The raffle at the 2016 Rankine dinner once again raised an impressive amount in the order of £2,800 and the money raised was equally split between RedR UK and the BGA Fund. While RedR is a well-known charity, the BGA Fund is less so but provides an important service to the geotechnical industry.
The BGA Fund was founded in order to raise the understanding and appreciation of geotechnics by the public, particularly pupils at schools and colleges, and aid young undergraduate students and graduates in their training and experience in geotechnics and allied subjects. The BGA Fund supports a number of awards, including the MSc prize for the best MSc dissertation on a geotechnical topic, and other BGA Fund awards.
Awards from the fund can provide financial support of up to £1,000 for BGA members who have typically returned or want to return to full or part time education for a higher degree or a higher level of degree beyond a first degree. It is associated with excellence and commitment to geotechnical engineering. These awards have previously helped a number of applicants, for example with fieldwork and conference attendance during their studies.
The story of a past recipient is summarised here: “I’m a single mother of three children. I was young when I started my family and it cut my education short. I have waited until my children are older to attend university, and set up a cleaning business to support myself and work my own hours in order to attend the lectures. For my dissertation I will be going to the Peak District to do all the geological groundwork for a tunnel. This is the crucial step in my degree path, it is also very expensive in terms of accommodation and travel. The money awarded has literally meant I can continue at university and finish my degree.”
Another BGA Fund recipient said: “I applied to the fund to assist with travel and accommodation costs associated with data collection for my dissertation project. This allowed me to tailor research towards my interests in rock mass assessment, something that would not have been possible.”
Applications for a BGA Fund award can be submitted at any time but will be assessed twice a year. Details on eligibility and how to apply can be found on the BGA website. Applications (comprising a fully completed application form and referee form) received by the secretary of the BGA not later than 30 June 2016 will be reviewed shortly thereafter. Applicants will be informed of the result within a six week period.
The raffle at the Rankine dinner provides an essential income for the BGA Fund and I’d like to thank all the people who generously bought raffle tickets at the event and the 15 organisations that kindly donated the prizes: Arup, A-Squared Studio, Bachy Soletanche, Byland Engineering, Byrne Looby, Cementation Skanska, CH2M, Coffey Geotechnics, Concept, Geolabs, Geotechnical Observations, In Situ Site Investigation, NGI, Society of Underwater Technology Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics and Wentworth House Partnership. Without these generous gifts neither RedR nor the BGA Fund would benefit.
Angeliki Grammatikopoulou is the Rankine lecture and dinner organiser for the British Geotechnical Association and also an associate director with GCG