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september 2011 Projects and people

Halcrow Foundation helps Thai village escape the poverty cycle – 28 future fishing

thames barrier

Sri Lanka’s fisheries sector rebuilds with Halcrow support – 12

Iconic structure protects London from flood risk – 18

PLUS catch up with colleagues around the world – at work and outside the office

No barrier to progress – 18

editor’s comment


In this issue of Vox we focus on what makes Halcrow a truly great company – the projects it delivers and the inspirational people who make them happen.

Brazil’s high-speed rail link stays on track

We take a look at a project to help Sri Lanka’s fisheries industry recover after the 2004 tsunami. Other schemes under the spotlight include London’s Thames Barrier, a rail upgrade for Gdansk port in Poland, and the first high-speed rail link in the Americas linking Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

clean energy

Recovering from the big one


Halcrow employees on reconnaissance mission to Japan

Speeding bullet

We also follow Bill Bruin and Marc Percher on a post-earthquake reconnaissance trip to Japan and catch up with Halcrow employees around the world.

fishing for a better future

10 12

Rebuilding Sri Lanka’s coastal infrastructure


US power team lights path away from fossil fuels

no barrier to progress


Extended life for London’s iconic flood defences

Trains and boats and cranes


Gdansk rail upgrade promises boost to Baltic trade

project news and awards


a hand up, not a hand out

26 28

Halcrow Foundation supports Thai village

Please continue to send your project successes and other news to Eloise Young. Vox team Eloise Young, editor Haidee Harrison Richard Rhydderch Emilie Dadswell, designer 2 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

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out of office

Tales of the undead Iain Paton creates a zombie-inhabited world of horror


Recovering from the big one Bill Bruin and Marc Percher on reconnaissance mission to Japan


t is perhaps a reflection of the digital age we live in that Japan’s disaster in March 2011 very quickly became a real-time world disaster.

Footage shot from mobile phones showed people outrunning the post-earthquake tsunami’s surging black water and cars bobbing like apples in rolling waves of debris. When cell sites eventually jammed under the volume, Twitter and Facebook told the story of lost parents, siblings and children. As the water receded, rescue and reconstruction teams touched down to scenes of apocalyptic destruction.

> projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 3

A ship is left marooned on the dock

Mangled cars, a scene repeated across the country

4 â—† Vox â—† projects and people

When Halcrow’s Bill Bruin and Marc Percher arrived in the shell-shocked country, two months after the 9.0-magnitude quake and resulting tsunami, the number of people confirmed dead or still missing stood at almost 25,000. Over 120,000 residents had been evacuated, many of whom were escaping the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl after the damaged Fukushima plant began emitting radiation. No strangers to international reconstruction efforts, Bill and Marc travelled to Japan in early May 2011 as part of an American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI) reconnaissance mission. The Oakland-based pair had previously visited Chile and Haiti respectively in 2010, also under ASCE auspices, following the massive earthquakes that decimated both countries.

Unmitigated destruction Japan is right at the top of the global pile when it comes to earthquake preparedness, following the Kobe quake in 1995 in which 6,400 people died. People live in an almost constant state of readiness, given that the country suffers a fifth of the world’s most powerful tremors. Modern buildings are built with deep foundations, the most advanced supported by shock absorbers that allow the structure to move with the earth, rather than against it. But although Japan was ready for ‘the big one’, it was powerless to stop the force of the ocean. First stop for the team was Sendai, the closest major city to the

earthquake’s epicentre and among the worst Although hit. Coastal areas had been obliterated by an Japan was inescapable wall of water, raging up to ready for ‘the 10m high and travelling 6km inland in some big one’, it was powerless to stop parts. Churning with mud and debris, the wave had swallowed everything in its path the force of the – cars, houses, fishing boats and trees were ocean all picked up and swept along. Confronted by

staggering damage, the ASCE team visited oil terminals and other marine infrastructure to further develop the industry’s body of knowledge and better prepare for future events. “Damage at the Sendai refinery was predominately due to the tsunami, and was almost beyond our comprehension,” Bill recalled. “We saw things that one could only imagine the horror of seeing in real time. Pipelines were projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 5

everywhere; to be described as spaghetti would be an understatement. Repairs will be monumental. Empty large diameter tanks (20-40m) had floated like rubber ducks and landed on top of concrete containment walls or hit other stationary objects. We also observed one oil barge, overturned and leaned against the pipe rack structure more than 100m from the ship channel.” With the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant just 80km to the south, Marc and Bill kept a watchful eye on their radiation dosimeters. Millirem readings were reassuringly low as the contamination proved more localised than first feared, but this proximity to a potential nuclear crisis further emphasised the uphill battle facing those tasked with reconstruction.

Building knowledge Amid the destruction the team found small pockets of resistance. Infrastructure that stood up to this most demanding test now provides a valuable source of information and lessons for the international engineering community. Where innovative, alternative designs or construction methods had survived the twin onslaught of earthquake and tsunami, this evidence can be used to support new approaches or bolster building codes. At the Sendai container terminal complex, as Marc explained, some of the cranes had escaped almost unscathed. “There were four large container cranes in total at the site, two on the older, less damaged portion and two on the newer, more damaged portion. The cranes on the newer portion were something special as they are base-isolated, relying on an invention developed by Dr. Sugano from the Japanese Port and Airport Research Institute (PARI), who was part of our team. Having an opportunity to assess their

Infrastructure that stood up to this most demanding test provides an invaluable source of information

performance was highly constructive and will potentially shape the way this innovation is developed and used across the industry.” The coastal towns of Onagawa, Ofunato and Kesennuma were next on the team’s itinerary, adding to the catalogue of destruction. In Ofunato the team was approached by a local seaweed fisherman, Yosida Yoshio, whose weatherbeaten face told the story of a life at sea. His experience, recounted pragmatically, was typical of many. When the earthquake hit, he realised a tsunami was likely to follow. 6 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

A building flipped on its side with a pile hanging

A car is stranded on top of a three-storey building

He got into his boat and tried to make it to the open water. As he tried to leave the port area the tsunami current pushed him back, then sucked him out to sea. He made it out to water about 130m deep, waiting until the next morning to return. His house, beside the port, had been swamped by waves 6-8m high, while his wife had escaped to high ground in her car. Many residents of neighbouring Onagawa were not so fortunate. “It was reported that as much as 80 per cent of the village population was killed,” said Bill. “The devastation was widespread, with the wave reaching deep into the valley. Cars were on top of five-storey buildings, while a few three-storey buildings had overturned

> projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 7

completely, with piles broken or extending from the foundations. The aftermath was sobering. A whole village, almost entirely swept away, with only a few of the sturdiest structures still standing. This site

The earthqu

gave us all something to think about.”

