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Opus is delighted to announce that it has four finalists at this year's Women in Construction Awards. The winners will be announced at an award's dinner held in Manchester on the 1st March. Opus would like to wish all its finalists (below) good luck.
Rachael Bryson – Project Manager of the Year
Work Group Manager – Structures - Doncaster
Rachael is one of two project managers who had been assessed to lead what are deemed as major projects. She sits on the board of Opus’ project management forum, she chairs the UK Women in Leadership initiative and is a mentor. As part of the North region succession planning, she has finished a secondment as an Office Director. During Rachael’s time as a project manager, she has managed projects with a value in excess of £2m and is a PRINCE Level II practitioner. Unconventionally, she has broken through the industry by being a successful Project Manager with no technical background in the construction disciplines.
Juliet Archer-Reeves – Rising Star – over 25
NEC Project Manager - Hertford
Juliet has come incredibly far since starting out in this industry. From starting as a trainee technician with an English degree, she has since worked proficiently within five teams at Hertfordshire, building her knowledge and experience to an incredibly high level. Juliet has an excellent work ethic and has shown willingness to take on increasing responsibility through her project management of a number of services.
Libby Brunskill – Rising Star – over 25
Geo-Environmental Engineer - Manchester
Libby is always looking to further her knowledge, whether this means moving away for long periods of time, or assisting another team (civils, structures, surveys) to widen her expertise. No task given to her could ever be too big or too small, she simply enjoys getting involved in all aspects of the job and working across all sectors to offer support during busy times. After coming into the industry with a Geography degree, Libby is very driven to encourage others into the industry who are studying a similar degree. Her goal is to try to steer people away from the stereotypes that still surround engineering.
Lisa Hamilton – Rising Star – under 25
Graduate Civil Engineer - Manchester
Lisa displays great maturity in her approach to work, despite having only graduated less than two years ago. She continues to work within the allocated budget and delivery timescales, delivering an excellent service to her clients. Lisa has volunteered to take on additional workloads, not only to ensure the success of the team but so that she may continue to further skills that she may not otherwise be exposed to. This willingness has enabled Opus to deliver projects which would otherwise have missed deadlines.
Opus International Consultants (Opus), the global infrastructure consultancy have been named Company of the Year by the New Civil Engineer (NCE). After a rigorous assessment of the top firms within civil engineering, the NCE has selected the top 100 companies based on the cultures, competencies and skillsets that they believe matter most.
The 100 companies making up the NCE100 were revealed at a gala dinner on Wednesday 11 May in London. Selecting the 100 was a scrupulous process that included an in-depth company survey, employee satisfaction surveys and finally, interviews by a dozen leading clients among a 30-strong judging panel.
Mark Hansford, editor at the NCE said; “These are the companies that we believe you will want to work for and work with. These are the companies that are moving the industry forward.”
All companies were assessed against five core themes on their approaches to technical excellence; pushing future technology; being diverse and great and safe places to work; approach to developing engineers of the future; and playing a role in tackling global issues. In the final assessment, the judges felt that “Opus was the clear winner by some margin, scoring very highly from its staff. Opus appears amongst the top 10 firms across all of the core themes which demonstrated a large part of why the firm has been named the NCE100 Company of the Year.”
Huw Edwards, Opus UK Managing Director said “This award showcases the talent we have right across the business, the innovative solutions we deliver for all of our valuable clients. This is a great reflection on the people we have and a validation of the values, ethos and culture that we have created together. For me, this win cements our growing reputation as the leading infrastructure company.”
Opus was also awarded a high commendation in the category International Impact. The judges felt that Opus “displayed ground-breaking approaches to the contemporary challenges of civil engineering by developing and embedding completely new approaches globally.”
Opus prides itself on having a clear diversity strategy; engaging its staff in outreach activities to promote the profession and act as STEM ambassadors; working with impact internationally culminating in professional recognition of its work; spearheading new technologies through research and development funding; and pushing engineering boundaries through partnerships with clients.
Opus is delighted to announce it has been shortlisted as a finalist in three categories at the recently established NCE 100 Best Companies of the Year Awards 2016. Opus is one of eight companies which has been shortlisted in both the ‘Best Place to Work’ and ‘Talent Champion’ categories. Opus is also one of ten finalists in the ‘International Impact’ category.
The awards are new for the NCE and aim to recognise firms that are leading the way in five key areas that are critical to delivering for clients and making the workplace a great place to be. The NCE100 Best Companies of the Year Awards sit alongside and complement the NCE100 ranking of the best civil engineering practices here in the UK and abroad.
Huw Edwards, UK Managing Director at Opus says, “I am particularly proud that our focus on the development of our people at home and abroad is gaining industry recognition. We have been successful in a number of people focussed awards over the last couple of years and the shortlisting at the NCE awards is the icing on the cake. Our goal is to be a great place to work and gaining industry recognition for leading the way in these areas is a fantastic achievement.”
Mark Hansford, editor of New Civil Engineer comments, “We launched NCE 100 as an exciting, robust and challenging way to identify the best civil engineering practices. The entries so far have not disappointed. Our shortlisted firms have great stories to tell and we look forward to hearing them in more detail at the next stage.”
For the next stage of judging Opus will take part in face-to-face interviews with a panel representing a cross section of the industry, to further elaborate on the key topics in their submission.
