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Fierce competition marks Henry Palmer final

ICE news

GLASGOW CITY Council engineers secured first place in this year's Henry Palmer Award after a high quality field of finalists caused judges to extend their deliberations throughout the afternoon presentations in the ICE's Great Hall.

The team, made up of Saffron Beetham, Martin McCormick and James Heenan, eventually persuaded judges that their project to introduce school pupils to civil engineering using minibuses and a carefully planned route around Glasgow was not just novel and exciting but repeatable all over the UK.

The three produced a detailed manual to enable other engineers to repeat the exercise in their local area. Based on trial runs carried out over the last year the manual recommends the best way to organise such trips and a template ensures that their early mistakes are avoided.

Judges were particularly impressed with the simplicity of the project and the way that the Glasgow team had focused efforts to reach their chosen audience of 11-12 year old pupils.

It was felt that the trips and the problem solving activities built into the plan would be a highly effective way to spread the civil engineering message around local communities.

The Glasgow team was pressed all the way by the Arup team of Bruce Duxbury, Toria Lawrence and Charlie Strick-van Linschoten with their project DT-Live.

This web-based project was felt by judges to provide outstanding material for teachers and engineers visiting schools to latch onto quickly. It is hoped that, like the Glasgow project, this will also be picked up, developed and used all over the UK.

Third place went to the Gifford & Partners team of Lucy Anne Nash, Susannah Stewart and Bernie Bonfiglio who, after months working with local school and youth groups, produced an outstanding video presentation and game to demonstrate the role of civil engineers in the community.

Judges were particularly impressed with the Gifford team's fund raising abilities to generate cash for the video production.

The Henry Palmer Award was launched two years ago to inspire the best young engineers to produce ideas and practical activity to inform school pupils about the profession better.

All 13 teams in the final were congratulated by the judging panel for their enthusiasm and professional approach to the task.

New awards were added this year to recognise the teams appreciation of the target audience and of the value of the project to their own career development. These awards were sponsored by ICEFLOE, the Institution's equal opportunities and diversity panel.

ICEFLOE awards went to the Boom Town Trail team of Rob Winser, Arifa Chakera and Alex Lovisetto, the Images team of Philippa Lane, Helen Crowley and Katherine Munt and to The One - James Norman.

This year's Henry Palmer Award judges were Stephen Larkin, Michael Marland, Michelle McDowell, Antony Oliver, Claire Sanders and Ted Wilmott.

The ICE has started discussions with the Construction Industry Training Board and other industry bodies to secure development funding for the best ideas.

INFOPLUS For full details visit www. nceplus. co. uk lThe Japan Society of Civil Engineers last week celebrated the inauguration of its UK branch, located in Queen Anne's Gate, London SW1, just around the corner from One Great George Street. Japanese engineers feel a 'close cultural affinity' with the UK, said JSCE president Norihito Tambo, a former Edinburgh University postgraduate student. JSCE members want to exchange information with UK counterparts on new technologies, procurement processes and project finance models, Norihito said.

The reliability of Britain's 32,000km of rail track can only be improved through the use of better track-bed investigation techniques, according to the latest issue (vol 147 no 4) of the ICE Transport journal. The current practice of 'walkover' surveys and digging shallow trial pits in the ballast under the sleepers is claimed to be inadequate to evaluate trackbed performance and deterioration properly.

Summaries of this and all other papers can be read at www. transport-ice. com.

ls it French government policy, or is it French water engineering expertise that explains why they finance and manage water infrastructure in countries around the world?

Pierre-Frederic Teniere-Buchot, leading water engineer and senior adviser for the United Nations Environment Programme, will offer his explanation next Thursday at 6pm at the Royal Air Force Club in London. Organised by the British Section of the French National Council of Engineers and Scientists (CNISF), the meeting is open to all. For more information contact Allyson Lewis (020) 7665 2006.

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