The long road to recovery


As well as contributing to the investigative work of PARI and other organisations


to support rebuilding efforts, Marc and Bill took home a bulging dossier on infrastructure performance under extreme conditions. “We need to take everything we can from these disastrous circumstances,” said Marc, “to build on the body of knowledge available and, hopefully, improve the way we prepare for these events in the future.” The team’s findings will be used to augment existing industry

Cars were on top of fivestorey buildings, while a few threestorey buildings had overturned completely


knowledge, and in some cases may lead to changes in design codes or accepted best practice. Reflecting on the significance of the trip and the scale of what he witnessed, Marc concluded: “As each day began, we had



no idea of what we would see, or how the damage would affect us personally. The recovery effort is going to take years, if not decades, but the Japanese are determined to rebuild and are doing an incredible job of clearing the countryside. “Even when we were there, just two months after the event, they had already removed much of the debris leaving a barren landscape behind. That said, the Japanese community will need to determine how it wants to rebuild; whether to allow people to return to areas that were inundated and how to protect them if they do.” 8 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people









uake in numbers 1,000 TIMES












139,870 517,050 111,944 DESTROYED BUILDINGS



projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 9

Speeding bu Brazil’s high-speed rail link stays on track

Rio de Janeiro

10 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

ullet E

very year over 7 million people travel between Brazil’s two largest cities, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo – 60 per cent of them by air.

When the Trem de Alta Velocidade (TAV) high-speed rail link hurtles into life, a significant proportion of them will be coaxed from congested airports and highways, on to state-of-the-art trains running at speeds of up to 350km/h. Halcrow has played a significant role in the project to date and the company recently signed a major contract extension with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to support the Brazilian government. “This contract builds on our previous work to produce a comprehensive set of feasibility studies and further strengthens Halcrow’s relationship with the IDB and the Brazilian government,” said project director Mark Jeffcott. “We look forward to working with local partners and stakeholders to help Brazil progress this pioneering project in Latin America.” As the sole technical adviser, Halcrow will be responsible for developing the TAV business model, tender preparation and bid evaluation. Once built, the TAV will be the first dedicated high-speed rail link in the Americas. The project represents a step change in service quality, with journey times slashed from five hours by bus to just 90 minutes. It is also expected that the line will play a major role in supporting economic growth between the two cities.

QuanTM leap Halcrow’s previous involvement in

appropriate high-speed alignment

this seminal project included leading

within the project’s demanding time

alignment studies. Using the QuanTM

frame. This success was recognised by

modelling system the team was able to

the British Expertise judging panel at

integrate environmental, engineering,

the organisation’s international awards

cost, community and cultural factors

in 2009, where Halcrow’s work on the

into a single analysis, delivering an

project won innovation of the year.

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 11

Fishing for a better future Halcrow supports United Nations project to rebuild Sri Lanka’s coastal infrastructure


y 10am on any other day the

out, along with countless small-

redeveloped and upgraded based on

catch would have already

scale craft. Ten of its 12 fishing

detailed needs assessments, with

been hauled in, sorted and

harbours were severely damaged,

ongoing stakeholder engagement.

whisked away by truck and rickshaw.

including breakwaters, shore

Facilities including net mending

Around this time on 26 December

facilities, buildings, machinery and

halls, fish auction sheds, access

2004, however, people living in Sri

equipment, as well as other related

roads, engine and ice storage,

Lanka’s coastal communities faced

infrastructure such as ice plants,

toilets, electricity and water supply

an unrelenting wall of water and

landing ports, markets and homes in

are set to help local fisher people

debris surging inland.

the fishing community.

get their stock to market and access

The tsunami’s force obliterated everything in its path – levelling

More that 75 per cent of Sri Lanka’s industrial fishing fleet was wiped out by the tsunami

buildings, uprooting trees and

Some six years on, while the

the supply chain as efficiently

splintering the fishing boats pulled

resilience of the community is

as possible.

up along the shore. With two thirds

clearly evident, much of what was

of the country’s coastline directly

destroyed by the tsunami and Sri

To help meet the project objectives,

hit, the effect on the fisheries sector

Lanka’s bloody civil war has yet to be

Halcrow is working with Sri Lanka’s

– on which much of the population

fully rebuilt. Halcrow is supporting

Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic

depends – was overwhelming.

a multi-agency project aimed at

Resources Development (MFARD)

supporting the small-scale marine

and the Ceylon Fisheries Harbours

More than 75 per cent of Sri Lanka’s

fisheries sector. Fish landing centres

Corporation to develop a national

industrial fishing fleet was wiped

(FLCs) across the country will be

geographical database of all

12 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people


Project delivery partners • Implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations • Funded by the Canadian International Development Agency • Executed by the Sri Lanka Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development • SANDS is being developed within the National Aquatic Resources Agency

Riding the surf out to boats at anchor in Kalmunai on the south-east coast

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 13

existing FLCs, accessible to all

A river landing site in Polathumodra on the south-west

agencies involved in coastal and

coast. The FAO is building an extension to the

fisheries management. Halcrow’s

jetty at this site to reduce overcrowding

shoreline and nearshore data system (SANDS) is being used to compile and analyse pockets of information already held by various organisations, as well as incorporating additional data gathered more recently. The database will hold technical, geographic, infrastructural, socioeconomic and fishing fleet information covering all known fish landing centres, anchorages and fishing ports, providing an integrated, holistic view of Sri Lanka’s fisheries. “This current project builds on an earlier SANDS database we developed in Sri Lanka back in 2000, so we started with a strong information base,” said SANDS project manager Michael Stickley, who led a series of training and planning workshops for the project partners. “The participants at our seminars were quick to recognise the benefits – SANDS is both a computational and relational database. Users are able to make links between risks – such as

SANDS – how it works and how it can benefit your client Halcrow’s SANDS suite was

information – geospatial, temporal,

decisions. Authorities responsible

developed to help shoreline and

weather, shore condition, climatic,

for flood defences or beach

asset managers, coastal engineers

environmental and asset data.

management, for example, can

and environmental scientists

model a range of flood and erosion

develop a better understanding of

Users are able to visualise

scenarios based on different

coastal processes and management.

correlations between a host of

combinations of asset condition and

different factors, determine the

extreme weather events.

Tailored to suit the needs of specific

probability of various outcomes

clients or projects, SANDS is used

and map the results – all of which

Visit for

to capture, analyse and compare

strengthen asset management

more information.

14 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

storms – and coastal defences and

Hauling in a beach seine at Kalametiya on the southern coast involves the whole community

onshore assets. This relevance has led to SANDS being in hot demand beyond the FLC project and we’re currently discussing the potential for supplementary databases.”

