A paper investigating the use of polypropylene straps to earthquake-proof buildings in Nepal has won first prize at the ICE’s Graduate and Student Papers competition.
Joshua Macabuag’s presentation, Extending the Collapse Time of Non-Engineered Masonry Buildings Under Seismic Loading, explored the use of the polypropylene straps to prevent the collapse of adobe buildings in the event of strong earthquakes. It highlighted the technical, social and economical issues he identified while coordinating a training course in this technology for rural masons near Kathmandu.
“It’s been a fantastic opportunity to research and discuss a topic that I am passionate about. It’s also been a great confidence boost to continue working in this field of development and the generous prize money will enable me to conduct further investigation in Peru,” said Macabuag.
The chair of the judging panel Wei Liu commented: “As expected, the quality and standard of the submissions were extremely high. All three finalists must be congratulated for the innovation and breadth of understanding
for their chosen topics. The atmosphere was excellent, with good pro-active questions from the audience, allowing the finalists to provide positive, direct and excellent answers.”
As overall winner, Macabuag takes home a £1,500 cash prize as well as three days Thomas Telford Training, a Thomas Telford book voucher worth £150 and an Institution Medal.
The other finalists were ICE Yorkshire and Humber’s Anneke Kellond, a graduate engineer with Mott MacDonald, and ICE Wales’s Mark Glendinning, a structural and geotechnical engineer with Parsons Brinckerhoff.
Chair of the event ICE president Jean Venables said: “This was a superb evening that gave the opportunity for our members to debate with some of the ICE’s top graduate and student members on some of today’s most topical civil engineering’s issues.”