drainage framework

The judges were impressed with the team’s excellent use of various techniques such as drone mapping, efficient rockfall netting design and carbon tools to deliver improved results. The judges commended the team on its collaborative design solutions, embedding learning and providing a consistent outcome through many years.

Highly commended: Network Rail, Amco Giffen, Bam Ritchies, Westlin Group, Readypower, Cowi, MHB and ScotRail – Gatehead Incident

UK Project with a Geotechnical Value of up to £500k

Winner: Arcadis and National Highways – A36 Limpley Stoke emergency works GI

The judges were impressed by the client and designer presenting the project collaboratively together, as well as the speed of response following the failure and the successful outcome in constrained conditions. In addition, the project demonstrated effective use of the NEC4 contract procurement framework to streamline timely release of funding and investment to prevent other failures, and as a model for other projects. The quality of the data gave National Highways confidence to progress with sufficient certainty into a design and build contract for the remedial work. The site is now safely monitored by instrumentation for future warning and planning of remedial design.

Highly commended: Deep Soil Mixing – Soil mixing success for flood prevention scheme at Clementhorpe in York

UK Project with a Geotechnical Value of between £500k and £1M

Winner: CGL – Observation methods in Chalk – 137-147 Preston Road, Brighton

The judges said that this project demonstrated good use of past knowledge, resulting in a sustainable design with speedy collaborative working. The monitoring of movements had been considered in detail. The economic climate presented challenges to the client, which were met in terms of value, quality and programme savings in the solution. The company clearly demonstrated that its experience led to a fantastic cost saving solution for the client.

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UK Project with a Geotechnical Value of between £1-3M

Winner: Atkins, Ringway Island Roads, Stoneham Construction and Corefix – Belgrave Road

The judges were impressed with the innovative approach to overcoming a real time geotechnical challenge. Close collaboration between the project team has established a local skill base for future similar ground engineering applications.

UK Project with a Geotechnical Value over £3M

Winner: J Murphy and Sons – North Bristol Relief Sewer

The judges felt this project addressed significant geotechnical challenges effectively with high quality options, working collaboratively with all stakeholders. The project implemented machine learning, as well as practical and effective control to manage the ingress issues on site, while saving more than 110t of embodied carbon. This project team actively engaged with the local community and legacy in the local area.

Contractor of the Year

Winner: Vibro Menard

Vibro Menard impressed the judges with its strong financial performance and drive for success, while also supporting its staff. The judges felt the contractor clearly cares about its employees and has a good team ethic. It has invested in its workforce and worked on staff retention. The company has an exemplary safety culture backed up by strong stats. It embraces new technologies and has worked on refining existing solutions, which were shown to have significant positive impacts on project delivery, health and safety, and carbon reductions.

Consulting Firm of the Year

Winner: Campbell Reith

The judges were impressed with the industry engagement of this consultancy. Campbell Reith shared its knowledge on basements with the wider community in a non-technical way to make sure it didn’t feel too intimidating. The company’s commitment and enthusiasm for growth, as well as the respect shown for one another, is commendable.

Highly commended: Groundsolve

Editors award

Winner: Mott MacDonald, Saalg, Balfour Beatty Vinci Joint Venture and HS2 – HS2 Bromford Tunnel East Portal – Use of the observational method

This particular submission received excellent marks from the judging panel but had been entered in a highly competitive category. According to the judges, the project showcased the use of novel and innovative digital techniques in close collaboration with the client to boost efficiency in both design and construction. It thus has the potential to drive improvement for next-stage design and construction without compromising quality.