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New Civil Engineer's Big Fat Quiz of the Year - Answers


As the late great Larry Grayson might say “What are the scores on the doors?”

New Civil Engineer’s Big Fat Quiz of the Year asked readers to reflect on the year that was 2018 with a civil engineering slant; recalling the highs, the lows and the most memorable moments captured by New Civil Engineer in print and online

Each day from Monday 17 December through to Thursday 20 December we posed 10 questions that asked readers to cast their minds back to the stories, the people and the projects that made the news in 2018. 

There will also be an announcement of the winner of the grand prize - an Amazon Echo Dot.

Answers for each of the rounds can be found below

Day 1 - Monday 17th

Q1 The year began with a celebration. The Institution of Civil Engineers became 200. It was founded 200 years ago in January, by eight innovative civil engineers. Question is: What was their average age? And for a bonus point, name their ringleader

A – 25

BP – Henry Palmer

Q2 What engineering supplier surprised New Civil Engineer in January with news that it had teamed up with inventor extraordinaire James Dyson to share innovations?

A - Wavin

Q3 The collapse of Carillion in January remains the biggest story of the year, and triggered months of hyperbole. At its peak what did MPs accuse Carillion bosses of stuffing their mouths with while they allowed the pension fund to decline?

A Gold

Q4 In February it was Arup and WSP’s turn to celebrate after landed deals worth up to £70M to do what?

A – Design HS2’s London and Birmingham stations

Q5 The terrible collapse of the under-construction Florida International University Bridge in March shocked the engineering world. But in August that shock turned to disbelief when investigators released – what?

A - Photos of cracks on the bridge, taken just days before it collapsed

Q6 Who said this and what were they talking about:

“I think what we did was absolutely outrageous. It is the worst piece of civil engineering I think I have ever seen in my life.”

A - Tim Jones (Highways England), in March, reflecting with New Civil Engineer on building the M3 through the historic Twyford Down in Hampshire

Q7 In April it was Mott MacDonald’s turn to be celebrating alongside Arup after the pair were named designers of what major infrastructure upgrade?

A – Changi airport’s new terminal

Q8 Who said this and what were they talking about?

“Modern life is plagued by the curse of convenience. We don’t need to communicate with anyone. I want to point out the importance of social interaction.”

Youth ambassador Adora Svitak, talking at the MIPIM property fair about designing for young people

Q9 Who said this and what were they talking about:

“It’s one the biggest structural boxes in the world. Certainly nothing will be built on this scale ever again in Britain.”

HS2 Ltd project director S4 Old Oak Common Matthew Botelle talking to New Civil Engineer about the sheer size and scale of the operation to build the Old Oak Common High Speed 2 (HS2) station.

Q10 How much did it cost the UK taxpayer to send then foreign secretary Boris Johnson to Afghanistan in June this year so he could miss the vital Commons vote on Heathrow Expansion?

A - £20,000


Day 2 - Tuesday 18th

Q 11 Which infamous entrepreneur sent Cowi director Ian Firth’s Twitter feed “crazy” for a week in June this year? And for a bonus point what project was Ian talking about?

A – Elon Musk (when he retweeted a clip of Firth’s TED Talk on bridge design)

BP – Norway’s floating bridges

Q12 A surprisingly highlight of the year was England’s progress to the semi finals of the World Cup in Russia. England’s success was in part attributed to way the stadium where they were to beat Colombia in the last 16 was designed to make the players “feel right at home”. So who designed it and, for a bonus point, what was it about the design that made it different?

(Designer name and company please)

A – Peter Ayres of Aecom

Bonus point – The stands were positioned as close the pitch as possible – mimicking English Premier League stadiums

Q13 Sunderland’s iconic Northern Spire opened in August this year after months of delays. What were the delays blamed on? And for a bonus point who designed and built it?

A – The Beast from the East

BP – Buro Happold & Farrans Victor Buyck JV (FVB)

Q14 Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne bowed out after four years at the helm in August this year. In doing so we learnt his surprisingly appropriate middle name. What is it?

