The British Geotechnical Society (BGA) is pleased to announce that Harry Postill of Loughborough University has been awarded the 50th Cooling Prize for his paper and presentation on Clay cut slope deterioration, climate change and maintenance.
The Cooling Prize competition is held annually by the British Geotechnical Association (BGA) and is named after Dr Leonard Cooling, one of the founders of British Soil Mechanics, a former chair of the BGA, and the 2nd Rankine Lecturer. The Cooling Prize competition is intended for professionals in the geotechnical/ground engineering industry in the early stages of their careers.
The 50th Cooling Prize Competition was held in at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London on 5 March 2019. At the start of the evening, Christine Cooling – daughter of Leonard Cooling for whom the prize is named – delivered a key note lecture about the development of the prize and her father’s career. The three shortlisted finalists then presented their papers. During judging a keynote lecture was given by Howard Roscoe (winner of the first Cooling Prize) on HS1 Ashford Tunnels - A Retrospective.
Introducing the finalists, BGA chair Martin Preene said: “The standard of entries this year was high and getting onto the shortlist is an achievement in itself.”
The judging panel was led by Sergio Solera of Mott MacDonald (representing the BGA Executive Committee) who was joined by Joe Newhouse of Mott MacDonald (winner of the Cooling Prize in 2018), Professor Sarah Stallebrass of City, University of London and Rachel Monteith of Buro Happold.
The finalists and the subjects of their presentations were:
Saleh Jalbi (Robert Bird & Partners / University of Surrey): Practical methods to predict the dynamic performance of offshore wind turbines considering foundation-structure interaction.
Jay Lobwein (Jacobs / Imperial College London): Investigating the salinity impact on ground subsidence in Jakarta.
Harry Postill (Loughborough University): Clay cut slope deterioration, climate change and maintenance.
As well as giving their presentations, the finalists had to field questions from the audience. This was particularly challenging as questions were asked by a Rankine lecturer, a Skempton Medal winner and multiple Cooling Prize winners.
The judges agreed that all three papers and presentations were of a very high standard. Before announcing the winner, Sergio Solera said: “All the presentations were excellent and interesting but also very different from each other, which made it difficult to choose the winner. However, we have chosen Harry Postill as the winner.”
Harry was presented with an engraved crystal ship’s decanter and the BGA will sponsor him to attend the European Young Geotechnical Engineers’ Congress (EYGEC) in 2020; Harry will also give his presentation to the BGA’s Annual Conference on 19th June.
The evening was a great success when over 25 former Cooling Prize Winners joined Prof John Burland, who founded the competition with Dr Leonard Cooling, and Dr Christine Cooling (Dr Cooling’s daughter) to celebrate the 50thAnniversary of the competition.
After the event there was a drinks reception kindly sponsored by AECOM, Atkins, Arup and Mott MacDonald.