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New Civil Engineer crowns Graduate and Apprentice of the Year

Ruth

The rising stars in the industry have been crowned at New Civil Engineer’s Graduate and Apprentice Awards 2018.

With more than 100 submissions from graduates and apprentices representing almost 50 firms, the engineers were judged on both academic and engineering skills, with emphasis on enthusiasm, initiative and leadership potential. They not only had their written submissions scrutinized but then faced a gruelling 20 minute Dragon’s Den-style pitch with our panel of 16 judges.

Karoline Lende from Arup scooped the gong for graduate of the year, with Mace’s Phoebe Baker, Mohamad Fahed from Motts and Jonathan Wood from Arcadis making up the finalist list.

Meanwhile Ruth Watson of Mott MacDonald Bentley was crowned apprentice of the year, edging out Arup’s Richard Ollerhead, Jack Clapson from Marbas, Stantec’s Anton Hall and Dominik McCormick from Aecom

Judges commended Lende for “venturing into the unknown” and embracing and applying technology in engineering projects.

Lende is currently working as an engineer in Arup’s Advanced Technology and Research (AT+R) team. Projects she has worked on cover everything from shore structures, climate change, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), through to pedestrian wind comfort, building physics, microclimate, and software development.

The work is already bearing fruit. For example, her research into machine learning in natural flood management saw her develop land use classifiers that far exceed the quality of freely available open-source mapping data, by a resolution up to 40,000 times higher.

Meanwhile Watson currently works as a project leader in the MMB dams and reservoirs team, working on three reservoir safety improvement projects.

One of the areas where she has made a huge impact is in carbon management. On seven projects she trialled a digital tool which compared the impact different construction methods had on carbon emissions, for example both in pouring of concrete and the constituents of the concrete.

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