SANDS is delivering a whole host of benefits beyond the original project parameters information management tool,”

extremely valuable tool to support

he said. “This is a great example

the ministry’s objectives. The FLC

Further training is in the pipeline and

of Halcrow fulfilling its purpose to

project is working hard to ensure the

the project is continually evolving

sustain and improve the quality of

SANDS database has a pivotal role to

– with Halcrow’s scope expanding

people’s lives.” FAO project manager

play in the future development and

accordingly. Michael is enthusiastic

Simon Diffey added: “MFARD is

management of the fisheries sector.”

about the direction things are

currently developing a strategic

headed: “SANDS is delivering a whole

management system. With so much

As FLC infrastructure takes shape

host of benefits beyond the original

data to manage in such a complex

around the coastline, Sri Lanka’s

project parameters, demonstrating

and diverse sector, the Halcrow

resilient fishing community can look

its value as a comprehensive

SANDS database is considered an

forward to a more secure future. projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 15


energy US power team lights path away from fossil fuels


ot since 1973 has world

20 per cent. The US – which for

energy use increased by

now retains its title as the world’s

as much, in percentage

largest energy consumer over a

terms, as it did in 2010.

fast-encroaching China – broadly mirrors this spread.

The Economist reported this fact in June 2011, drawn from BP’s annual

Scientists and economists alike

Statistical Review of World Energy,

warn that continued reliance on

which baldly stated that 2010’s

finite resources for another two

energy consumption had risen

decades would be devastating

5.6 per cent on the previous year.

for both the global environment and business. Even with massive

Global energy consumption is

growth, renewable energies are

expected to double by 2030 and

in no position to knock fossil

yet, according to the International

fuels off their perch any time

Energy Agency, 80 per cent of the

soon. However, as Halcrow’s Tom

world’s current generation capacity

Stringfellow explains, a market

comes from burning fossil fuels: oil

for viable alternatives to carbon-

provides 35 per cent of all primary

intensive power is essential if the

energy, coal accounts for 25 per

world is to avoid future energy and

cent and natural gas chips in with

environmental crises.

16 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

“The energy market is approaching a

The next big thing?

watershed,” he said. “The sooner we

With yesterday’s radical innovations

act, the more of a chance we’ll have

swiftly becoming today’s mainstream

to turn things around. Technology

practices, one of Halcrow’s current

development is moving swiftly, and

commissions could herald a new

options that were experimental

direction for energy-from-waste

just a few years ago are now being

generation. In Ohio, the team

delivered on a commercial scale.

is providing owner’s engineer services on a £12.2 million

“Halcrow has the expertise to inform

($20 million) project to convert the

the decisions that will shape our

scrap-tyre mountains that blight

global energy mix in the decades to

the landscape into energy and other

come. Here in the US, we’re working

saleable by products. At present,

on a number of hugely innovative

70 per cent of the 300 million tyres

projects that will surely have a

discarded in the US every year are

bearing on our future direction.”

dumped in landfills, with only 30 per cent salvaged or recycled.

One of Halcrow’s current commissions

Using microwave technology, old

could herald a new direction for

gas to generate electricity, useful

energy-from-waste generation

tyres will be converted into synactivated carbon and diesel oil for use in the transportation industry, with clear environmental benefits.

Halcrow’s involvement in the US market, which spans more than

As well as blazing a new technology

three decades, provides some fitting

trail, Halcrow is working with

examples of the rate of uptake.

municipal electricity providers

The current Americas power and

to develop sustainable energy

energy team includes veterans of the

programmes and improve energy

Department of Energy’s then-cutting-

efficiency in homes and businesses.

edge technology programmes of the early 1980s, including Solar One,

As fossil fuel deposits dwindle and

the pilot solar-thermal project in

emissions caps tighten, governments

California’s Mojave Desert.

and investors around the world are looking to renewable sources

Halcrow also had a hand in the first

to improve sustainability, in both

large demonstrations of fluidised

environmental and supply terms.

bed combustion and biomass gasification in the US, as well as

Renewables are tipped to grow from

pioneering approaches to landfill

a 4 per cent share of the energy mix

gas extraction. Demonstrating

in 2008 to almost 40 per cent by 2035,

the viability of new and emerging

with the largest increase coming in

technologies, these seminal projects

wind and biomass energy. With multi-

paved the way for the larger scale,

million dollar projects being rubber

commercial operations that are now

stamped across the US and beyond,

commonplace and emphasised the

Halcrow’s power and energy business

need for ongoing development.

is poised for big things. projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 17

No barrier to progress Extended life for London’s iconic flood defences


panning 520m across the river at Woolwich, the Thames Barrier has

protected London from flooding for almost three decades. The city’s long-term defence strategies hinge on the barrier continuing to fend off tidal surges. Halcrow has played a key role in an ongoing maintenance and refurbishment project since 2001.

18 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people


The Thames Barrier is operated and maintained by the Environment Agency

projects and people â—† Vox â—† 19

A 2m-wide trunnion

The closed barrier with the

being milled in the 1970s

gates set in underspill position

Image courtesy of the Environment Agency

Stretching from its source in Thames Head, Gloucestershire, the Thames winds eastwards through London before

Halcrow has played a key role in an ongoing maintenance and refurbishment project since 2001

emptying into the sea. The river has sustained human activity for thousands of years, but also poses the greatest threat to those living in its floodplains. Fourteen people drowned and thousands made homeless in 1928 when flood waters swamped the Thames Embankment. Then in 1953, a devastating tidal surge swept in from the North Sea. Water levels rose up to 3m higher than normal in some areas and 307 people lost their lives. Central London escaped unscathed, but the event set the ball rolling for a concerted debate on how to manage flood risk in the capital.

London’s flood risk

Construction of the Thames Barrier began in 1974 and the project was completed just under a decade later. It

Around 1.25 million people live or work below

was called into action almost 40 times during the 1980s

the average high-tide level. Flooding would have

and 1990s. In 1997 MV Sand Kite – a dredging ship sailing

a disastrous impact on the capital, with potential

in thick fog – crashed into one of the piers, dumping its

damage costs estimated at £30 billion. Much of

3,300-tonne load of aggregate as it sank. Swirling around

metropolitan London would be at risk of flooding

in the rushing tides, the gravel scraped and damaged the

without the Thames Barrier and associated flood

gates’ protective coating.

defences. This includes: • a 340km² area of land

The Environment Agency is responsible for managing

• 500,000 properties

the barrier, and initially commissioned Halcrow in 2001

• £80 billion worth of assets

to inspect the structure and supervise necessary repairs

• 30 mainline and 68 Underground / Docklands

to the damaged coating. As well as assessing changing structural loads, the team also carried out a series of trials to explore the scope for improvements, from 20 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

