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Trevor Addenbrooke, 1994, aged 24

Now: Lecturer at Imperial College.

Qualifications: BEng, ACGI, MSc, DIC, PhD.

Winning paper: Displacement controlled design of multi-propped retaining walls. A new approach justified by finite element analysis.

Then: A research assistant at Imperial College, halfway through doctorate studies into settlement above tunnels.

Afterwards: Completed my PhD, and am now pursuing research into pile/tunnel interaction, rainfall induced landslides, and stability of ash embankments. Before Imperial, I was a graduate site engineer with Douglas Construction working in the Midlands and North West.

Professional highs: Award of the ICE's Crampton Prize this year, for a paper based on my PhD, co-authored with Professor Potts; seeing students learning about soil mechanics enthusiastically.

On the downside: Icy cold winter nights waiting for concrete floor slabs to be float finished; not securing first major research project proposal.

Did winning have an impact on your career? It encouraged me in my chosen career path - academia - in which paper writing and oral presentation are key.

How did you spend the prize money? Enjoying myself in Prague on the way to and from the 8th EYGEC in the Slovak Republic.

Anecdotes: Although the rather splendid Mappin & Webb cut glass decanter had been presented to me at the competition in Southampton, I was instructed to bring it with me to the presentation at the AGM in June later that year. It was fairly large, quite heavy, and of course precious and fragile. So, I carefully boxed it up and transported it across London to the ICE, knowing that later that evening I would have to look after it in a less than sober state. The then chairman of BGS, Dr Andrew Lord, presented it to me in its box. I could have just taken the box.

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