Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Neil Dixon, 1987, aged 26

Now: Principal lecturer in geotechnics at Nottingham Trent University.

Qualifications: BSc, PhD, FGS.

Winning paper: Stress relief induced pore water pressure changes in London Clay coastal slopes.

Then: I had just finished my PhD at Kingston Polytechnic and was working as an assistant resident engineer for Travers Morgan & Partners on the A55 Conwy crossing in North Wales.

Afterwards: Moved to Nottingham Trent University in 1989 as senior lecturer and am now principal lecturer. My research interests include development of an early warning system for slope failure using acoustic emission monitoring: and geotechnical engineering of landfill lining systems, especially waste/liner interaction.

Professional highs: Obtaining PhD, winning Cooling Prize, and promotion to principal lecturer.

On the downside: None.

Did winning have an impact on your career? I am sure it must have helped when applying for academic positions.

How did you spend the prize money? On books - Geotechnical instrumentation by Dunnicliff, Soil mechanics in engineering practice by Terzaghi & Peck.

Anecdotes: After winning I was interviewed by the editor of Travers Morgan News who ran a front page article 'Firm engineer wins top prize'. Unfortunately I had told the editor (because of her open friendly style of interviewing) that I had prepared for the competition by talking to the curtains. The article gave few details of the competition and instead concentrated on my evenings spent conversing with the curtains. As I was on site at the time it took a long time to live down.

I was particularly pleased to win because it followed on from my research supervisor's win in the early days of the competition [Eddie Bromhead in 1972].

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.