Light Rail stations • 400 schools and 16 hospitals

developments in cathodic protection to applying new coatings using crawler robots. This kicked off Halcrow’s work to support the Environment Agency, which has continued over the ensuing decade. “Inspections served as the catalyst for a much broader assessment of the barrier’s condition,” said water Europe regional director Roland Grzybek. “With the structure approaching the midpoint of its 50-year design life, our role also expanded to help the Environment Agency extend this, from 2030 to 2100.” Following the four-year assessment and upgrade project, Halcrow was retained in 2008 to assist the Environment Agency as it undertook repairs on the main rising sector gate bearings. The barrier’s four main gates, each 62m long and weighing 3,500 tonnes, rotate around a 2m-wide


Flooding in east London, 1953 projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 21

Key A Navigation lights

H Trunnion bearings

B Pier roofs

I Concrete cill

C Rocking beams

J Gate spacing (200mm gap

D Shift and latch mechanism

between gate and cill)

E Gate arm

K Service tunnels

F Gate leaf

L Central piers

G Pier cranes

bearing mounted on a steel cone, or trunnion. The trunnions are fixed to the river piers by three post-tensioned bar systems, each capable of taking the full load of the closed gates.

Inspections served as the catalyst for a much broader assessment of the barrier’s condition

A specially developed limpet dam provided safe access to the bearings, which sit below

fixed possession times while the barrier remained operational.” As well as a full inspection and refurbishment of the barrier’s components, the project team developed and installed a series of monitoring devices, including water and

pressure sensors. Remote monitoring gives

the low-tide water level. “We found that some of the

the Environment Agency a much clearer picture of the

post-tensioned bars no longer met the performance

barrier’s performance, in turn enabling a proactive, long-

requirements,” said senior project manager Jon Holland.

term approach to maintenance. Reducing the number of

“We worked closely with the client and the contractor,

physical inspections required also brings considerable

VolkerStevin, to safely re-tension or replace these during

cost savings and slashes safety risks.

22 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

The limpet dam (yellow structure) in place on the circular gate arm

Coating specialists assess the condition of the gates by rope access Diagram courtesy of the Environment Agency

“This series of projects has proved highly successful,” said Environment Agency technical

Inside the limpet dam

specialist Edward Morris. “Extending the barrier’s serviceable life pushes back the

With work being undertaken below the low-tide mark, a

need for replacement defences, providing a

specially designed limpet dam was used to allow the team

sustainable, cost-effective approach to flood

access to the bearing for assessment and re-stressing. The

management for London.”

structure is submerged against the gate arm and the water pumped from its body to provide dry working access.

In March 2011, the Thames Barrier trunnion and bearing refurbishment project won

The dam is equipped with ventilation, lighting and power,

the heritage prize at the Institution of Civil

as well as mechanical handling equipment for the bearing

Engineers London Civil Engineering Awards,

cover plate and tensioning tools.

reflecting the asset’s past, present and future protection of the capital. projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 23

Trains and boats Gdansk rail upgrade promises BOOST TO BALTIC TRADE


estled on Poland’s northern coast, Gdansk

“Noise emissions and vibrations will be greatly

is the country’s foremost trading port and

reduced, while planned bridge and culvert upgrades

serves as the primary gateway to the Baltic

will allow farmers to move their livestock safely.” A

Sea. A bustling shipping hub, it straddles Europe’s

complete overhaul of traffic control systems is set to

main transport routes and connects its eastern and

lessen the probability of serious breakdowns clogging

central regions with the west and Scandinavia.

the line. In addition, transporting more cargo by rail is likely to have a positive knock-on effect for road

As part of a consortium, Halcrow is set to deliver

safety, with fewer freight-related accidents.

design and tender documentation for a major rail upgrade to support the port’s future development.

“This contract is likely to net upwards of £1.2 million

A 12.4km stretch of the existing 226 line will

in fees for our consortium, representing one of the

be modernised to meet international combined

most significant rail projects in Halcrow’s Polish

transport standards. The project scope also includes

portfolio,” said Krzysztof. “We already have a strong

a new double-track bridge over the Martwa Wisła

relationship with the client – Polskie Linie Kolejowe

River – literally the ‘Dead Vistula’ – Poland’s great

S.A., which manages Poland’s rail network – and this

south-to-north waterway, which gently curves its way

latest win can only serve to heighten our industry

through the city before emptying into the sea.

profile and help us secure future work.”

Gdansk’s continued status as the Baltic coast’s

Since its accession to the European Union in 2004

pre-eminent port hinges on its connectivity, with the

Poland has kicked off a programme of accelerated

rail upgrade crucial for future expansion. Similarly,

infrastructure development, further fuelled by

land-locked countries such as the Czech Republic,

its performance as one of the region’s standout

Slovakia, Belarus and Hungary rely on regional

performers. A wholesale overhaul of the country’s

transport networks for the safe, speedy movement of

transportation networks is in full swing, and this

goods to and from the port.

latest upgrade will connect Gdansk to the main trunk railway, the E65, for which Halcrow is

“Rebuilding the railway line will bring a host of

currently exploring high-speed options. All this

associated benefits for nearby communities and the

points to a bright future for Poland and its flourishing

environment,” said rail director Krzysztof Celinski.

strategic port.

24 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

and cranes

The existing rail bridge at Gdansk

Gdansk Port

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 25

project news in brief Halcrow is part of the winning consortium awarded a £150 million contract to design and build a section of the A465 Heads of the Valleys trunk road in South Wales. In the UK, the Broadlands flood alleviation scheme recently celebrated its ten-year anniversary. Broadland Environmental Services Limited (BESL) – a partnership between Halcrow and

Norfolk Broads, UK

contractor BAM Nuttall – is delivering the 20-year public-private partnership

Halcrow has been awarded two

A major new container and ethanol

contract to maintain and improve the

contracts worth a total of £1.5 million

terminal is set to take shape

flood defences of the Norfolk Broads in

to improve Al Ain Municipality’s

in Santos, Brazil, with Halcrow

East Anglia.

geographic information system (GIS)

contracted to provide engineering

data, in partnership with engineering

services on the project’s first phase.

Tangshan LNG terminal

and geospatial software provider Intergraph Middle East.

