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NCE Live News Updates: Friday 4 October: recession has boosted careers - report

Engineers say recession has helped their career; engineers’ lack of detailed BIM knowledge exposed

Todays highlights so far:

  • BIM survey shows startling lack of detailed knowledge
  • Another survey claims engineers careers have been boosted by the recession

Let us know what you think on these or any other stories via twitter or posting comments below!



16.30pm: Transport minister Simon Burns leaves DfT to run as deputy Commons Speaker.

Department for Transport head Patrick McLoughlin said: “I’d like to thank Simon for his hard work, support and leadership during his time at the department. He has been instrumental in driving forward progress on HS2. He has also worked tirelessly to put the department’s rail franchise programme on track, ensuring it delivers value for money for the tax-payer and supports the ongoing multi-billion pound investment in our railways.”


15.40pm: ISG awarded £6.5M Bristol Airport development project.

The firm has been contracted to begin construction on an expansion of its departure lounge.

ISG’s managing director of construction business Alan McCarthy-Wyper said: “The Bristol Airport capital works framework will prove highly influential in fast-tracking the operator’s planned enhancements to almost double passenger capacity by 2023.”


15.30pm: NMP’s (Nuclear Management Partners) Sellafield nuclear plant contract has been extended five years by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

NMP is a partnership between UK-based firm Amec, US-based URS and French Areva. The initial £22bn five-year contract to manage the site was awarded in 2008.

NDA chief executive John Clarke said: “Sellafield is by far the most complex and challenging site in our portfolio, and we are determined to drive improved performance at the site. We have reviewed progress under the contract to date and concluded that the right decision is to extend the contract to give NMP further time to bring about the improvements in capability and performance at the site that we and they are looking for.

“Both NMP and the NDA now have a much better understanding of the issues and complexities that exist at the site and the challenges that lie ahead.  Whilst progress is being made on a number of fronts we will require significant improvements during the next period.”


14.34pm: Teesside Power Station to be demolished according to owner GDF SUEZ.

The combined cycle gas turbine station was virtually mothballed two years ago and retains only around 30 staff.

A GDF Suez spokesperson has said: “GDF Suez has taken the difficult decision to decommission and demolish Teesside Power Station.

“The decision was taken as a result of our view of the UK electricity market going forward as well as the inability of Teesside to compete with newer more efficient technology.

“However, future opportunities at the Teesside site are still being actively evaluated.”


13.35pm: M6 link road project to go ahead after campaigners fail to make the case for alternative routes.

The Department for Transport and Lancashire County Council have won a judicial review that called into question the suitability of the proposed link road between the M6 and the Heysham peninsular.

The case was unsuccessfully brought to court by the Transport Solutions for Lancaster and Morecambe group which claimed that the proposal didn’t have proper consultation and that the plans were flawed.

“We’ve always been confident of the case for the road, which enjoys wide support from people and businesses in the area and I’m very happy that we are closer to getting on with the job. The M6 Link will be an engine for economic growth for the whole region, it’s always been more than just a road building scheme,” said Cllr John Fillis.

Costain has been contracted to carry out the £124M road project by the DfT and Lancashire County Council.


12.29pm: A SITA UK-run four-year long landfill project has been completed in Aberdeen.

SITA UK was tasked with cleaning-up and restoring the former Ness landfill site as part of a 25-year project to provide waste management services for Aberdeen City Council.

SITA UK regional engineering manager, Edwin Farr said: “The condition of the former landfill site at Ness represented a real hazard. Fortunately, we have been able to work closely with Aberdeen City Council, Fairhurst, a local environmental consultancy, and SEPA to address this.

“The systems we have installed along with the monitoring now in place, means that the site should no longer present a danger to the local environment.”


11.59am: Disused railway arches are to be developed into retail and leisure units.

Former railway arches in the Scottish town of Bowling are being redeveloped in a £900,000 government funded project run by Scottish Canals.

The project will create new concrete floor slabs, cladding and facades prepare the structures for leisure and retail use


11.15am: Caudrilla to close fracking site in Lancashire due to wintering birds.

Lancashire County Council had placed a six-month restriction on drilling at the Anna’s Road site during the winter period when migrating birds use nearby marshes for nesting.

 The Blackpool Gazette has quoted Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan as saying: “The background to this decision includes technical constraints related to wintering birds.”

Cuadrilla will announce plans for alternative Lancashire-coast sites for shale gas exploration later this year.


10.45am: Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to invest in £650M Manchester airport redevelopment project.

The ICBC investment backs the Carillion-Argent consortium running the Manchester City Airport development.

The project aims to create a new business district with offices, industrial units, hotels, retail and leisure facilities on a site adjacent to the airport.


10.20am: Atkins acquires Singapore-based consultancy firm Confluence Project Management for £8.4M.

Confluence is a project management business with operations in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and India.

“This acquisition is an important further step in the delivery of our strategy to increase our regional focus and grow our business in Asia Pacific and the Middle East. This business brings highly reputed client and sector knowledge and complementary regional presence and capacity to our existing project management business, as well as the ability to service increasingly complex projects for our global clients,” said Atkins chief executive Professor Dr Uwe Krueger.


10.15am: ICE BIM survey reveals startling lack of knowledge

The ICE has published an intriguing “heat map” to demonstrate the extent to which Building Information Modelling best practice is understood by civil engineers.

It shows that while the broad concept is well understood, awareness falls “far short” of the detailed knowledge required to confidently deliver a BIM Level 2 project.

The understanding of data and classification systems are a particular area of the process that needs support, says the ICE.

“All of the documents and standards to enable BIM Level 2 have been deliberatly made available free of charge so it was a little disapointing to see a number of sectors had failed to even look at PAS1192:2:2013, one of the key documents released in February this year,” says the report accompanying the heat map. “We will ensure that we redouble our efforts in communicating to all communities the resources that are available.”

BIM Level 2 forms a key policy and will be mandatory by 2016.

Read more here

10.10am: Work has begun on £240M incinerator and energy plant in Leeds.

Construction work started this week at the Cross Green industrial estate site.

The Veolia Environmental Services–run site hopes to become operational in 2016, and is expected to be bale to process around 214,000t of black bin waste a year.

Veolia say that the site could produce enough energy to power up to 20,000 homes.

Ground stabilisation is expected to be completed by the end of the year.


9.50am: Engineers say heavier workloads due to recession has helped career progression.

Controversial stuff first up this morning, with recruitment consultant Randstad publishing findings of a survey that shows that 82% of engineers think the recession has actually boosted their career.

In its study of 2,000 engineers, Randstad found that heavier workloads brought on by staff cutbacks have brought rewards for high-flying engineers. It found that 35% of engineers say a heavy workload has helped them secure a promotion, 43% believe it has helped them get a pay rise, and 46% think it has improved their skill set.

In total, 82% of engineers say a heavier workload since the recession has benefited their career – considerably higher than the UK average of 47%.

Randstad MD Owen Goodhead described these engineers as part of a new breed of “super-worker” that grafts extremely hard and flies up the career ladder as a result.


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