Loughborough University research associate in geotechnical asset performance Harry Postill was announced as the winner of the 50th anniversary Cooling Prize last night.
Postill’s presentation on Clay cut slope deterioration, climate change and maintenance beat off competition by two other finalists to be declared to winner by the judging panel.
The other competitors were Robert Bird and Partners design engineer Saleh Jalbi who presented his work on Practical methods to predict the dynamic performance of offshore wind turbines considering foundation-structure interaction which he undertook at the University of Surrey and Jacobs graduate geotechnical engineer Jay Lobwein who presented his work on Investigating the salinity impact on ground subsidence in Jakarta from his work at imperial college.
Speaking at the start of the event, British Geotechnical Association chairman Martin Preene said: “The standard of entries this year was high and getting onto the shortlist is an achievement in itself.”
All three delivered their papers to the audience and a panel of judges formed by Mott MacDonald technical director Sergio Solera, 2018 Cooling Prize winner Joe Newhouse who also works for Mott MacDonald as a geotechnical engineer, City University London professor of soil mechanics Sarah Stallebrass and Buro Happold assicate director Rachel Montieth.
Before announcing the winner, Solera said: “All the presentations were excellent and interesting but also very different from each other, which made it difficult to choose the winner. However, we have chosen Harry Postill as the winner.”
Other judges later said that Postill’s content, delivery and the way he handled audience questions following his presentation singled his performance out from the other two.
During the evening, Christine Cooling – daughter of Leonard Cooling for whom the prize is named – delivered a key note lecture about the development of the prize and her father’s career. While judges deliberated over the winner, winner of the first Cooling Prize in 1970 Howard Roscoe delivered a retrospective of the Ashford Tunnels on HS1 in Kent.