The British Geotechnical Association (BGA) is pleased to announce that the 53rd Cooling Prize was awarded to Stan Jun Qi of Atkins for his presentation based on his MSc work at Imperial College London on Numerical Evaluation of Empirical Estimates of Seepage through Contiguous Piled Walls.
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 53rd Cooling Prize Competition was held as an on-line event hosted by the Scottish Ground Engineering Group (SGEG) on 29 March 2022. The event was chaired by Christopher Currie of Jacobs on behalf of the ICE SGEG with an on-line audience of more than 64 people. The event closed with a Vote of Thanks from Mariola Zielinska of COWI.
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 four shortlisted finalists then presented their papers. During judging a keynote lecture was given by Professor Simon Wheeler of the University of Glasgow on Capillary Barrier Systems for Prevention of Rainfall-induced Slope Instabilities: Development of a Simplified Method of Analysis. The lecture presented research work on the performance of sloping capillary barrier systems (CBSs) subjected to realistic long-term patterns of rainfall. Based on findings from complex FE modelling with and without CBS, he demonstrated that CBSs, if designed appropriately, should be able to prevent rainfall induced slope instabilities under almost any climatic conditions. He showed initial validation of a new simplified method, by comparison with predictions from sophisticated FE modelling. The intention is that this simplified method of analysis should ultimately form part of a practical design methodology for capillary barriers on slopes.
The judging panel was Prof David Toll of Durham University (BGA Chair), Dr Fleur Loveridge of University of Leeds (a former winner of the Cooling Prize), Tanja Waaser of Transport Scotland (ICE SGEG Representative), and Sergio Solera of Mott MacDonald.
The judges were impressed with the high quality of presentations on such diverse topics as Tunnelling, Flow through leaky pile walls, Seismic assessments of nuclear plants and Damage due to expansion of slag. It was good to see the great contributions from our young geotechnical engineers and we can see that the future is safe in their hands.
Shaun Nevill presented on Tunnelling for HS2 Phase 1. It was an interesting challenge with difficult ground conditions. The ability to move the running tunnels closer together and reduce ground deformations was of significant benefit. The 3D views of the scheme were helpful for the audience to understand the topic.
Stan Jun Qi described modelling of leaky pile walls. He gave a very clear explanation of the problem with excellent takeaway messages. He provided very good responses to questions and demonstrated that he knew the subject area very well.
Sarah Tallett-Williams described seismic assessment of a nuclear plant. She had a very clear and confident delivery style. It was an excellent study and a high quality presentation. She clearly knew the subject material well.
Nick Dewar presented an interesting case study of damage to warehouses due to expansion of slag. He had obviously studied the topic widely. He provided very good responses to questions.
The judges decided that the 53rd Cooling Prize should be awarded to Stan Jun Qi of Atkins for his presentation based on his MSc work at Imperial College London. Stan Qi will be invited to write up his presentation for publication in Ground Engineering magazine and will also be invited to give his presentation to the BGA’s Annual Conference later in the year.