North Wales projects win top civil engineering awards

Deeside Park and Ride facility and Ysgol Gatholig Crist y Gair in Denbighshire won the top 2021 Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE Wales Cymru) Awards.

The awards are presented annually and recognize teams and individuals who have completed some of the best civil engineering projects and achievements across the country. This year an exceptionally wide range of applications were received, ranging from a £ 21million school building project to a £ 650,000 flood protection program.

Projects in North Wales won awards in two categories and two highly recommended locations.

The Deeside Park and Ride facility won the coveted Bill Ward Sustainability Award, given to the project that best demonstrates the principles of sustainability, that is, the social, economic and environmental benefits of the project during delivery and at completion.

The category was hotly contested, reflecting ongoing concerns about global warming, climate change and the need to reduce CO2 emissions. The judges estimated that this modest-cost project for Flintshire County Council will help deliver key parts of the North Wales Underground and better connect surrounding communities with the 9,000 jobs provided by the park. They congratulated the project team for clearly placing a high value on sustainability in design and construction in the choice of materials, their incorporation in the works and their performance in service. The nomination was submitted by Alun Griffiths (Contactors) Ltd, a member of the project team.

The Gwydir Tank Safety Project received high praise in the same category.

The judges commented that this was a remarkable project by Natural Resources Wales which has improved and secured four former mining reservoirs in a remote and ecologically sensitive area above the Conwy Valley in the North Wales. The judges were also impressed with the quality of the design and construction, which put durability and safety at the top of their list of goals.

The George Gibby Prize, awarded to those involved in a civil engineering project demonstrating excellence in concept, planning, design, contract management and construction with a final cost of over £ 5million, has been won by Ysgol Gatholig Crist y Gair (Christ the Word Catholic School) Denbighshire.

The judges were particularly impressed with the care taken by the project team during the design and construction process, with the contractor, Mott MacDonald, the health and safety record and the level of community involvement. . They also praised the quality of the project submission which succinctly met the criteria for the competition initiated by George H Gibby (1923 – 2010) in 1979 for a large civil engineering project in Wales.

RNLI Lifeboat Station Pwllheli earned the highly recommended place in the Roy Edwards Award category for those involved in a civil engineering project demonstrating excellence in concept, planning, design, contract management and its construction with a final cost of less than £ 5million.

The judges commented that this project, nominated by WSP Ltd, provided yet another example of excellent design and build with an emphasis on value for money, fitness for purpose and for a customer with a very worthy cause. The new Pwllheli lifeboat station has two boat halls for Shannon and ‘D’ class lifeboats with a two-story side extension for crew and ancillary facilities.

A total of fifteen projects were shortlisted across Wales and shortlisted for an award after a year in which civil engineers fought to overcome the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, keeping the work of complex infrastructure on track or implementing emergency programs at breakneck speed.

Young engineers representing future talent in Wales were also recognized at the awards ceremony. Liam Stuckey, Civil Engineering Apprentice at Arcadis, Cardiff won the Apprentice of the Year Award, sponsored by the South Wales Institute of Engineers Educational Trust (SWIEET). Luke Cook, Atkins, won the STEMM Ambassador of the Year award. Robert Varley, ARUP, won both the Paterson Award for best Welsh candidate in the final written exams of the former Institution of Municipal Engineers and the Ben Barr Award for demonstrating excellence in their understanding of the construction process , in particular in relating design to construction, presentation of engineering principles, application of planning and programming methods and organizational skills.

Keith Jones, Director of ICE Wales Cymru, said:

“This year’s competition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all involved in tackling many unknowns as the pandemic continues. Sustainability and communities seem to be the backbone of many entries, which can only bode well for the future. Our awards are a tribute to civil engineers across the country. We congratulate the winners and thank all the participants ”.

Full details of all shortlisted projects and award sponsors are available at