The winners will be announced on the 11th May at a prestigious dinner ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
Early in November, Opus International Consultants’ Fareham office was delighted to host the Mayor and Mayoress of Fareham. The visit was in honour of work carried out by Opus for the refurbishment of Mumbles Pier in South Wales, which recently won the Peter Mason Award from the National Piers Society.
The work was initiated to provide a new boathouse at the end of the decaying pier for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) as part of their infrastructure investment to provide a state of the art UK-wide rescue service.
The Peter Mason Award is presented every four years for work of unusual or meritworthy engineering, associated with a British Pier by the National Piers Society in the form of a magnificent framed painting by the pier artist, Caroline Bilson.
The judges highlighted the ecological and community benefits of the scheme which included providing alternative nesting ledges for the Kittiwake colony, displaced from the pierhead for the duration of the works, and the use of driven piles to avoid smothering the nearby oyster beds that other piling methods may have caused. They were particularly impressed with the live monitoring displacement of the historic structure to avoid its damage, stating it was “particularly innovative and has applications in the refurbishment of other seaside piers”.
A special model cake of the lifeboat station was generously made for the occasion, which was cut by the Mayor of Fareham Cllr Mike Ford.
Earlier in the year, the scheme was awarded the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) “Designed in the South East” Award at its Engineering Excellence Awards 2015, as well as being the Gold award winner in The Green Apple Awards for Architectural Heritage.
Pictured: The project team along with Brian Hillman - Fareham Office Director, award presenter Caroline Buttolph, Ben Sautter (RNLI), The Mayor of Fareham Cllr Mike Ford and the Mayoress Anne Ford.
Gillian Steele, based in the Cardiff office, was awarded the prestigious National Ground Engineering Next Generation award as “Young Geotechnical Engineer of the Year” (Under 26). The awards are highly competitive, and entered by many talented young high calibre geotechnical engineers throughout the country. This makes Gillian’s win all the more impressive, and a proud moment for Opus. The awards ceremony took place on the 19th November in London.
Commenting on her win, the judging panel explained “Gillian is passionate about geotechnical engineering, has broad experience and a clear development path for the future.”
Huw Edwards, Opus' UK Managing Director, adds “This is a fantastic achievement for someone who is just beginning their career. It’s hard to believe that Gillian only graduated last summer. Not only is she progressing well technically, Gillian is extremely proactive outside of work. She is heavily involved in the South Wales Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Graduates and Students group, she also organises and participates in many sporting fundraising events. She is a great role model for graduates and definitely one to watch. ”
Gillian joined Opus just over a year ago, and in this short space of time, she has become a highly valued member of the geotechnical team. Gillian is passionate about promoting ground engineering to young people, which she actively endorses through her roles as a Construction Skills and STEM (Science Technology Engineering Maths) Ambassador and as the Vice Chairperson for the ICE Graduate and Student Group in South Wales. She is also the Cardiff office ambassador for the company’s Women in Leadership initiative. Gillian has also spent time in Opus’ Wellington office in New Zealand, as part of her “year in industry”. She witnessed the destruction caused by the Christchurch earthquake and aftershocks, which not only highlighted the importance of the interaction of structures with the ground, but confirmed her passion for the ground engineering sector.
Outside of work, she is a member of the Cardiff Triathlon Club and earlier this year took part in the Carten 100 challenge raising money for charity.
Photo from L to R: Claire Smith (Ground Engineering), Gillian Steele, Graham Holland (Canal and Rivers Trust Head of Asset Management)
Mumbles new RNLI slipway lifeboat station and pier head refurbishment scheme has won the prestigious GOLD award for Built Environment & Architectural Heritage at the Green Apple Awards 2015. The scheme, designed by Opus International Consultants (Opus) in Fareham, was selected from over 200 entrants to receive this accolade, which is awarded by The Green Association to the greenest companies, councils and communities.
The derelict Victorian pier head was re-engineered to incorporate a new generation lifeboat station whilst preserving and re-using as much of the original features as possible. Alternative nesting ledges to accommodate the Kittiwake colony displaced from the pier head were attached to the old lifeboat station, adjacent to the pier, for the duration of the works. Driven piles were selected to avoid arisings associated with bored piles which would have smothered the nearby oyster beds.
Successfully commissioned in January/February 2014, the works provided the required enhanced rescue service as well as boosting tourist visits to the reopened pier head.
The Green Apple Awards are supported by the Environment Agency, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the Chartered Institution for Wastes Management and other independent bodies.
Opus has received the Chairman's Special Award at the ICE Wales Cymru Project Awards, held in Cardiff on Friday 1st May for the design of the RNLI lifeboat station at Porthdinllaen in North Wales.
The special Commendation was given in recognition of the collaboration between Opus (Fareham office), the RNLI and the National Trust to design a building fitting the surrounding area of outstanding natural beauty and overcoming several design challenges.
Opus’ work for ABP’s Newport Rail Bridge (Cardiff office) was also showcased at the awards ceremony as finalist for the Roy Edwards Award.
RNLI Porthdinllaen has also scooped the ‘Local Authority Building Control Excellence Award 2015’ in North Wales. Nominees were chosen from 7,500 buildings inspected by Building Control Services over the last year and won for its high standard of construction.