Halcrow has been awarded the design contract for a 550m-long, four-lane

The company has been appointed

bridge for Abu Dhabi’s prestigious Al

to plan, design and supervise the

Reem Island development. The sea

construction of a new base for the

crossing includes an additional 12.5m

The China National Petroleum

Indian Navy. The contract scope will

width requirement to accommodate a

Company has appointed Halcrow as

cover the marine and operations

proposed light rail transit corridor.

owner’s engineer for the Tangshan

sections of the naval base, the

liquefied natural gas terminal in

supporting development for which

Dubai Mall is the world’s largest

northern China.

will be spread over 1,860ha near

shopping mall, covering an area

Visakhapatnam in southern India.

greater than 50 football pitches. A Halcrow-designed, 750m-long

Halcrow Barry – Halcrow’s joint venture with JB Barry of Dublin –

The world’s longest sea crossing

pedestrian bridge will connect the

beat off stiff competition to provide

bridge will bear Halcrow’s stamp, with

Burj Khalifa metro station to the

engineering consultancy services for

the company set to design a section

shopping centre.

the new N5 Ballaghadereen Bypass in

of the 36km-long Hong Kong-Zhuhai-

County Roscommon, Ireland.

Macau crossing.

Mining giant Rio Tinto has appointed Halcrow to design mine buildings and

Connecting Kamień and Solec City

support facilities in western Australia.

in Poland, a proposed £52 million bridge will replace the current ferry

The company has been awarded

service and dramatically reduce the

a major extension to its existing

distances people must travel to cross

standards adviser and auditor role for

the Vistula River. Halcrow has been awarded the design contract. 26 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau crossing

Transport Scotland, set to run until September 2012.

Awa rds In Trinidad, Halcrow is providing comprehensive design services on a 42km extension of the Sir Solomon Hochoy highway. The original highway was designed by Halcrow in the 1970s. The Russian Federation’s first waste management project to be financed through a public-private partnership will feature significant input from Halcrow. The company has been appointed lender’s technical adviser

Three Halcrow inland waterways projects were recognised at the UK’s Waterways Renaissance Awards in May. The Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterway project has been supported by Halcrow for over ten years and took home the award for strategy and master planning. It also claimed the outstanding achievement award, which gives special recognition to an inspiring project. Three Mills Lock in east London won the design and construction category, while Ryeford Double Lock on the Stroudwater Navigation in Gloucestershire was runner up in the historic environment awards category.

for the £264 million (€300 million) project, which includes the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of a waste processing plant in Yanino.

Halcrow’s Tabindah Akhtar (right) with members of the British Waterways team

Abbot Point coal terminal

Halcrow has been contracted by North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) to provide engineering management for the early contractor involvement phase of a major development at Abbot Point coal terminal in Australia. This follows another Halcrow contract win from NQBP – the design of an upgraded breakwater in Mackay to replace one that was badly damaged by Cyclone Ului in March 2010. Halcrow has been appointed by Essar Projects (India) Limited to carry out the detailed design of marine structures associated with the development of an all-weather terminal at Dahej, Gujarat.

Four marketing projects produced by Halcrow’s corporate communications team were recognised at the 2011 Hermes creative awards. External client magazine Exceptional experiences and a Halcrowproduced short film, ‘Designing financing models for sustainable infrastructure’, both won the top accolade of a platinum award. The internal newsletter for Halcrow’s North American offices, eNews, snapped up a gold award and the Halcrow 2011 calendar won an honourable mention. Halcrow won the commercial and business services sector award at the UK’s prestigious Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) occupational health and safety awards 2011.  Ontario’s Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, for which Halcrow Yolles provided structural engineering services, received the jury’s choice award at Canada’s tenth annual WoodWorks! Awards. The Halcrow-designed Docklands Light Railway London City Airport extension won ‘best built project five years on’ at the 2010-2011 London Planning Awards.

Accrington rail station in Lancashire, UK, won the sustainability project prize at the 2011 North West Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) awards. Halcrow provided a variety of services for this project, including building services, structural and civil engineering, and acoustic consultancy. Halcrow’s global headquarters, Elms House, was one of six finalists in the refurbished workplace category at the British Council of Offices 2011 regional awards for London. Halcrow has won a prestigious Environment Agency exemplar award for its role in the UK’s Radcot Paddle and Rymer Weir replacement project. The Pembroke Power Station gas pipeline in Wales has won the George Gibby 2011 award at the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Wales Cymru project awards. The horizontal directional drilling crossing project was also commended at the 2011 Ground Engineering Awards, in the category for geotechnical and geoenvironmental UK projects over £1 million. Two Halcrow Yolles projects bagged awards at the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction’s (CISC) 21st Ontario Steel Design Awards of Excellence. Toronto’s iconic Ritz-Carlton project was recognised in the engineering category, while Calgary’s first steel skyscraper and its tallest building, The Bow, won the section dedicated to innovative schemes constructed beyond Ontario. The Bow tower also took centre stage at CISC’s 2011 Alberta Steel Design Awards of Excellence. Halcrow Yolles provided structural design services for the project, which both topped the engineering category and was a finalist in the architecture and engineering section.

The Bow Tower

The Blackpool central area coast protection scheme won large project of the year at the ICE’s north west civil engineering awards.

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 27


28 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

A hand up, not a hand out Halcrow Foundation supports village development project in Thailand


ne criticism often

through the Village Development

levelled at international

Partnership (VDP). Focusing on five

aid surrounds its

inter-related areas – community

long-term effectiveness. Non-

empowerment, income generation,

governmental organisations arrive in

health, environmental improvement

underdeveloped or disaster-stricken

and education – this multi-agency

areas, so the accusation goes, hand

umbrella helps rural communities

out emergency supplies and then

lift themselves out of poverty, rather

pull out, leaving the recipients ill-

than providing a short-term fix.

equipped and largely dependent on external help.

Baan Klang is a remote settlement near the border with Cambodia and

A community-level poverty alleviation

home to some 600 people. The village

programme in south-east Asia has

lacked a permanent healthcare

flipped this model on its head, and

centre or piped water supply, with

Baan Klang village in Thailand’s

residents relying on surface water

Buriram province exemplifies its

collected from wells. As rice farming

success. The Halcrow Foundation has

provided the main source of both

supported Baan Klang since 2009

income and food, a poor harvest


projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 29

Tub Udomsiri “I am so glad this project was introduced to our village. We understand it’s important to keep money aside and villagers can borrow money to do business. I want this to last forever.”

Baan Klang villagers with employees from Halcrow and the PDA

> could easily destroy livelihoods.

