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Tips from the top

ICE NEWS; Three of the profession's best project managers showed how to deliver on time and within budget at the final of the Civil Engineering Manager of the Year last week. Graeme Stewart of BP Amoco took the £1000 prize. ICE News showcases the three fi

Graeme Stewart - CivilEngineering Manager of the Year

Graeme Stewart's advice for avoiding disruption on the Marine Vapour Recovery Project in Scotland was 'talk early, negotiate early and set strategies early'. Stewart saved £5M and built successful alliances with the project's 25 local and national interest groups, including the Scottish Fine Arts Society, who were concerned with the colour of the structure. His management team consisted of two full-time staff and one person working part-time.

Stewart said that the most rewarding thing was the enjoyment everyone got out of the work while delivering on time, within budget and without major disruptions.

The judges choose Stewart as Manager of the Year citing his 'likeable nature and obvious skill for managing people', making him 'stand out as someone who anyone would want to work for'.

Brian Coslett

'Create interfaces so that you can manage them,' said Coslett, who managed the £45M Ganol Wastewater Treatment Scheme - the largest environmental improvement scheme ever undertaken in North Wales.

Coslett claimed that by selecting 30 contractors, 10 civil and 20 municipal and electrical, he was able to maintain a high level of control throughout the project while achieving full commitment from all the teams on all areas of the scheme.

Intensive collaboration between the designers and contractors ensured that the 22-month programme to design, build and commission the works was met.

Asked what he would do differently if he had to do it again, Coslett said he would introduce an incentive scheme for designers, similar to the one that was in place for the contractors, and certainly wouldn't try to give up smoking during the job.

Michael Fordham

Developing a 'friendly face' for Thames Water was the major challenge for Michael Fordham as project manager of the £165M East London Sludge Incineration Plant.

As project manager of the scheme he had to deliver a cost effective and environmentally acceptable long-term strategy for sludge in East London, which accounts for more than 10% of all the UK's sludge production.

As well as managing the complex engineering of the project Fordham had to win the confidence of the local community. Through a series of roadshows and debates, Fordham won support for the project and established a local community group which is still in place today.

Project ownership among the workforce was fostered by employing people who lived locally.

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