It was the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) East of England regional Merit Awards Dinner recently and I was there in an unofficial capacity to enjoy the evening and to support my work and ICE Committee colleagues.
The awards dinner was held at the wonderful Ickworth House near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk and it was a fitting venue for these prestigious awards. The awards are given annually to recognise civil engineering projects in the region that have demonstrated merit in the four categories of Physical Achievement, Team Achievement, Technical Excellence and Sustainability.
To be eligble, projects must be located in the ICE East of England Region and be completed in the preceeding 12 months. Three levels of award are made – Highly Commended, Merit and Exceptional Merit.
Whilst I paid for my ticket myself, I was guest of the Southend City Beach project team which included representatives from the client Southend Borough Council, the designers Atkins and the principal contractor Carillion plc. I had been involved in bidding for the project back in 2009 at Carillion and have photographed the project a few times. An album of pics can be found here.
I was there early and so helped ICE EoE Regional Director Glen Owen and Regional Admin Heather Bell with some final arrangements and setting up some IT. I then had the pleasure of chatting with ICE President Richard Coakley and his wife who arrived shortly after.
In a change to last years format the event started with dinner – a four course set menu affair which was excellent. This was followed by an address by the Richard highlighting the aims of his presidential year and his theme of ‘harnessing energy’ both in the literal sense of sustainable forms of energy generation and in the sense of harnessing the energy of ICE members in volunteering to drive the work of the Institution.
Regional Communications Exec Chris Dodson opened the awards proceedings after dinner by announcing the winner and runners up in the ICE East of England photographic competition. As in previous years I had entered the maximum two photographs and like last year I came third with a photo of the demolition of the Church Road Bridge over the A13 as part of the Sadlers Farm Junction Improvements project. Details and copies of the other winning photographs can be found on the ICE East of England website here.
Glen Owen then took to the podium to announce the winners of the various awards which were presented by ICE President Richard Coakley and ICE East of England Regional Executive Committee Chairman Chris Graves.
We were extremely please to find out that the Southend City Beach project had been awarded the top prize in the Team Achievement category – Exceptional Merit. This is the second year running that a Carillon project had won this top prize in this category. Despite the fact that I no longer work for Carillion and had only a passing association with the project I still managed to sneak into the group photo 🙂
The full list of winners for each category is available on the ICE East of England here. The last award of the evening was announced by Chris Graves and presented by Richard to ICE volunteer Gordon Edgar who has been involved with the ICE in the east of England for many years including stints as Regional Chairman as well as being a Supervising Civil Engineer.
The Environment Agency had a particularly successful evening with their projects picking up at least 8 or 10 awards in various categories. Andy Rouse of the Environment Agency seemed to be going up to receive just about every award that was announced!
The evening drew to a close with additional drinking and chatting amongst friends. Most of our party were staying in hotels but alas I was driving home so I said my farewells and headed for home.
It was a really good event this year and thanks must go to all those involved with managing the Merit Awards process and organising the awards dinner -particularly Glen and Heather. Top job guys.
A few additional photos follow. I’m sure more photos will be posted on the ICE East of England website soon.