The average annual income in Baan Klang stood at just 11,666 baht (£234), forcing families to subsist on 64p (US$1.05) per person per day, without taking children into account. This left the community languishing well below the international poverty line, creating a daily struggle to fulfil even the most basic human needs. The foundation’s involvement began in May 2009, but the seeds were sown the previous year. In April 2008, village leaders decided to join the VDP Green fingers: villagers plant young trees

30 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

Preparing soil bags for planting seedlings

project and a democratically elected

The committee developed a strategy

committee was formed to manage

to steer the six-year programme,

the programme. The 24 members

reflecting the village’s specific needs

were split into three subcommittees,

and objectives. At its heart was the

each tasked with representing

village co-operative bank which

different ages and issues. The

opened for business in May 2010, a

village youth government (VYG)

year after work to establish it began.

was established to speak for those aged between 14 and 24, the village

“Micro-finance and the village

development bank (VDB) committee

development bank are key to the

would deal with the concerns of 25

project’s sustainability,” said project

to 54-year olds, and the council of

sponsor Ali Adam. “Villagers have

elders sought to represent residents

access to affordable loans, as well

aged 55 and above.

as support and training to ensure


‘Mr Condom’ turns attention to poverty alleviation The Village Development Partnership is the brainchild of Thailand’s Mechai Viravaidya, affectionately known as ‘Mr Condom’. In the 1970s Mechai set up the Population and Community Development Association (PDA), with the aim of promoting family planning, improving sexual health and alleviating poverty. Thousands of free condoms have been distributed in poor communities – a move supported by education programmes and speaking openly about contraception – which have saved countless lives and slowed the spread of HIV/AIDS. The PDA also runs several ‘Condoms and Cabbages’ restaurants around Thailand, where patrons can get information on sexual health over dinner. Mechai’s belief that “only business can eradicate poverty” underpins the VDP model, providing support for community empowerment and sustainable entrepreneurship.

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 31

Open for business: selling handicrafts generates income for families

Prangtip Sudtachu “I am applying what I’ve learned at school to support the community in various ways. It’s a good way for us to develop youth philanthropy and help others as much as possible. In the future I would like to take a loan to start my own retailing business.” their small businesses thrive. These

Engaging the next generation is

successes then further strengthen

crucial for the project’s long-term

the project – the loans are repaid,

viability and it’s clear the young

and the community is more

people of Baan Klang have picked

supplement pupils’ diets and combat

prosperous as a result of flourishing

up the idea and run with it. The

malnutrition. The garden also

small enterprises.” Residents set

Green Village Toy Library is just one

provides an opportunity for students

up a host of ventures including silk

of several youth initiatives that has

to learn about agriculture.

weaving, raising pigs, producing

captured imaginations and proved

seedlings and fertiliser for rice

an overwhelming success. Children

Improving the health of local people

farming, potable water bottling,

can borrow toys in exchange for

is another central strand of the

vegetable and sugar cane cultivation,

community work such as collecting

partnership. “There was a big drive

and a small grocery store.

recyclables. These are then sold in

to reduce infection rates for dengue

local towns to maintain the library

fever, HIV/AIDS and influenza,” said

and buy new toys.

Ali. “The village health volunteers

Community activities have created a sense of ownership and

met with villagers of all ages to get

empowerment. Over the past two

Second-hand computers donated

the messages across, as well as

years, the committee has organised

to the village bank are also being

carrying out practical measures such

village clean-ups, the refurbishment

used to teach young people

as treating water sources to repel

of the Ban Pho Yoi temple, wellbeing

valuable IT skills. A ‘lunch farm’

mosquitoes. Some 550 people from

programmes and the planting of

has been planted in the school

Baan Klang and surrounding villages

15,000 trees.

grounds, providing fresh produce to

attended a workshop organised by

32 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

School students prepare seed bags for tree planting

the youth government to learn about

Thongkham Chamnanthae

preventing the spread of swine flu

“Part of the profit from the village bank is

– a really important initiative that

allocated to development activities, so the

benefited a huge number of people.”

money stays in the village and helps the community. The project also teaches

In 2010, a group of Halcrow

people how to save money and manage

employees from the Bangkok office

their own expenses.

visited Baan Klang. After being

We want Halcrow to come and visit us more

formally welcomed by the village

often to encourage the villagers to work even

development committee, the team

harder for our future.”

visited the tree-planting site, various small businesses and the local

The Halcrow Foundation has

self-sufficient, both financially and in

primary school. Wiriya Pienchob said:

committed £40,000 to the project

terms of the institutions now firmly

“It was fantastic to see the village’s

over six years: money very well

embedded in village life. It really

progress first hand and speak to

spent, according to chairman David

demonstrates the power of community

people about how their quality of life

Kerr. “The amount that has been

engagement and what can be

has improved. We’re looking forward

achieved on this limited budget is

accomplished when people are given a

to visiting again in the future.”

just staggering. The project is wholly

chance to help themselves.” projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 33

To remember Harry Arnold (1925 – 2011) A ‘big harbours’ designer Former Halcrow partner Harry Arnold

dock, and a handful of projects in Saudi

mid-1970s prices, and Harry was

died early in 2011, aged 86.

Arabia – the twin harbour complex at

responsible for pulling the whole

Jubail, port developments at Jeddah,

project together – a feat he achieved

Harry joined the company in 1947 and

and a cement terminal and commercial

with distinction.”

retired in 1986 after 39 years of service,

deepwater harbour facilities at Yanbu.

the last 13 of which he headed its marine

Without exception, this infrastructure

Even as he scaled Halcrow’s management

department. Maritime projects dominated

has proved pivotal to each country’s

ranks, Harry remained a quintessential

Halcrow’s work during this period, with

subsequent development.

designer, always interested in the

designs for some of the largest ports in

technical aspects of maritime design.

the world propelling the company to the

“The scale of the ports at Jubail was

In addition to serving as a member of

top of Engineering News Record’s list of

massive,” said Malcolm Fletcher, who

several international associations and

consulting engineers.

admired Harry’s skills over the years.

committees, Harry authored a number of

“Halcrow had to plan, design and

technical papers on engineering design

Harry was instrumental in delivering

supervise five separate contracts for

and construction.

major projects around the globe,

the two main harbours. In total this

including Ghana’s Tema port, Dubai dry

amounted to well over £1 billion in

He is survived by his wife, Jean.

Brian Murray (1929 – 2010) Visionary figure helped build Philippines business In his younger

for the Philippines and for Halcrow’s

presence in the Philippines through his

years, motorcycle

profile in the country. These included

extensive contacts.

enthusiast Brian

the Philippines’ first bio-ethanol project,

Murray toured the

Sibulan hydroelectric project, as well as

Brian is remembered as an archetypal

UK on his trusty

feasibility studies for several wind farms.

English gentleman who embraced

1947 500cc Triumph

Filipino culture and considered the

Speed Twin. This thirst for adventure,

After serving in the British armed forces

country his second home. He always

travel and challenging experiences was

during the 1950s, Brian moved to Hong

made time to mentor younger colleagues,

evident in every facet of his life.

Kong to take on a regional management

sharing his knowledge and experience.

role with the English Electric Company.

