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Carl Erbrich, 1990, aged 26

Now: Director of Advanced Geomechanics consultancy in Perth, Western Australia.

Qualifications: MEng.

Winning paper: An investigation into potential liquefaction beneath the Conwy Tunnel due to seismic loading.

Then: I had just moved from working with Fugro McClelland (UK) to Earl & Wright in London.

Afterwards: Earl & Wright became Kvaerner Earl & Wright, and I rose from engineer to senior engineer. In 1996 I moved to Kvaerner RJ Brown in Perth, Western Australia as a senior engineer. Last year I moved to Advanced Geomechanics, also in Perth, as a principal engineer and am now a director.

My early career with Fugro mainly involved numerical analysis and development of software for geotechnical applications, predominately in the offshore field - and I have remained in the offshore sector ever since. Today my specialisations include offshore geotechnics, FE and other numerical analysis, bucket foundations and suction piles, monotonic and cyclic performance of calcareous soils and very dense silica sands.

Professional highs: Design of highly innovative bucket foundations, which almost exclusively dominated four years of my life. This involved model testing, development of new design procedures and numerical analysis coming out of my ears. Great fun!

On the downside: None really.

Did winning have an impact on your career: Not noticeably, but I had a great time at YGEC in Lisbon and met some interesting people.

How did you spend the prize money? Hmm? Can't really remember - it was never going to make me rich.

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