Page 1


AugusT 2012 Projects and people

Mine the gap Australian infrastructure boom for Halcrow – 10

Facelift for An Olympic forgotten slice effort of history Employee volunteers bring Derelict canal revived – 16 A CH2M HILL COMPANY

Games to London – 54

PLUS – Air transport success – Bicentenary of Halcrow founder’s birth – UK apprentices


A solid foundation – 64 Meet project sponsor Rob Clarke

editor’s comment


In this issue, we take a look at the multibillion-pound infrastructure network being developed to transport iron ore from Australia’s new Roy Hill mine for export. The global air transport team gives us a tour of its projects around the world, and we speak to the employees behind the mammoth Kishanganga hydroelectric scheme in India.

Iron age sparks gold rush stepping up to a greener future facelift for forgotten slice of history Wind of change cleared for takeoff Rail project pulls to the finish line take the highway centre of attention river deep, mountain high flush with success Grand finale time and tide

With the eyes of the world trained on London, we catch up with some of the employees helping to ensure the 2012 Games are remembered for all the right reasons. We meet the Halcrow apprentices taking an alternative route towards a career in engineering, and we chat to Halcrow Foundation project sponsor Rob Clarke - a man on a mission to improve conditions for residents of Kenya’s informal settlements. Sadly, this is the last issue of Vox. Thanks for your input, feedback and support over the years. Vox team Eloise Young, editor

Emilie Dadswell, designer

Video Andrew McRae

Web Adeel Arshad

2 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

You’re hired Five minutes with Jacque Rast

3 8

Projects 10 14 16 22 24 29 30 32 34 38 40 44

People homeward bound Where it all began an olympic effort anyone for bridge

48 52 54 58

Giving Class act painting the town red solid foundation everyone, forever

60 62 64 70

hired Apprenticeship scheme provides alternative career route for young engineers

sport 72 Announcements 74

➔ projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 3

I can’t wait to get in to work to

“People see how good apprentices

find out what I’m going to be

are at the end of it – how much

working on next”

knowledge they have of the job”

Ray Cantwell, 19, London

Sean Butler, 19, London

“I’m at college one day a week and get to apply what I’ve learnt on real projects” Zubair Osman, 19, London


ention the word ‘apprentice’ and the first thing many people think of is a middle-aged multimillionaire jabbing a podgy finger at one

dejected candidate and uttering the dreaded statement: “You’re fired.” But beyond the world of television, growing numbers of young people in the UK are electing to learn on the job, with demand for formal apprenticeships far exceeding available places.

“Your work is recognised as professional, rather than just theoretical exercises, and you’re treated as an equal” Bethany Wilson, 18, Leeds

In 2010, responding to the lack of structured alternatives to a traditional graduate career path, Halcrow and a number of its industry partners established an engineering apprenticeship scheme in London and the south east of England. An audible buzz around the programme has seen the original six-strong consortium of consultants expand

Click the play button to watch the video

to include more than 12 companies, comprising a mix of contractors, consultancies and clients. 4 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

➔ projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 5

Halcrow’s intake has grown exponentially – from one apprentice in the launch year to four at present – and the company plans to take on more trainees in the future. From an initial focus on the south east, the geographical spread has also increased to include an apprentice in Leeds, while the Worcester office plans to welcome two additions to the team this September. New recruits initially work towards a technician qualification over three years, with the programme providing a potential path all the way to chartered status. Ray Cantwell became the first apprentice under the current scheme when he joined Halcrow 18 months ago. “The biggest thing to change is my confidence,” he said. “I’ve been exposed to lots of different employees and their experiences, and the different routes they’ve taken to get where they are now. You’re always learning from the people around you.”

“The apprenticeship scheme really broadens our scope in terms of what we can

Next steps

offer young people” The emphasis on applied knowledge and getting stuck in

Given the success of the programme, expanding its

on real projects is a major draw for young people vying

scope is a certainty for Halcrow, with intake numbers,

for an apprenticeship place. Equally, the consensus

geographies and engineering options for apprentices

among Halcrow’s apprentices is that working directly

all set to grow. The scheme’s close links with the

with senior engineers, and being able to put the

Institution of Civil Engineers has meant

theory they learn at college into practice in the office,

the focus to date has largely been

has already accelerated their progress. “Some of the

Mayor Boris Johnson with London apprentices, including Halcrow’s Ray Cantwell

drawings I’ve helped to produce are up on York Council’s website,” said Leeds-based Bethany Wilson. “Your work is recognised as professional, rather than just

on providing routes aligned to this organisation. As scheme sponsor Sam El-Jouzi explained, moves to diversify

Halcrow’s Sam Hannis (left) with London deputy mayor Richard Barnes

are underway: “We’re looking to branch

theoretical exercises, and you’re treated as an equal. I

out into more engineering disciplines.

feel like I’m responsible for real-life outcomes.”

We’ll be working with other

Scheme sponsor Sam El-Jouzi

are in the spotlight so much at the moment is that you

professional bodies and colleges so

Beyond the UK engineering industry, rocketing popularity

can’t just rely on going to university and then getting a

that the career options we can offer apprentices

across the board has seen the number of apprentices

job at the end of it, especially in the current climate. With

reflect our multidisciplinary business.”

enrolled in nationally recognised programmes increase by

an apprenticeship, what you learn directly applies to your

two thirds, from 279,700 starts in the 2009-10 academic

work, and at the end of the three years you have so much

“The apprenticeship scheme really broadens our scope

year to 442,700 in 2010-11. In London, mayor Boris

experience and knowledge.”

in terms of what we can offer young people wanting to

Johnson is already halfway towards a targeted 100,000

pursue a career in engineering,” added senior human Nineteen-year-old Zubair Osman was emphatic with

resources adviser Sam Hannis, who chairs the south-

his message for potential candidates: “I would definitely

east consortium. “It’s a win-win situation – the way

Sean Butler, who joined the London transport planning

encourage anyone who has an opportunity or an offer for

our current apprentices are flourishing in the work

team in September 2011, reckons apprenticeships are in

an apprenticeship to take it hands on, because you won’t

the public eye for good reason: “I think the reason they

get experience like this anywhere else.”

apprenticeship places by the end of 2012.

6 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

Members of the Worcester team at an event during UK Apprenticeship week, February 2012

environment is testament to that.”

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 7

Five minutes with JaCque rast

An interview with Halcrow’s chief executive and chairman

Quickfire round What is your earliest memory? My mother singing ‘You are my sunshine’ to me. I believe I was about 18 months old.

Which living person do you most admire? My mother. She was the only daughter of a large, traditional Italian family that immigrated to the US. She went on to get two university degrees, become a biology teacher, marry my Italian father, quit work to raise a family, return to work in real estate and, ultimately, become an elected official in our local county government for 20 years. I honestly don’t know how she accomplished all of this!

If you weren’t an engineer, what would you be? Either a blues pianist or an animal shelter manager. I have are a stronger, integrated, symbiotic entity going

done all three but it seems I’m best at making a living in the

into 2013. We will also make great strides over

engineering field.

the next couple of months by integrating our financial and HR systems and tools.

What makes you truly happy? Developing a vision and goals, and ultimately achieving them,

What are you most excited by at the moment?

whether in terms of work, family or leisure activities.

How cool our people and projects are. What a

What is the worst job you’ve ever done?

great company we work for. And, of course, I’m

Cleaning out the bar screens at a wastewater treatment plant

personally excited that the Olympics are just

while studying at university.

about to start. I have been waiting for this since

What are you currently working on? At the moment I’m evaluating CH2M HILL’s options for our 2013 international operating model, which will help to

“Stay true to our core values and listen to your instincts”

shape our strategy over the next couple of years. I’m also serving as executive sponsor for

my first meeting with the – then potential –

How would you like to be remembered?

client in January 2006. It’s amazing how fast six

As someone that inspired others to live life to the full and

and a half years goes by!

pursue their dreams.

What have you been up to since we last saw you?

What’s your worst habit?

Getting loads of stamps in my passport! I’ve international team and better understand

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

programme. I also got to help out with a bid

our operations. Over the next few months, I’ll

It is best paraphrased in a quote from Nelson Mandela: “There

for a Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

be spending most of my time in Europe and

is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life

contract to safely decommission some of the

the Middle East – we’re pursuing some key

that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Every person

UK’s Magnox reactors.

business opportunities in both regions, and

that I truly admire pushed past the barriers in their life to do

these are also our largest CH2M HILL and

something meaningful.

been travelling around the world to meet our

How is the integration progressing?

Halcrow operations to integrate.

Our teams are working well together all around the world

a handful of projects, including the Qatar 2022 football

to pursue and deliver work. The next step is to determine

What is your message to employees?

world cup, Philadelphia International Airport, the

the international operating model – we’ll then begin to

Stay true to our core values and listen to

London 2012 Olympics, and the UK’s High Speed 2 rail

implement it from the third quarter of this year so that we

your instincts.

8 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

Working too much, especially late at night when I am travelling.

Where’s your favourite place in the world? Venice, Italy. It is a city that romances you such that you voluntarily surrender to both its beauty and disorder.

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 9

Iron age sparks gold goldRush New mine in Western Australia promises infrastructure boom for Halcrow


hina’s insatiable appetite for raw materials is fuelling a global commodities boom, particularly in iron ore.

Thousands of kilometres south of the world’s most populous nation, the mines of the Pilbara in Western Australia are working flat out to meet the growing demand. Night and day, ore trains rumble out of the remote region on their way to Port Hedland for export. In 2014, iron ore production in the Pilbara is due to expand enormously with the opening of the Roy Hill mine. Up to 55 million extra tonnes of iron ore will be heading for the bulk carriers moored off the coast some 280km away. In its biggest project yet in the Australian mining market, Halcrow is playing a vital role in ensuring they’ll get there. Port Hedland, a remote facility on the northern coast, is Australia’s highest tonnage port and already receives huge amounts of iron ore delivery every day. In order to accommodate the increase in traffic, Halcrow has been commissioned to design a vast new network of infrastructure. Although the existing mines in the region are already linked to Port Hedland by rail, Roy Hill’s size means a dedicated rail service will be needed to transport ore to the port. “Smooth handling of such vast quantities of raw material requires some major infrastructure,” said project manager James Houghton. “Once Roy Hill opens, a train made up of 232 wagons will arrive at Port Hedland, five times every day, via the new rail link.” 10 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 11

Mineral gold

The total cost of the pit-to-port service plus associated infrastructure is £4.7 billion (AUS$7.2 billion). Traversing the isolated Pilbara region, the 342km rail link project is

A huge trainload of ‘red gold’ heads to port

split into four separate packages. Halcrow is responsible

Roy Hill

for package three – Port Landside – which includes the final 23km of rail, rail loop, stockyard and a major

Fact file

terminal yard facility. Halcrow will also undertake the foundation design for the rescreening plant, stockyard rail system, conveyors and material transfer stations, as well as designing the


car dumper facility. The team has designed a 6m-high embankment around the stockyard to protect it from tidal surges. With early contractor involvement now complete, and early works underway, construction is set to


Mine the gap: the layers of an open-cast iron ore mine


start in October 2012, with Halcrow providing the supervisory team. The new £650 million (AUS$1 billion) facility “Roy Hill is a completely new mine and covers a wide range

will include:

of our skills,” said James. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for the Perth team, which has grown in number and

• 25km of railway

capacity over the past 12 months. It will also rely on the

• 30km of service roads

expertise of resources from other offices within Australia

• 55Mtpa stockyard

and globally to ensure its successful delivery.”