Brian was diagnosed with cancer in 2009

Brian enjoyed an expansive career that

After two decades at Jardine Davies as

and died shortly after making a final visit

saw him travel the world and settle in

chairman of the company’s Philippines

to the Manila office.

the Philippines. He worked for Halcrow

subsidiaries, he set up his own company

from 2004 until his death in 2010, and

in 1981, Murray Management, aimed

Brian was a loving father, trusted friend

was instrumental in developing the

at helping foreign companies establish

and reliable colleague. A true visionary,

company’s local energy portfolio.

business in the Philippines.

his role in establishing Halcrow in the

Brian played a pivotal role in securing

Philippines will always be treasured. He

high-profile renewable energy projects,

Brian began to build strong links with

is survived by his wife, Leslie, and their

many of which proved seminal – both

Halcrow in 2004, helping to amplify its

two children.

34 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

To send condolences

Simon Jones (1960 – 2011)

Exemplary bridge engineer who shared knowledge and experience Simon Jones passed away at home on 21 February 2011.

In remembrance Ivor Price passed away on 21 July 2011. He was 83. Ivor worked for Halcrow between 1976 and 1986 and is survived by his partner, Vera Hamblin. Margaret Moore died on 6 May 2011, aged 74. She is survived by her husband, Michael. Margaret worked for Halcrow between 1976 and 1982. Derek Raven died on 16 April 2011. He was 72. Derek worked for

Simon joined

Halcrow between 1974 and 1998 and is survived by his wife, Belkia.

Halcrow’s Manchester

Allan Muir passed away on 20 April 2011, aged 87. Survived by

bridges team in

wife Muriel, Allan worked for Halcrow from 1976 until 1985.

August 2006 as a

Christopher Davis, aged 64, died on 7 February 2011. He worked

senior engineer. His

for the company between 1973 and 1978.

extensive experience

Max Fuller died on 21 January 2011. Aged 77, he is survived by his

in the rail sector

wife, Cvetka. Max worked for Halcrow from 1974 until 1983.

helped Halcrow win a number of Network Rail commissions, in particular reconstruction and repair schemes for bridges and culverts along the Cumbrian Coast Railway. Most recently, Simon supported A-one+ in Area 10 on a range of schemes and was heavily involved in feasibility studies for managed motorway schemes. He also worked closely with the Environment Agency on flood alleviation schemes in the UK’s north west region and the Lake District. Simon was a focal point of the team and shared his knowledge with colleagues, taking time to explain technical issues. He is remembered as a calm, talented pragmatist, approaching tasks with minimum fuss. Simon was a keen cyclist before his health deteriorated. He was also an avid spectator and sports fan, travelling as far as Asia to watch Formula One Grand Prix racing. A Leeds United supporter, his love for the ‘beautiful game’ saw him join the ranks of die-hard football aficionados in the ‘92 Club’, having attended a match at every club in the English professional league. Simon also loved music, especially soul – a passion

Andrew Skinner passed away on 3 December 2010, aged 55. He worked for Halcrow between 1989 and 1993, and is survived by his wife, Catherine. Sarah Jane Sharp (nee Oswald) died on 11 November 2010. She was 45. Sarah worked for Halcrow between 1994 and 1996 and is survived by her husband, Geoffrey. Constantine Antonakis passed away on 11 November 2010, at the age of 86. He is survived by his wife, Ann. Constantine worked for Halcrow between 1949 and 1980. John May died on 12 February 2011. Aged 76, he is survived by his wife, Doris. JS Cowie died on 18 April. He was 78. Mr Cowie worked for Halcrow between 1964 and 1974. Judith Jones died on 19 August 2011, aged 70. She is survived by her husband, John, who also worked for Halcrow. Judith worked from the Cardiff office between 1978 and 1997. Claire Taylor passed away on 16 July 2011, aged 32. Claire worked as a human resources adviser in Elms House. Chris Strong died on 15 July 2011, aged 55. Chris worked for Halcrow as a safety assurance professional from 2004 and was based in London. He is survived by his wife, Jill.

expressed through his extensive record collection.

Malcolm Bell, who worked for Halcrow between 1989 and 2008,

Simon’s quiet presence will be greatly missed by his colleagues

John Marsden died on 8 July 2011, aged 66. He is survived by his

and friends.

wife, Susan.

died on 8 May 2011. He was 67.

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 35


(L-R) Hayley Davis, Neil Smith, Michael Little, David Strong, Paul Gregory, Upul Wijayananda

Sydney team sets the pace On a beautiful April day in Sydney, six brave souls from Halcrow swam, cycled and ran their way through the 2011 corporate triathlon.

“I love the sense my team mates and I share of just taking part together” Upul suffered sleep deprivation on

some 15 minutes faster than that

the day, having stayed up to watch

of their colleagues. Still some way

The hardy competitors, all based

the cricket World Cup final between

behind the fastest team, though,

in Halcrow’s Sydney office, formed

India and his native Sri Lanka.

who came in with just one hour and

two teams. Hayley Davis, Neil

21 minutes on the clock.

Smith and Michael Little – who was

The event has been running for 24

persuaded to take part only two

years and attracts a diverse range

“I’ve been doing this triathlon for

days beforehand – made up the

of participants, from the carbon-

four years now,” said David, “and

Black Cats, while the Halcrow Go

fibre-bike-riding enthusiast to the

it just gets better every year. The

Gos comprised Paul Gregory, David

weekend dabbler. Most participants

atmosphere and organisation are

Strong and Upul Wijayananda.

complete the course in around 40

first-rate, and I love the sense my

minutes, and individual efforts are

team mates and I share of just

aggregated to give a team time.

taking part together. I’d like to

Commitment to pre-race training varied across the group. David

see our Melbourne colleagues

Strong admitted to having gone

Step forward the Black Cats, whose

doing the Melbourne event next

swimming once at New Year, while

time was just under two hours,

year, too.”

36 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

aiming for a clean sweep

Alasdair Guthrie sets his sights on 2014 winter Olympics What does it take to win an Olympic gold medal? Constant training, peak fitness, the desire to win and… great brushing skills? If you’re aiming for the very pinnacle of success in curling, nifty brushwork could

Brush with success: Alasdair slides into action

help your stone glide to glory, as

Alasdair has now set his sights

Olympic hopeful Alasdair Guthrie

on representing Great Britain at

will testify.

the 2014 winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi.

Glasgow-based Alasdair has swept his way to glory in a series of key

“This year, my team and I have

international contests in recent

been selected as part of the Scottish

“Curling has given me some great

years. A two-time winner of the

national curling squad,” he said.

opportunities to travel to some

Scottish junior championships, he

“I’m following an intensive training

interesting places and also to develop

represented Scotland at the World

regime which involves monitored gym

team and communication skills

Junior Championships in South

sessions every week and an on-ice

which are very much needed in day-

Korea in 2006 and the US in 2007.

practice programme with my team.

to-day life.”

