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Supreme managers fill range of positions

FINALISTS IN the ICE Civil Engineering Manager of the Year 1998 range from the client's representatitive for one of the biggest construction projects in the world to a contractor's manager in charge of a utility outsourcing agreement (News last week).

The four are Roger Bayliss, who was project manager of Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway's western immersed tube harbour crossing and Central Subway pedestrian link; Chris Marshall of Symonds Group who project managed the design of resund Tunnel, part of the Denmark-Sweden sea crossing; Douglas Oakervee, project director for Chek Lap Kok Airport in Hong Kong; and Simon Ohlenschlager, agreement manager for Tilbury Douglas in its extended arm work on maintenance and replacement of a substantial range of Thames Water's effluent treatment infrastructure.

The judging team faced a particularly strong field of entrants to this year's competition. The object of Civil Engineering Manager of the Year is to 'recognise the chartered civil engineer who has demonstrated, in a given year, the finest management qualities in a construction project or business activity'.

Bayliss' work as construction manager for contracts 502 and 501A of the HK Mass Transit Railway Corporation's airport railway was his first taste of working for a client, following many years in contracting. Bayliss had a major leadership role to play because he was the only person in the client's team with significant experience of immersed tube tunnel construction and was running a group that had relatively little experience of the complex and heavy work involved in threading a huge subway between skyscraper foundations.

The task was complicated by the mix of Chinese, Japanese and British staff among all the groups involved in designing and building the contracts. Technical difficulties on the subway put the scheme back nine months and there were delays on the immersed tube crossing early on. But all these were overcome, says Bayliss, and the entire project was brought in on time and within budget 'with both parties satisfied'.

Marshall managed £9M worth of design work on the £450M immersed tube tunnel which forms the western portion of the resund Link. The innovative project, in which Symonds Group was designer for resund Tunnel Contractors joint venture, involves precasting 22m long segments in a single pour of 2,600m3 within a fully enclosed production line. After curing, eight segments are stressed together for float out and placing in a dredged channel in the sea bed. This concept was derived from ideas generated by the design team, whose 'greatest success', says Marshall, was to reduce reinforcement quantities to 15% below established immersed tunnel practice.

Oakervee's project, the new Hong Kong Airport, needs little introduction. He was appointed project director in 1991 when Chek Lap Kok was a rocky island. Supervising the spending of HK49.8bn, the original budget, he saw the airport to completion and its opening last month.

Ohlenschlager built a team of 140 within Tilbury Douglas for design, construction and administration of Thames Water's effluent treatment infrastructure projects as part of the EQUIP extended arm project. He describes his client's objective as addressing all problems at provincial treatment works 'at least capital and operational expense'. That had to be matched against his own company's aims of 'maintenance of workload and a continuing profitable operation'. The mix of finalists reflects the aims of the award, which are to recognise good management in any aspect of civil engineering.

The winner of the competition will be announced on 8 September at the ICE. There will be an exhibition in the ICE foyer and finalists will give presentations to a special evening meeting. The judges' decision will be revealed later during a dinner in the Smeaton Room. Booking details are available from Jonathan Martin at ICE, tel: (0171) 665 2216. The annual award is sponsored by ICE and John Laing Construction, and co-sponsored by NCE and the Institute of Management.

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