THE MILLENNIUM Dome has become the first civil engineering project to win the £50,000 MacRobert Award for engineering innovation since 1969, it was announced this week.
Dome engineer Buro Happold beat off competition from a miniature gyroscope, an advanced carbon fibre yacht rig and a digital terrestrial television to claim the prize. The last civils project team to be similarly honoured was Severn Bridge designer Freeman Fox & Partners, who shared first place in 1969 with Rolls-Royce's Pegasus jump-jet engine team.
Last year the Tsing Ma Bridge was shortlisted, only to lose out to a new asthma inhaler, but this time around the MacRobert Award judges gave the Dome's innovative cable net technology the accolade. Key to Buro Happold's success was the potential of the technology to cover even larger areas, up to double the Dome's 7.5ha.
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