A - Power

Q15 Q What did Environment Agency chief executive Sir James Bevan urge suppliers to do if they wanted to win work with him when interviewed by New Civil Engineer in August?

A – Ditch plastic cups at water coolers

Q16 Who said this and what were they talking about?

“We need to work with communities so they recognise that not only do they have to live with it but they have a part to play in reducing the consequences.”

Environment Agency’s Clare Dinnis, talking to New Civil Engineer about managing flood risk in the future

Q17 Who said this and what were they talking about:

“There’s very clearly an appetite for change but it still seems frustratingly slow at the moment. It doesn’t feel like everyone’s on a bus that’s going in the same direction.”

A – Wavin’s Martin Lambley talking about the government’s 25 year Environment plan and its pledge to expand use of sustainable drainage solutions.

Q18 The world’s first plastic cycle path made of recycled bottles, cups and packaging opened this September in the Netherlands. At 30m long how many plastic cup equivalents does it use? And for a bonus point name any of the team behind it.

A – 218,000

BP ANY OF: Volker subsidiary KWS, Wavin and Total.

Q19 Who said this and what was he talking about:

“In June we started to feel that we had a significant schedule challenge… but still thought we could deliver by December.”

A – Simon Wright, then Crossrail CEO, talking about the one year delay to Crossrail’s opening

Q20 Who said this and what were they talking about?

I came to the point of thinking that engineers should stop designing projects; we need people who understand how people will use those assets before engineers get involved.

Beth West (LandSec) talking to New Civil Engineer about her experiences of working with engineers in infrastructure


Day 3 - Wednesday 19th

Q21 Which MP told New Civil Engineer in October that he would rather fund a bypass in Bath than HS2?

A – Jacob Rees Mogg

Q22 Who said this and what was he talking about?

“We will not let this happen, either by our opposition in the courts, democratically in Parliament, or by direct action.”

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell, speaking to New Civil Engineer, on the Legal Challenges to Heathrow Expansion

Q23 In October the ICE celebrated its 200th with its first ever Global Engineering Congress. How many nations were represented?

A – 82

Q24 In October New Civil Engineer reported on the likely impact of technology on civil engineers. According to the World Economic Forum how many jobs may be displaced by a shift in the division of labour between humans and machines?


Q25 Who said this, and what were they talking about?

“The pessimist in me worries that we get lazy; we become too confident in and lose that skill of judgement; of intuition: the ‘that’s just the wrong size’ skill.

A-Bhupinder Singh (Bentley Systems), talking to New Civil Engineer about his worries around reliance on computers for design

Q26 The ICE may be celebrating its 200th anniversary this year but in November Andrew Wyllie became only its 154th president. So who spent most years as ICE president? And for a bonus point, how many years did he preside?

A – Thomas Telford

BP – 14

Q27 Who said this and what were they talking about?

“It really needs to contemplate who and what the civil engineering industry really is.”

ICE president Andrew Wyllie talking to New Civil Engineer about the ICE

Q28 A UK first was claimed in November by which major tunnelling project and for what innovation?

A – York Potash mine, for its shaft-sinking innovation

Q29 Who said this and what were they talking about?

“It is amazing and is particularly true how often people can be working on the same project with totally different objectives.”

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority chief executive Tony Meggs on the need to overhaul how major projects are delivered.

Q30 On which civil engineering project is the world’s largest crane by size and capacity about to start working? And for a bonus point whose crane is it & how much can it lift?

A – Hinkley Point C

Bonus point – Sarens & 5,000t

Day 4 - Thursday 20th

Q1 - Broughham Old Bridge

Q2 - A14

Q3 - Bank Station upgrade

Q4 - Crossrail

Q5 - Derby resignalling

Q6 - East Village project

Q7 - Ipswich Barrier

Q8 - Leeds Flood Defences

Q9 - Melbourne Rail

Q10 - Muscat Airport



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