The British Geotechnical Association (BGA) is pleased to announce that Alice Duley of Jacobs has been awarded the 52nd Cooling Prize for her presentation on Practical Geo-Dynamic Assessment of High-Speed Rail Earthworks on the Align Contract (HS2).
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.
Due to the current pandemic situation, the 52nd Cooling Prize Competition was held as an on-line event hosted by the Midland Geotechnical Society (MGS) on 1 March 2021. The event was chaired by Sam Hazell of Arup on behalf of the MGS with an on-line audience of more than 170 people. The event closed with a Vote of Thanks from Kevin Raven of Arcadis.
At the start of the evening Sergio Solera of Mott MacDonald, on behalf of the BGA, gave a short lecture about the development of the prize and Dr Leonard Cooling’s career. The three shortlisted finalists then presented their papers. During judging a keynote lecture was given by Sarah Trinder of HS2/Jacobs. Sarah gave a keynote lecture on the current state of affairs of HS2 - the future backbone of the UK’s High Speed rail network. She shared progress on the project so far, with widespread ground investigation keeping the UK market busy, ground having been broken at several key locations along the Phase 1 route, and how a strategic use of earthworks and piling trials were being used to inform design.
The judging panel was Emily Riley of Costain (2020 winner), Dr Fleur Loveridge of University of Leeds (a former winner of the Cooling Prize), Professor David Toll of University of Durham (Vice Chair of BGA) and Scott O’Neill of Aecom (Midland Geotechnical Society Representative).
The finalists and the subjects of their presentations were:
Alice Duley (Jacobs UK Ltd) - Practical Geo-Dynamic Assessment of High-Speed Rail Earthworks on the Align Contract (HS2)
Xinjin Ho (Mott MacDonald Ltd) - Automation for 3D Finite Element Modelling
Riccardo Scarfone (Geotechnical Consulting Group) - Capillary Barrier Systems for prevention of rainfall-induced slope instability
The judges were highly impressed with all three presentations which dealt with extremely interesting geotechnical topics. The visual style of all three presentations was of very high quality, capable to keeping an on-line audience of almost 170 people interested and engaged.
The judges agreed Alice Duley was a worthy winner. Alice will be invited to write up her presentation for publication in Ground Engineering magazine and will also be invited to give her presentation to the BGA’s Annual Conference later in the year.
WINNER: Alice Duley, Jacobs
Alice presented with great clarity. The topic of geo-dynamic properties is a key technical challenge for high speed rail. She was able to present a complex topic in a way that was accessible for a general geotechnical audience. The presentation led us from the desk study all the way through to construction of an experimental embankment. The talk generated good interest from the audience and Alice answered questions in a very calm, clear and confident way.
RUNNER UP: Riccardo Scarfone, Geotechnical Consulting Group
Riccardo presented a highly relevant topic of capillary barriers that can help with adaptation to climate change. He demonstrated a strong grasp of the subject area. The topic generated a lot of interest and Riccardo handled the questions very well.
RUNNER UP: Xinjin Ho, Mott MacDonald.
Xinjin gave a clear and engaging presentation on automation of 3D finite element modelling of an elevated viaduct. She dealt cleverly with the limitation of confidentiality of the project, where she could not present specific details, by using animations that brought the topic to life.