• a new car dumper





Click here to find out more about the team’s work 12 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 13

Stepping up to a greener future

Landscape guidance softens Hong Kong’s steep surrounds


isitors and residents of Hong Kong are

impact of existing slopes and make them

never far from a man-made slope.

less intrusive.

With 7 million people squeezed into just 1,100km²

“Hong Kong has many steep man-made

of mainly mountainous terrain, developers and

slopes of up to 70 degrees,” said geotechnical

engineers have dug, burrowed and tunnelled

engineer Allan Watkins. “The Hong Kong

into the mountainside to meet the needs of a

government has a policy of trying to make

soaring population.

these look as natural as possible through the use of soft and hard landscape treatment.

More than 60,000 registered man-made slopes are spread across the territory. Some are just a

“Our non-mandatory guidance covers a variety

couple of dozen metres in length, others as long

of topics, including minimising damage to

as several hundred metres.

the existing landscape from temporary and

Look up: retaining wall design in Hong Kong

permanent works. It looks at ways to create Sprouting street: an example of Halcrow’s slope upgrade work

Because of the huge visual

opportunities for planting and gives advice on

impact of these slopes, the Hong

selecting the right species, good construction

Kong government’s Geotechnical

practice and supervision, and ways to maintain

Engineering Office recently

landscape works.”

commissioned Halcrow to prepare a series of technical guidelines

The 220-page document builds on an earlier award-

on landscaping of slopes. The

winning version issued in 2000, for which Halcrow

project also had input from a

provided input. The new document focuses on

working group of government

engineering principles, so it is hoped that its advice

stakeholders, academics and

will also help to mitigate the risk of landslides.

industry professionals. The guidance is intended for use from the earliest Technical guidelines on landscape treatment

design stage for new works, as well as upgrading or

for slopes is an A-Z of how to make new

mitigation works. Although it relates to construction

slopes blend harmoniously into the

processes used in Hong Kong, its findings could

landscape through careful selection of

also be relevant for other parts of Asia where high-

materials, planting and patterns. It also

intensity development on steep terrain is becoming

provides key tips on how to soften the

more common.

14 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

Stakeholder workshop

Allan Watkins addresses stakeholders

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 15

facelift for forgotten slice of history Cotswold Canals project revives derelict waterway


alcrow is helping resurrect a neglected relic of the UK’s industrial past, kick-starting regional regeneration and enhancing the lives of thousands of people living in the south-west of England.

The Cotswold Canals consist of two connected waterways in Gloucestershire – the Stroudwater Navigation and the Thames and Severn Canal. A project to restore the historic 58km-long waterway is set to reconnect England’s greatest rivers, the Severn and the Thames, for the first time in over 70 years. Following a 30-year campaign, the restoration is being led by the Cotswold Canals Partnership. This organisation brings together a number of trusts, societies and local councils keen to lend weight to what was originally a volunteer cause. Partly funded by the UK’s Heritage Lottery Fund, the restoration promises a wide range of benefits to the local

16 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

Wallbridge Upper Lock has been restored to full working condition by the project team

Restored green corridors have provided many opportunities for regeneration through the Stroud District projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 17

rict Council) Jon Pontefract (Stroud Dist nteering groups leads one of many local volu canal the g alon s to repair towpath

environment and communities. By providing a functioning, navigable canal, the partnership aims to trigger urban regeneration and

Cotswold Canals Trust volunteers clearing debris on the derelict cana l

investment, restore an important part of local heritage, and reduce the risk of flooding. The first phase of the project targets the 10km stretch of the canal through the centre of Stroud. This overgrown and neglected route has been infringed upon by local development

The restored canal passes under the new Stroud Brewery Bridge in Stroud town centre, February 2012

and includes many heritage structures such as locks, weirs and swingbridges, as well as modern obstacles such as roads and service crossings. Phase 1a and 1b of the Cotswold Canals from Saul Junction to Brimscombe

The Halcrow team, led by framework director Mark Seward, is undertaking the design of structures, including bridges, locks, flood control structures and channel works, as well as dealing with all planning applications, environmental mitigation and enhancements, and site supervision services on behalf of Stroud District Council. “It’s a multifaceted and hugely rewarding challenge for us,” said Mark. “Not only are we restoring an important part of the local heritage, we are playing a part in ensuring the area’s future growth, which stands to benefit local communities. If the sheer numbers of volunteers who regularly turn out in all weathers to contribute to the project is anything to go by, people are very keen to regain the use of their local waterways.” 18 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

Locals enjoy a morning coffee at the restored Wallbridge Upper Lock

The game changers: Mark Seward, Paul Williams, Becky Wheway, Sandy Hinxman and Simon Casey

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 19

The restored canal sweeps past the St Cyr’s church at Stonehouse

Unlocking the past In February 2012, locals and officials welcomed Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal to Stroud on a snowy

The Stroudwater

morning, to formally open the new Stroud Brewery Bridge

The Princess Royal takes a trip through the lock on a cold February morning

and the refurbished Wallbridge Upper Lock. Residents

Navigation was built in the

celebrated as Princess Anne boarded the first boat to

1770s to link

pass through the lock in over three decades.

the prosperous woollen mills

A pivotal part of the wider scheme, this event marked the

of Stroud to the

halfway point in the project’s first phase. With plenty still

River Severn. It

to be accomplished, Halcrow is looking ahead. The team

was designed to

is putting together a bid with Stroud District Council and


the Waterways Trust to tackle the second phase of the

craft carrying

project – reconnecting the section restored by the first

loads of up to 100

phase with the national network and the Gloucester and

tonnes, but years of neglect left this once-proud route languishing in a state

Sharpness canal.

of disrepair. A slow decline brought by the rise of rail concluded with the

click the image to watch

canal’s closure in 1954. Built in the following decade, the Thames and Severn Canal presented a greater engineering feat as it climbed to Sapperton Tunnel, England’s longest canal tunnel at the time of construction. This too suffered at the hands of progress, closing completely in 1933. However, following an energetic 30-year restoration campaign, the current project will see sections of both waterways fully restored to their former glory. HRH Princess Anne ceremoniously

click the image to watch 20 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

opens the restored lock

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 21

Wind of change in Wellington New Zealand’s capital gets brand new train fleet


Project co-ordina tor Michelle Choi conducts a decal audit as pa rt of the commiss ioning process at the We llington depot

The first Matangi, unit 4103, at the inaugural launch, Wellington Station, September 2010

rain travel around Wellington, the capital of

The Matangi trains – the name means wind in Maori –

New Zealand, has rolled into an exciting new

take pride of place in the Greater Wellington Regional

era over the last few months.

Council’s far-reaching modernisation of its rail infrastructure. Halcrow has steered the procurement

One by one, Wellington’s eagerly awaited new Matangi

process for the new trains since 2006, including

trains have been entering service. Matangi unit 4472 –

developing the specifications and serving as project

nicknamed the ‘Scotsman’ in tribute to the famous

manager for the technical design, manufacturing quality

Flying Scotsman steam train – entered service in mid

and build compliance.

March 2012. Project director Tony Oyo said: “The Halcrow By the end of March, 50 per cent of the new vehicles were

manufacturing quality control team has been working

in service and the rail network is on track to have full

hard at the Hyundai Rotem factory in Changwon, South

deployment of the 96-vehicle fleet by September 2012.

Korea, to ensure that all the trains are delivered to the same high quality.

Matangi unit 4472, signed off and ready for service

“Paul Legdin from our Sydney office conducted an internal audit of the project and we were delighted that he

Tony said that in the next few months, the team will

was able to present the client with a clean bill of health

be fully focused on delivering and commissioning the

on the project delivery.”

remaining Matangi units to the client and preparing them for use in the fleet.

As well as supervising quality control of the new trains,

Project director Tony Oyo, project co-ordinator Michelle Choi, and Paul Nugus, project engineer, in front of 4472

22 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people


Matangi unit 4155 launches the fleet introd on the Johnsonville line, March 2012

Halcrow played a vital role in developing a host of the

“The end of these projects can be as busy as the

Matangi’s modern design features. These include the

beginning as we transition from a project wrap-up into

fleet’s distinctive low floors, multi-user access areas and

the reliability and fleet management phase and hand

its simplified, cost-effective braking system.

over the trains to a new set of stakeholders.”

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 23

cleared for take off Air transport group flying high in booming industry


ew markets can boast the kind of sustained growth enjoyed by the aviation industry since the first airliners took to the skies in the 1950s.

Despite the lingering effects of the global recession, demand for air travel continues its jet-propelled trajectory – particularly in the growth economies of Asia and Latin America. Brazil’s civil aviation agency, for example, reports a 194 per cent rise over the past decade, with demand in 2011 alone increasing 16 per cent on the previous year. In India, year-on-year growth slid to a ‘mere’ 11 per cent in 2011, down from 17 per cent a year earlier – a minor blip on an otherwise expansionary trend. “We’re experiencing one of the most active, exciting and varied periods of international airport work I can remember for years – despite the tough economic environment,” said Halcrow’s airports and air transport director, Bill Millington. Even in the UK, where diminishing capacity could act as a brake on growth, passenger numbers are set to double by 2030. Coping with the millions of additional passengers projected to sweep through the world’s airports will pose a mounting challenge for operators, but also offers the prospect of soaring returns. Upgrades and expansions to accommodate demand represent a large chunk of the market, and Halcrow’s current workload includes redevelopment and improvement projects in Kuwait, Geneva, India and the UK, and a new airport for the island outpost of St Helena. Drawing on over five decades’ experience, the company is no newcomer to the international scene, as air transport global market director John Daly points out. “We’ve been advising on airports and air transport for over 50 years, all around the world,” he said. “Clients value this experience, as well as our ability to bring the specialist skills they need, wherever they need them. We can get straight in and start solving problems.”

24 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

“We’re experiencing one of the most active, exciting and varied periods of international airport work for years”

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 25

case study

Work under the framework has been diverse, including taxiway refurbishment design, acoustic surveys in the

case study

Gatwick high flyers

security area of the terminal, and most recently a study

Halfway between London and England’s south coast,

determining Gatwick’s ability to safely accommodate the

Airport lifeline for saints

Gatwick Airport stretches out over 600ha into the bucolic

mammoth Airbus A380, the largest passenger plane in

For centuries, the remote

countryside of West Sussex. Since winning a four-year

the world. The team was also recently awarded a major

island of St Helena was

framework contract in September 2010, alongside five

project in partnership with construction and regeneration

an important stopover for

other consultants, Halcrow’s multidisciplinary team has

group Morgan Sindall. This will involve construction for a

boats sailing to Europe

become a regular sight at the UK’s second-largest airport.

new pier, a new two-storey baggage factory, five aircraft

from Asia and southern

stands and five taxiways.

Africa. However,

“It’s a tremendously busy and exciting time,” said

advances in long-

framework manager John Williams. “We’re drawing

Gatwick is home to the world’s busiest single runway,

distance shipping have

on skills from across the company to work on the

averaging 52 aircraft movements every hour. As part of

brought an increased

airport’s runways, taxiways, water systems, roads and

the airport’s £1.2 billion investment programme, the

sense of isolation. The

rail network.”

