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South Wales projects win top civil engineering awards

St Albans Bridge, Blaenrhondda

The Dragon’s Heart Hospital, Principality Stadium, Cardiff and St Albans Bridge, Blaenrhondda have scooped top prizes in the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE Wales Cymru) Awards 2021 announced today (1 December 2021).

The Awards are held each year and recognise teams and individuals that have delivered some of the best civil engineering projects and achievements across the country. This year an exceptionally wide range of entries was received ranging from a £21m through-school building project to a £650k flood protection scheme.

Projects in South Wales were recognised winning Awards in two categories and a highly commended place.

The Dragon’s Heart Hospital, Principality Stadium won the Chair’s Special Award is presented to any individual or project demonstrating exceptional skill and expertise or made an exceptional contribution to the profession.

The project team successfully delivered a 1,500-bed emergency (surge) hospital at the Principality Stadium within months of the Client’s instruction to start. It demonstrated a great achievement in collaboration and enterprise, quickly responding to an immediate need, and provided a fully functioning field hospital in a matter of weeks.  The first 300 beds were available within 11 days. The management team was on site within 24 hours.

The judges commented that this project was remarkable for what was achieved by the (wider) project team from a standing start and in an exceptionally short period of time. Mott MacDonald was able to respond to provide support to the NHS during the Coronavirus pandemic and working on behalf of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.  Mott MacDonald and Archus also led a consortium of companies to deliver the design and build elements for the temporary hospital at the Principality Stadium.

St Albans Bridge, Blaenrhondda won first prize in the Roy Edwards Award category presented to those involved in a civil engineering project demonstrating excellence in its concept, planning, design, contract management and construction with a final cost of less than £5million.

This category was the most fiercely contested. However, the judges were particularly impressed with this project team’s care and attention to detail, which allowed this seven-span bridge built in 1934 to be renovated and improved, whilst making best use of its existing piers and foundations with minimal disruption and appropriate community involvement. The project was nominated by Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd

Highly Commended prize for Ynysangharad Footbridge, Pontypridd for the Alun Griffiths Award for Community Engagement. This Award is presented to an individual or organisation who have demonstrated standards of excellence in engagement with the local community in the planning, design, project management and construction of any project, taking into consideration and placing emphasis on all aspects of social, economic and ecological matters to ensure future sustainability and wellbeing

The judges were impressed with the care and attention to detail in this project, nominated by WSP Ltd, which enabled the repair, renovation and renewal of this 38m long cable-stayed footbridge which crosses over the River Taff between Pontypridd town centre and the Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Rhondda Cynon Taff.

In all fifteen projects were shortlisted across Wales and vying to walk away with an award after a year that has seen civil engineers battle to overcome the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, keeping complex infrastructure works on track or delivering emergency schemes at breakneck speed.

Young engineers representing future talent in Wales were also recognised at the awards event.  Liam Stuckey, a civil engineering apprentice with Arcadis, Cardiff won the Apprentice of the Year Award, sponsored by South Wales Institute of Engineers Educational Trust (SWIEET). Luke Cook, Atkins, won STEMM Ambassador of the Year. Robert Varley, ARUP, walked away with both the Paterson Prize for awarded to the best Welsh candidate in the final written examinations of the former Institution of Municipal Engineers and the Ben Barr Award for demonstrate excellence in their understanding of the construction process, particularly linking design to construction, presentation of engineering principles, application of planning and programming methods and organisational skills.

Keith Jones ICE Wales Cymru Director, said:

“This year’s competition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all involved to battle against many unknowns as the pandemic continues. Sustainability and communities seem to be the back bone of many entries which can only bode well for the future. Our awards are a tribute to civil engineers across the country. We congratulate the winners and thank all entrants”.