Earlier this year, Alasdair and his

“I’m hoping that the experience

Alasdair first started curling

team mates represented Great

of competing against some of the

20 years ago when his family moved

Britain at the World University Games

best teams in Europe and Canada

to Scotland. He and his sister were

in Erzurum, Turkey, where they

combined with the intensive training

taught by their father Alan, a Halcrow

missed scooping a bronze by the

will help me to get selected for the

employee who is also based in the

narrowest of margins.

2014 games.

Glasgow office. projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 37


ing 3.59kg, to n on 1 May 2011, weigh Evelyn Aurora was bor w Yolles Calgary shbrook of the Halcro happy parents Ian Wa li and Anna phanie. Older sisters Kae office and his wife, Ste to the family. by the latest addition were especially excited

Alexia Dominique was born on 24 October 2010, weighing 2.86kg, to proud parents Jaymi Esteban of the Manila office and his wife, Lanie.

Florida’s Steve LoPorcaro and his wife, Lisa, welcomed Marco Robert on 26 December 2010, weighing 2.98kg. s Toronto office and Wesley Peter of the Halcrow Yolle birth of Chloe Anouk his wife, Veronique, celebrated the on 16 January 2011. She weighed


Adam Kenny Enticott arrived on 17 January 2011, weighing 3.2kg, to dad Mark and mum Karen from Chichester.

Saravanan Thangavelu took a break from his role on the Lusail development in Qatar to marry his beautiful bride, Subathra, on 26 January 2011. The celebrations took place in Thanjavur, southern India.

38 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

e Lyall) tied the and Lucy Thacker (ne Swindon-based Gerard y’s home town. 2010 in Norwich, Luc knot on 6 November rk together at t at university and wo The couple – who me gnon, France. their honeymoon in Avi Burderop Park – spent

Dublin’s Michelle Murray married husband Garrett in County Kildare, Ireland. The weather gods were smiling on the big day, 22 July 2011, and the couple’s 90 guests partied into the early hours.

Edinburgh’s Mike Roberts and his wife, Cathy, were overjoyed with the arrival of baby Matthew, little brother to dearly missed Cameron. Born on 29 November 2010, he weighed 3.66kg.

London-based Haidee Harrison and her groom Alex Hudson celebrated their marriage in the sunshine, with family 0, born on 17 October 201 Noah Peter James was Glass nburgh-based Jason weighing 3.12kg, to Edi

and friends at their village wedding on 30 July 2011.

and his wife, Sarah.

projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 39

Tales of the

d a e d n u

Iain Paton creates a zombie-inhabited world of horror


he cloying stench of

cemented his place in the macabre

corruption filled Stefan’s

world of the undead, with 15 stories

mouth and nostrils as the

published to date and first prize in

skull-face leered forward, yellowed

the recent Spilling Ink 2011 short

fangs poised to bite and tear. He

story competition.

lost his balance, falling backwards onto the grass. Withered claws slid

Joining his work already in print,

sharply into the taut flesh between

several tales are set to chill readers’

his ribs, rending meat and gouging

spines in the coming months –

deeply before grasping his heart in

‘Preacher man’, based in part on

unbearable agony…”

his day job, and ‘Mira’, which is due to feature in the aptly named Dark

Iain Paton knows fear. As the excerpt

Tales magazine. Iain has also found

from his story Blood in the moonlight

time to co-edit an anthology to

illustrates above, stomach-knotting,

support rebuilding efforts in Japan

dry-throated horror is his forte. An

– Senbazuru, or A Thousand Cranes,

avid reader for as long as he can

now in its final stages of production.

remember, Iain enrolled in a creative writing course back in 2008. The

While samurai-wielding killers

transformation from consumer of

and zombies gorging on human

fiction to creator came swiftly, with

flesh provide action and intrigue in

his Japanese horror story ‘Mira’

their own right, Iain also explores

accepted for publication the following

the response extreme events elicit

year. Fast forward 24 months and the

in his characters. “Zombies are

Edinburgh-based urban planner has

interesting to write about,” he said,

40 ◆ Vox ◆ projects and people

“especially the human reaction to

Glasgow Writers’ Group urged me to

such overwhelming disaster and

turn it into a novel. The core idea was

the suspense that follows. Usually

still there, but I built around it and

it’s someone getting out of their

added a cast of characters including

depth into a disturbing situation,

the corrupt politician ‘Big Jim’

sometimes through their own fault,

McConnarty, and a final showdown

and struggling to get back to shore

in Japan.”

– will they make it? It’s a journey as well, for the writer, building a world

Most evenings after work Iain can

that is new to them and the reader.”

be found tapping away at his latest manuscript, sending his characters

With his stories traversing centuries and continents, from feudal Japan to the gritty streets

Most evenings after work Iain can be found tapping away at his latest manuscript, sending his characters into eerie back alleys and recently occupied graveyards

of modern Glasgow, Iain invests countless hours

into eerie back alleys and recently occupied graveyards. “Writing is amazing, once you get into it and master the basic skills,” he said, “especially when you get into a creative community. It’s addictive


– I can’t remember the last time I

different time

watched TV. There is an amazing

periods. Several

level of creativity in many cities, at

visits to Japan

the grassroots level, that provides

to wander the

inspiration and motivation.”

twisting alleys of Yokohama and Kamakura have

imbued his narratives with authenticity and subtle nuances.

From desperate students selling their souls on eBay to an architect transformed into a giant insect and eerie clowns hurtling through the

His personal experiences also find

night in a minibus, Iain’s stories push

their way into his writing. Daily

readers to the limits of their fear

occurrences are cast in the dark

threshold. Only he knows where his

shadow of the macabre; an infected

imagination will take them next.

cat bite providing the inspiration for one story. Having mastered the short story medium, Iain is now branching into longer formats with his first novel – a blood-spattered crime thriller. The story follows sword-wielding psychopath Banzai Billy – part Japanese warrior, part Glasgow hardman – as he slashes his way across the globe. “The idea came out of a short story competition,” said Iain. “It wasn’t a great short story as it had far too much going on, so

Licensed to thrill Click the titles to order Iain’s latest creations

Preacher Man Storm Coming Down Mira

my hugely supportive peers at the projects and people ◆ Vox ◆ 41

BIG Think

Major projects are at the heart of Halcrow’s growth strategy, with £450 million of earnings targeted by 2018.

Be part of the story.

Major projects Halnet/who we are/major projects

building our future

Vox - Projects and people - September 2011  

In this issue of Vox we focus on what makes Halcrow a truly great company – the projects it delivers and the inspirational people who make t...

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