3.3km-long main runway is being resurfaced for the first

island is now almost

time in 12 years. Halcrow is providing design support to

solely reliant on monthly

contractor VolkerFitzpatrick on the £40 million upgrade.

voyages by the ageing RMS St Helena as a link to the

Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. Its size, isolation and

The project involves resurfacing an area of 400,000m

world beyond its jagged coastline, with supplies, mail

lack of industry means the Saints – as the residents call

and around 1,000 visitors per year making the week-long

themselves – remain heavily reliant on aid from the UK,

voyage by sea from South Africa.

and people have increasingly been forced to leave to seek

Just six months after the framework win, Halcrow edged out its fellow consultants to secure the master


civil engineer role. This appointment, in February 2011, sees the company undertaking the planning and initial design of all minor projects at the airport. “We were really delighted with the win and have since carried out around 18 tasks in our master civil engineer role,” said John.

– the equivalent of 100 football pitches – with

“Halcrow has become a regular feature at Gatwick, the UK’s second largest airport”

approximately 65,000 tonnes of asphalt. John explains: “One of the main challenges is

An airport to replace the RMS St Helena as the main

the airport is projected to swell visitor numbers to 30,000

debris, which can cause potentially fatal

access provider had been mooted a number of times

annually – bringing economic independence and the

damage to planes.

before the current proposal was unveiled in 2005.

prospect of increased employment for the island’s

Grounded by the credit crunch in 2008, it is now back on

3,800 inhabitants.

“Aircraft pavements require specialist materials – the runway

Gatwick in numb3rs


(OPENED IN 1988)


(OPENED IN 1958)

26 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people






2011/201 2


track with Halcrow providing a project management unit (PMU) for the airport’s design and construction.

must be strong and



work. In a boon for St Helena’s fledgling tourism industry,

ensuring that the runway is kept free of all





Prosperous Bay Plain, near the island’s eastern coast, has been earmarked for construction of the airport – the

durable, but also

The island is part of one of the oldest British overseas

only suitable site, given St Helena’s craggy, challenging

smooth.” Because

territories, comprising the islands of St Helena,

interior. A 1,550m runway means the A319-100 and B737-

Gatwick does not

700W – able to carry 160 and 148 passengers

have the option of

respectively – have space to land.

closing the runway

Many visitors to St Helena are following the trail of

to allow resurfacing,

arguably its most famous resident, Napoleon Boneparte.

Halcrow is managing the four-year contract,

construction is taking

Defeat at Waterloo saw the ‘little general’ exiled to the

which also includes construction of a wharf for

place overnight.

windswept island in 1815. Longwood House, where he

importing plant and materials, an access road

was held until his death in 1821, is one of St Helena’s

across the island and a fuel storage facility. With

major tourist attractions.

client liaison support from the UK, the PMU is

Looking forward, the

being led by Andreas Huber, supported by two

sky’s the limit. “We


Historic city Jamestown, capital of St Helena

will continue to build

The deposed emperor dictated his memoirs from his

deputy resident engineers, Miles Leask and

upon the solid base

island jail, lamenting his imprisonment on ‘this cursed

Paul Welbourn. Environmental monitor Robert

of project success,

rock’ and criticising his captors. A loose cadre of

Kleinjan will play an essential role in protecting

delivering great client

supporters plotted various rescues, but plans to

the island’s endemic flora and fauna during

care and excellent

resurrect the Napoleonic empire hatched

construction, much of which teeters towards

results to ensure we’re

by groups in the US and Latin America

the endangered list. Miles said: “Despite the

in a strong position to

were ultimately foiled by the general’s death.

challenges of island life, we are keen to see this

bid for further large

exciting project completed and contribute to the

projects,” said John.

huge impact it will have on people’s lives.”

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 27

One of the Melbourne Comeng trains

case studies Runway rehabilitation

Technical support during construction is ongoing, with

As well as being Ghana’s primary airport, Kotoka

the Warrington team responding to the challenges of

International Airport serves as an aviation hub for the

short access periods for the runway, variations in site

entire West Africa sub region. The airport’s pavements,

conditions, and changes in end-client requirements.

taxiways and parking apron are being rehabilitated, with Halcrow commissioned by contractor PW Ghana Ltd to

In addition, Halcrow’s London-based planning team

provide consultancy services.

is collaborating with Pascall+ Watson Architects on a purpose-built business aviation terminal for PW and

The design, undertaken by the Warrington office

Kotoka’s operator, Ghana Airports Ltd.

following an intensive site investigation, takes into account the specific condition of the existing infrastructure. Areas for pavement repair and strengthening have been identified, with highquality Marshall Asphalt set to be overlaid and asphalt reinforcement used to prevent cracking. The project has been planned around the existing

Site investigation on the main runway at Kotoka International Airport

pavements to minimise disruption.

Halcrow’s simulation model of the pier design

Paving the way to success When Hyderabad’s new airport opened in 2008, its cargo facilities were designed to handle an annual capacity of 100,000 tonnes. However, growth in cargo traffic has far outstripped those forecasts in terms of both volume and the size of aircraft typically transporting cargo.

New pier for Geneva When the Boeing 747 entered service

Rail project pulls to the finish line H

Artist’s impression of the building

alcrow continues to blaze a trail across Australia’s rail network, completing work

Project manager Giles Dallaway said: “We witnessed

on the maintenance depot at Craigieburn on

all major tests to ensure the equipment behaved as

As a result, the airport operator, infrastructure company GMR

during the 1970s, its unprecedented

Group, approached Halcrow to carry out a review of the cargo

proportions gave airport operators a minor

apron pavements and identify expansion requirements based on

headache. Some four decades later, Geneva

forecast traffic. The team was also asked to provide designs for

airport’s existing pier – originally intended

The train maintenance facility represents the fifth stage of

be rectified before the contractor could claim practical

pavement strengthening and apron expansion.

as a temporary structure to accommodate

a project to establish a complete stabling and maintenance

completion for the works and hand over the site to the

the ‘jumbo jet’ – is being replaced as part of

depot on the site. Halcrow provided concept designs to

end user, Metro Trains Melbourne.”

Having identified that pavement strengthening was required,

the current eight-year master plan.

develop a new maintenance facility at the depot to service

the international Halcrow project team provided designs for the

Joint-venture company RBI, comprising

some of the Melbourne trains, which will increase the city’s

In November 2011, the first train entered the depot under

first phase. The ongoing relationship with this important client

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Bugna,

rail network capacity. The depot design includes the new

traction power, and the maintenance lifts worked exactly

is now also

and Ingerop, sought Halcrow’s airport

£50 million train maintenance facility, a train wash and 17

as planned.

being supported

planning expertise, with the team

roads for storing trains overnight. A new wheel lathe is also

through a

developing a simulation model to verify the

planned for installation on the site.


winning competition design.

Melbourne’s north-western edge in January 2012.

gone wrong. We identified any defects that needed to

“It’s been a challenging project, but a testament to the great results that can be achieved by sharing skills

As well as the initial design work, the team – drawn


anticipated – and where it didn’t, we reviewed what had

between our teams and offices,” said Giles.

with the CH2M

The project comes in response to an

from Halcrow’s Sydney and Melbourne offices – reviewed

HILL aviation

upsurge in traffic at the airport and will

the designs and monitored the installation, testing and

In conjunction with eight other stabling sites around

team in India.

bring the east pier facilities in line with the

commissioning systems, including the train traction

Melbourne, the capacity of the rail network will be vastly

Hyderabad Airport, known as Rajiv Gandhi International Airport

rest of the terminal.

power supply, lifting equipment cranes and turntables,

improved – and the condition of the city’s trains more

and key safety aspects.

easily maintained.

28 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 29

Take the highway

Bypass brings peace for Scottish villages


here’s an unaccustomed tranquillity in the twin Speyside villages of Fochabers and Mosstodloch these days.

After years of enduring 11,000-plus vehicles thundering down their high street each day, local people are relishing the return to a quieter way of life, thanks to the new A96 Fochabers and Mosstodloch bypass. It was thiiiiiiis big: The Halcrow team meets local kids

Opened on 31 January 2012 by Scottish Transport Minister Keith Brown, the 5.1km bypass now carries the bulk of traffic heading along the A96.

As the bypass cuts through the historically

team,” said Colin. “It helps to boost our

Connecting Aberdeen and Inverness, the A96 is

important and environmentally sensitive

reputation in the design-and-build market in

one of the main transportation arteries across

Gordon Castle estate, an extensive consultation

Scotland and across the UK.

north-east Scotland.

process took place. The resulting mitigation measures – including willow-faced acoustic

“It clearly demonstrates our ability to provide

The £31.6 million bypass was designed by

barriers and embankments – ensure the bypass

our clients with a one-stop shop when it comes

Halcrow on behalf of Morrison Construction for

blends into the designed landscape within

to large transportation projects and is a great

ultimate client Transport Scotland. Two years

Gordon Castle and along the northern edge

example of what our people can deliver.”

of site supervision was also undertaken by

of Fochabers.

Halcrow teams following a successful tender submission and the subsequent detailed design.

The new road includes two sections of wide single 2+1 carriageway which provides much-


The project has eased traffi flows along the A96

Stats the way to do it

“Fochabers and Mosstodloch had been plagued

needed overtaking opportunities on the A96.

with high-density traffic flows – the traffic

These skirt the south of Mosstodloch, crossing

• 5.1km of all-purpose road; 2.7km of overtaking lane

literally cut the communities in half,” said

the River Spey via Fochabers New Bridge and

• four roundabouts

Halcrow project manager Colin Walker. “Local

bypassing the north of Fochabers. The bypass

• four pedestrian and cycleway underpasses

people campaigned for almost 20 years to get

then reconnects with the A96 and A98 to the

• 190,000m³ of excavation

the bypass built.”

east of the village.

• 390,000m³ of fill used • 17km of fencing

Detailed planning, staged construction of

• 1.9km of acoustic barrier (using 160,000 nails)

bridges and temporary traffic management

• 284,000 plants

schemes ensured that traffic continued to

• over 1,200 tonnes of waste recycled and reused

flow smoothly on the existing A96 carriageway

Halcrow was responsible for the design and supervision

throughout the construction period.

of the alignment, pavement, drainage, highway ancillaries, bridges, geotechnics, lighting, landscaping,

An aerial shot of the bypass

30 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

“This multidisciplinary project was a major

and environmental and noise mitigation.

achievement for the Glasgow-based design projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 31


of Attention Bold, striking design grabs headlines in Qatar


ith its enormous Sidra tree-style

architects, cost consultants, theatre planners

‘trunks’ and acres of glass, the vast

and other consultants, including data and

new Qatar National Convention

communications systems designers, worked

Centre is a unique blend of organic shapes and

under Halcrow’s lead, to co-ordinate design

high-tech design.

information and enable the procurement of a contractor.

Formally opened on 4 December 2011 by the chair of the Qatar Foundation, Sheikha Moza

The 90,000m² centre houses a conference

Bint Nasser, the centre is the latest landmark

facility for 4,000 delegates, a 2,400-seat theatre

project in Qatar’s drive to establish itself as a

and 57 meeting rooms. The building has

key centre for arts, business and education in

3,500m² of solar panels and was built to satisfy

the Middle East.

the requirements of gold certification for the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy

The concept design for the convention centre

and Environment Design (LEED).

was provided by the influential Japanese

Modelled on the Sidra tree, the enormous ‘trunks’ hold up the centre’s roof

architect Arata Isozaki, who also designed the

Project manager Alan Rowell said: “The centre

Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles

is one of Halcrow’s biggest and most complex

and Bilbao’s striking Isozaki Atea twin towers.

building projects in the region to date. It was a challenging but inspirational project to work

Made from 20mm plate steel, the enormous

on for all those involved. The final product is a

‘tree trunks’ hold up the centre’s concrete roof.

project of which we can all be very proud.”

