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Mott MacDonald’s Joe Newhouse wins the 2018 Cooling Prize

Presentation of a paper on Ground Movement due to Shaft Construction helped Mott MacDonald geotechnical engineer Joe Newhouse win the coveted 49th Cooling Prize at an event in Manchester last night.

Newhouse delivered what was described as a “polished presentation” in front of an audience of 40 people, plus a judging panel, alongside two other candidates to secure the award.

The other candidates were University of Cambridge PhD student Clarà Saracho who delivered a presentation on Microbially Induced Calcite Precipitation to Mitigate Contact Erosion in Earth Embankment Dams and University of Birmingham postgraduate research student Christopher Krechowiecki-Shaw who discussed Using Traffic as a Low-cost Treatment for Temporary Heavy Haul Roads.

finalists, dr cooling and dr preene

From left to right: Joe Newhouse, winner of the 49th Cooling Prize, Clarà Saracho, Christin Cooling, Martin Preene and Christopher Krechowiecki-Shaw.

Speaking about Newhouse’s presentation, the judging panel, which was chaired by British Geotechnical Association chairman Martin Preene, said: “His presentation was concise and easy to follow. It was also good in identifying its limitation in term of the data he analysed.

“The paper provides new graphs for predicting maximum ground settlement from shaft construction and indicates that that there are significantly greater movements of concurrently lined shafts.”

Judges added that Saracho’s current research using bacteria to reduce the permeability of the soils is a very promising technique for addressing erosion and seepage problems in aging dams. The also said that Krechowiecki-Shaw’s presentation gave insight into the feasibility of reducing the thickness of the haul roads if the huge weight of the lorries carrying the equipment is considered as a form of surcharge of the underlying soils.

The judges said that all three candidates delivered excellent presentations, which made deciding on Newhouse as the winner a challenging task.

Newhouse was presented with his prize by Christine Cooling, the daughter of Leonard Cooling after whom the prize is named. Cooling delivered a presentation about the life and works of her father at the event.

While judges deliberated over the winner, Coffey Geotechnics senior principal Andrew Smith delivered a presentation on major repairs using lightweight Leca fill to replace the approach embankments of the A465 Newland Bridge where there was settlement of up to 800mm.

Newhouse’s winning paper will be published in a future issue of GE.

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