The British Geotechnical Association (BGA) is the principal
association for geotechnical engineers in the United Kingdom.

Joe Newhouse wins 49th Cooling Prize Competition

The British Geotechnical Society (BGA) is pleased to announce that Joe Newhouse of Mott MacDonald has been awarded the 49th Cooling Prize for his paper and presentation on Ground Movement due to Shaft Construction

The British Geotechnical Society (BGA) is pleased to announce that Joe Newhouse of Mott MacDonald has been awarded the 49th Cooling Prize for his paper and presentation on Ground Movement due to Shaft Construction.

The 49th Cooling Prize Competition was held in Manchester on 28 February 2018 and was hosted by the North West Geotechnical Group and ICE North West and the three shortlisted finalists presented the papers. During judging a keynote lecture was given by Andrew Smith of Coffey on Major Repair Works at the A645 Newland Bridge.

Cooling Prize winner Joe Newhouse receiving a commemorative decanter from Dr Christine Cooling, on behalf of the BGA

The finalists were:

Alexandra Clarà Saracho (University of Cambridge) who presented on Microbially Induced Calcite Precipitation (MICP) to Mitigate Contact Erosion in Earth Embankment Dams

Christopher Krechowiecki-Shaw (University of Birmingham) whose presentation described Using Traffic as a Low-cost Treatment for Temporary Heavy Haul Roads

Joe Newhouse (Mott MacDonald) who presented on Ground Movement due to Shaft Construction.

The Cooling Prize winner and runners up (Left to right: Joe Newhouse, Alexandra Clarà Saracho, Dr Christine Cooling (BGA), Dr Martin Preene (BGA Chairman), Christopher Krechowiecki-Shaw)

The judges agreed that all three papers and presentations were of a very high standard.

Alexandra Clarà Saracho’s presentation dealt with some complex technical issues, but gave a very clear definition of contact erosion and seepage through the body of dams and the results of her current research into bacterial-induced calcite precipitation to reduce the erosion potential of soils, which is a very promising technique for addressing these problems in aging dams.

Christopher Krechowiecki-Shaw gave a very interesting presentation his PhD research which addressed geotechnical aspects of haul road access to remote sites with poor ground conditions where very heavy equipment (wind farms, mining plant etc) is transported. He indicated it is feasible to reduce the thickness of the haul road formation if the huge weight of the lorries carrying the equipment is considered as a form of transient surcharge of the underlying soils. This is a very original idea that would reduce the cost of haul roads significantly if the risks are well managed.

Joe Newhouse gave a very polished presentation that was concise and easy to follow. He answered very clearly his own question “Are we overpredicting the settlement of shafts?” The paper on which the presentation was based provides new graphs for predicting maximum ground settlement from shaft construction and indicates that typically there are significantly greater movements of concurrently lined shafts (excavation of the ground and installation of the lining are concurrent, e.g. caissons, underpinning and sprayed concrete linings) versus pre-lined shafts (e.g. secant piles, contiguous piles, sheet piling etc). Joe's presentation was based on work from his MSc Soil Mechanics Dissertation at Imperial College, London.

While the judges felt all presentations were of a high standard, and it was a close decision, they were unanimous in selecting Joe Newhouse as the winner of the 49th Cooling Prize.

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