The trunks are modelled on the Sidra tree, a symbol of wisdom and learning in Islamic

The centre is the latest showcase for Halcrow’s

culture that is used in the logo of the Qatar

expertise in the neighbourhood of Doha’s

Foundation which commissioned the centre.

Education City. In recent years, Halcrow has delivered the Texas A&M College of

The foyer plays host to a work by renowned French artist Louise Bourgeois 32 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

Halcrow was appointed as executive architect

Engineering, the Carnegie Mellon University

to the project in 2004. In addition, the

campus buildings and the Weill Cornell Medical

company was responsible for the design

College Research Unit. The company is also

management, structural design and building

working on a local light-rail network for the

services design. A carefully selected team of

campus, with other schemes in the pipeline. projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 33

River deeP, mountain high Remote hydroelectric project takes shape


roject sites are rarely more challenging than the Kishanganga hydroelectric scheme.

High up in the Himalayas, with the dam site cut off by snow and ice for months in the winter, it’s one of the biggest mega-wattage projects Halcrow has undertaken to date. When the seven-year project is completed in 2016, Kishanganga’s 330MW output will help to fuel India’s economy. The local state government of Jammu and

Crossing the Razdhan Pass

Kashmir will also receive 12 per cent of the power output as a royalty. As lead designer, Halcrow has drawn on its technical ingenuity to work successfully in the notoriously challenging ‘squeezing’ ground conditions of the Himalayas. Overcutting and consolidation grouting techniques are being used to deal with the most difficult sections of the 15.5km downstream end of the tunnel, which are being excavated with a double-shielded tunnelboring machine (TBM). Drill and blast methods are being

The dam site on Kishanganga River 34 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

used for the 8km upstream tunnel end.

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 35

The segment casting yard

Ready for action: the double shield TBM

“This is a major international project by any standards,” said chief engineering geologist Mike Palmer. “There are

Segmental lining at the rear of the TBM Diversion tunnel under construction

many logistical, topographical and geological challenges

Italy to develop a construction

that make this an important project for Halcrow.

methodology using timedependent numerical modelling.

“The powerhouse area is reasonably accessible by road

Fact file

but the dam site and the drill-and-blast tunnels are

• 37m-high concrete-faced rock-fill dam with 25m-deep concrete cut-off wall • 9.5m-diameter diversion tunnel

three 110MW vertical Pelton turbines and transformers.

• 23.5km of headrace tunnel with an average 5.3m diameter

National Hydroelectric Power Corporation. HCC is

• enhanced economic activity and local development

works, with Halcrow undertaking the detailed design of the civil works, co-ordination with the electrical and mechanical contractor, and provision of site design

The discharged water then flows out into the Bonar Nullah River and on to Wular Lake in the Vale

Halcrow is partnering with the Hindustan Construction

responsible for all civil and associated infrastructure

rush through a 24km-long headrace tunnel to a 21m-span underground powerhouse in Bandipur, which houses

• creation of a low-carbon energy source • 1,500 jobs created – 25 per cent local labour

Company (HCC) to deliver the project on behalf of the

A 37m-high dam will be built across a remote valley to partially divert the Kishanganga River. The waters will

guidelines to identify conditions where

Kudos for Kishanganga

special measures may be needed.

particularly remote and are cut off for five months of the year by snow and ice.”

This aims to provide on-site

“The drilland-blast tunnels are cut off for five months of the year by snow and ice”

• 112m-deep surge shaft

and liaison.

• 1km-long steel-lined inclined pressure shaft of

“We’re working to a tight 84-month schedule,” said

TBM spoil handling conveyor, Bandipur

of Kashmir, India’s largest freshwater lake. Using a TBM in the Himalayas is not without its

4m diameter

delay and also penalties for under performance if the

difficulties. The weak, fractured rock, coupled with high depths of cover, has led to a preference for drill and blast techniques in India.

project director Iftikhar Drabu. “There are penalties for

• 11.3m-long, 21m-wide x 49m-high underground

scheme fails to achieve its full power potential.

power house “It’s an exciting and demanding project to work on. The

Because of the issues associated with the ‘squeezing’

• 800m-long tail race tunnel and outfall structure

site team, and the design team in Delhi and the UK, all

rock conditions, Halcrow has worked closely with

recognise that the most challenging sections still lie

Professor Giovanni Barla of the Politechnico di Torino in

ahead of us.”

36 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 37

Flush with success

Joint team safeguards water resources in booming Australian coal gas industry


t first glance, the rolling landscape of

“Halcrow has been working with Santos for two

the Great Artesian Basin in south-east

years, principally on the upstream project,” said

Queensland and north-eastern New

Paul. “Our work is mainly focused on all the activities

South Wales doesn’t look much like an energy-

involved with managing the water released when the

producing heartland.

gas is freed.

Hundreds of metres below towns such as Roma, Gunnedah and Narribi, though, millions of cubic metres of coal seam gas (CSG) are being tapped to meet the

“We have a common focus on producing a high-quality, client-focused outcome”

worldwide demand for readily accessible power. “Because the water is produced in very large quantities Since January 2012, a newly integrated Halcrow and

and is often rich in salts and other minerals, it requires

CH2M HILL water and environment team has been

careful management. Our work involves numerical

pooling its resources to work on behalf of Santos,

modelling, brine management, water storage and

Australia’s leading natural gas producer. It’s a winning


combination, according to team sales director Paul Wilkinson.

Safeguarding the Great Artesian Basin

Bringing CH2M HILL’s remediation team on board has made a pivotal difference to project delivery,

The Great Artesian Basin is the largest and deepest artesian basin in the world, stretching

“Working with our new colleagues has made us

according to Paul. “Contamination assessment and

over a total of 1.7 million km². As the only reliable source of freshwater through much

stronger than ever,” said Paul. “The combination of

remediation is an area in which we did not previously

of inland Australia, maintaining its purity is the most important consideration in any

Halcrow and CH2M HILL has positioned us extremely

have local capacity; it complements our hydrology and

CSG operation.

well to be a strong player in the rapidly growing

groundwater team.”

Australian CSG industry.”

Halcrow and CH2M HILL experts are closely monitoring all possible aspects of As well as the GLNG project, the new team is working

environmental impact. These include:

In Queensland, the multi-billion dollar Gunnedah

with Santos on several other major schemes across New

liquefied natural gas (GLNG) project is a partnership

South Wales within the Gunnedah Basin. Up to 20 people

• mitigating against detrimental impacts on groundwater

between Santos, PETRONAS – Malaysia’s national oil

at any time from the Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne

• assessing and monitoring surface water and managing risk

and gas company – the Korean Gas Corporation (KOGas)

offices can be working on Santos projects.

• storing and treating CSG water, managing brine production

and French-owned Total. CSG is extracted from the

• exploring options for reusing CSG water, to benefit rural communities and the

Roma, Fairview and Arcadia regions ‘upstream’ and

“There’s a really positive team dynamic,” Paul said. “We

shipped via a 420km underground gas pipeline to the

have a common focus on producing a high-quality, client-

‘downstream’ operation at Curtis Island, near Gladstone,

focused outcome, on time and within budget, and this has

where it is cooled to form LNG for shipping.

been very well received by our client.”

38 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

environment • risk-based monitoring and management regime to minimise environmental impact

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 39

Grand finale North East Quadrant completes ambitious master plan


andwiched between London’s West End and the bustle of Camden to the north, the area around Euston Road has seen a number of transformations over the years.

Part of the UK capital’s first ever bypass, opened in 1756, this arterial route was constructed to herd sheep from the surrounding farms to Smithfield Market. After heavy shelling during World War II flattened most of the buildings that once lined the road, reconstruction saw waves of 1960s office blocks dominate. Now this pocket of London is undergoing the latest stage in its evolution with the completion of Regent’s Place. The ambitious mixed-use development has taken shape over two decades under the ownership of leading UK property developer British Land. Halcrow provided full structural services for the North East Quadrant (NEQ), the final section of the master plan, now nearing fruition.

“On a project like this timing is key, especially as we were designing and building simultaneously”

Scheduled for completion in 2013, NEQ will add a further 152,000 m² to Regent’s Place, including office and retail space, and a mix of market-led and affordable apartments. With the economic downturn hitting the property market hardest, the project was shelved for several years before activity resumed in 2010. “We’ve been involved in NEQ since 2003,” said market director for buildings Jason Guneratne. “We revisited the project and ended up doing a full redesign within the existing planning permissions. We rearranged the floor plate to maximise the space 40 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

➔ projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 41

Reflected glory: the glass office blocks overlook the square below

NEQ in numbers

152,000m² of new development

32,500m² of premium office space


people working on site at peak times

available to prospective tenants and our client, British Land.”

“Scheduled for completion in 2013, NEQ will add a further 152,000m² to Regent’s place”


tonnes of steel used

Two architects Wilkinson Eyre for commercial and Stephen Marshall Architects for residential

Chosen for their economical weight, cellular beams carry all building services through their openings, cutting

NEQ’s showpiece is a steel and

down the amount of space lost to ceiling

concrete composite commercial

voids. This allows for the maximum number

building that overlooks the main

of floors for the building’s height, while

plaza, featuring floor-to-ceiling

maintaining high ceilings and the desired

glazed external cladding. The

sense of spaciousness.

15-storey central block is flanked by two lower wings of eight and

Construction began in December 2010 and the

ten floors respectively, creating a

structural works are now largely complete. “On

visually arresting series of angles

a project like this timing is key, especially as we

and architectural forms.

were designing and building simultaneously,” Resident engineer Jan Minor with assistant resident engineer Andrew Simpson

said resident engineer Jan Minor. “All the

In a design feature that is both

various services follow in sequence, so any

aesthetically interesting and

issues needed to be sorted out immediately to

increases available space, the glass façade leans

avoid a slip in the programme.”

outwards and is skewed to the rest of the building. From the open ground floor a soaring internal atrium replicates

lifts and stairs,” said

High above the rumble of traffic, aqua glazing Glazing is installed

this four-degree lean, tapering off as it approaches the

Halcrow project

upper floors. Further accentuating the building’s angular

engineer Keith

place on the commercial block. The emphasis on

appearance, the atrium columns are also inclined, which

Davidson. “We moved the

modern, architectural spaces has clearly

serves to counterbalance the façade.

core from the centre to the rear of the floor plate to

paid off – visually and, for British Land, in the shape of

create more premium office space. As this changed the

tenants eager to sign on the dotted line. “We’ve already

As with all commercial developments, space is at a

building’s lateral system, we stiffened the upper floors

managed to let half of the 32,500 m² of commercial office

premium so the building is cleverly engineered to

using a moment-frame structure that we managed

space,” said British Land construction executive Matthew

to incorporate without compromising the building’s

White. “This is an excellent position to be in a year out

appearance or views across London.”

from completion.”

maximise the floor area. “Each block has a slipformed concrete core for lateral stability and to accommodate 42 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

click the image to watch

in the glass facade

panels glint in the sunlight as they’re lifted into

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 43

All images courtesy of Roger Moore

carefully studied the feedback from the pilot in preparation for the nationwide roll out in March and April 2012.

