International Project of the Year Award

This award recognises projects that have delivered geotechnical excellence and stand out on the international stage between January 2023 and January 2024.

Entrants must demonstrate their projects’ credentials in sustainability, health and safety and value engineering. In reaching their decisions the judges will take particular note of client satisfaction, geotechnical innovation, value for money, performance against prediction, the quality of design and construction, safety and application of innovation.

Beckett Rankine, Nectar Group, Eiffage Genie Civil Marine & A-squared Studio Engineers
Freetown NSBT Berth Expansion, Sierra Leone

The Port of Freetown in Sierra Leone is expanding to accommodate more and larger vessels, especially for the handling of bulk cargoes. The NSBT project demonstrates how substantial modern port construction projects can be achieved in developing West Africa, in the face of multiple geotechnical and local challenges, utilising creative and sustainable solutions. The project contains a wide range of geotechnical design elements including a steel cofferdam, dredging and reclamation campaign, hydraulic filling, rock revetments and ground improvement. Interesting challenges were presented by the complicated ground conditions, combined with the local environment limiting the availability of plant and skill sets, materials and overall climate conditions. However, these challenges allowed for unique innovation to develop a project that was overall flexible and simple to construct within the constraints of the project budget and timescales.

Te Ara o Te Ata – Mount Messenger Bypass Project, New Zealand

As part of the Mount Messenger Bypass project the Te Ara o Te Ata Alliance Ground Anchors were installed as part of a new 600m cableway system to carry plant, materials, and personnel to an inaccessible side of the site. The cableway installation allowed simultaneous earthworks on both sides of the site, aiming for the operations to converge in the middle and thereby reducing the project timeline by a year. The ground anchorages were challenging with highly loaded anchors in weak mudstone. Recognising the pivotal role of these anchors in the cableway's construction, the decision was made to monitor anchor loads using DYWIDAG Smart Anchors. This state-of-the-art technology is an automated solution that continuously monitors loads in real time to a digital platform with alerts sent to key stakeholders when thresholds are triggered. This eliminated expensive on-site tests and provided designers assurance regarding anchor loads that were previously unavailable. 

Mott MacDonald
Tarbela Dam 5th hydropower extension, Pakistan

Mott MacDonald is leading the detailed design and supervision for Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) on a renewable energy project at Tarbela, the world’s largest rockfill dam. The Tarbela 5th project is funded by WAPDA, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and World Bank and aims to generate 1530MW. The project requires significant excavations and modification to existing structures. The project team, mostly based on-site, includes a substantial Pakistani workforce which are led by an international team of Mott MacDonald experts. The project focuses on efficient solutions that consider future inspection and maintenance. We designed 6,000,000m3 of excavation, creating 160m high rock slopes supported by strand anchors. A hydrogeological model has been used to analyse groundwater levels and flow rates. Mott MacDonald is committed to sustainable solutions and worker welfare, with frequent inspections to review living conditions. Outreach programmes and consultations with local communities ensure social value is maximised.

Coastal GasLink Pipeline Construction: Innovative Geotechnical Solutions in Remote Mountainous Terrain, British Columbia, Canada

When time was of the essence, Stantec went to great lengths—including using novel assessments and design to support the unprecedented pipeline construction of the Coastal Gas Link natural gas pipeline project across the rugged Coastal Mountains in British Columbia, Canada. Our team provided innovative solutions for data collection, characterization, and analysis that produced comprehensive and timely geotechnical designs and recommendations for temporary works. These included a novel rock mesh fence, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), motion-activated night vision trail cameras, and advanced data analysis tools, the project team produced 403 authenticated geotechnical deliverables with zero recordable health and safety incidents, helping the client install the most complex 12.8 kilometres of the gas pipeline with up to 25 m deep rock cuts on remote, challenging terrain, with slopes as extreme as 63 degrees.