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The doughty dozen : Part three

Competition : Civil engineering manager of the year

This week NCE presents brief summaries of the achievements of the last four of 12 engineers shortlisted for the Civil Engineering Manager of the Year Award 2001. In October, based on detailed submissions to the CEMYA panel, the 12 will be reduced to four finalists who will compete on 21 November for the medal and £1,000 first prize.

Tony Collins MJ Gleeson Group, deputy managing director (engineering division).

Managed £100M design and construct water improvements in the Almond Valley, Seafield & Esk Project (AVSEP), Edinburgh.

Tony Collins' promotion to deputy MD of Gleeson's engineering division in March this year followed two and a half years as executive director of the division with special responsibilities to manage work in Scotland.

There he worked in an alliance charged with design, construction and commissioning of the £100M AVSEP scheme involving five waste water works and 10 storm water works in the Edinburgh region. On completion the facilities were transferred to the alliance's operator for the 28 year concession period under a £180M privately financed contract.

Collins established a partnering culture between the client, services company, contractor, designer and operator. Moving to Edinburgh with eight core staff he established a construction team of 120 people.

AVSEP has been the the springboard for winning follow-on work.

'We delivered to time, budget and performance, ' says Collins. 'We've set the standards in Scotland in terms of relationships, teamwork, quality, risk management and solutions.'

Terry Bane Thames Water Utilities, programme manager - engineering. Managed the Sludge Programme Implementation Team (SPIT) responsible for £200M investment, and project managed the £80M Reading Sewage Treatment Works.

Terry Bane's SPIT team manages the multi-million pound investment needed to meet stringent quality standards for sewage sludge.

One of the first hurdles when planning the Asset Management Plan (AMP) 3 period from 2000 to 2005 was to guess the then unpublished standards that would be used later as the basis for monitoring results. As proposals for the regulations were developed, the focus of capital investment had to be redirected to meet the changing demands.

Cost forecasts of the solutions had to be worked out despite the condition of some assets being difficult to assess with precision.

The SPIT team includes people from Thames Water's core business and key technical suppliers.

'Consolidating this widespread group of opinions toward a balance of investment, operational risk and contingency managemenent requires a strong direction towards achievement, while understanding and respecting the need for caution and challenge, ' says Bane.

Tony Boobier Royal & Sun Alliance subsidence programme director. Managed the fundamental change in approach to subsidence claims costing £100M per annum in non-drought years.

Civil engineer Tony Boobier's challenge has been to engineer and implement a new way of dealing with domestic subsidence claims for Royal & Sun Alliance.

The new approach aims to introduce a more efficient response while saving the insurance company £120M over five years.

Egan and Latham principles and best practice are fashionable in new construction. Boobier says: 'We believe we are one of the few - perhaps only - major global institutional clients to have embraced these principles.'

Three years into the project, Boobier's team reckons to have cut costs and drastically reduced design and repair for the average 10,000 claims made each year.

The goal is to provide a 'speedy, economic and correct' solution to every claim.

This has been achieved by rationalising suppliers from 600 to less than 50 and eliminating the long chains that were a traditional feature of this work. R&SA has subsidence experts at six regional centres while detailed investigation, design and repair is done by service suppliers working on transparent fixed term contracts.

Abdul Farooq High-Point Rendel senior technical director. Managed High-Point Rendel's Genoa Harbour Crossing feasibility study, Italy.

Abdul Farooq's objective with the Genoa Harbour Crossing Study was to find a solution to the city's acute traffic problems that caused least damage to the urban environment.

Genoa is both a medieval city rich in architectural heritage and a major industrial port. A new route was needed to link Sampierdarena, west of the city, to the Foce shore, east of the harbour.

Farooq's team of engineers studied three alternative schemes for the Comune di Genova and assessed the effect on each of demolishing an existing elevated urban highway, the Sopra Elevata.

The alternatives were a high level bridge crossing of the harbour, an inland bored tunnel route and a tunnel under the harbour, for which an immersed tube was considered the most economic.

The management challenge was multi-cultural as well as multidisciplinary. 'Effective communications' is quoted by Farooq as the prime challenge in dealing with politicians, lawyers and the client's technical personnel as well as within the consultant's own British and Italian staff.

Farooq says: 'Creating an environment for the team based on discipline and a friendly atmosphere, with a view to meeting project objectives, proved an interesting challenge.'

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