Time and tide

Halcrow’s online coastal erosion map looks 100 years into the future

“The pilot maps initially projected coastal change for the next 20 years,” Jonathan said. “Because people were requesting a longer time frame, we decided to include more detailed information which allows users to understand the risks of coastal erosion up to 100 years ahead.” As well as helping the public to plan for the future, the maps will also enable local authorities to plan and prioritise funding for flood and coastal defence works, as well as developers of sites along the coastline. “The maps have been extremely well received by the


Environment Agency and the public,” said Jonathan. any people dream of living in a house with

view the likely erosion risk, based on existing shoreline

“We are working together to ensure they are continually

a dramatic view of the sea. For some UK

management policies ranging from ‘hold the line’ to

improved as new data becomes available and the

householders, though, rapid coastal erosion

‘managed realignment’.

science that underpins our understanding of erosion

has turned their dream lifestyle into a daily nightmare as they anxiously watch the sea encroach on their homes.

processes develops.” Commenting on its potential wider “The wider agency maps are people focused rather

application, he noted: “Our erosion engine and web-based

than technical and reflect the potential impact on

infrastructure for NCERM can easily be transferred to

In Holderness on the Lincolnshire coast it is estimated

communities,” said project manager Jonathan Rogers.

other regions and countries. I’d be delighted to explore the

that up to 2 million tonnes of material, or an average of

“They incorporate climate change data and key

potential for rolling this out on an international stage.”

2m of coastline, are being swept away every year on one

information about river flood risk and water quality.

of Europe’s fastest-eroding coastlines.

Following our work on NCERM, they also allow you to find out information about erosion strategies, including the

With an estimated 300 homes at risk of being completely

design of the defences.”

Seal of approval

lost to coastal erosion in the next two decades, the Environment Agency, working on behalf of the

Jonathan and his team worked closely with over 100

The unique mapping scheme has received

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

maritime local authorities to capture the data. To help

resounding approval from Halcrow’s client, the

(Defra) and the Welsh Assembly, has launched a unique

process the material, the team developed an innovative

Environment Agency.

interactive service which defines the ongoing erosion risk

WebGIS which provided an online tool to view and amend

in England and Wales over the next century.

the data. This incorporates the model that drives the

In its latest strategic flood risk management

erosion predictions – Risk Assessment for Coastal

performance scores, the NCERM delivery

Erosion (RACE) – also developed by Halcrow.

team received six perfect 10 scores in eight

Driven by data produced by Halcrow, the National Coastal Erosion Risk Map (NCERM) is instantly accessible on the


Environment Agency’s ‘What’s in your Backyard’ website.

Two pilot maps were launched online late last year. Over

Visitors to the site can zoom in on their local area to

the next few months, the Environment Agency and Halcrow

44 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 45

To remember

Awa rds

To send condolences Halcrow was highly commended in the commercial and business services sector of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) occupational health and safety awards 2012 in May. Celebrating Halcrow’s global commitment to preventing accidents and ill health, the UK’s largest health and safety awards is recognised by clients worldwide.

The ICE Wales Project Awards proved a successful night for Halcrow in two other categories, with the Usk town wall flood refurbishment scheme winning the special category of the Roy Edwards Award and the M4 variable speed limit project securing the special award for innovation. In the individual honours, Cardiff-based graduate engineer Mark Sanders won the 2012 graduates and students papers competition. Mark’s paper, Fertiliser from human waste in Scottish agriculture, was one of three finalists, whittled down from initial submissions from all over Wales.

Halcrow’s work on The Gate project in Doha was recognised with an award from MEED, the market-leading business intelligence source for the Middle East. Named as the Qatar national winner in the building project of the year category for 2012, The Gate went up against other iconic structures at the regional supreme awards in May.

A strengthening and refurbishment project on an elegant Thomas Telford bridge won Halcrow the heritage award in the annual ICE West Midlands awards. In 2009, an emergency 7.5 tonne weight restriction was placed on Worcestershire’s Holt Fleet Bridge after hidden cracks were discovered in the structure. The bridge, built in 1826, was successfully strengthened and refurbished to carry 40 tonnes and reopened in September 2011.

Des Mirner died on 25 June 2012, aged 59. Based in Glasgow as part of the highways and bridges team, Des was a contracts specialist, with many years’ experience in the design, project management and construction of civil engineering projects. Since joining Halcrow in 1975, his project work included the N8 Cashel Mitchelstown Road Improvement Scheme in Ireland, contracts management for the Performance Audit Group in Scotland, and a secondment to the Scottish Executive development department. He also worked on a number of projects in the UAE. Des died peacefully in his sleep at home. He is survived by his wife, Patricia. Andrew Kopec died on 1 January 2012, aged 80. He was a widower. Thomas K Bateman died on 16 January 2012, aged 83. Robert J Fitzpatrick passed away on 20 January 2012. He was 64. Douglas Hollick died on 14 February 2012, aged 83. Ena Wylie passed away on 27 February 2012, aged 87. She was the widow of Mr JA Wylie, who died in 2009. John Jones died on 11 April 2012. Aged 74, he was the widower of Judith Jones who died in 2011. Aged 87, Raymond Jordens passed away on 15 May 2012. Joan Ambler died on 30 April, aged 78. She was the widow of Mr HJ Ambler.

Halcrow’s Nigel Valvona (centre) receives the award on the company’s behalf

The A487 Porthmadog, Minffordd and Tremadog Bypass, which dramatically reduces traffic congestion in three scenic towns in North Wales, bagged two high-profile awards in May. The 5.5km road took home the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Wales Cymru George Gibby Award, for projects over £3 million, along with the Green Apple built environment award in the heavy construction project category. It is also shortlisted for three other industry awards.

Maureen Vigne died on 29 May. Aged 80, she was the widow of Mr J Vigne. Night works on the M4 variable speed project

The Ethiopian Nile irrigation and drainage project, a joint venture with Generation Integrated Rural Design, won the project innovation honour award in the applied research category of the International Water Association Europe and Asia regional awards in Brussels.

Graduate Mark Sanders with his prize

“This is an extremely important scheme which has the potential to reduce poverty in the project areas and promote sustainable, smallholder-based agriculture,” said project team member Robin Wood, who received the award along with fellow team member Andrew Lowe.

Halcrow’s GRANIT system won the product and equipment innovation category at the 2012 Ground Engineering Awards on 4 May. GRANIT (GRound ANchor Integrity Testing) has transformed rockbolt testing in the mining, tunnelling and slope stability sector.

The A487 glides through the North Wales countryside

46 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

Roger Thompson died on 25 March 2012, aged 75. He is survived by his wife, Jennifer. The historic Holt Fleet Bridge, Worcestershire

Halcrow celebrated a quadruple project win, a runner up and a commendation at this year’s UK Waterways Renaissance Awards. For the past ten years the awards, run by The Waterways Trust, have been recognising and rewarding exceptional projects that have turned inland waterways into desirable places for living, learning and leisure. The Halcrow winners were: • outstanding achievement award: Droitwich Canals Restoration project (British Waterways) • innovation award: A11 Bow Riverside Footbridge and Walkway (British Waterways) • partnership award: Wallbridge Upper Lock, Cotswold Canals Restoration (Stroud District Council)

Foster + Partners’ and Halcrow’s vision for the Thames Hub – an integrated rail, freight logistics, aviation and energy hub in the UK’s Thames Estuary – was named project of the year at the 2012 Global AirRail Awards. Recognising best practice, the awards celebrate new technologies and innovations, customer service and marketing – with a focus on vision and creativity.

Richard Meader died on 27 June, aged 78.

The Gate, Qatar

• flood risk management award: White Cart Water (Glasgow City Council)

Andrew Lowe and Robin Wood at the ceremony

In the design and construction category, the Dutton Upper Horse bridge was commended, with the A11 Bow riverside footbridge and walkway the runner-up.

David Collard died on 19 April 2012. Aged 90, he is survived by his wife, Dora. David Peter passed away on 22 May 2012, aged 71. He is survived by his wife, Joan.

Halcrow pensioners’ reunion Saturday 6 October 2012, Edinburgh Halcrow pensioners are invited to the northern region’s third biennial reunion lunch in Edinburgh. Where: The Royal Over-Seas League, 100 Princes St, Edinburgh, EH2 3AB (close to Waverly Station) When: Saturday 6 October 2012, 12.30pm Cost: Approximately £35, including a welcome drink All pensioners, partners or other interested parties are welcome. The event complements the southern region’s biennial reunion. Guest speakers will include representatives from Halcrow, CH2M HILL, and pension trustees. Please register your interest and provide your contact details, preferably by email, to: Roy Dargie Pen CaerDriw, Tylwch, Llanidloes, Powys SY18 6JL 01686 412 754 Information is also available from Vic Scott:

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 47

Homeward bound CH2M HILL Highway project brings jobs for Texas community


y first day on the project, I was simply walking around the site removing anything that would puncture a tyre, like old fence posts and metal debris.” Sweeping an arm over the red Texas

dirt, James Massey describes his journey from general labourer to grading foreman. “Today, I’m supervising a crew of more than 20 people and overseeing the main dirt hauls, over about a 5km stretch of the project.” James is one of almost 200 local people hired to work on the 15.5km stretch of Toll 49, Segment 3B. When the new highway opens in eastern Texas early next year, drivers travelling between cities in the US’s second largest state will benefit from faster journey times and reduced congestion. But as they belt out classic hits along to their car stereos and marvel at the lack of traffic, few may realise the extent to which the project has transformed the lives and career prospects of residents from surrounding communities. CH2M HILL is the sole prime-contractor, providing full service design-build delivery including design, construction and quality control. At the heart of the company’s delivery model for Toll 49 is its focus on achieving a strong local workforce, with 95 per cent of the construction team calling East Texas home. “From the beginning, we knew the success of this project would rely heavily on the local labour force,” said project manager Forrest Fischer. “The most common trait among employees here in Tyler is a strong desire to work. When coupled with the unique opportunities that a project like Toll

Toll 49 team members (l to r): Ramiro Rubio, James Massey, Ariel Cogar and Susan Pritchett Toll 49 will improve connections between the East Texas cities of Tyler, Longview and Marshall 48 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

49 provides, you begin to develop a highly motivated workforce that will retain their skills and ultimately improve the competency of the local workforce overall.”

