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The doughty dozen Part two

Competition : Civil engineering manager of the year

This week NCE presents brief summaries of the achievements of four more of the 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 slimmed to four finalists who will compete on 21 November for the medal and £1000 first prize.

Mark Cutler

Carillion, project director for the Rugby Alliance West Coast Route Modernisation.

Led the RailtrackCarillion-WS Atkins Alliance on the £36M Proof House Junction track and structures reconstruction.

The huge success of the total reconstruction at Birmingham's Proof House Junction appears set to become legendary within the rail industry. Contractor's man Mark Cutler created and moulded the single team of client-contractorconsultant which planned, prepared, rehearsed and then delivered the project £1M inside the predicted cost and, far more importantly, within the 19 days and nights allowed for the work.

More than 800 trains a day pass through Proof House's complex intersection of viaducts just outside New Street Station. Modernising the track and signalling was the biggest single rail project in the West Midlands for 30 years. It involved ripping out all the railway infrastructure; assessing the condition of civils structures and drainage, and reconstructing it as necessary to suit the new track layout; assembling the new track and signals; then applying stringent safety tests to the new infrastructure before trains could run again.

'Delivery was the only measure of success and the team achieved success against all targets, ' said Cutler. 'I tried to lead from the from the front, empowered staff as much as possible, protected the project scope from interference and recognised performance.'

Steve Tindall

Yorkshire Water Services, project manager. Led the client team on the £200M Humbercare waste water transfer and treatment project.

Steve Tindall was concerned that use of his 'Mini-in-sewer' picture to illustrate his CEMYA entry might seem a frivolous. In fact the stunt, which saw Tindall drive a new Mini though the recently completed Hull sewer tunnel, was far from simply frivolous. What other sewerage project has ever been given four columns of positive coverage on page 2 of the Financial Times and masses of space throughout the national press?

The positive publicity is a bonus for Tindall's £200M Humbercare project which had to overcome collapse and inundation during construction of its vital 3.6m diameter interceptor tunnel under the heart of Hull.

Fortunately no one was injured in the collapse. Management of the rescue operation using ground freeze to retrieve the tunnelling machine and bore, 'tested the resilience and problem solving capability of the team' says Tindall.

That the project was delivered with no undue delay and apparently without serious dispute is a testament to the teamwork involved in establishing a common office and very open working relationship between the client, consultants and contractors.

Alan Myers

Rail Link Engineering, contract manager - Contract 350/410 Project managed delivery of Channel Tunnel Rail Link's Medway Bridge and North Downs Tunnel.

At the peak of construction activity on the CTRL's Medway Bridge and North Downs Tunnel, Alan Myers would tease visitors to see if they could guess who worked for the client and who was a contractor.

The success of his combined team of client, designer, project manager, joint venture contractor and suppliers meant that it was indeed difficult to decide.

The tunnel is now finished and well ahead of schedule including many internal structures originally due to be installed later with the rail infrastructure.

Medway Bridge's spans have also been completed and involved a huge collaborative effort to overcome foundation difficulties and, on Myers' initiative, bring the designers on site to 'resolve buildability issues and improve value engineering savings'.

Myers promoted what he calls 'a culture of responsibility for cooperation'. He developed tools for management to analyse key performance indicators week by week.

After an unlucky early incident he was rewarded with a remarkable 1M man hours worked without a single reportable accident.

Alan Beattie

Binnie Black & Veatch, technical director and project manager, Bandra Waste Water Treatment Facility, Bombay. In control of design, redesign and procurement of large works.

Alan Beattie's own summary of the management challenge he faced in Bombay, picking up the pieces of a part-started waste water treatment project, cannot be bettered: 'To win the confidence of a client, sceptical of the possible contribution of foreign consultants to the success of his project because of the failure of the earlier consultancy to complete the works. He then had to persuade the client of the merits of the proposals to complete his works and carry the project through from loan negotiation with the World Bank to contract procurement, project management, site supervision to successful completion.

In doing so Beattie had to introduce a culture of high work quality, financial control, progress, safety and environmental management not common in India.

The project is a major part of the sewage disposal system for Bombay.

Beattie persuaded his client's administration to adopt a management structure matched to that needed for a large construction project.

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