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David Cawthra, ICE vice president, technical & engineering and chairman of the judging panel:

'I believe that over the past three years the Civil Engineering Manager of the Year competition has truly come of age. The overall quality and wide range of applications this year surpasses those of any previous year.

It was extremely difficult to select the four finalists and I will be very surprised if it does not prove equally difficult to select the winner. Each has shown quite outstanding achievements but their final test on 14 October is a daunting one.

The format of the final is designed to draw out special aspects that distinguish outstanding managers from very good ones. In their presentations to the judging panel, the finalists have 20 minutes to convey how their management skills really did make a difference. Then in responding to the panel's questions they have not only to convey a concise focused answer but also display their ability to deal with pressurised situations.

In the evening lecture, which for the first time this year will form part of the judging process, they have to display different qualities in speaking and responding in a public forum.

I have found my role as chairman of the judging panel to be one of the most uplifting experiences in my three years as an ICE vice president. I have been inspired by the many and varied achievements of the applicants for this award but a little saddened that they are not more widely appreciated by the industry.

I hope as many people as possible will take the opportunity to come along on 14 October to judge for themselves and contribute to the success of the evening lecture.

How the winner will be chosen

Step One 20 minutes presentation to the judging panel. This is each finalists' opportunity to convey their management skills and achievements on a particular civil engineering project using the words and props of their choice.

Step Two 20 minutes of questioning from the judging panel. The judges will probe more deeply into their range of management skills and test their ability to work under pressure.

Step Three 20 minute presentation to an audience of civil engineers. Designed to test the finalists' ability to present to a public forum and answer questions from the floor.

Date for your diary

Civil Engineering Manager of the Year - the final

14 October

One Great George Street

5.45 for 6.15pm

Free drinks at awards ceremony following lecture presentations.

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