➔ projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 49

Large construction companies often ship in their management team from

A team gathers for a safety briefing

other regions, with local people hired to fill low-skilled roles with little scope for development. CH2M HILL takes an entirely different approach, as senior construction manager Robert Patcheck explains: “Many of our local employees arrived with little or no previous construction experience, but a great attitude and

“I went from picking up sticks

a willingness to learn. We provide

and debris on site to supervising

extensive training and opportunities for career mobility, and we’ve seen

a crew of 12 labourers”

the results on Toll 49. Many have steadily scaled the ranks and moved into supervisory roles, while learning skills that will easily translate to their

Ariel Cogar

next construction project when Toll 49

Off-road truck operator

is completed.” Although she previously worked for a commercial

“I’ve realised I’ve got dirt in my veins.

cleaning company, Ariel had long harboured a fascination with construction. “I have always been

This is the type of work I love to do”

interested in trucks and have always wanted to

All this translates to solid career

operate one,” she said. “My whole family works in

prospects and a clear road to future

construction, and this was the first real opportunity to

opportunities. From the cab of his

pursue that career that I have ever been given.”

truck, the interior of which is covered

Susan Pritchett

in a fine sheen of Texan dust, James

Water truck driver and equipment operator

Initially hired as an off-road truck driver, Ariel is now behind the wheel of a diverse range of heavy

surveys the steady rumble of vehicles

equipment, including dozers and rollers. “This job

and people moving around the site. “It has been awesome

Susan was an equipment operator for another road

to work in an environment with such a strong focus on

construction company but had to travel an hour each

safety, camaraderie and training,” he reflects. “Like a

way to get to the job site. Jumping at the opportunity

she said. “It has been a great opportunity for me – a

lot of folks on this project, I’ve realised I’ve got dirt in my

to work closer to home, she was hired as a water

definite career-altering move.”

veins. This is the type of work I love to do.”

truck driver and equipment operator and has cut her commute by two thirds.

James Massey

50 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

Susan Pritchett

Ramiro Rubio

has definitely made a positive impact on my life,”

Labour foreman

With Susan’s husband having notched up over three

“I went from being a general labourer at

decades in the construction industry, safety is dinner-

the beginning of the project, picking up

time talk for the Pritchett family. “It’s very important

sticks and debris on site, to supervising

to both my husband and me that I am safe at work,”

a crew of 12 labourers,” said Ramiro,

she said. “It’s a really a big thing for both of us. CH2M

formerly a cook at a local restaurant.

HILL is a great employer and very safety conscious,

“Before this project started, I was making

which is a big plus in my book. Every day in our

minimum wage and struggling to make

morning meetings our managers inform us of what’s

ends meet. Now it’s much easier to provide

going on and what’s new, and always make sure that

for my family, and my wife can stay home

we ‘do it the safe way’.”

to care for our children.”

Around 95 per cent of the Toll 49 team is from the local area

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 51

HMS Amethyst enters a new dock designed by Thomas Meik and Sons

Where it all

began 2012 marks bicentenary of Halcrow founder’s birth


t doesn’t look much like a hotbed of industrial

With Britain industrialising

activity these days.

at breakneck speed,

Thomas Meik practiced as an engineer until 1888, when he retired at the age of 76

skilled engineers were

But half a century ago, Blyth Port on the bare

in hot demand. Meik’s

Northumbrian coastline was at the heart of one of the UK’s

career trajectory followed

As the export coal market took off, the new firm applied

leading export industries – coal.

the almost overnight

its expertise to speeding coal by rail to coastal port heads.

transformation of once By the 1960s, when the trade reached its peak, Blyth was

sleepy rural districts into

Europe’s largest coal-exporting port. Few projects can

heaving boom towns.

Thomas Meik

The Hylton, Southwick and Monkwearmouth Railway, commissioned in 1871, took coal to the port of Sunderland

A 19th century map of Sunderland

from pits across the north east of England. Thomas Meik practiced as an engineer until 1888, when

ever have repaid their initial investment so spectacularly as the port at Blyth, built during the mid-19 century, and

In 1845, aged 33, he was serving as engineer to the River

Although the railway was not a commercial success, the

he retired at the age of 76. He died in 1896, a nationally

designed by Scottish engineer Thomas Meik.

Wear Commission, which was the driving force behind

lessons Meik learned proved invaluable in creating a series

respected figure revered as a ground-breaking engineer

Sunderland’s maritime works. In 1859, as shipbuilding

of railway projects across Scotland, including the East Fife

and a much called upon ‘expert’ witness at innumerable

Born 200 years ago, Meik designed numerous landmark

exploded along the south Wearside, he was responsible for

line which operated until 1964.

royal commissions and parliamentary committees.

facilities of the golden industrial age in Scotland and the

the construction of Hendon Dock. Port design remained Meik’s true vocation. Shortly after

Meik’s sons, Patrick and Charles – both highly respected

With work pouring in, Meik took the momentous decision

setting up his Edinburgh office, he was commissioned to

engineers in their own right – developed and diversified the

to go into partnership with his former pupil, WD Nisbet, in

undertake three major commissions: the Ports of Ayr,

company until their respective deaths in 1919 and 1923.

An Edinburgh University graduate, Meik was apprenticed to

1868. The foundation of this new practice, with offices in

Burntisland and Bo’ness. All three ports used the latest

The founder’s name lived on in the company’s name until

a Glasgow engineer, John Steedman, who was working on

Edinburgh and Sunderland, is generally considered to be

technology and helped to cement Scotland’s thriving

1941, when CS Meik and Halcrow was renamed as WT

the city’s Hutcheson Bridge.

the formal beginning of Halcrow.

industrial economy in the late 19 century.

Halcrow and Partners.


north of England. The firm created by him and his two sons was ultimately to become world famous as Halcrow.

52 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people


projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 53

An Olympic effort volunteers help bring games to London

The ‘meeter greeter’

Marion Myers welcomes visitors to London The athletes are arriving. The Olympic torch is winding its way around the UK. And a small army of volunteers is gearing up to ensure the world’s biggest sporting event goes to plan.

As a member of the protocol team, I’m based at

You’ve got to be a people person and

Heathrow Airport to meet and greet Olympic teams

able to cope in difficult situations

and officials.

to be a volunteer, as you’re dealing with a range of personalities and

We are one of the first points of contact for people when

From greeting visitors at Heathrow Airport and directing lost spectators to supervising venues as the action unfolds, over 70,000 ‘Games Makers’ are preparing for their allocated roles. Amidst the sea of purple and orange uniforms, a handful of Halcrow and CH2M HILL employees are playing their part in London 2012.


they land in the UK. Our role is to offer assistance to

click the image to watch

visitors and deal with any problems they might have.

My husband Stephen is also

And, of course, we’re there to give them the warmest

volunteering at the Olympics.

possible welcome to London. It’s a seven-hour day, six

He’s been assigned to the

days a week for the full two weeks leading up to the

National Olympic Committee

Olympics and then three days when the athletes depart,

attached to the Italian

so it’s pretty full on!

delegation, as he speaks the language fluently.

In my shifts so far, I’ve already met athletes from

The safety volunteer

Lifeguard Jon Dempsey makes a splash

around the world – Argentinian rowers, Brazilian

It’s a fantastic, once-in-a-life-

basketballers, Colombian swimmers – you name it! The

time opportunity. But when

world’s media has also arrived en masse - my friend

it’s all over, we’re going

If you’re the sort of person who likes to stay warm

Being part of the safety team

spotted me on Australian TV and I had my photo taken

straight off on holiday to

and dry, you won’t want to join me

is a serious time commitment.

for Time magazine.


and the other safety volunteers for the

Athletes are practising during

Olympics canoe slalom event.

the two weeks prior to the

The driver

games and we’re on site from

Alan Capell gets VIPs from A to B

We’re standing just metres from the

7.15am to 6.30pm, so some

main event at the Lee Valley white

pretty long days. During the

water course. And because we are on

four competition days, we’ll

I’m part of the transportation team,

in March this year. Unfortunately, I

lifeguarding duties, we all have to be

alternate between covering

based at Olympic Park. I’m what’s

had to turn this spot down because of

ready to jump straight into the water and

the morning practice

known as a T3 driver, which is a

the location, but was delighted to be

help out any competitor who gets into

sessions and the afternoon

bit like a private taxi service – I’ll

selected as a driver in June.

trouble – or any spectator who has got too


be ferrying officials, sponsors and

close to the edge and slipped in. Of course,

other VIPs between various sites

In early July I got a chance to test out

the upside is that I get one of the best views

You’ve certainly got to be fit

around London in a brand new

the fleet cars and practice using the

in the stadium!

to provide safety support

BMW 3 Series.

radio system, so I’m good to go. I’ve always been involved with my children’s

for this event. As part of I’ve gained a lot of valuable experience in white water safety – as well as nine years’

my training I had to swim

After applying in October 2010,

sports teams and used to coach

the whole course several times.

I eventually had an interview in

amateur swimming. In fact, one of the

white water kayaking under my belt, I’ve also

Take a look at the size of the white water when the

January 2012 and was offered

kids I used to coach as a 12-year-old is

attended a number of rescue courses.

event is on and you’ll appreciate what it feels like!

a position at the rowing venue

competing in the Olympics!

➔ 54 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 55

The London ambassador

The retired coach

Lost? Selma Hooley is here to help

Peter Campbell cheers on former charges I’m one of 8,000 London ambassadors

Throughout my

who are volunteering

20-year career as

across the capital

a volleyball player

during the Olympic and

and coach, I’ve been

I am very proud to have

Paralympic Games.

fortunate enough

helped to set the early

We come from all

to work with many

foundations for their

talented individuals.

respective careers and

My coaching aim was

I’m sure they will make

to ensure the players

the most of the Olympic

were committed


walks of life and include school leavers

Selma (second from left) with fellow London ambassadors

and pensioners.

Peter (left) receives a volunteer of the year award

now a middle hitter for the GB men’s indoor team.

Our role is to provide a friendly face for the millions

My family and I are

and serious while

of people who will be visiting London. We are all

all sports lovers so

enjoying the sport

Watching over Monty’s

passionate about London and we’ll be expected to do

we’ve been looking

and respecting

opponents will be my

all sorts of things from helping sports fans who are

forward to the

each other.

good friend and GB’s

desperate to get to the Olympic stadium to advising

games for years. Unfortunately, London ambassadors

families where they can get a bite to eat on a budget.

don’t qualify for free tickets but we’ve managed to

As a volunteer coach with the Scottish juniors, I

McDougall, who worked with me at Glasgow

get them for the fencing, football, beach volleyball,

worked with Imornefe ‘Morph’ Bowes. Following an

Metropolitan Volleyball Club.

basketball and diving.

accomplished international career, he’s now head

I’m based in central London for six four-hour shifts in the run-up to the games. The three training sessions

first ever indoor Olympic volleyball referee, Brian

coach of the Great Britain (GB) women’s beach

There’s no doubt they all know a lot more about the

I’ve attended have been a really valuable preparation

It’s going to be a summer like no other in London.

volleyball team which will be competing at Horse

game than I do these days, but it’s nice to know that

for the real thing. We were all been taught how to keep

Ambassadors will be right at the heart of the

Guards Parade. In the late 1990s, when I was head

my early influence and their continued commitments

calm in a crisis and ‘become a pro’ at dealing with

excitement and it will be great to look back and say

coach of the successful Glasgow under 18s, one of

have brought the ultimate reward. I will certainly

difficult situations!

‘I was there!’

our promising players was Chris ‘Monty’ Lamont,

savour their success!

The drummer

The host

Avnish Raichura keeps the beat at Olympic ceremonies

Dignitaries are in safe hands with Billy Ahluwalia As an Olympic Family hotels hosting team member,

This is technically my second Olympics. As part of the

I’m going to be part of a cast of

acrobatics and drumming. I chose

I’ll be based at three central London hotels to look

Kenyan hockey team I qualified for the 1980 Moscow

15,000 as a drummer at the opening

drumming as I had some training in

after various dignitaries. These include members of

games, but we did

and closing ceremonies.

percussion from high school.

the International Olympic Committee, national Olympic

not compete because

committees and international sports federations, as

of the wider boycott.

