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NCE100 | SME of the Year Award

small company winner

SMEs are often hotbeds of innovation and progressive thought, unencumbered by huge corporate machines and able to concentrate on delivering on the ground.

They tend to pick a specialism and focus on it, and in doing so really add to the knowledge base.

Take NCE100’s top SME, tunnelling specialist London Bridge Associates. Its staff are regular contributing lecturers to the Warwick University MSc in tunnelling and underground Space, to the British Tunnelling Society’s (BTS’s) tunnel design and construction course and the BTS health and safety course. Many more staff are BTS young members.

small company winner

Nuclear specialist Westlakes Engineering, meanwhile, was recently chosen to represent the UK on a decommissioning and waste management trade mission to Japan and South Korea; structural specialist AKT II contributes to teaching groups at the Architectural Association in London, Harvard, KTH (Stockholm), Cambridge University and Umea University in Sweden.

Fellow structural specialist Thomasons leads from the front with senior director Nick Russell having worked with the Institution of Structural Engineers for most of his career, culminating in 2014 was him becoming its 94th president.

SME of the Year Winner: London Bridge Associates

London Bridge Associates takes a leading role in UK tunnelling and seeks to influence the industry by demonstrating how technological innovation can derive tangible economic, health and safety and sustainability benefits now and in the future. 

In autumn 2015 it held its fourth sprayed concrete workshop at the Hagerbach test gallery in Switzerland. In collaboration with materials technology company BASF and the British Tunnelling Society, London Bridge Associates invited a cross section of clients, academics, consultants and contractors to the world-class bespoke sprayed concrete lining (SCL) test gallery.

Over a three day programme, London Bridge explored technological developments in SCL-robot training simulators, showcased emerging SCL materials that enhance productivity, demonstrated the latest developments in SCL plant and equipment, showed off its leading-edge tunnel information management (TIM) system, and gave a glimpse of the prototype SMUTI early strength concrete thermal imaging system.

The workshop was a lively blend of lectures, discussions and hands-on training including a much-contested competition on the SCL-robot simulator – and sums up London Bridge’s desire to share best practice and advance the profession.

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