I applied last year and was invited to

The final audition was the most

well as representatives from the Court of Arbitration for

Having played 33

a two-stage audition process. Each

surreal experience. Three hundred

Sports and World Anti-Doping Authority.

internationals around

audition lasted for six hours and

of us were asked to repeat rhythms

the world, including

there were about 300 people in

played by drumming legend Mike

Between 18 July and 13 August, I’ll work one 12-

the 1979 hockey world

each group.

Dolbear, under the watchful eye of

hour shift and 12 six-hour shifts. As you can imagine,

cup in Perth, I’ve been

security is really tight. On my first shift I had to refuse

involved in major

The first round involved dance,

entry to the venue security manager because he didn’t

sporting events before

marching and choreographed

Four weeks later, I received a call

have the correct accreditation to enter a restricted area.

– but it’s hard to top

formations. In the second round,

confirming that I’d been selected and

He had to go back to the accreditations team and have

the Olympics coming

we were invited to ‘role-specific’

rehearsals started in May. It has been

his pass validated!

to town.

auditions where you could choose

a substantial time commitment, but

from dancing, roller skating,

also the most incredible experience.

56 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

director Danny Boyle.

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 57

Anyone for bridge? Picturesque Dunsborough Bridge

existing bridges, of

Former Halcrow engineer pens specialist encyclopaedia


The original Wearmouth Bridge, built in 1796

which original parts are still standing, is the White Mill Bridge near Sturminster Marshall,

“A marvellous addition to the literature on British bridges”

iven the everyday importance of bridges,

Dorset (1174) – it’s near

these vital structures have been surprisingly

where I live and is also one of

uncelebrated in music and literature.

my favourites.

An open road rolling into the distance always gets rock stars’ hearts and guitar strings singing. But the poor old bridge, that engineering beast of burden, seems to be sadly neglected. Pontist (bridge lover) supreme David

“Without doubt this is a major book of British transport history”

McFetrich has made a bold stab at setting the record straight. In his

Journal of the Railway and Canal historical society

magnificent Encyclopaedia of Britain’s Bridges, the former Halcrow engineer has gathered up

“I’ve tried to include bridges that are interesting or unusual in terms of design, construction or location, or have connections with people or events of history. Many have been included simply because they are picturesque.” In 2005, after I retired, I decided to tackle

David started his career as a graduate engineer at Halcrow

it as a computer-based project.”

in 1959. During his time with the company, based at Stanhope Gate, London, he contributed to several key

David’s life-long interest in bridges began

projects, including the new roof for the former Wembley

as schoolboy in the 1950s when he was given The World’s Great Bridges by Hubert Shirley Smith. The

the fruit of a lifetime’s enthusiasm and created the most

book’s sweeping, dramatic pictures of bridges – and the

comprehensive record of Britain’s bridges ever collected.

descriptions of the challenges required to build them – played a key role in his decision to become an engineer.

The most historic, daring, beautiful – even the most ugly – bridges in Britain are included among the 1,650 entries

Because of the sheer impact of Britain’s largest bridges,

in the book. Almost half of the bridges were visited and

there is an inevitable temptation to focus on these, to the

photographed by David personally. For others, he delved

detriment of other smaller structures. David pays his dues

extensively into his collection of 500 books and pamphlets

to such modern-day giants as the HS1 Medway Viaduct

about bridges.

(2003) but also looks with a fond eye on the quirky and historic entries.

“The book is aimed at the general public but it should also be of great interest to professionals,” said David. “I

“The oldest bridges I mention are the Roman bridges at

originally had the idea for the project about 40 years ago,

Chollerford (AD125) and Corbridge (AD160) which are

but the prospect of creating a card index was too daunting.

sadly no longer in existence,” he said. “One of the oldest

58 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

‘the happy pontist’ blog

Stadium. He also designed the service catwalks in the roof space of the Terminal 3 main building at London “Books Heathrow’s Airport. like [this is] so worthy Ironically, given his life-long love of bridges, and valuable, and he only designed a single bridge. “It was a it deserves a place small footbridge in Scotland. I designed the on the bookshelf bridge in 1959 as my first project at Halcrow, of anyone who and submitted it to the Institution of Civil values the historic Engineers in 1963 when I applied to become environment of a corporate member.” Britain” Industrial Archaeology Review Conwy Suspension Bridge, designed by Thomas Telford, is one of the world’s first suspension bridges

Visit for more information. projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 59

Class act

Deforestation is a major problem in the region

New facilities to boost learning in Ethiopia


everal hours’ drive from Addis Ababa, along

School’s out: the current lack of space forces students to learn in shifts

pitted, red-earth roads, the rural town of Bakko

Pupils at New Abuka School, Rift Valley

lies in the watershed of the Blue Nile river basin.

Over 1,800 pupils attend the local school, which operates in two shifts to cater for both primary and secondary students. The chronic shortage of space is compounded by the fact that the few available classrooms are dilapidated and no longer fit for purpose, falling well below Ethiopian government standards for education buildings. The school also lacks a reliable source of clean water, putting students and teachers at risk of disease.

“We’ve developed a good understanding with our

Mud bricks can be produced locally very cheaply, and with a low carbon footprint

contacts at EDA-E through the projects

down for construction and firewood. By using low-

we’ve implemented jointly over the past few

cost, sustainable mud technology, the project will

years,” said Andrew. “EDA-E specialises in

bring myriad benefits for the community.

environmental protection, so all the work it delivers has the emphasis on sustainability

In partnership with a local non-governmental

we’re after.”

organisation, the Halcrow Foundation has committed

“We successfully installed a safe water supply for drinking and hand washing at New Abuka School

“Mud bricks can be produced locally very cheaply, and

last year,” said Andrew. “The kids are healthier and

with a low carbon footprint,” said Robin. “This reduces

absences have dropped since its introduction. Hand

demand for dwindling wood resources and removes

washing is now a part of their daily routine and many

to a complete overhaul of the school’s crumbling

A £19,629 foundation grant will fund the construction

the need to source concrete blocks from Addis Ababa

of the students are passing these messages on to

infrastructure. This is the third collaborative project to

of four new classrooms and a clean water supply for

or more expensive local stone. By using almost

their families.”

be delivered by the foundation and Environmentalists

drinking and hand washing. Collective ownership is

exclusively local labour, the project will also create

Development Association-Ethiopia (EDA-E), an NGO

at the project’s heart – the community is chipping in a

jobs for people living in the area.”

dedicated to improving living conditions for rural

£1,728 contribution towards the costs, with around


£750 raised to date. The Bakko town administration

The lack of a reliable water source means students

tech approach. Community members are able to carry

has agreed to allocate the land for expansion, valued

and teachers are more susceptible to illness, which

out repairs using readily available materials, rather

at £14,000.

has a knock-on effect on academic progress and

than being dependent on external professionals and

general wellbeing. The planned solution – a system

specialist parts.

Co-sponsors Robin Wood and Andrew Lowe have been working on a Halcrow project in the Nile Basin for several

As well as employing local labour, the water collection and storage system deliberately uses a low-cost, low-

years, where feasibility studies for irrigation and drainage

Increased pressure on wood supplies has led to

that channels rainwater from classroom roofs into a

schemes spanning 80,000ha represent the first step

creeping deforestation in the region and problems

secure storage tank – has already transformed the

Bakko pupils move into their new, sustainable

towards improved water security for subsistence farmers.

caused by erosion, with established woodlands hacked

lives of children in Abuka in the Rift Valley.

classrooms from September 2012.

60 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 61

Painting the town red Company supports disaster relief charity redr


t was a red letter day for Halcrow on

Employees in Mumbai

Red-themed delights in York

The Hong Kong team

10 February 2012. From Hong Kong to Romania and from Swindon to Mumbai,

Halcrow employees joined in the annual ‘Wear red for RedR’ day to show their support for the international disaster relief charity. Red socks, shirts and jumpers were fished out from the back of the wardrobe to brighten up the workplace. A mouth-watering array of All red in Romania

red-themed cakes was also on offer to tempt anyone with a sweet tooth.

How can I support RedR?

With gift aid added in for UK taxpayers, a grand total of £553.39 was raised for RedR Become a member

from offices around the world. Big-hearted

“The efforts of Halcrow employees

colleagues in the Glasgow office gave the

around the world could not be

largest single donation of £160 and a lunchtime

more appreciated and show that

call to support the international community’s

Gain field experience to support future efforts

collection at Elms House raised £71.

people right across the company are

response when disaster strikes. You’ll need

RedR’s future relief workers’ scheme trains

backing our valuable work.

at least five years’ professional experience,

volunteers who are interested in getting involved

of which two should be in an overseas field

in disaster relief missions. The programme

“’Wear red for RedR’ makes a

environment with either a development or

is aimed at people with less than four years’

real difference to our work of

humanitarian focus.

professional experience and allows them to gain

The funds raised will help RedR provide practical help for disaster victims worldwide.

Edinburgh’s Morag Hutton

As a RedR member you will be the first port of

RedR chief executive Martin McCann said: “We

training, supporting and providing

were delighted to have Halcrow’s support. As

aid workers in the UK and abroad

The recruitment and selection process is

an official patron of RedR, Halcrow provides

to help rebuild lives following

rigorous but RedR will offer training and

valuable corporate support for our work.

natural disasters.”

62 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

mentoring programmes to the right candidates.

invaluable in-the-field experience. Visit for more information.

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 63

Solid foundation Project sponsors are integral to the Halcrow Foundation; it would be unable to function without these individuals, who bring forward proposals for funding and monitor progress. Drawing on close ties to the community, sponsors identify people in great need and local organisations with which to partner.


or Halcrow’s Rob Clarke, a visit to Africa’s largest informal settlement over a decade ago proved a life-changing experience – for

the Swindon-based business ethics expert and, more significantly, for thousands of people living without access to clean water or sanitation facilities. Rob first ventured into Kibera, home to one in three Nairobi residents, back in 2000. Open sewers run

ct e j o r p t e Me sponsor

e k r a l C b o R

alongside rubbish-clogged rivers, and almost 1 million people live crammed into shacks built from scavenged materials. Outsiders rarely visit – “It’s not the kind of place you just wander into,” remembers Rob – and residents avoid venturing out after dark. “It was quite intimidating the first time I went in, and shocking, too,” he said. “It really is subsistence at a most basic level.”

64 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

Kids in Kibera

➔ projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 65

Local women help to construct the shower block, Kibera

The joy of six – and counting Rob has sponsored a total of six projects since 2005. In addition to the biocentres, he has been involved in two school schemes, also in Kenya, as well as providing emergency support following social unrest and violence in the country. Working in partnership with the Health and Water Foundation, the Halcrow Foundation funded a rainwater harvesting system for drinking and handwashing at Rirumi School in Nairobi, and the construction of new classrooms at a rural primary school. In earthquake-stricken Haiti, sustainable water systems are replacing those destroyed in 2010, and Rob is currently working on a proposal for another biocentre in western Kenya.

“It gives me a feeling of satisfaction

ideas. At the time, Umande Trust was

to know that I’ve actually done something

working to get its biocentre concept off

and helped thousands of people”

grant to fund the pilot in Kibera and

Watch the video

the ground. Rob applied for a foundation the rest, as they say, is history. Each

“I had met some of the people from Umande

biocentre can be tailored to local needs, but

Trust, a local charity, while visiting my family in

most feature communal sanitation facilities

Kenya. Umande focuses on water and sanitation,

with space on the upper floors for community

as well as grass-roots community organising.

groups and commercial ventures. Biolatrines

I saw first hand the kind of work they do, and

also produce gas for cooking and, because they

wanted to find a way to make a meaningful

treat waste in-situ, can be sited anywhere in

contribution once I returned to the UK.”

informal settlements.

With the Halcrow Foundation established

Following the success of this facility, Rob

in 2005, Rob was part of a vanguard of enthusiastic sponsors armed with project 66 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

Rob pitches in to help with construction

and the Halcrow Foundation teamed up with Umande to deliver another community-owned

click the image to watch

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 67

Now they’re cooking with gas With the biolatrine now fully up and running, more gas is being produced than can be used on site for cooking. Umande Trust has supplied a number of durable plastic bags to store excess methane, as well as transporting it for use in local homes.

Residents checks out the bags to store biogas Have bag, will travel

Purity Ndanu Purity Ndanu, aged 22, is married with two children, both under the age of two. “I am grateful for the biocentre in my neighbourhood – before there were no sanitation blocks,” she said. “I now have a place to use daily.” Purity also belongs to a women’s group that meets in the village biocentre in Kisumu, western Kenya. Importantly, the pilot

hall space

provided a workable model for replication on a larger scale, with


governments and other organisations pledging funds. “Things


are happening,” said Rob. “There’s been a new sewage pipeline


put in nearby that probably wouldn’t have gone ahead without interventions like the biocentre. And I believe in Kenya now there are around 50 biocentres, but they all started with the one the Halcrow Foundation started not so long ago. “It gives me a feeling of satisfaction to know that I’ve actually done something and helped thousands of people.” 68 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

Rob helps to oversee construction of the holding tank

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 69

Everyone, forever CH2M HILL supports Water for People’s goal of universal coverage


uantifying the scale of

Last year saw the charity achieve

global water and sanitation

full coverage in Chicha, Honduras,

challenges is a daunting

and it is targetting the same result

exercise. Frequently quoted figures

in Cuchumuela, Bolivia, by the end

– almost a billion people around the

of 2012.

world lack access to clean water and 2.5 billion survive without basic

Next up is the Rwandan district of

sanitation facilities – make the

Rulindo, home to 265,000 people.

task of addressing this situation

In partnership with the Rwandan

meaningfully seem insurmountable.

government, W4P’s goal is to provide

With 3.5 million people dying every

safe water by 2014, making Rulindo

year from preventable water-related

the first district in Rwanda with

diseases, non-profit organisation

universal coverage. Ongoing support

Water for People (W4P) is tackling

forms an integral part of the model,

this ongoing health crisis one

with W4P committing to monitor the

community at a time. Since 2003,

infrastructure for at least a decade them. Residents gain a sense of

over US$1 million to help W4P

empowerment, as well as practical

continue this mission.

skills and experience, enabling

As a World Water Corps volunteer,

them to maintain and expand the

CH2M HILL’s Jonathan Waldron

infrastructure after W4P moves on.

visited Rwanda in 2010 to assess

The goal of Everyone, Forever underpins W4P’s approach, with the

after installation.

local needs. He returned to his

charity focusing on delivering durable

“We focus on what it will take for all

California base with a much deeper

water and sanitation infrastructure at

people in a region to have access to

appreciation of the organisation’s

a district or regional level. Working

quality water and sanitation services,

work. “W4P’s goal is to put itself

with communities to tap into local

and we avoid the easy solutions that

out of work by providing a replicable

resources and enthusiasm, it ensures

look good on the surface but which

model of clean water and improved

universal coverage flows from

ultimately leave out people who are

sanitation to everyone,” he said.

sustainable solutions that are built

hard to reach,” said W4P’s chief

“That goal shows the character of the

and operated by the people who use

executive, Ned Breslin.


70 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

c u o y

an get in vo

d lve

CH2M HILL employees have raised


every resident with access to clean,

CH2M HILL is aiming to raise US$225,000 through its annual For more workplace giving information, visit campaign the W4P SharePoint Volunteer site, or contact for the World Julie Kauffman Water Corps Click here projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 71

sport Wheels on fire Melbourne team pedals for charity


The long and winding road Dubbed the ‘Grand Canyon’ of the United Arab Emirates, the Hajar

irst, they planned to raise

But by the time a team of saddle-sore

that cycling is a healthy activity for

Mountains provide a

AUS$1,000 for multiple

cyclists from Halcrow’s Melbourne

everyone, regardless of their skill

steep challenge for even


office had pedalled their last

and fitness levels.

the hardiest runner.

metre home they discovered they’d

Then, they found that they had got an

raised an incredible AUS$2,470 –

“It was great fun,” said team

Every year a team

additional AUS$700 in pledges for the

and counting.

member Jason Guettler, who works

representing Halcrow’s

in Melbourne’s traction and rolling

Abu Dhabi office tackles

The eight-strong

stock team. “With so many cyclists

the rocky range in the

team whizzed around

on the road, it was sometimes quite

Nike Wadi Bih Run.

the challenging

congested. After we got out of the

“The team is made of

46km course in

city, though, the roads opened up

employees, family and friends,” said client director Sami

“It’s a challenging

just two hours on

and we were able to do some really

Al Qazzaz. “It’s become a bit of a tradition.”

run that takes you

25 March. As well

good cycling.”

Melbourne MS Cycle event…

Lean on me: team members psych themselves up for the event

Halcrow runners wind through the mountain range

up into the mountains, with ascents and descents of

as raising cash for a good cause, the

It’s not too late to lend the riders your

mixed-ability team

support. Click the donate button for

also demonstrated

details of how to contribute.

Of the five-strong team of runners, each had to complete

around 1,000m,” said Sami. “It’s great fun but definitely

15km to make a total distance covered of some 72km.

not for the fainthearted.”

Testing their mettle Fitness fanatics from the Abu Dhabi office put themselves to the test in the Tri Yas 2012 triathlon in April. David Connolly, Paul Wagner and Sami Al-Qazzaz were among 18 teams that took part in the event, which was held at the Yas Marina Circuit – one of Halcrow’s showpiece projects and home to Abu Dhabi Formula 1. Sporting duties were divided between each of the team members with Paul tackling the swim, David the cycle and Sami grinding out the run.

L to r: Phillip Warren, Stephen Anderson, Luke Gibbons, Jason Guettler, Kris Thompson, George Spink and Darren Quinlivan

72 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

dona te here

“It was an excellent challenge,” said Sami. “We are all planning to take part in next year’s event but we will each be aiming to complete it on our own. We’ll be competing in the sprint course which involves a 750m swim, 20km cycle and a 5km run.”

(l-r) David, Paul and Sami

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 73

Announcements Veronika Alicia Seborga was welcomed into the world by elated parents Anna and Franz, a structural engineer from Halcrow’s Ambreen Waseem and

Vasu Chhabra, an assistant engineer from the Delhi office, married his stunning bride Chandni on 11 March 2012.

New York office. Born on 15 March 2012, she weighed 3.5kg.

hway engineers

Irfan Nizam, both hig


on 29 January 201 brated their wedding working in Sharjah, cele in Karachi, Pakistan. with family and friends

Henry James Lewis was born on 12 May 2012, weighing 3.4kg, to proud parents Nina and Jim in Dubai.

Congratulations to Ian and Anita Qatar HR manager Hiba Abboud and her husband, David Poort, were delighted by the birth of Noura Eline Poort on 19 February 2012. Noura weighed 3.5kg. Vrinda and Arvind Pasula kicked off 2012 in joyous style with the arrival of their beautiful daughter Aratrika on 5 January. Vrinda

Manish Aggarwal from the Mumbai ports team married

and Arvind are both urban planners, based in the Mumbai office.

beautiful bride Megha on 11 March 2012.

Liddiard on the birth of baby Edward Ian. He greeted the world on 1 May 2012, weighing 3.2kg.

Robert Mihai Stanila was born on 26 September 2011 to proud mum Andreea, from the Bucharest office, and dad Marian. He weighed in at 2.9kg.

Dylan George was welcomed by delighted parents Richard and Sam Small on 8 May 2012, weighing 3.5kg. Dad Richard works as a land surveyor in Swindon.

74 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

autiful wife Norris and his be at scenic d on 5 May 2012 Kerry were marrie ting off on Wales before jet Margam Park in ii. s Vegas and Hawa honeymoon to La

ns manager Andrea Grinbaum

New York-based communicatio

Cardiff’s Arwyn

Luca McRae, first grandson to London’s head of web and video, Andrew McRae, was born on 3 May 2012, weighing 3.8kg.

by the latest addition to and husband Andy were overjoyed arrived on 2 March 2012 their family, Jacob Maddox, who big sisters Miriam and Sara. weighing 3.7kg. Here he is with

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 75

Geospatial technologist Hrusikesh Parida from the Hyderabad office and his new wife Dabasree celebrated their wedding on 29 January 2012

Ana Sofia Dorneanu arrived

in the picturesque coastal town of Puri, Orissa.

on 1 October 2011, delighting

Glasgow-based Li Mi and Yi Yu Chen were ecstatic

her dad Cosmin and mum Roxana,

with the birth of their first child, Alistair Ziteng,

a senior environmental consultant from

on 26 April 2011. He weighed 2.9kg.

Bucharest. Ana weighed 3.3kg.

Quantity surveyor Mohammed Taslim Arif and his wife Fozia celebrated the birth of their son, Ebaad Ul Haque, on 5 March 2012.

Congratulations to Magdi Salem from the Tees Valley office and partner Sara Sayed on the birth of their daughter, Lama Magdi, on 8 January 2012.

Delhi-based Ganesh Panda and his wife Alpana are the proud parents of baby boy Gautam, who arrived on 9 February 2012.

Exeter office and husband Emma Allan (née Fisher) from the . Following their ceremony at Will tied the knot on 1 October 2011

rolling green surrounds of the St Mary’s Church in Swindon, the tion. her combined for the perfect recep Cotswolds and hot, sunny weat

Fiona Moore from Halcrow’s Tees Valley office and husband Aaron Barth tied the knot on 5 May 2012 in Darlington.

Baby Yashneil was born on 14 March 2012,

Delhi’s Sunder Singh celebrated his marriage

delighting his parents Sanjeev Kumar

to Geeta Maweri on 9 February 2012.

Choudhary and Annapurna Kumari. Sanjeev is part of the finance team in Delhi.

child, celebrated the birth of their first Hamid Nazir and his wife Saima 2.5kg. Hamid works as a Hamdan, on 12 May 2012 weighing ah office.

Sharj mechanical engineer in Halcrow’s

Congratulations to Romania HR manager Gabi Ivascu and husband Bogdan on the birth of their beautiful daughter

Congratulations to Shelendra Jain and his wife Megha on their new

ied his stunning Graduate engineer Varun Garg marr in Chandigrah. wife Preeti on 23 February 2012

arrival. Baby Aradhya was born on 20 March 2012, weighing 2.8kg.

Iustina Steliana. She arrived on 9 June, weighing 3kg. 76 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 77

Thanks for reading

Vox, August 2012  

People, projects and other exciting stuff. As this was the final edition of Vox, we gave people enough reading material for the next...erm,...

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